Sellers pay the commission for the buyer''s agent, so there are no fees for you in terms of hiring an agent. However, if you don't hire a good one it could cost you a lot of money in terms of ending up in a problem property, overpaying, or under negotiating.
So even though you don't pay for it directly, you are hiring someone to look out for your interests in what is likely the largest purchase of your life. I'm pretty sure you wouldn't hire someone to operate on you simply because they were a friend or a friend of a friend or Aunt Mary's second cousin twice removed - take the same care with your investment money. Interview several agents/brokers. Talk with their referrals. Ask them to explain the process. Look them up online, etc... You'll be happy you did in the end, and don't worry about upsetting someone. Agents are like stop signs - they're everywhere. It's your money. you shouldn't be guilted into hiring someone you don't want to.