Illinois Real Estate License Requirements & Costs – 2023

This article will delve into the Illinois real estate license requirements and subsequent licensing costs.

Illinois is one of the states that use the term ‘broker’ to refer to an entry-level real estate agent or salesperson. However, brokers with higher educational qualifications who sponsor other agents are referred to as managing brokers.

So, to refer to an Illinois real estate salesperson, we may use the terms broker and agent interchangeably in the article.

Real estate license requirements and costs differ from state to state.

For example in the State of Florida, you must complete a mandatory 63-hour Florida pre-licensing course. In Illinois, the real estate pre-licensing course has a required 75 hours. The pre-licensing course has a required 99 hours in Delaware.

There are many other differences. However, in this article, we are going to focus on the Illinois real estate license requirements.

What is the Illinois Department of Real Estate?

The Department of Real Estate (DRE) for Illinois, is under IDFPR. It serves, safeguards, and promotes public welfare by ensuring that competent, qualified real estate professionals are licensed to operate in the scene. It regulates the following six professions and entities;

  • Appraisal Management Companies
  • Community Association Management
  • Home Inspection
  • Auction
  • Real Estate Brokerage
  • Real Estate Appraisal

DRE is an important body that every real estate practitioner should understand its role. It strives to create an efficient and conducive environment for real estate industry stakeholders through effective communication, transparency, and honesty in their operations.

Prerequisite Requirements for a Real Estate Broker in Illinois

The Illinois Department of the Financial and Professional Regulation gives real estate broker licenses to individuals who meet the following minimum requirements;

  • Attain 18 years and above
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Government-issued ID
  • Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

Illinois Real Estate License Requirements

After attaining the prerequisites, you can move on to start your licensing process. we will outline the steps and then include their respective costs. Here we go:

1. Complete the Illinois 75-Hour Real Estate Pre-Licensing Course

The pre-licensing course will equip you with the real estate knowledge that would enable you to help your clients go through the most important transaction of buying a home.

It makes you competent to handle the complexities and legalities in the real estate field.

You can take the course in person or schedule to attend online Livestream classes, depending on your choice of school.

This course is also capped with a final real estate exam of at least 100 questions. The pass mark for the Illinois real estate pre-licensing exam is 75%.

You must take this course in a recognized and state-approved real estate school. The list below provides two online real estate schools that offer the Illinois real estate pre-licensing course;

  1. Real Estate Express Illinois Real Estate Pre-Licensing Course
  2. The CE Shop Illinois Real Estate Pre-Licensing Course

You can learn more about these two popular Illinois real estate schools by reading our CE Shop and Real Estate Express reviews.

The Illinois Real Estate Pre-Licensing Classes Will Cover the Following Areas;

  • Real property
  • Structure of agency
  • Illinois License law
  • Seller relationships and counseling
  • Buyer relationships ad counseling
  • Illinois law
  • Federal laws
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Illinois Real estate transactions
  • Financing
  • Illinois Contract knowledge
  • Independent contractor and employee agreements
  • Property management in Illinois

The real estate pre-licensing course provider will electronically submit your exam legibility to the PSI. PSI is Illinois contracted real estate exam provider.

Cost: $329. This fee is subject to change, depending on the course provider. To know exactly the cost per school, visit their credible websites or contact them via mail.

2. Schedule Your Illinois Real Estate Broker Exam

Within two years after completing your Illinois real estate pre-licensing course, you will apply for the state Illinois real estate exam. You will create an account with the PSI during your pre-licensing course.

Illinois State Real Estate License Exam Requirements

To schedule your Illinois real estate exam, visit or contact 855-340-3893. You can also mail a registration form or send it by fax. Make sure you find out the exam site locations and the arrival time.

Taking The Illinois State Real Estate Exam 

The Illinois real estate exam is divided into two portions; National and State law. The exam takes 3.5 hours to be completed. The National part of the exam consists of 100 questions, and its pass score is 75 points. The State part consists of 40 multiple-choice questions and is scaled at 75 points pass mark.

On the exam date, you will report to your scheduled site at the scheduled time. The items required are two forms of identification. One must be government-issued and it should contain your current name, photograph, and signature.

You have to pass both sections, or else you will have to retake the Illinois state exam.

If you fail one section and pass the other, you will not retake both. However, your pass score in the other section is valid for only one year before you are disallowed to apply for your license.

We would recommend that you take an Illinois real estate exam prep course such as PrepAgent or the Illinois Real Estate Exam Scholar course.

You can take a look at our PrepAgent review and Exam Scholar review to learn more about these two popular Illinois real estate exam prep courses. Compucram is an additional Illinois real estate exam prep option although we like the first two options best.

Your score report will be given to you when you pass, with Illinois real estate broker application instructions attached to it.

If you fail the state section, the state will not provide any diagnostic information, contrary to the national section. 

The cost to take the State of Illinois real estate exam is $55 and is payable directly to PSI.

3. Find an Illinois Sponsoring Real Estate Broker

First, there are no payments attached to finding a sponsoring broker. Illinois requires agents to find a sponsoring broker and work under them.

An Illinois sponsoring/managing broker has completed the required hours of additional real estate education, scheduled for, and passed the Illinois managing broker’s exam.

Finding an Illinois managing broker to work for can be intimidating as a real estate broker. Therefore, you need to be prudent in looking for the best one.

Seek a managing broker who is transparent, honest, of integrity, and experienced.

Here is an outline of five ways in which you can successfully spot a worthy Illinois managing broker to work for;

1. When you meet with an Illinois managing broker, ask about the commission percentage. 

Some managing brokers offer commission percentages of the sales made, while others prefer to pay the broker/agent.

