Just an FYI: If you are a buyer you don't have to pay a Realtor to help you. A seller makes a contract with a listing Realtor which involves the seller paying the Realtor's company a commission. Half of that commission is paid to the buyer's Realtor's company, who in turn pays the buyer's Realtor.
Hope this is helpful.
With this said, there is far more litigaton in today's society than there ever has been...just watch television and count the number of attornies that are advertising their services.
Yes, any one can buy without the support of a RE professional but to do so may be taking a huge step in the world of unknown risk.....
If you are still bent on finding a home without a realtor, consider seeking property that is "for sale by owner," They aren't working with an agent either.......
We have bought and sold in Washington and always used a WA real estate agent even though we are CA real estate agents ourselves. Agents know the market and the laws and regulations. As a buyer it doesn't cost you anything to use absolutely the best agent ever. If you need a referral, please let me know.
I live in the zip code in which you inquire. I would like to know (if I may ask) why would you not use a Realtor to purchase a home? If you have found a home that is a for sale by owner, you can still use a Realtor to represent you in purchasing the home. If you have had a bad experience, I would encourage you to ask for a recommendation from your friends or family. Or, call an agent that you do not know and interview them.
There are many, many "layers" in purchasing a home. Make sure you are protected, and well represented.
Use a lawyer to draft the appropriate documents.
If the house you're interested in is listed with a Realtor, then you'll still be dealing with one . . . the listing agent. If the house is FSBO, then no agent will be involved.
All transactions ultimately are between the buyer and the seller. The agents are just there to facilitate the transaction.
So: Contact a lawyer and let him/her handle the details.
(if you have to ask, perhaps you do need one)
Kidding aside - if you want to make such a huge purchase on your own, you better make sure to do your due dilligence and educate yourself on the market and the home buying process, as there is no oneline answer to your question.
If a property is for sale by owner, you are free to view, offer and negotiate on your own. You can hire an attorney to prepare a contract and rely on your own judgment and sites like Zillow to determine value. Just remember automated valuations are 10% to 20% off by their own admissions in many cases.
If a property is already listed with an agent, you can use the listing agent; they work for the seller and legally represent them first, even if they claim they will be independent dual agency brokers. A Broker is still involved, but only one and they will gladly take the full commission.
Once a property is listed, the commission is already promised and other than discount or rebate agents not available to the buyer.
Discount and rebate agents are more varied in their skill set than other agents, but no matter which type of agent you choose, choose carefully. A great agent is worth what they get paid and a bad one will cost you more than just a commission.