Look - real estate savvy starts with you. If you seek the help of an agent hire a great one who has a hyperlocal focus on the submarket that matters to you and pay them. Pay them well.
About 20% of the 36,000 real estate agents in metro Atlanta earn 80% of the commissions - they are paid well because they are specialized consultants.
Consulting is nothing more than the application by a specialist of technical information to a problem which, when solved, offers a disproportionate benefit to the client compared to the fee he pays.
If an agent started opening doors for you, and you are a guy who is pretty easy to read, then they wasted their time because you don't value their consulting expertise.
So while it may not be a good practice on my part to protect my commission, I don't see much FSBO activity here in Fort Collins that would justify me needing to do it. Where the greater danger of losing my commission actually lies is with the new home builders. If I am not there when my clients view a new development, I have a large risk of not being paid. Usually that is taken care of by educating my clients, though.
I'm not sure if I answered your question or not, let me know and I will try again...
Your real estate agent will then contact the home owner informing them that they have a client wanting to see their home. Your agent will propose a one time written agreement from the seller that if their home closes with their clients, the seller is willing to pay the commission. Sellers usually agree to pay the commission for an agreed upon price. The real estate agent represents your interest and knows all the legalities, etc. Therefore, you are better served by letting your agent deal with the FSBO.
How is this usually handled in Colorado when option (3) under Sect. 8b is elected, "Buyer is NOT obligated to pay" (emphasis not added)? I am just curious as I would assume that most buyers would select the box that says that they are not obligated to pay, and I am sure there are some buyers that end up purchasing FSBO from owners that are unwilling to pay buyer commissions.
One more comment. If you decide not to use your agent, you should hire a real estate attorney to draft your offer letter and help you out along the way. This will likely cost you about $1500. The atty will make sure your offer contains contingencies (inspection, mortgage, etc...) and will work to keep the purchase process on track. Good luck.
It is likely that your Realtor already knows about the house and has contacted the sellers. If the house is in an area that you and your Realtor have been looking, and the house matched what you are looking for, your Realtor has likely come across it in his review of FSBO sites and Craig's List for homes that match your profile. Often the Realtor calls the homeowner first, to see if they are willing to work with buyers agents. If they are, your Realtor will recommend you look at the house. If they are not, he or she likely will not mention the house to you.
Has your Realtor mentioned any FSBO owner homes to you in the past? If not, you should ask your Realtor to be less passive in his efforts to help you find a home.