Before signing a deal with a managing broker, make sure you know the commission split. A good commission percentage is dependent on the business, the firm’s resources, and reputation, among other things.

2. Analyze and evaluate the kind of brokerage firm you want to work for.

Make sure you know the kind of brokerage firm you want to work for. Is it small brokerage firms? Is it a huge franchise brokerage with branches all over the country?

The best way to establish more about the potential managing brokerage firm is by getting in touch with the working agents.

3. Choose between a franchise or independent Illinois managing brokerage

Do you prefer to work for huge brokerage franchises or local independent brokerage firms?

Usually, big firms like Keller Williams offer more training and support for their brokers, even though they exert more regulation.

Independent firms, however, allow their agents to have more room to try out business the way they want. It is imperative to establish the culture and working style of the brokerage firm you want to work for.

4. Know the reputation and the niche of the potential employing Illinois brokerage firm.

Research is instrumental at this point. You need to establish the reputation of the brokerage firm you want to work for.

Does it have a blazing, strong market presence? What interests do they deal in? Are they compatible with your area of expertise?

After answering these questions, you can ask for the preferred firm. Your research should be reliable and extensive. Use the websites, get in touch with the firms, chat with their agents. It is worth your decision after that.

5. Look for a supportive Illinois brokerage firm

Brokerage firms differ a lot when it comes to offering training, mentoring, and support for their brokers.

Big brokerage franchises offer training, support, and a specific way of conducting business.

On the other hand, independent brokerages allow the broker to explore their way of doing business. Therefore, it is prudent to know which part works for you. The best choice makes you grow big in your real estate career.

What Are The Best Illinois Real Estate Brokerages to Work For?

In terms of popularity and name recognition, these would all be popular Illinois Brokerage options:

4. Complete the Final Illinois Real Estate Licensing Requirements

This is the final step in the process of acquiring your Illinois real estate broker license.

After passing your Illinois exams and finding a managing broker, you can visit the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) website to finalize your licensing process.

IDFPR Illinois Real Estate License Requirements

You are supposed to create an account and complete the Illinois real estate license application form on the website. There is a fee of $125 to pay.

You will then receive an email that your application has been approved. Keep in mind that the Illinois Department of Real Estate does not issue paper licenses.

As your application is processed, the department gives you forty-five days to continue practicing under the managing Illinois broker.

What Are the Real Estate Managing Broker Requirements In Illinois?

The following steps below will highlight how you can acquire your managing broker license in Illinois. Since this is an upgraded license, it can be a bit daunting. However, if you keenly note the steps, there should be no utter reason to worry. Let us get started.

What Are the Prerequisites to Become an Illinois Managing Broker?

  • You should be at least 20 years old
  • You should be a licensed real estate broker
  • You should maintain your broker status by completing 30 hours of post-licensing

What Are the Costs & Requirements for an Illinois Managing Broker License?

1. Complete The 45-Hour Pre-Licensing Education

The 45-hour pre-licensing education comprises 30 hours of broker education and 15 interactive hours. You should liaise with a state-approved real estate school that offers broker education.

Cost: The cost for this course is subject to the course provider.

2. Pass The Final Illinois Broker Pre-Licensing Course Exam

After you meet the minimum time requirement, complete the course requirements, and pass the practice exam. You must also pass the final course exam.

The pass mark for the Illinois managing broker real estate pre-licensing exam is 75%.

3. Pass The State of Illinois Real Estate Broker Examination

Like the broker examinations, the PSI sets and administers managing broker examinations in Illinois, which also comprises national and state portions.

The Cost for the state of Illinois Managing Broker exam is: $46

4. Complete The Managing Broker License Application

This is the last step in the licensing process. You should create an account with the IDFPR website and complete your application form. The application cost is $150.

What are the Illinois Managing Broker Responsibilities?

The duties and responsibilities of a managing broker include the following;

  1. Reviewing contracts
  2. Managing and recruiting new Illinois brokers
  3. Lead distribution
  4. Illinois Vendor relationships
  5. Property management

Illinois Real Estate Agent / Broker Post-Licensing Requirements

A broker must complete a 45-hour post-license education for the first renewal of a broker license.

After successfully meeting the minimum time requirement course requirements, you will sit for a 50-question final exam.

With a 75% or above score, you are credited for the course per Illinois state law.

How Could You Lose or Get Your Illinois Real Estate Broker License Deactivated?

There are several ways to lose a broker license. In your transactions, you should always be extremely careful not to make errors in finance or documentation.

Selling or buying property can be someone’s largest transaction in their lifetime. Thus, as a middleman, you have a big responsibility to avoid making a loss.

One of the fastest ways of losing a broker license is to commit certain crimes, including those of moral turpitude. Other missteps that could lead to the loss of your real estate license include:

· Mortgage fraud
· Financial errors
· Failure to cooperate
· Unauthorized practice of law

Get Your Illinois Real Estate / Broker License

In a nutshell, acquiring both a broker and managing a broker license in Illinois is not extremely daunting after all.

The key takeaways are to commit well to your studies, make sure you pass your real estate exams, and find a supportive, transparent managing broker to work under.

Before you can hang your license with a managing broker you need to go ahead and get your Illinois real estate pre-licensing course completed. Here are two great choices to get started:

  1. Real Estate Express Illinois Real Estate Pre-Licensing Course
  2. The CE Shop Illinois Real Estate Pre-Licensing Course

After acquiring your license, it is imperative to follow the law to avoid losing your license or being sanctioned by the authorities.

To be successful in the field, be an agent who has a good grasp of the details of your property and a strong sphere of influence and network.

You may also like learning about the real estate license requirement for another state:

Start your journey into the lucrative career of Illinois real estate. Good luck!

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