Thanks for the question and good luck,
Jim O'Brien-O'Brien Realty Group Direct: (314) 709-0650
powered by Prudential Select Properties (636) 720-1100
There are agents that handle both rental/sales. I personally do both, although I don't manage the properties.
If you hire a property management company to lease and manage the property you can expect to pay the equivalent of one month's rent when the property is leased. There will be a maintenance fee of about $120-$150/month. For that fee the company will collect the rent payment from the tenant and credit the remaining proceeds to you. If any issues arise needing repair, the company will call a professional contractor and have it repaired sending you the bill. If you are noticing a pattern...they do everything you can easily do and charge you a hefty fee for it. I have rental property and have never had issues but there are horror stories. The best thing you can do is protect yourself with a good landlord insurance policy that includes theft and vandalism.
We had an increased surge in buyer traffic during the last two months of the year. My recommendation is to keep the property on the market. If your sister was not happy with her previous Realtor, I would be happy to discuss options for her.
While MO law states that if they have a valid contract (not a month to month but a longer lease) then a new owner has to honor the terms of the contract, unless you find an investor who specifically wants rental property that is already under lease. Most buyers won't look at it, since they are looking for homes for themselves to live in and they don't want to wait until the lease is over to fix it up and move in. If the tenants contract is month to month, then the buyers can tell them to move out, but in that case, they have even less incentive to help the seller sell the home, since if it sells, they have to find a new place to live.
For reference, the market has started to take off in St Louis over the past couple of weeks. Buyers were out looking at homes on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. I'm working multiple contracts at the moment, and I know other agents who are as well.
I sell homes, I don't manage rentals, but if your sister would like a referral to some excellent and reasonably priced management companies, please have her contact me. If she'd like to discuss ways to get the home sold, I can help her with that myself.