You can learn a great deal from a mentor. Find someone who has done what you are trying to do no matter how simple or complex. Pay someone to educate you before you jump in. Find a good agent, stay loyal to him/her, and get the answers you need.
There are many books out there in real estate. Find several that fit what you want to do. Learn the terms. Learn the processes. Learn the negotiations. Learn the market of the area you are buying or selling in.
Keep in mind one thing: unless you become a real estate professional you will still need to take advice from one. Las Vegas real estate professionals ask each other questions all the time. Many people become educated enough to make themselves dangerous. They know when to throw a red flag but don't know how to solve the problem and they can kill a deal. Get educated enough to know what is going on and to help but be sure to seek out the professional help that is needed.
Here are some books you may be interested in: Books and Education