The other day someone asked me what the difference is between a real estate agent and a REALTOR®. I didn't even know until I got my real estate license. In fact I still called REALTORS®, realitors or realators.
A REALTOR® is a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribes to a strict Code of Ethics (available for download below). The National Association of REALTORS® is America's largest trade association involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
A real estate agent has earned a real estate broker license through the state by obtaining the required education, completing the testing requirements, and fulfilling the insurance requirements, A real estate agent who pays dues to the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribes to the Code of Ethics is also a REALTOR®.
The MLS or Multiple List Service is provided by the Grand Junction Area Board of REALTORS® or other local REALTOR® association. In order to gain access to the MLS service a real estate agent must be a REALTOR®.
The Code of Ethics covers Standards of Practice that define standards beyond those mandated by law. It covers duties to clients and customers, duties to the public, and duties to other REALTORS®. It ensures that we act with integrity, equality, and in the best interests of our clients.
If you are planning to sell your house or buy a house I recommend you take a look at the Code of Ethics and call a REALTOR®.