Wow, really? What I see below is a big pile of scare tactics propagated by realtors desperate to maintain the illusion that they are indispensable. I've bought several houses directly from the seller in FL and CA and never had a problem with those. On the other hand, I ended up as a defendant in a lawsuit for hundreds of thousands of dollars even after doing everything the "right" way, due to the negligence of certain real estate professionals (one title agent who paid off the wrong lender by mistake [to a slimy real estate investor who pocketed the money and disappeared to Colombia] and another who wrote a title policy on a clouded title without actually doing the research).
Of course there are always people out there trying to take advantage of others, particularly in the real estate investor community in Tampa Bay (unfortunately I know this from personal experience). If you are buying from an investor, I would definitely recommend using your own real estate lawyer. If you are buying directly from a regular homeowner who lives in the house and doesn't own investment property, your chances are greater that it's going to be an OK deal. How much assistance you need depends on your level of knowledge and comfort with the process.
In any case, once you've identified a property and agreed on the terms of the sale, you've already done the majority of the realtor's job, why would you want to take on that expense? A real estate lawyer would be able to take care of the red tape for you in case you are not familiar with the process, and would charge a flat fee rather than a commission.
KUDOS to Steven Pahl and Gerard Carney for giving genuine advice.
SHAME on Gteam Real Estate Services, Agent, San Jose, CA for yourself-serving, deprecatory comment! Who would want to work with someone who is so scornful?