If you have ever wondered exactly what a REALTOR is, as opposed to someone who just sells real estate, then you're not on your own! I'm not going to take credit for the following explanation because it was written by Chrystal Caruthers. It does a pretty good job of explaining the whole thing:
A REALTOR is a licensed real estate salesperson who belongs to the National Association of REALTORS, the largest trade group in the country. Every agent is not a REALTOR, but most are.
REALTORS are held to a higher ethical standard than licensed agents and must adhere to a Code of Ethics.
Some REALTORS are brokers, while some are agents. Unfortunately, people use the term interchangeably: there are some differences.
Brokers are usually managers. They run an agency and have agents working under them as salespeople. They might own a real estate brokerage or manage a franchise operation. They must take additional courses and pay additional fees to maintain their state issued broker license. An agent on the other hand, is a salesperson selling on behalf of the broker.
Agents are also state licensed and must pass a written test before legally acting as a real estate agent. Each state has its own licensing laws and standards.
Now just in case you were wondering, what's an Associate Broker? That's an agent who has taken and passed the Brokers examination but chooses to work under a brokerage as opposed to opening up their own office, which they can do if they wish.... you may see a lot of Associate Brokers working in Franchise offices.
Well I hope that helped a little but if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!