You may want to get a Realtor who will be representing your interests...or you can submit your offer to the Realtor that is representing the Seller's interests.
If the seller put you on a protected buyer list, or if the agent does not have the exclusive right to sell, you could avoid the agent and work directly with the seller.
If you are not a protected buyer and the agent has an exclusive right to sell, then yes you need to work through an agent. I'd recommend getting an agent to negotiate for you, rather than working directly with the listing agent.
FYI, a protected buyer is someone who the seller has told the listing agent they are excluding from the listing contract.
Thank you and look forward to hearing from you.
Allen Van Hoff
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Keller Williams Realty
Representing Buyers Sellers and Investors from the Adirondacks to the Capiital District!