When the IDFPR Comes Knocking at Your Door, Will You Survive an Audit?

“Knock, knock.”
“Who’s there?”
“It’s the Real Estate Professional Examiner from IDFPR assigned to review your real estate business!”

As a Sponsoring Broker, you must be prepared to open the door when the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) comes knocking. Will you be ready?

Sponsoring Brokers who are selected for an audit will receive a letter from the IDFPR establishing a time for an on-site inspection or a request to complete a Brokerage Verification Report.

Am I exempt from an audit?

Some of you are thinking that these audits do not apply to you because you…

  • Are a self-sponsored Managing Broker operating out of your home with no sponsored licensees.
  • Have not been engaged in any real estate transaction for the past few years.
  • Do not maintain any escrow accounts.

You might be surprised to learn that there are NO exceptions to IDFPR audits. If you are a Sponsoring Broker, an audit is always a possibilityYou must be prepared to participate in a compliance review at the request of the IDFPR.

How does a Sponsoring Broker survive an IDFPR audit?

Here are a few of the office compliance questions that Sponsoring Brokers must be prepared to answer:

  • Place of business: Do you maintain a definite place of business?
  • Identification sign: Is your real estate office located in a separate and distinct area, away from any retail or financial business establishments?
  • Licenses readily availed: Is your license (and those of all sponsored licensees) current and readily available to the public at the sponsoring place of business?
  • Assumed name requirements: Do you operate under an assumed name (DBA) or any name other than what appears on your license?

The IDFPR may review other sections from the Brokerage Verification Form in the examination. They are:

  • Company Licensure
  • Brokerage Agreements and Contracts
  • Advertising
  • Supervision
  • Licensee, Agents and Assistants
  • Escrow
  • Advertising

State-approved continuing education courses should provide more information. This renewal season, Managing Brokers are required to attend a new 12-hour Broker Management program. Attending Broker Management CE may be one of the easiest ways to learn additional IDFPR audit requirements. This course will provide you with a clearer understanding of compliance issues by helping you apply the law to real-life situations.

For additional compliance information, review the Real Estate License Act and Administrative Rules.

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