Keep in mind the reason I don't recommend doing these types of things on your own is not because of all of the typical scare tactics that professionals use such as: "If you don't use an accountant you will get audited." "You will get taken advantage of during negotiations or a real estate deal without an attorney." etc.
The reason that I don't recommend it is because you will not be able to do as good of a job as a professional IF you hire someone who is very good at their job. In a real estate transaction, there are a lot of moving parts. Although you may be able to do it on your own, I can assure you that you will not feel as comfortable as you would with an attorney, and you will end up spending a lot more time than you expected researching and reviewing contracts.
A good attorney will not have to spend a ton of time on your transaction and thus the fee that they charge is typically not high cost. Your total legal bill, whether you are a buyer or a seller, should be under $1,500. In Massachusetts that is a very small percentage of the overall transaction.
I'll repeat again: you can do this on your own and if you spend enough time, you can probably get the same results. However, if you end up looking at the value of your time and the small risk that the other side of the transaction will try to take advantage of the situation, the benefit outweighs the cost.
It really depends on your financial circumstances and how comfortable you are with going it alone, without an attorney.
I havea great example for you a few years ago. I had a friend tried to sell her home few years ago. She decided to sell her home by herself (FSBO) and had her attorney only do the PNS, not closing to save some money. When she showed up at the closing table. She was threaten by buyer attorney to pay for most of buyer's closing fee. Otherwise they can't close the deal. She had to pay $5000 for the buyer. I strongly suggest you that you should have an attorney to defend you at the closing.
The closing attorney will search the deed to make sure it is free lf liens, prepares the closing docs, prorates taxes , prepares the hud and makes sure teh numbers are correct. When getting a mortgage the bankj makes sure this is done on your behalf but dont forget with cash, it is your sole responsibility.
Good luck with your purchase
However, for the most protection, you should have one. There may be items in the mountains of documents that you'll sign that you don't understand. (There certainly will be.) Or there may be provisions in the final documents that don't reflect what you've previously agreed to. Or perhaps other items will arise--problems with the walk-through, for instance.
In some cases, your Realtor will be able to help you. And, frankly, not everyone does have an attorney at closing. So, it's your call.
Hope that helps.