Chris makes a few excellent points.
Without a REALTOR (r) you will not have access to the Mulitple Listing Service.
A recent study completed by a west coast company revealed that 30% of homes shown for sale on aggregate real estate websites like Trulia and Zillow were not longer available. Further the study shows that homes appearing on these sites can lag their appearance on the MLS or professional websites by as much as seven (7) days.
Just 90 minutes ago, I handed a purchase contract to a listing agent as she was hanging her sign on the post. "First Look" opportunities are only available through paticipationg real estate professionals.
Others have stated they were successful buying homes without professional representation. And they are correct. They however, saw a small segment of the homes for sale.
Finally, in a highly competive real estate market like Orlando, you would be well advised to structure your purchase offer to show the greatest strength possible, in several deminsions. The real estate professional representing you will know what obstacles exist and the best way to present YOUR solution.
Oh, and most certainly I DO HAVE A DOG IN THE HUNT, but not in Orlando.
Best of success to you,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL