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...non agents who've been through the buying process without an agent.

I'm not an agent. For my first house, I went through the buying process without "an" agent; specifically, I didn't have a single agent who showed me houses or gave me advice. I just visited open houses, and at each one (1) learned what was available, at what price, in that neighborhood, and (2) gave the showing agent a list of what I was looking for in a house, with contact info if she found anything that met the criteria. (It would also be easy to use the "contact us" links when looking at houses online, if they're not open.) Eventually one of the agents called asking DH and me to meet her at a house, which we did, and we bought the house.

So, you don't need a buyer's agent. Sellers' agents will also be happy to help. But to buy a house without any agent at all, even if the seller (whether homeowner or bank) has already contractually engaged the services of an agent? I don't think that's even possible.

I would suggest you swing by the library and look through "Homebuying for Dummies" or other similar books. This board can answer a lot of questions about the process, but a book will answer a lot more.
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