Another option is to gain support and representation by working with a broker that has a real estate attorney on staff. This is would be the most useful option. My office has such representation.
Here is a third party attorney that my team has been very happy with.
Blackburn, Bo (Akin & Alamanza)
2301 S. Capital of Texas Highway
Austin, TX 78746
Bus: (512) 474-9486
Bus Fax: (512) 478-7151
E-mail: Bo Blackburn (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hopefully these options provide you the opportunity to remedy your concerns. I lilve in Hurst and would be glad to further support you.
My best, Josh
Hopefully, you found someone to better assist you. Real Estate Attorney's will help walk you through alot of the clauses found in your standard one to four family residential contract.
Keller Williams Realty
Real Estate Consultant
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.
You asked "How do I go about finding a Real Estate Attorney?" This indicates to me that you are seeking legal advice and potential representation as indicated in the second portion of your question, "I am looking for someone to look over a For Sale By Owner contract." While you have not outright stated that you are not interested in a real estate agent's services there is an implied presumption that you may not be interested in a real estate agent's professional assistance. It would be wise to potentially speak with a real estate agent, however that was not your question.
Some people tell me that an attorney can be too expensive. My response is it's too expensive not to have an attorney in your corner. That same statement does apply to other professions such as real estate agents.
Where did the contract come from? Is the seller a realtor? Allot of concerns for you ?
BRAVO ! for you wanting to obtain representation HOWEVER FYI - we receive so many calls, emails, from buyers that were trying to purchase direct from a builder or for sale by owner on a Dallas homes that it was toooooo late to get a realtor involved then can't provide the assistance. FYI there are many seasoned individuals who are out there can take advantage of the innocent buyer look for families or unseasoned investors. Next thing you know you lost your earnest money, escrow, and being sued
NOTE: You would fall under a realtors e & o insurance vs. with an attorney if something goes wrong the attorney can end up costing more than you can imagine
SELLERs - should never sale home unless they have a realtor involved FSOB - for sale by owner they can be sued if they DON'T follow the practice, laws in the state of Texas
REALTORs- we have to understand real estate contract law taught in our education classes and our yearly renewal of our licenses, and many brokers have on going contract law classes they teach several times a year. HOWEVER there are exceptions when it does come into commercial real estate or land there are some differences that do require an attorney for commercial real estate
CLOSING: For you or anyone else Please Please be extremely careful have a realtor or professional involved for any real estate transactions
There are standard practices that all sellers MUST follow per the laws in the state of Texas whether they have a listing agent OR a For Sale by Owner
With a real estate agent your offer would be submitted on the form authored by the State of Texas for any property purchased. Also the fact the realtor can do the entire follow thru confirming you comply with the contract and the seller complies with there end of the obligations per the State of Texas
Having an attorney can be expensive UNLESS a commercial property?
IF you are purchasing a single family home an attorney may not have the other resources for your benefit
Are your pre-approved to purchase the property? I am a Dallas real estate agent, realtor, and a Dallas home mortgage loan officer I can assist you
Contact my office if you have any further questions