Realtor vs Agent
The difference is significant. First off, let me say that all Realtors are real estate agents, but not all real estate agents are Realtors.
Realtors are due paying members of the National Association of Realtors, and their respective State and Local Associations. They are more trained and educated, and hold designations that demonstrates this higher level of training and expertise. Non-Realtors can not hold designations.
Realtors are bound to a Code of Ethics and a Professional Standards of Practice which monitors, governs and enforces the behavior and practices of Realtors, much like doctors and lawyers. So you can be assured that when you work with a Realtor you are working with some one with integrity and a commitment to their profession, and are accountable for their actions.
Realtors also invest in their industry and communities. Through the coordinated efforts of the National Association of Realtors and their state and local Boards, Realtors dues go towards efforts to make and keep property laws and protections in place for property owners and the general public. Protecting Buyer rights and Seller rights. Realtors are also actively involved in communities like relief efforts for victims of recent weather disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes. Sending millions of dollars and manpower to these affected areas and families. Non-Realtors make no contribution towards either community or industry.
Look for the Realtor logo and or the designations that follow their names.