My two cents is that you need to do the right thing.
The period ended 12 days ago. They saw the listing due to your Realtor's efforts.
And, BTW, who will be representing YOU in the negotiations?
The right thing is defined as what you would do if God was looking over your shoulder.....
A good agent puts a lot of effort into marketing and exposure on his/her listings. It sounds like your agent did that for you. Your question also leads me to believe that you have had a fairly good relationship with that agent since you have allowed him to continue to try and sell your home for you even after the listing agreement ended.
I would think that this agent has provided a valuable service to you, should the house end up being sold to a buyer that became aware of the property because of this agents efforts.
Perhaps it would be best to discuss this with your agent and see if there is something that can be worked out.
I like the Do the Right thing answer. There is something wrong here or we are missing major pieces of the puzzle. Why would it take from 11/30/2008 to work two offers? That alone tells me you need someone helping you through what must be a really difficult sale. Getting the offer these days is only 1/2 the battle. I'd think you'd want your agent on your side through closing. Why don't you talk it through with them and see if you can't come to some kind of resolution. Perhaps it will be a matter of how the buyer has come to you. Did you take the realtor sign down on 11/30? If so how did the buyer contact you? Was it just a random knock at the door? There is some chance that if it takes 4 months to work through two contracts the agent will no longer want to take part in the transaction...
JW has been working with this agent for a while and maybe he doesn't feel that the agent is entitled to a commision, maybe the agent didn't put any effort into selling the house.
In either case JW needs to decide whether he wants to continue with the transaction unrepresented, He knows the agent and probably knows if the agents expertise or lack there of will help him through the process.
On the other hand when I work with people I make sure everyone gets paid, my reputation is well known among the people I do business with. Taking care of every one who contributed is very important to me.
Just another thought on your comment about computer consultancy and doing bids and such. Agents do put in up front work in coming to do the listing appointment initially to list the home. Typically, they've spent time putting together a pre-listing packet/listing packet, do CMA's (comparative market analysis) on your home to see whta's selling in the area, researched comps and the like. Then, They come to the client's home (commuting) and spend time presenting the materials to you. All of that work is usually done gratis in hopes of finding a mutually beneficial relationship. This is akin to the proposal you put together with your clients.
However, once you engage them, then they are working for you. They spend money on listing the home on the MLS, flyers, as is the case with us extra features to get your home propagated on dozens and dozens of sites throughout the Internet, sign for the yard, lockbox, showing service fees, specialized websites just for your home, 800 phone numbers to capture names/numbers of people calling about your property, possible open home paper work, refreshments, etc. and on and on. When an agent takes on a listing, it's only smart business to take on homes they think will sell as they put in all their own money up front with the probability of getting reimbursed for the outlay they've already put out.
So, at this point, it's more of an ethical question.
Hope that's helpful,
thanks for your time and good luck
In this market we all take hits, sellers take hits, buyers cannot get the mortgage they would like to get, and Realtors work longer to sell listings, and run more with buyers because there is so much out to see. So in other words we are all in the same boat.
It sounds to me that your agent deserves some compensation. Sit down and talk it out...
Just a suggestion.