Actually it would cost you money to have a buyer's agent. You are the one bringing the money to the table. The seller is simply taking 3% of that and handing it over to the agent. They would probably want to add the agent's commission to the sales price so you are paying a higher price!!!
It is possible to buy a house without an agent. First of all if you want to know how much houses nearby have sold for recently, go to realtor.com. Where it says "what's your home worth?" type in the street address and zip code. It will give you sale prices of homes close by. It is easy to get in your car and drive past the houses on the list to gauge how how similar they are to the house you want to buy.
The tax value and price the owner paid for the house is PUBLIC RECORD! You should not have to pay for this service. I know New Hanover County has a website in which you can find all that info. You just type in an address and it gives you the owner's name, tax districts, past sales data (back to the 1970s), square footage, permit data...basicly everything you need to know about the house.
I don't know where you would find that info in Charlotte, but I'm sure a quick phone call to some govt agencies would point you in the right direction.
Of course, if this is the first time you are buying a house, you may feel more comfortable getting a buyer's agent to help you with this purchase (a major purchase at that). But make sure you find a good, honest one. You don't want someone that is going to tell you that you need to pay more than necessary just so they get more commission (b/c the higher price you pay, the more their commission is).
I will say that I have looked at numerous houses FSBO & houses for sale through a realtor, and 95% of the time the FSBO house is overpriced when compared to the rest. So be careful. Definitely take the time to do your research! It's worth it!