Everything today screams DIY, be self sufficient and do it on your own. But when you are in one of the largest transactions of your life, your home, you want to make sure that you have every resource you can to protect you. There are so many things happening at once in a real estate transaction and so many risks involved, why wouldn't you want someone there designed to look after YOU?
Quick Tip - The difference between an agent and a Realtor is that a Realtor has promised before a group of people to act ethically in all situations. All Realtors are agents, not all agents are Realtors.
Things to know -
1) For most transactions as a buyer, the fee for the buyers agent is built into the price of the home. This means that it shouldn't cost you anything extra (besides the purchase of the home) to have somebody by your side. Most of the time if you walk straight into a home and talk to the selling agent they aren't going to cut you a deal by not having an agent. They are either going to get more money for their seller, which they are supposed to do. Or they will get more commission themselves for doubling their work load. So not having an agent doesn't save you money.
2) Do you know all the complications of Colorado Real Estate? - There are 16 pages in the Colorado purchase contract, let alone, agency contracts, Lead Based Paint riders, addendums, amendments, closing instructions, earnest money receipts, and much more. The purchase contract also has 37 dates tied to different portions of the contract that have serious repercussions if certain items don't meet those dates.
I point these out just to show you the complexities that surround each transaction. You wouldn't go to a court case without an attorney, neither should you jump into a real estate transaction with the protection of a Realtor.
I know the reputation of most Realtors is just above used car salesman. But that's also why you get to interview agents, and ask them about how they work, and how they protect you. They should be very up front with you about how costs work, what the market is like, and what you should expect from buying or selling a house with them. Don't be afraid and also don't take anything lightly, this is a HUGE transaction for you and everyone involved should know that and respect it as well.