Sellers often make decisions based on emotional circumstances not easily known or understood and they often don't want to "put their business out there". If you absolutely do not want an agency involved, I would suggest riding your target neighborhoods on Saturday afternoons and talking with everybody you see. Somebody knows somebody.
Additionally, I would arm myself with financing prequalification letters or proof of funds. This is true whether you go with a broker or find something yourself. You want to be ready when the seller yells "SHOW ME THE MONEY!"
I found my house on Isle of Palms in this exact way. When I finally found the home for me, the seller was extremely happy he didn't have to deal with people coming in and out of his house and I showed him that I could buy right away. I did it and I would be delighted to help you do it too.
John Kent Spehl
SC Broker In Charge
SC General Contractor
SC Real Estate Appraiser (inactive)... more