Broker Late Renewals: Your Questions Answered

IMPORTANT UPDATE: The deadline for Illinois Real Estate Brokers to renew their licenses on time is only days away, on April 30. Although the vast majority of licensees will renew on-time, many will not. So what happens if you miss the deadline?

There are a few things to think about, including license renewal fees, required education and other compliance considerations.

State License Renewal Fees:

Licensees who miss the renewal deadline will have to pay a $50 late-renewal fee to IDFPR (in addition to the standard $150 renewal fee). Although you might expect the late fee to escalate over time, it does not. The same fee will be due as long as you complete the renewal anytime during the next license renewal period.  However, you only have 30 days to renew online with a credit card payment.  After that, you will be required to print and mail the renewal form with a check or money order.

If you remain in a non-renewed status beyond a full renewal period, you will be responsible for paying any additional missed renewal fees if/when you eventually renew your license. In other words, the IDFPR will require you to “catch up” on all missed fees from the period of time when your license was in a non-renewed status.

This graphic illustrates how the fees escalate over time:

Broker Late Renewal Fee Chart v2

Continuing Education or Post-License Education:

Brokers who renew on time must complete either 12 credit hours of CE or 30 hours of post-license education before renewing their license. (If you’re not sure which one you need, read our prior article.)  The education requirements remain the same for those who complete a late renewal. So, if you miss the renewal and plan to renew sometime in May, be sure to complete your education requirement before applying for your new license. Failure to do so will result in additional fines/penalties.  

Assuming that you complete your education requirement in May 2016 and then apply for your (late) license renewal, take note that the education you completed is retroactively applied to the prior renewal period and may not also be applied to your next license renewal (due by April 30, 2018.)

Individuals who wait more than two years to renew will fall into the “reinstatement” category. At that point, you may be subject to different and/or additional education requirements, as mandated by the IDFPR.

Compliance Considerations:

Late license renewal is no big deal if you are not currently engaged in business that requires you to hold a real estate license. If you just cringed, here’s what you should know:

  • If your license expires and you have active transactions, you may not continue to participate in those transactions. Acting without a license can result in a fine of up to $25,000!  You should immediately notify your sponsoring broker that your license has expired, so that they may take appropriate steps to address the situation.
  • If you are also a REALTOR®, the change in your license status(es) will likely impact your membership(s), including access to the MLS. Contact your local REALTOR® association for more details.

After the April 30 deadline, finding the right education program can be tricky. Real Estate Institute will continue offering our popular 12-hour core/elective CE program and the 30-hour Broker post-license education program that’s required for new licensees.

Call 800-995-1700 if you have any questions about the education required for late renewal.

Quickest Route for Brokers to Beat the April 30th Deadline


Quickest_Route-road-with-motion-cloudsIt’s the second half of April. For Real Estate Brokers in the state of Illinois who have yet to renew their licenses, it can cause panic. But, it doesn’t have to. Follow the two-step process below for a quick and easy way to maintain your license.

Step 1 – Complete Your Education.
Brokers in Illinois are required to completed education before renewing their license. The type of education is dependent upon what date your license was issued. Find out the original issue date of your license by clicking here.

  • Brokers whose licenses were issued before 2/1/14 require 12 hours of core and elective continuing education. While classes are permitted, self-study, is the fastest option. Both class and self-study options require a proctored exam. Real Estate Institute offers convenient continuing education options.
  • Brokers whose licenses were issued between 2/1/14 – 1/31/16 require post-license education. Half of this 30 credit-hour requirement must include live instruction, such as a class or webinar. With limited time remaining, many Brokers choose webinars, which offer more flexible attendance options – review your post-license education options.
  • Brokers whose licenses were issued after 1/31/16 won’t have to renew until 2018, so no education is required at this time. These Brokers should complete their post-license education requirement by 4/30/18.

Step 2 – Renew Your License.
Most Brokers know that they must pay the renewal fee to the IDFPR, but are unsure of the exact process. Read the following for specific details about the renewal process.

  • After completing your required education, you may renew the license. A sponsor and a fee of $150 are also required to renew.
  • The IDFPR strongly encourages Brokers to renew online. You may have received a P.I.N. via e-mail from the IDFPR. However, it’s not needed to renew. The license number, plus one of the following is needed to renew: the social security number, date of birth or P.I.N. A paper-based renewal form is also available with this information.
  • Begin the renewal process by clicking here.

Real Estate Institute has been a leader in real estate education for over 20 years. Our team of experts is standing by to answer your questions about your requirements, our courses and the renewal process. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at 800-995-1700.

How to Start a Real Estate Career in the New Year

real-estate-agent-SOLD_signHave you been thinking about making changes to your life in 2016? Considering a new career?

