I'll be completely honest with you. Agents will commit to you after just a couple of things:
1. You commit to them by completing the buyer broker agreement
2. You are pre-approved
3. You are ready, willing and able to buy.
Now for me personally, if I have those things in place you could be 6 mos away from buying but I remain committed to your success and develop the plan based on what we find during your consultation.
I'll admit that I wouldn't not start by showing homes on the first trip rather I'd have you identify neighborhoods. You have to like the area you'll want to live etc.
So for this trip if you wish to remain "on your own" there is no reason you should not be able to "view" some homes by making those calls. Note, that agents will ask questions to "qualify" you. The role of the listing agent is to show the home and bring a "ready, willing, and able" buyer so some may verify this with you prior to showing.
Truth is you'll want the area prior to the home, you'll want the affordability prior to the home, then you'll want the best deal on that home. So identify neighborhood, price point (approval with lender) and then homes. I would take this trip in the next couple weeks to just drive areas and make note of neighborhoods. When you see an open house go on in. If an agent is able to show you quickly when you call on the sign, go on and do it. These are begining stages and you have to do what is comfortable to you.
My website for property search via map is http://www.DesertRidgeLifestyle.com
so you can see homes that are available by neighborhood to "preview" where you may want to drive around when you are hear.
All my best