The job description for a real estate agent has changed over the years. In the old days, we all represented the seller and we "did the footwork" of thumbing through listing cards or a listing book while sitting at a desk looking for possibilities to show you.
Today, we can now represent the buyer, and the listing agent does everything they can to get listings to your computer. It's hardly "footwork," for most of us, it's sitting at a desk surfing when we should be working (not you, Sarah, I know you respect your boss's time too much!)
Point is - you don't need a real estate agent to look at pictures of homes in your price range, with the desired characteristics in the neighborhoods you like. How you get from your printer's output tray to moving your furniture into the home, however, is a journey that most people prefer to do with an agent on their side.
All the best,