What is the difference between a Real Estate Agent and a Realtor. On the surface, and the every day perception is that they are one in the same. However, there is a distinct difference. While a Real Estate Agent has been licensed by the state they practice in, the Realtor is a special designation given out to those agents that join the National Association of Realtors.
This association provides benefits to agents in regards to promoting the industry, technology, and other perks. However, one of its main missions is to define a "Code of Ethics" for all agents in the nation. If you'd like to read the code you can click here. In addition, below is a short video clip from the Houston Association of Realtors defining the difference.
So, when searching for an agent, it will be to your advantage to look for the designation as a Realtor.