Contact Us Today:
  • Dean Smith, Attorney
  • (801) 597-3012
  • 7730 S. Union Park Ave.
  • Ste. 130
  • Midvale, UT 84047

Our Clients Say...

"Dean has assisted us on several matters relating to our commercial properties. We appreciate his ability to zero in on the most important issues and draft agreements that protect and promote our interests."

Towers Associates


"In addition to helping us understand key lease provisions from the perspectives of both parties, Dean provided great practical advice on how best to accomplish our objectives. Service was prompt and professional."

Dr. Brent Felix   


"Dean provided excellent assistance with the sale of our house, allowing us to save thousands on commissions. We really appreciated his flexibility, especially making sure everything was taken care of in the last few days before the closing. He provided helpful guidance throughout the transaction, and it was a pleasure to work with him."

Patrick Willke (FSBO client) 


"Our lease review was thorough and our consultation with Dean put to rest some specific concerns we had about our lease. We plan to call on him again in the future."

Kirk Nielsen

FSBO Client Reviews
"Dean's service during our home selling process was exactly what we had been looking for! He was always quick to get back with us, kept us on track with our paperwork, provided legal advice, and took the stress out of selling our home on our own. Will DEFINITELY use him again!"

K and L Anderson


"Dean’s option for a flat fee FSBO, was perfect for what I needed. Dean was available, responsive, and thorough. He brought issues and options to my attention, and reminded me of deadlines. He also saved me thousands of dollars in agent commissions. Very professional and personable. I highly recommend him."

Deanna Welch


“I found Dean’s information while searching for real estate contracts online. I wanted to save the tens of thousands of dollars in real estate agent commissions, but I also wanted the transaction to be legal and done properly. I was very interested in the idea of having an attorney handle the transaction for a flat fee. The whole transaction went so smoothly, I almost don’t feel like I just sold a home. The paperwork was all handled and we received invaluable advice from Dean that saved us from making some costly mistakes. Dean regularly followed-up with me to make sure I was on track with all the tasks that needed to be handled. In the end, we saved thousands of dollars, sold our home and have the confidence that it’s been done right. Thanks for the awesome help Dean!” 

Trevor O'Donnal


"Working with Dean was great. He helped me review the offer and remaining paperwork to make sure it was compliant with Utah regulations. His fees are well worth the price when you decide not to use a realtor."

Benjamin S. 


"Dean was very helpful and diligent. I needed help with a home sale that included seller financing, and he made it happen. Very pleased with his work and looking forward to working with him again in the future."
Leslie Woods


"The house my husband and I wanted to put in an offer for was being sold by the owner. Since this was our first home we weren't sure of our next steps, but figured an attorney would be a good starting point. Dean's website provided a detailed overview of his services and they were offered at a flat fee, as opposed to hourly. It seemed honest and very thorough. We didn't want to enter the blackhole of attorney hours, so we decided to take a plunge and give Dean a ring to learn more. Dean proved himself to be immediately knowledgable, and we decided on the spot to use his services. Along our journey, he was never afraid to give us his professional opinion (even if it was contradictory to ours), but always did so with an air of professionalism and respect. We found ourselves leaning on him regularly with questions to which he always gave us a detailed answer that helped newbies like ourselves understand the terminology, the good, the bad, and the ugly at every turn. He handled everything he said he would and put us in touch with a wonderful title company, Vanguard, who in turn was exceptional to work with (call, Angie!). He was always timely, following up when he promised, and keeping us on track. The best part is that his services didn't even stop at closing, when he got paid. He made sure that he followed up until every box was checked. We were so lucky to have stumbled upon him and we highly recommend his services to anyone looking for help when buying a home listed as for sale by owner."
Raquel & Gianni Donati

For Sale By Owner (FSBO)

(also... Buying Without An Agent)


  •      No Agent Commission, Save Thousands of $$$
  •      We Handle the Paperwork from Contract to Closing  
  •      Experienced Real Estate Attorney to Protect You
  •      Assistance Available Throughout Utah
  •      Received an Offer? Call Now and Let's Discuss
  •      Fee is Due at Closing, No Up-Front Costs
  •      Details? See below…

More and more Utah residents are buying or selling a house without hiring a real estate agent (FSBO). Read on to find out why. I offer experienced, professional assistance for a small flat fee, allowing you to purchase or sell your house the right way and without paying a large commission to a real estate agent.

