There is a difference between a REALTOR and a real estate licensee.  In order to practice the selling of real estate, the agent must be licensed through the state.  A REALTOR is not only a real estate licensee. A REALTOR IS also a member of the National Association of REALTORS, their state Association of REALTORS and their local Association of REALTORS; are committed to treating all parties to a transaction fairly and honestly; subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate. An independent survey reports that 84% of home buyers would use the same REALTOR again. 

Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments most people experience in their lifetime. Transactions today usually exceed $100,000. If you had a $100,000 income tax problem, would you attempt to deal with it without the help of a CPA? If you had a $100,000 legal question, would you deal with it without the help of an attorney? Considering the small upside cost and the large downside risk, it would be foolish to consider a deal in real estate without the professional assistance of a REALTOR.