In Illinois, a Real Estate Broker essentially acts as a “project manager” between two or more people in negotiating the sale, purchase or rental of a property. People choose to enter the real estate industry for many different reasons. Financial freedom and a flexible work schedule are two of the main reasons people tend to turn toward exploring a career in real estate.
There are a few basic requirements to become a broker in Illinois:
- Must be 21 years of age or older
- Have a High School Diploma or GED Equivalent (if certificate is issued from another country contact IDFPR for further information)
- Have a Social Security Number or TIN (Tax Identification Number)
- Complete a 90 Hour Pre-Licensing Course at an IDFPR approved school. All of our broker courses meet this requirement.
- Pass the state exam with a 75% or higher
The 90 Hour Pre-Licensing Course
A 90 Hour Pre-Licensing course is typically divided into two sections. The first 75 credit hours covers book topics. The remaining 15 credit hours is called an Interactive Session, this portion of the course is the application of book material to real life scenarios within a group setting. There are many types of programs that are available to students seeking broker licensure in Illinois that range from accelerated fast paced courses, live class programs (daytime, evenings and Saturday) or self-study options. In 2018, IDFPR made some changes to the class structures and course requirements that made the once mandatory classroom exams optional if attendance can be accounted for. Self-study programs still require a minimum exam score to receive credit for the class. When a student successfully completes the program, they are issued an official transcript. A transcript is valid for 4 years.
The transcript is what qualifies the student to move forward and take the state exam. The Illinois state exam is comprised of 150 multiple choice questions that cover both state and federal topics. A minimum score of 75% is needed to pass. A student is allowed 4 attempts at the state exam before being required to take the pre-licensing course again. The exam currently costs $55.00 (each time). A student has 1 year from their first exam date to complete their remaining tries. When a student passes the exam, they will be issued a 45-day sponsor card.
At this point in the licensing process, the newly licensed broker will hang their license under a sponsoring broker of their choosing. All licensees must be employed by a sponsoring broker and conduct brokerage services under them. Their original transcript, 45-day sponsor card, $125.00 (licensing processing fee) must be submitted to their managing broker (supervisor) who will forward all documents to IDFPR. It takes about 6-8 weeks for IDFPR to email the actual broker license.
Establish Your Career in Real Estate.
Newly licensed brokers should be aware that establishing yourself as a successful real estate agent can take some time. Most new agents must enter the industry part-time until they are able to supplement their current income with that of their real estate commission. Many agents don’t begin to close their first deals until they have been licensed for 6 months to a year. It takes time to learn the industry and gain real experience. The first year or two can be tough and a new agent will encounter many trial and error moments, but it is important to stay focused and motivated. What you put into your business is what you will get out of it. Put your best foot forward and the possibilities can be endless.