Illinois may be the Land of Lincoln for history buffs and Abraham Lincoln pundits, but for those aspiring to enter real estate Illinois may be more like a leprechaun holding a pot of gold.
Laws regarding real estate transactions and the path to becoming a licensed real estate agent differ from state to state. However, if you live in Illinois and have ever thought about a career in real estate, you are in luck. While other states require a large chunk of time to enter the field, Illinois offers a short path option to real estate licensing.
In Illinois, there are two tiers of real estate licenses: real estate leasing agents and real estate brokers. The first tier is a licensed real estate leasing agent.
A leasing agent focuses on matching potential renters with available apartments or homes. A real estate leasing license can be acquired after successfully completing a 15-hour course and passing a final exam. Due to the relatively quick process, this route is appealing to many. Within a very short time period, an individual can become licensed and begin making money in residential leasing.
However, in states like New York and Ohio things are a little different. In New York and Ohio, those handling real estate transactions are either referred to as licensed real estate salespersons or as a licensed real estate brokers. In these states, the real estate salesperson is considered the first tier of professionals. To qualify to be a licensed real estate salesperson one has to complete a 75-hour real estate education course before sitting for the state’s licensing exam. In the state of Ohio, the process is even longer. One hundred and twenty hours of course work must be completed before becoming a real estate salesperson.
Another significant distinction involves the order in which licenses are issued. In New York and Ohio, a real estate brokers’ license can be issued only after at least two years of work experience as a real estate salesperson have been tallied. However, in Illinois, an applicant can forgo a leasing agent license altogether and to immediately pursue a brokers license. No prior experience is required. All that is required is a desire followed by a willingness to complete the required 90-credit hours of pre-license course work prior to sitting and successfully completing a state broker’s exam.