For one thing, most of us don't just "show houses," we educate our buyers as to the quality of the finish work, the siting, neighborhood conditions, whether the location warrants upgrading, whether there is other potential or compromises with the home . . . to me, it's the difference between being a tourist with or without a guide. Oh, we missed the Eiffel Tower? How did that happen! Wish somebody would have told us!!
All to often, especially in the case of buyers, the potential buyer/seller does not do sufficient due diligence to insure the agent they are about to hire is a true "professional."
Many a time, the driving reason a person chooses to become a real estate agent is he/she has run out of options and thinks it is an easy job with great financial rewards. This is evidenced by the recent increase in real estate licenses nationwide. The professional agent, who has chosen real estate as a career vs. a job, constantly strives toward self improvement, whether through continuing education, beyond the required courses; or honest feedback from happy and not too happy clients, and demonstrates enthusiasm for the profession.