My response below is in no way to be construed as legal or professional advice. You should consult an attorney and well qualified real estate representative. Furthermore my knowledge is limited and could be incorrect, therefore conduct your own independent research. Also this is a public forum (yes offered by a private corporation but in public view), thus do not use what I state as a basis of any final decision making, use it as a an alternative idea on the topic and starting point for further research.
Wow, 8-9% for buyer representation? First, when hiring a real estate agent interview several agents before looking at homes. Do not look at homes with an agent if you do not intend to hire that agent (you would be a customer and the agent would be a sub-agent with the seller's interests as primary). Take care to understand agency, procurement clause, customer vs. client, representation, and fiduciary obligations; do not be afraid to ask your agent directly and ask for documentation - put them on the spot and if they fail to answer to your satisfaction or offer material in writing then you may not want to work with that agent.
Second if you are purchasing a property it may be in your best interests to seek out an exclusive buyer's agent, Google that for more information. I found http://www.exclusivebuyersagents.com/texas.htm
might be a good starting point. Also request that the only fee your agent gets is a X% commission (where X could be anything between 0% and up, in your statement it was 3%) and clearly stipulate that in your agreement; anything above or beyond that stated percent gets refunded or rebated to you at closing (via adjusted sales price or some rebate funds towards down payment, etc - if permitted by law, consult an attorney). For example, lets say you and your agent agree to 3%, in your FSBO scenario there is no other pay - only 3% and that's it, the agent can not collect additional pay from the sellers, period (you'd really want to discuss this with a real estate attorney as the agent may not be able to get paid by both you and the seller anyway with out written consent from both parties, of course depending on your representation agreement).
If a listing that another agent has offers a 6% commission and that agent splits the commission then you should be off the hook (make sure that's in writing as well). If a listing is offering for example a 9% commission then 3% goes to your agent and 3% gets rebated to you (do look into the laws and seek legal advice on any requests for rebates) and 3% goes to the listing agent. It's my understanding (limited) a real estate agent listing the property for a 6% commission will split that commission (but is not required to do so and you would be required to pay the 3% based on any agreement) with the sub-agent/buyer-agent who presents a buyer so both get 3%, thus with that logic why should you be paying your agent 8-9% or 5-6% more than your buyers agreement? Is the agent attempting to obtain the FSBO as a listing? Did you agree to intermediary? If the agent obtains the FSBO as a listing why should you incur further commission charges at any point, that's potentially not in your interests?
Also if you are working with a real estate agent right now and want to hire an attorney have them look over your existing agreement and determine if the agent has a procurement clause on all properties or only on ones he/she has shown you. Tread carefully with that issue and absolutely get legal advice; the last thing you want is to buy an FSBO and get sued by your real estate broker if their agent showed you the property or your agreement stipulates you pay a commission regardless.
New to Area check out these Realtor blogs:
Pay close attention to
Mr. Crossland discusses the buyer representation form.
Take your time and read those blogs, I'm not recommending either agents (as they are out of your area), but in my limited observation (based on their blogs) they appear to be well qualified in discussing their expertise. The blogs could answer some questions you may have regarding real estate.
Hope that helps further.
FYI: I would never pay more than 3% for a buyer's agent and I would never sign a buyer's agreement without my attorney reviewing the document first. If my attorney added to the document or struck statements and the real estate broker refused my terms, then bye I don't work with them. If an agent gets pushy and says you have to sign - leave.