Jim the agents usually have an agreement with their Brokerage in Virginia, and work for a particular split of the money they bring in to the company. In all likelihood, the agent is not making as much as you feel he / she is, but the bottom line is that the seller pays the commissions a great deal of the time. In other words it is not costing you a thing. Some companies do charge "Administrative Fees", or "Buyer Broker Fees", though I personally do not. Sometimes agents will say these fees are what they are making, period. Well that's not always the truth, and I would suggest that you start with an agent who is honest with you.
Should you be represented? That's your choice of course, but there is a reason why I am used by new construction contractors to represent them, and why I have represented six agents in their own real estate transactions. Emotions can enter and sometimes fog one's judgement.
Bottom line Jim, there is a reason why agents many times hire other agents to help them as there is a reason builders who conduct many transactions do the same - just as there is a reason we were named Best of the Best for 2012. Contact me if you would like and we can discuss this in more detail. Take care