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Illinois Real Estate: Licensing

Frequently Asked Questions

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Illinois Real Estate Pre-License FAQs
Introduction    (click an item to see more info)
  1. Is Real Estate Institute approved by the IDFPR as a pre-license school?
    Yes. Real Estate Institute is an approved pre-license school (#510.000158). We offer courses that are required as prerequisites for the Leasing Agent, Broker, and Managing Broker licensing examinations.
    Last Updated: 3/28/2011
  2. What's the best way to determine which real estate license I should consider?
    We recommend that you review our license comparison. We have designed well organized, high quality programs for each Illinois real estate license type. Pleae see below for additional FAQs for each license type.
    Last Updated: 7/10/2014
  3. What makes your school different from the others?
    Our quality programs, dedicated and knowledgable instructors,, and outstanding service set our school apart. When you successfully complete our course, you will have all the knowledge you need to pass the state examination. Quizzes for each homework lesson allow students to see how they are doing as they progress through the course. Along with the reinforcing tools included with our programs, qualified instructors are available to provide additional assistance. Real Estate Institute offers students all these additional resources for one simple reason: we want you to pass the state examination!
    Last Updated: 7/10/2014
  4. Is Real Estate Institute owned by a real estate brokerage company?
    No. We are an independent school, licensed and approved by the State, as is our coursework. We are not here to recruit you into the real estate business. We are here to help students obtain or meet their real estate education requirements.
    Last Updated: 3/28/2011
  5. Must I be a citizen of the United States or Illinois to hold a Real Estate License in Illinois?
    No. To hold an Illinois real estate license, the state requires that you meet the age and education requirements, have a Social security number, and be of good moral character.
    Last Updated: 3/28/2011
  6. Where can I find more information about Illinois real estate licensing?
    You will find a wealth of information throughout our website and frequently asked questions. Additional information may be available directly at Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation's website.
    Last Updated: 3/28/2011
  7. Does Illinois offer license reciprocity with any other states?

    Illinois offers Reciprocity if you are already licensed in some other states. Please view these details at the IDFPR website and contact the IDFPR to discuss your specific licensing requirements. IDFPR-approved coursework and examinations may still be required for you to earn a license in Illinois.

    Last Updated: 1/14/2013
  8. Does your school offer financial aid or can I pay the course tuition over time?

    We have partnered with Affirm, who offers financing options that enable our students to enroll today and pay later. This extends our traditional payment options, such as credit/debit cards and cash.

    Click here to learn more.

    Last Updated: 6/17/2016
Illinois Real Estate Broker    (click an item to see more info)
  1. Who is required to hold a Broker license?
    Individuals who represent prospects and owners in the sale, exchange, management, and leasing of residential, commercial, and industrial properties as well as farm and vacant land are required to hold a license.
    Last Updated: 3/28/2011
  2. Has there been a change to the pre-license education requirements for an entry level licensee?
    Yes. Illinois license law was updated in 2010. Changes to the pre-license education requirements became effective on May 1, 2011.

    In the past, new licensees were required to complete the 45 credit-hour Real Estate Transactions course and apply to be licensed as a Salesperson. The state of Illinois is no longer issuing new Salesperson licenses. Instead, entry-level licensees should complete coursework required to become a real estate broker. New licensees are now required to complete a 90 credit-hour program that must include 15 hours of classroom or classroom-equivalent (webinar) education. Individuals completing this course of study will apply to become licensed as a Broker.
    Last Updated: 7/10/2014
  3. Why would I choose the Broker license over the Leasing Agent license?
    Individuals who hold a Leasing Agent license are restricted to performing leasing activities for residential properties. Indiviuals who hold a Broker license may perform activities related to the leasing or sale of any type of property including residential, commercial, industrial, etc.
    Last Updated: 3/28/2011
  4. What are the education requirements to earn an Illinois Broker license?
    Individuals seeking to obtain a real estate broker license are required to complete a total of 90 credit hours of pre-license education. The 75 credit-hour pre-license course must be completed before attending the 15 credit-hour interactive course. In addition, new licensees will be required to complete a 30 credit-hour post-license course before their first license renewal.
    Last Updated: 3/28/2011
  5. Are attorneys exempt from the education requirements?
    Yes. Applicants who are currently admitted to practice law by the Supreme Court of Illinois and are currently in active standing are exempt from the education requirements. However, these individuals are still required to pass the state examination.
    Last Updated: 3/28/2011
  6. What is the difference between a Broker license and Managing Broker license?
    All individuals seeking to become a real estate licensee in Illinois for the first time (other than those dealing only with the leasing of residential real estate) must apply for a broker license. After holding a Broker license for at least two years, licensees may elect to complete additional education and apply for a Managing Broker license. Managing Brokers are permitted to perform all of the same activities as a Broker, but may also choose to sponsor their own license or those of other licensees (Leasing Agents, Brokers, and Managing Brokes).
    Last Updated: 3/28/2011
  7. Does Real Estate Institute offer a state-approved pre-license course for Brokers?
    Yes. We offer individual courses and discount packages that satisfy the state requirements and are designed to prepare new licensees for the state exam.
    Last Updated: 3/28/2011
  8. Can I complete all of the coursework online via self-study?
    The state does not permit purely self-study programs. A significant portion of the pre-license courswork may be completed via self-study, but all students are required to complete a 15 credit-hour interactive course that is available via live classroom or webinar delivery. This course is included with all of our complete Broker pre-license programs.
    Last Updated: 1/8/2017
  9. I tend to learn better in a structured, classroom environment. Do you offer a live class for the Broker education requirement?

