Many people have successfully bought properties for sale in Spain without the need for an Estate Agent and have saved themselves a large amount in commission. You can certainly by pass the middle man in the property sale or purchase to seek out your dream home in the sun, but whatever you do not by pass the solicitor.
Providing you take good legal advice and you have located the property you do not actually need an estate agent. However there are many good and helpful property agents who will have a large number of properties already on their books who will usually escort you to the property and provide you with useful information along the way. The big downside of using an agent is that they usually charge about 5% of the property for sale price sometimes even higher. Bear in mind that these fees are payable by the seller, of the property although if you are dealing direct then the price of the property for sale should be discounted accordingly.
If you have the time and inclination to find your own dream property for sale spend a few week in your ideal area searching for suitable properties. You will see many Se Vende signs which sellers place outside the property. Many properties for sale are also advertised privately in local magazines and newspapers which are usually given out free at supermarkets, bars and restaurants.
When you have located a suitable property for sale either directly with the owner of the property or through an estate agent, your next step is find a good solicitor.