You do not have to have representation in a transaction. But there are some really good reasons TO make that decision. Your agent is free to you. The seller pays their fee. If you hire someone who is well versed in the area you are purchasing they can share details with you about market conditions, concession norms and whether the property appears to be properly priced. In other words, why wouldn't you want a rep? If you go it on your own you will likely be dealing with the representative of the seller who has been hired to act in the sellers best interest.