    All Broker license candidates are required to attend at least 15 hours of live, instructor-led training.

    Real Estate Institute offers three convenient programs, to meet your individual learning neees. You can satisfy your entire 90 credit-hour Illinois pre-license education requirement by either completing our Flex Path, Directed-Track or Fast-Track programs.

    Our Directed-Track classroom program provides students with additional structure and support to guide you through the course at a moderate pace. Click for more information on the Directed-Track program.

    Our Fast-Track classroom program also provides additional structure and support, but moves at a much faster pace, allowing you to navigate all of curriculum in less than three weeks! Click for more information on the Fast-Track program.

    Last Updated: 1/8/2017
  10. When and where are classes offered for the 15 credit-hour interactive course?
    You may view our schedule of upcoming classes by clicking here.
    Last Updated: 7/6/2015
  11. How soon after enrolling in the Broker program will I receive my course materials?
    Upon enrollment, students will have immediate access to course materials online. Additionally, we will ship printed copies of materials within one business day via First-Class Priority Mail. You may also pick up course materials at our office. Please call if you wish to arrange for expedited shipping (such as FedEx) for an additional fee.
    Last Updated: 11/20/2015
  12. What if I don't pass a quiz or exam that is part of the program?
    In general our programs are designed to aide students who are having any difficulties in our programs. A retake quiz or exam is part of most courses. Please call us or see the course instructions provided with your course materials for specific course requirements.
    Last Updated: 3/28/2011
  13. Do your courses include instructor assistance?
    Yes. This is an area where our school really stands out. Students in our real estate pre-license programs are strongly encouraged to call for one-on-one instructor assistance throughout the program. This one-on-one support is available to all students, including those who attend our classroom programs. We're committed to each student's success!
    Last Updated: 1/8/2017
  14. Will I need to purchase an additional "exam prep" course if I enroll in your pre-license program?
    No. Our programs include all of the 'tools' that you need to successfully complete the education requirements and prepare to pass the state examination. For those students who completed programs elsewhere and seek an intensive review to prepare for their state examination, we offer Exam Ready review courses.
    Last Updated: 11/20/2015
  15. How difficult is it to find work after I receive my license?
    Usually, not difficult at all. You will find that most brokerage firms are always looking for new agents.
    Last Updated: 3/28/2011
  16. How long will it take before I start making money in real estate?
    Beginning a career in real estate is more like opening your own business than starting a job. It will take time for you to begin generating the income you desire, and everyone's timetable will be different. In the long run, though, financial gain is usually only limited by an agent's willingness to work and desire to succeed.
    Last Updated: 3/28/2011
  17. Is the Illinois Broker license also valid in other states?
    Each state has its own license requirements. Contact the state in which you are interested in being licensed. On occasion, a state may accept some of your real estate education from Illinois.
    Last Updated: 3/28/2011
  18. Do I need to be sponsored by a company or Managing Broker in order to start the class, take the examination, or obtain a license?
    No. A sponsor is not required until after you have passed the exam and applied for a license. Leasing Agent and Broker licensees must have a Managing Broker sponsor to activate their license. A Managing Broker licensee may sponsor him or herself, or may be sponsored by another Managing Broker.
    Last Updated: 3/28/2011
  19. Once I have the license, how often does it need to be renewed?
    Real estate licensees have a two-year renewal cycle. Broker licenses expire April 30th of the even years; Managing Broker licenses expire April 30th of the odd years. Both of these licenses require continuing education for renewal.
    Last Updated: 3/28/2011
  20. I currently hold an active real estate license in a state that has a reciprocity agreement with Illinois. What are the education requirements for me to get an Illinois license?
    Currently Illinois has reciprocity with a few other states (click here to see the list). Applicants must meet the Illinois reciprocity qualifications in order to receive an Illinois license. Please see the Illinois Reciprocity Application and for additional support, contact the IDFPR at (217) 782-3414.
    Last Updated: 6/20/2012
  21. As a licensee in another state, are there any other requirements for me to consider?

