As a home buyer you do want to work with a Realtor. You do not want to be calling off signs. That agent already has a relationship with the seller. Dual agency representation is allowed in Indiana but alot of states have done away with it. The Realtor you work with as a buyer would represent only you. They are paid by the seller. So it is free for you to work with a Realtor as a buyer and have your own representation.
The selling price of a home is important. A Realtor will also do a history search and see when the homes you are interested in sold last and for what price. Also a search of comparable properties in the area should be done.
If you are wanting to get in on the $8,000 tax credit you do need to get an offer in within a week or two. It is taking 45 days to close on homes. There has been a pick up in first time home buyers scrambling at the last minute. The lenders will be backed up.
If you are not working with a Realtor give me a call. I'd love to help you with your home search :)
McColly Real Estate - Valparaiso