As tempting as it is to buy a house from an individual without the use of a Realtor, it may cost you much more than you think.  I had a client who decided to buy a house on a land contract without using a Realtor.  After giving the seller a substantial down payment and paying several monthly payments the house began to fall apart.  Unfortunately the client did not have the knowledge beforehand to do his due diligence and now is out his down payment and living in uncomfortable circumstances.  A licensed Realtor will help you to protect yourself and make good decisions based on their knowledge and experience.  You wouldn't operate on yourself why would you make possibly the biggest investment of your life without the assistance of a trained professional?