    Yes. When applying for your license, a "Certification By Licensing Agency/Board Form" must be filled out by the state in which you currently hold a license. This form can be found within the Applied Measurement Professionals Candidate Handbook.

    Last Updated: 11/4/2013
  22. Where can I take my course final exam?

    For students who reside in the Chicagoland area, we offer testing at our school locations. Testing is scheduled by appointment only. Real Estate Institute also works with a network of proctors outside the Chicagoland area (mostly libraries and universities) that can administer your final exam on our behalf. We can accomodate students throughout the country. Please call our school for more information.

    Last Updated: 3/16/2017
Illinois Residential Leasing Agent License    (click an item to see more info)
  1. Who is required to hold a Leasing Agent License?
    Anyone not licensed as a Broker or Managing Broker who is performing leasing activities for a person or entity other than the owner of the property.
    Last Updated: 3/28/2011
  2. What are the State's requirements for me to become a Residential Leasing Agent?
    State law requires that the
      Applicant must be 18 years of age or older, Applicant must have completed high school or its equivalent, Applicant must have a Sponsoring Broker, Applicant must successfully complete a 15-credit hour Real Estate Leasing Agent License Course through self-study or classroom, and Applicant must pass the State regulated examination.
    Last Updated: 3/28/2011
  3. What properties (firms) must hold a real estate license and are required to employ licensed agents?
    Any individual or firm engaged in leasing activities for properties in which it does not have an ownership interest, must hold a broker’s license. All active owners, partners, or officers, must hold broker’s licenses. All employees conducting any leasing activities must hold some type of real estate license (Leasing Agent, Broker, or Managing Broker).
    Last Updated: 3/28/2011
  4. Is it possible to be exempt from the state rules governing leasing agent licensing?
    Yes, under Illinois law the following individuals are exempt:
    1. Those employed directly by the property owner.
    2. Those employed by an entity owned by the property owner.
    3. Leasing agents living at the property they are leasing, and are acting as residential manager.
    Last Updated: 3/28/2011
  5. What are to be considered leasing activities?
    Leasing activities include:
    1. Leasing or renting residential property
    2. Collecting rent for the use of residential property, and
    3. Attempting, offering, or negotiating to rent, lease, or collect rent for the use of residential property.
    Last Updated: 3/28/2011
  6. What is the company required to do when hiring a new employee who will work as a leasing agent?
    The company must file a 120-day Leasing Agent Permit/Application with the IDFPR for the new employee. A copy of this document is available at the IDFPR website.
    Last Updated: 3/28/2011
  7. If I am already employed, do I need to register for a residential leasing agent license course?
    Yes, if you are acting in a capacity that requires you to be licensed. To comply with current law, any agent required to hold a license should immediately register as a student and begin pursuing the process of obtaining a license.
    Last Updated: 3/28/2011
  8. If I already have a Real Estate Broker License (formerly known as a Salesperson), do I need to get a Leasing Agent license?
    No, a Broker license allows you to act as a leasing agent.
    Last Updated: 3/28/2011
  9. Can I get a Real Estate Broker License instead of getting a Residential Leasing Agent License?
    Yes. The Real Estate Broker License also allows leasing activities, so you will still be in compliance with Illinois license law if you choose to obtain a Broker license rather than a Leasing Agent license.
    Last Updated: 3/28/2011
  10. Does Real Estate Institute offer a state-approved pre-license course for Residential Leasing Agents?

    Yes, our state-approved programs are specifically designed for individuals seeking to become licensed residential leasing agents in Illinois.

    Last Updated: 5/11/2017
  11. What will I learn in the Leasing Agent licensing course?
    You will learn about real estate license law, fair housing, and contract law as applied to leases.
    Last Updated: 3/28/2011
  12. Can I complete all the coursework online via self-study?

