Here is a great article by the National Association of Realtors:
Many consumers consider selling their home directly but eventually turn to REALTORS®. Smart home sellers realize they need the expertise in pricing their home, making connections with REALTORS® working with buyers, arranging and staffing open houses, and coordinating with other professionals in the sales process.
Only about half of all real estate agents are REALTORS® -- the top half, in our not-so-humble opinion. REALTORS® work independently, for small agencies, or for large brokerages. They help people buy and sell residential or commercial properties, vacation homes, and land; they conduct appraisals; they operate in the United States and in other countries; some specialize in auctions; and others are buyer's representatives.
REALTORS® Are Experts
The home price for sellers who use an agent is 16 percent higher than for those who don't, according to NAR's 2005 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, and nine out of 10 home buyers use a real estate agent in the search process.
Why Use a REALTOR®? Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments most people experience in their lifetime. Here are 12 ways a REALTOR® will make your home buying or selling experience better.
REALTORS® Are Part of the Community
REALTORS® Work to End Housing Discrimination - during April, which is Fair Housing Month, and all year long. REALTORS® are active members of their communities.
REALTORS® Protect You
Only REALTORS® follow a Code of Ethics To be a member of NAR and a REALTOR®, a real estate agent must abide by a set of professional principles and serve clients fairly.
Learn how the Code of Ethics affects everyday real estate practices >
Specialty Mortgages: What Are the Risks and Advantages? A growing number of home buyers are deciding to use one of several new types of specialty mortgages that let them "stretch" their income so they can qualify for a larger loan. Before you decide whether a specialty mortgage is for you, read this brochure.