Deadline Approaching for Chicago Real Estate Agents

April 17, 2012

Is your real estate agent licensed?

While this may seem like a silly question to ask, the reality is that come May 1 many Chicago real estate agents may lose their licenses rendering them unable to work in the industry.

Real Estate License PictureWhy is this happening?

Because state lawmakers in 2009 changed the requirements needed to work as a real estate agent or broker in the state in an effort to protect consumers as well as get Illinois in line with other states following the same protocol.

The license category of “salesperson,” the entry-level position in real estate that required 45 hours of education, has been eliminated. Now the title of “broker” has been instated requiring 120 hour of education as well as 12 hours of continuing education every two years.

The next step up from broker is managing broker, which requires 165 hours of education along with 24 hours of continuing education every two years.

Real estate agents have until April 30 to update their requirements. Two years is a long time to prepare, unfortunately a large percentage of licensed salespeople have been twiddling their thumbs as the deadline fast approaches.

According to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, as of March 30 only 35 percent of the 39,219 actively licensed salespeople have transitioned to brokers.

So what happens if a real estate agent doesn’t renew their license by May 1?

Three options exist:

  • Start all over by taking classes to become licensed all over again.
  • Leave the industry all together.
  • Continue working as an agent and face administrative fines, possible suspension or termination of membership in professional trade groups and be prohibited from re-entering the field.

Hopefully, your real estate agent does not take the last option. Better yet, you have a real estate agent who treated renewing their license like Derrick Rose driving to the basket and didn’t waste any time.

“I would bet that most consumers are not aware of the license changes,” said Jon Broadbanks, a spokesman for the state Realtors group to the Tribune. “There’s nothing wrong with asking questions and doing the due diligence. The answer may be, ‘I’m in the process of getting this done, and it’ll be done by April 30.’ ”

So avoid working with someone who is no longer licensed in Illinois and make sure they are up to date as the May 1 real estate license deadline is right around the corner.

About The Author

Read All Stories By Mitch Levinson

Mitch Levinson is the author of “Internet Marketing: The Key to Increased New Home Sales” published by BuilderBooks. He is an Internet marketing expert with expertise in search engine optimization, website development, email marketing, social media and CRM consulting services. He is known for creating effective programs that can be tracked through analytics to prove effectiveness and ROI. Mitch is founder and president of MLC New Home Marketing and MLC FlatFee Realty, as well as managing partner of mRELEVANCE, LLC, a Marketing, Communication, Interactive agency with offices in Chicago and Atlanta. He currently leads the Chicago team. A Multi-Million Dollar Sales Producer who earned an MBA in Computer Information Systems and eCommerce, he brings a unique perspective and experience to the field of real estate communications. Mitch combines the two interests in order to help home builders and developers gain a competitive advantage through the Internet and technology. When he isn’t behind a computer, he enjoys participating in sports and coaching his kids’ teams. Mitch resides in Arlington Heights, Ill., a northwest suburb of Chicago, with his family, which includes two rambunctious labs. Visit my Google+ profile.

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