    Yes, we do offer a leasing agent pre-license course that may be completed entirely through self-study. Learn more about our self-study course.

    Last Updated: 5/11/2017
  13. How long do students typically take to complete the Leasing Agent licensing course?

    It’s typical for students to successfully complete our self-study course in two weeks or less. Students who attend our classroom program will finish in two days.

    Last Updated: 5/11/2017
  14. Where can I take my course final exam?

    For students who reside in the Chicagoland area, we offer testing at our school locations. Testing is scheduled by appointment only. Real Estate Institute also works with a network of proctors outside the Chicagoland area (mostly libraries and universities) that can administer your final exam on our behalf. We can accomodate students throughout the country. Please call our school for more information.

    Last Updated: 3/16/2017
  15. What happens after I pass my course final exam with Real Estate Institute?

    After you pass our pre-license course final exam, you will be issued a transcript that authorizes you to attempt the state examination. The state examination is offered daily at locations throughout the state. We will provide detailed information regarding the state exam upon you successful course completion.

    Last Updated: 5/11/2017
  16. I tend to learn better in a structured, classroom environment. Do you offer a live class for the Leasing Agent Pre-License requirement?

    Yes. We offer two convenient programs to meet your individual learning needs. You can satisfy your entire 15 credit-hour Illinois pre-license education requirement by completing our self-study or two-day class.

    Click here to learn more about both options

    Last Updated: 5/11/2017
Illinois Real Estate Managing Broker    (click an item to see more info)
  1. Who is required to hold a Manging Broker license?
    A managing broker license will be required for the following individuals:
    • Any self-sponsored licensee. (So, any individual seeking to practice real estate brokerage as a sole proprietor sponsoring his or her own license must obtain the managing broker license.)
    • Any broker who has supervisory responsibilities for licensees in one or, in the case of a multi-office company, more than one office and who has been appointed as a managing broker by the sponsoring broker.
    Last Updated: 3/28/2011
  2. Has there been a change to the pre-license education requirements for an supervisory level licensee?
    Yes. Illinois license law was updated in 2010. Changes to the pre-license education requirements became effective on May 1, 2011.

    In the past these licensees were referred as Brokers (and they sponsored licensees referred to as Salespersons). The state of Illinois is no longer issuing new Salesperson licenses. Instead, entry-level licensees complete coursework required to become a real estate Broker. After being licensed for at least two years, Broker licenses may choose to complete additional coursework and state testing and then apply to become licensed as a Managing Broker. New licensees are now required to complete a 90 credit-hour program that must include 15 hours of classroom or classroom-equivalent (webinar) education. Individuals completing this course of study will apply to become licensed as a Broker.
    Last Updated: 7/10/2014
  3. Why would I choose the Managing Broker license over the Broker license?
    Brokers are required to be sponsored by a Managing Broker. Therefore, Brokers cannot work independently.

    Managing Brokers can choose to be a self-sponsored licensee. (So, any individual seeking to practice real estate brokerage as a sole proprietor sponsoring his or her own license must obtain the managing broker license.) Also, Managing Brokers may sponsor other licensees (Leasing Agents, Brokers, and Managing Brokers).
    Last Updated: 3/28/2011
  4. What are the education requirements to earn an Illinois Managing Broker license?
    Individuals seeking to obtain a real estate managing broker license are required to complete a total of 45 credit hours of pre-license education. The 30 credit-hour pre-license course must be completed before attending the 15 credit-hour interactive course. Individuals are required to have first held a real estate broker license (or equivalent) for two of the past three years before applying for a managing broker license.
    Last Updated: 3/28/2011
  5. Are attorneys exempt from the education requirements?
    Yes. Applicants who are currently admitted to practice law by the Supreme Court of Illinois and are currently in active standing are exempt from the education requirements. However, these individuals are still required to pass the state examination.

