Yes, you can follow your plan and become a licensed agent or other professional, to obtain access to the MLS. However, it is highly unlikely such a plan will prove beneficial to your investment objectives.
Your plan will incur significant cost and impose encumbrances on your investment business that simply will not serve you well.
As you are clearly aware, the real estate industry presents many opportunities to make significant profit. This is a business, not a HOBBY.
This holds true for a BROKER also. Entertaining the idea a broker 'would not make any money from me' suggest you have not come to full awareness this is a business not a hobby.
As a licensed real estate agent, you will be in the food chain of many professional and governing organizations who DO understand, This is a Business, not a HOBBY!
You actually know what you need to do.
You are investing inordinate energy and effort in an effort to circumvent the most beneficial option available to you.
If I encountered a home buyer, exercising such need to circumvent the readily available resources, the 'RED FLAGS' would go up.
To your benefit I willl assume their is more to the story than you have shared.
In answer to your question, the availability and costs will be dependent on the brokerage and the 'OFFER' you present to the broker. In this aspect, there does exist room for negotiation.
If you want to remain an mature in the investing arena, using outdated, incorrect and misrepresented data, use the entertainment resources mentioned by others and exhibit such with your Zulia Guestimate. Some fall for the delusion that 'lots of numbers' equate to actionable information. They would be wrong. If you are serious, you will follow your instincts and pursue the source of timely, comprehensive, correct and responsible data. Subscribe to PROFESSIONAL internet sources, NOT Trulia or Zillow. Your intent reveals you know this already.
Best of success,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Palm Harbor, FL