Usual Approach: Use an Agent, Pay a Big Commission   

Typically, the seller’s real estate agent will charge the seller a commission of 6% of the sales price for the agent’s services in connection with selling the house. This means that if the house sells for $300,000, the seller will pay the listing agent an $18,000 commission. In most cases, the buyer is also represented by a real estate agent, and the listing agent must share a portion of that commission (usually half of it) with the buyer’s agent. In this scenario, the seller’s agent and the buyer’s agent would each receive $9,000. The commission payment is typically deducted from the sales proceeds at the closing, meaning the seller walks away with much less money. Clearly, a seller can save a huge amount of money by selling the house “for sale by owner”, without an agent.

INFO FOR BUYERS: If a seller is selling property without an agent (for sale by owner), a buyer that is represented by an agent will have to pay their own agent’s commission, unless they can negotiate for the FSBO seller to pay that commission. I offer the professional assistance outlined below as a much more affordable alternative.  Also, if you find a house that you want to buy on your own, without a real estate agent, and the seller does have a real estate agent, part of the commission that the seller has already agreed to pay to his/her agent at closing can, and should, be paid to you as a rebate (usually several thousand dollars) – after all, you found the property. Don't leave money on the table, and don't let the seller's agent take a 6% commission when he/she was only expecting 3%. If you’re in this situation I recommend that you consider using a commission rebate agent.

The Online Marketplace

The major savings available to a seller by doing a For Sale By Owner transaction are obvious, however, the FSBO decision should be made carefully. A listing agent’s objective is to find a buyer that will purchase at the right price. Toward that end, good listing agents do many things to market a property. Sellers have to decide whether they are in a position to sell a house without the benefit of the services that a good agent would provide. On the other hand, these days most people (including agents) use the internet as their primary source of information when searching for a house, and an incredible amount of housing information is available online. In my experience, many sellers are successful in provide adequate internet exposure for their property without hiring an agent, or by paying a small flat fee to have their house listing included on their local multiple listing service (MLS). Similarly, more and more buyers are confident conducting their own search for a new home online, without an agent. As discussed above, this might make it possible for a large portion of the commission to be rebated directly to the buyer.

Are You Capable of Doing Some Things Yourself?

In addition to finding a buyer, or finding a property, good real estate agents also provide transactional assistance, including negotiating and filling out a real estate purchase contract, communicating with other parties, and coordinating the completion of various responsibilities under the contract. Some of these responsibilities involve earnest money, seller’s property disclosures, title insurance, home inspections and other due diligence efforts, appraisals, closing, and other matters. Agents also help determine market value (many agents will provide a valuation only for a small fee – let me know if you would like valuation assistance and need a referral). Some real estate sales are quick and easy, while for others getting to the finish line requires more time and effort. For Sale By Owner sellers should think about whether they have the time, understanding and motivation needed for a successful transaction. Some don't, but many do.

Are You a Real Estate Expert Capable of Doing the Most Important Things Yourself?

If, after thinking about these issues, you decide you want to sell, or buy, your house without an agent and without paying a commission, but you recognize that this is a large transaction and don’t feel comfortable doing it entirely on your own, please contact me. For most of my clients, their objective is to minimize their costs while obtaining professional coaching and assistance addressing the important financial and legal aspects of their transaction. Toward that end the following services are specifically tailored for FSBO transactions (either selling without an agent, or buying without an agent):

 1)      Real Estate Purchase Contract.     Prepare all necessary contract documents (offers, counter-offers, addenda, etc.) in accordance with your objectives. Monitor and keep you informed of contract deadlines and requirements.

 2)      Title Insurance.     Coordinate with the title company to open an escrow account, hold the earnest money deposit, and provide the title commitment. Review the title report and consult with you regarding any title issues that need to be resolved before closing.

 3)      Property Disclosures.     Advise you regarding the legal requirements related to property disclosures, to avoid potential liability.

 4)      Settlement and Closing.     Review the closing costs, settlement statement and other closing documents for accuracy, prepare/review the deed conveying title, provide closing instructions and coordinate with the title company to ensure that all closing requirements are completed.

 5)      Consultation.       Discuss the transaction process with you and respond to your questions and concerns.

If you want an experienced real estate attorney to handle the key responsibilities described above, at the low fixed rate shown below, please contact me.


Note to buyers: sellers will often agree to pay all or a portion of the buyer's closing related costs, in order to facilitate the buyer's purchase of the property. We can prepare your purchase offer to include a provision that the seller pay the flat fee for our services.  

For more information about For Sale By Owner transactions, and for answers to frequently asked questions, please see our Q & A: FSBO page.

NOTE: This article is not comprehensive and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Please consult with a Utah real estate attorney to determine what action is appropriate for your particular circumstances.