When you are buying a home or selling a home do you actually get involved in the whole process and know exactly what your real estate agent is going to do and what they are doing? Regardless of how long your agent has been in the business or how well known they are, it is YOUR name on those legally binding contracts, not theirs.
Read what you are signing, ask questions, KNOW what you are agreeing to. If you are a home seller you should know what you are agreeing to in your listing agreement. Do you know your starting listing price, the duration of your listing agreement, how much commission you are paying, what your possible net proceeds might be, what happens if you are unhappy with your agent and need to cancel, items you are leaving with your home when it sells, showing instructions and so on and so on?
If you are a home buyer do you know what you are agreeing to in your purchase and sale contract? Do you know your offer price, the time required for a response from the seller, your closing date, how much money you're putting down and where that money will be deposited (and under what conditions you could get your deposit back should things not work out with your transaction), what the terms of any counter offer the seller sent are and so on and so on?
It is important to use a real estate professional so that all the wheels in motion in a real estate transaction keep rolling smoothly to closing. It is also important to at least know the basics of the terms you are agreeing to and a great real estate professional will make sure you always know what is going on with your listing and/or sale and stay on track.