The agent gets nothing if you go into foreclosure. This way, the agent has the opportunity to show it and sell. You are lucky to have found a renter where the rent covers your mortgage. A lot of sellers who bought in 2006 are upside down on their houses and rent doesn't cover the morgage. What you could do with the renters is give them a break on the rent until the contract with the agent expires or offer them a cash bonus if the house sells while they are living there. You could agree to have some one come and do yardwork (keep up that curb appeal) and snow removal until the contract expires or the house sells. That could be another bargaining tool to offer the renters to keep this house on the market.
Also, you will be money ahead with the renters because they will pay for the heat and be there if the hot water heater springs a leak, the furnance stops working or a pipe bursts. THe only problem is if they smoke (the smell never goes away) or if they have pets that damage the property or they trash the place. Get a big security deposit. You also might consider hiring an agency the will manage the property if you are out of town. They have contracts with plumbers, roofers, etc. if anything goes wrong.
Can you give us a little more information? Did you list a home for sale that has not sold? Are you now going to rent it out? If so, will you still be trying to sell it? Was your advertising related to the rental, or related to a listing for sale? Did you tell your agent what you were doing and ask advice?
If you signed a contract for a "limited service" listing it should have been clearly spelled out what the agent would do and what you would be responsible for. If it was a full service listing for sale, then you owe the agent the commission if the property sells, even if you did extra work to promote the home.
However, it is my (non-legal) opinion that unless your contract precludes it, you should be able to rent the home out and keep the home listed for sale with the Broker/Agent. As somebody else here has mentioned you will need to be sure that the listing and the rental agreement are not in conflict.
If that is the case, I don't see why the agent would get any commission from the rental. However, if you are breaking a listing contract that could have consequences of its own.
We will be able to give you better advice if you tell us more about what you originally hired the agent to do.
Eileen's Green Team at Gateway
I want to therefore take the property off the market. I contacted our agent and he wants a copy of the rental agreement, $2000 in costs and a cancelled contract. He must be charging by the hour for his time (at $200 per hour) since this is the only way I can see him billing us so high with the amt. of work done..
The Realtor who answered "Depends on your contract. If you did not reserve the right to find your own renters with no fee to the agent, then you are obligated." is correct.
Also, I see from your post that you did sign a listing agreement with a Broker. Legally commission would be due the Broker.
Here in New Jersey very often the tenant will pay all or half of the commission due. Perhaps you could speak with your prospective tenant and see if they would agree to pay at least half the commission.
Diana Rogers, CNMS, CNRS
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Unless you have the full cooperation of your listing agent and the Tenant, your home may remain on the market for an extended time especially if the Tenant refuses to show the home or does not have the property in presentable condition. Other conditions such as showing times, sign placement, lockbox, even including the posting of the property on the web should be clarified with all involved.