    Note that ALL licensees are required to have been licensed as a Broker for two of the past three years before thay may apply to become a Managing Broker. Attorneys are also subject to this requirement.
    Last Updated: 3/28/2011
  6. What is the difference between a Broker license and Managing Broker license?
    All individuals seeking to become a real estate licensee in Illinois for the first time (other than those dealing only with the leasing of residential real estate) must apply for a broker license. After holding a Broker license for at least two years, licensees may elect to complete additional education and apply for a Managing Broker license. Managing Brokers are permitted to perform all of the same activities as a Broker, but may also choose to sponsor their own license or those of other licensees (Leasing Agents, Brokers, and Managing Brokes).
    Last Updated: 3/28/2011
  7. Does Real Estate Institute offer a state-approved pre-license course for Managing Brokers?
    Yes. We offer individual courses and discount packages that satisfy the state requirements and are designed to prepare licensees for the state exam.
    Last Updated: 3/28/2011
  8. Can I complete all of the coursework online via self-study?
    After May 1, 2011 the state no longer permits purely self-study programs. A portion of the pre-license courswork may be completed via self-study, but all students are required to complete a 15 credit-hour interactive course that is available via live classroom or webinar delivery.
    Last Updated: 3/28/2011
  9. When and where are classes offered for the 15 credit-hour interactive course?
    You may view our schedule of upcoming classes by clicking here.
    Last Updated: 3/28/2011
  10. How soon after enrolling in the Managing Broker program will I receive my course materials?
    We ship all course materials within one business day via First-Class Priority Mail. You may also pick up course materials at our office. Please call if you wish to arrange for expedited shipping (such as FedEx) for an additional fee.
    Last Updated: 3/28/2011
  11. What if I don't pass a quiz or exam that is part of the program?
    In general our programs are designed to aide students who are having any difficulties in our programs. A retake quiz or exam is part of most courses. Please call us or see the course instructions provided with your course materials for specific course requirements.
    Last Updated: 3/28/2011
  12. Do your self-study courses include instructor assistance?
    Yes. This is an area where our school really stands out. Students in our real estate pre-license programs are strongly encouraged to call for one-on-one instructor assistance throughout the program. We're committed to each student's success!
    Last Updated: 3/28/2011
  13. Is the Illinois Managing Broker license also valid in other states?
    Each state has its own license requirements. Contact the state in which you are interested in being licensed. On occasion, a state may accept some of your real estate education from Illinois.
    Last Updated: 3/28/2011
  14. Do I need to be sponsored by a company or Managing Broker in order to start the class, take the examination, or obtain a license?
    No. A sponsor is not required to complete the pre-license coursework or attempt the state exam. After passing the state exam, a Managing Broker licensee may choose to sponsor him or herself, or may be sponsored by another Managing Broker.
    Last Updated: 3/28/2011
  15. Once I have the license, how often does it need to be renewed?
    Real estate licensees have a two-year renewal cycle. Broker licenses expire April 30th of the even years; Managing Broker licenses expire April 30th of the odd years. Both of these licenses require continuing education for renewal.
    Last Updated: 3/28/2011
  16. If I earn a Managing Broker license, will I be required to act as a supervisor or may I continue to be sponsored another Managing Broker?
    Managing Brokers may continue to be sponsored by another licensee. However, only individuals who have been appointed as sponsoring licensees may advertise to the public as a "Managing Broker". All others must advertise as a "Broker", even if they currently hold a Managing Broker license.
    Last Updated: 5/15/2011
  17. After passing the Managing Broker pre-license courses, how many times may I attempt to pass the state examination?
    Candidates are permitted to attempt the state exam four times within four years.
    Last Updated: 5/15/2011
  18. I'm already licensed in another state and want to become licensed as a Managing Broker in Illinois. What education is required?

    You are required to earn 165 hours of Illinois state-approved education before attempting the state examination. Unfortunately, Illinois does not "transfer" and apply hours that you completed when earning your license in another state.

    The 165 hour requirement is calculated by totaling the following course requirements:

    1. Broker Pre-License (90 Credit Hours)
    2. Broker Post-License (30 Credit Hours)
    3. Managing Broker Pre-License (45 Credit Hours)

    We have created a special, discounted course package for individuals who must satisfy this education requirement. Please call and speak with one of our customer representatives to learn more.

    Last Updated: 12/30/2011
  19. As a licensee in another state, are there any other requirements for me to consider?

    Yes. When applying for your license, a "Certification By Licensing Agency/Board Form" must be filled out by the state in which you currently hold a license. This form can be found within the Applied Measurement Professionals Candidate Handbook.

    Last Updated: 11/4/2013
  20. Where can I take my course final exam?

    For students who reside in the Chicagoland area, we offer testing at our school locations. Testing is scheduled by appointment only. Real Estate Institute also works with a network of proctors outside the Chicagoland area (mostly libraries and universities) that can administer your final exam on our behalf. We can accomodate students throughout the country. Please call our school for more information.

    Last Updated: 3/16/2017
Real Estate Institute is approved by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
IDFPR Approved #510.000158.