Contact Us Today:
  • Dean Smith, Attorney
  • (801) 597-3012
  • 3731 W. South Jordan Pkwy.
  • Ste. 102
  • South Jordan, UT 84095

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


"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. 


"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) / Buy 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 Counteroffer
  •      Fee is Due at Closing, No Up-Front Costs
  •      More Details? See below…

More and more Utah residents are buying or selling a house without hiring a real estate agent. This article offers a brief overview of For Sale By Owner (FSBO) transactions, highlights some of the issues to consider if you are thinking about buying or selling without an agent, and outlines an approach that offers professional assistance for a small flat fee while allowing you to complete a FSBO transaction without paying an agent’s commission.

Usual Approach: Use an Agent, Pay a Big Commission   

SELLERS: Typically, a listing agent will charge a 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 will share a portion of his 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 of $18,000 is usually deducted from the seller’s sales proceeds at the closing, meaning the seller walks away with much less money. Clearly then, a seller can save a significant amount of money by selling the house without an agent.

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 seller to pay the buyer’s agent’s commission). Alternatively, buyers have the option of using the assistance of a real estate attorney as described further below, or doing it on their own without any assistance.

BUYING FROM A REPRESENTED SELLER:  If you find a house you want to buy on your own (nice work!), and the seller is represented by a real estate agent, part of the commission that the seller will pay at closing, as described above, can be paid to you (usually several thousand dollars). Don't leave money on the table, and don't double the commission that the seller's agent was expecting! Please contact me for instructions.

 Information and the Online Marketplace

The considerable savings available to a seller by doing a For Sale By Owner transaction are obvious, however, the FSBO decision should not be made lightly. 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 try to sell a house without the benefit of the marketing 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 new house, and an incredible amount of housing information is available online. In my experience, an increasing number of sellers can provide adequate internet exposure for their property without the necessity of 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, and without an agent. As discussed above, this can yield a significant financial benefit to the buyer if the seller is represented by an agent.

 Are You Capable of Doing Some Things Yourself?

In addition to finding a buyer (for sellers), or finding a property (for buyers), good real estate agents also provide transactional assistance, including negotiating and filling out a real estate purchase contract, 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. While every transaction is different, problems are not uncommon. Some real estate sales are quick and easy, while for others getting to the finish line requires more time and effort. FSBO 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 making this assessment, you decide you want to sell, or buy, your house without an agent and without paying a commission, but you recognize that this is one of the largest transactions of your life and don’t feel comfortable doing it entirely on your own, I'd like to help. For most of my clients, their objective is to minimize their costs while obtaining limited professional 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.

 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 the buyer or seller regarding any title issues that need to be resolved before closing.

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

 4)      Settlement and Closing.     Review the closing costs and settlement statement 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 are interested buying or selling your house without an agent, but 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 request that the seller pay the flat fee for our services.  

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. For Sale By Owner Utah