You’ve surely seen the headlines about the real estate market gaining momentum. Now is the perfect time to start a career in real estate. The Illinois education requirement to become licensed as a broker includes successfully completing 90 credit hours of real estate pre-license education. This may seem like a lot, but there are ways to get it done quickly and be fully prepared to pass the state licensing exam.

Here are two recommended course options that will satisfy the Illinois broker pre-license education requirement. You need to decide which one works best for your schedule and learning style.

Flex Path

You can learn on a flexible schedule, with support tailored to your individual needs. This convenient program combines self-study with instructor assistance plus interactive classes or live-broadcast webinars. It is ideal for individuals who prefer to work at their own pace and choose their own schedule and learning environment. You can start immediately with this popular program. You’ll work through a series of lesson assignments, call for help as needed and take advantage of additional perks, including over 650 practice questions. Most candidates (who are busy with work or family responsibilities) complete Flex Path in about six weeks.

Fast-Track Classes

You will complete the entire course in under three weeks with this accelerated program. Classes are offered in Chicago’s Northwest and South suburbs. You will attend all-day classes in a highly motivating and engaging environment. Classes are led by experienced, professional instructors. Fast-Track is ideal for individuals who learn best in an interactive, structured classroom environment and can dedicate their full schedule to this program. You will learn the ins-and-outs of the real estate broker profession, with a focus on what you need to know to pass the Illinois state exam.

Invest in Your Future

By starting your broker pre-license education now, you can get licensed and start working for a real estate company just in time for the busy buying and selling season.


Real Estate Institute has been a top real estate education provider in Illinois for over 20 years. Our students have consistently outperformed other state exam candidates. A reputation for highly-rated instructors and superior customer service explains why we have over 150,000 alumni nationwide.

Real Estate Agents Need to Know … To Tell or Not to Tell?

Real Estate Agents Have a Duty to Disclose

Illinois real estate agents and Realtors® live in an age of disclosure. They are governed by laws that require them to disclose, disclose, disclose.
That seems easy enough, right?

Well, not always…

For example, did Bob the Broker do the right thing in the following scenario?

  • Bob the Broker had a vacancy in an apartment building that he owns with his sister. Bob’s sister is not licensed. Bob and his sister signed a one-year lease with a tenant. Bob did not disclose his status as a real estate licensee to the tenant.

Many real estate agents would do the same as Bob the Broker – not feel the need to disclose their status as a real estate licensee in a personal transaction involving a rental property. There seems to be a lot of confusion on when to disclose your status as a licensee.

What does Illinois law say about disclosure of real estate license status?

  • The Real Estate License Act states, “Each licensee shall disclose, in writing, his or her status as a licensee to all parties in a transaction when the licensee is selling, leasing, or purchasing any interest, direct or indirect, in the real estate that is the subject of the transaction.”

How does Illinois law apply to our hypothetical scenario?

  • Even though his sister is not licensed, Bob the Broker is in violation of the law for failing to disclose his status as a licensee.

What, if anything, could have been done to prevent the problem?

  • Bob the Broker could have disclosed his status as a licensee in writing to the tenant.

Unfortunately, many licensees learn the law the hard way by getting reprimanded by state regulators.

Real estate agents and Realtors® are faced with dilemmas on a daily basis. It’s critical that they understand the possible pitfalls. The state-required real estate post-licensing course is one way for new broker licensees to review real-world scenarios.

Learn more about post-license education at Real Estate Institute, where the goals are to help you become better prepared to handle these challenges, avoid disciplinary actions taken against you, and succeed in your real estate career.

Which Real Estate License Type Is Right For You?

Questions With a career in real estate, many opportunities lie ahead that may not be readily available in more traditional career paths. Many people enjoy the schedule flexibility and income potential that working in real estate affords.

In Illinois, there are three real estate license types to choose from. The residential leasing agent license is considered an “entry level” license. The broker license is the most common license type in Illinois and allows you to do much more than a residential leasing agent. The managing broker license allows you to do everything a residential leasing agent and a broker do, but you have the ability to be your own boss and manage others if you choose. Depending on whether you’ll be working for a real estate brokerage, a property management company or ultimately hope to start your own business, you’ll need to consider which path you take. 

 

Comparing real estate license types

This comparison table will help you determine which license type is right for your career.

Characteristics of Illinois Real Estate Licenses

Residential Leasing Agent Broker Managing Broker
Allowed to sell all property types X X
Allowed to lease residential property X X X
Allowed to lease commercial property X X
Allowed to exchange all property types X X
Must be supervised by a managing broker X X
Held a sales or broker license for 2 of the prior 3 years X
Allowed to work under their own supervision  X
Allowed to supervise other licensees X
Can manage a sales or management office X
Required state examination Multiple-choice  Multiple-choice  Multiple-choice

plus simulation

LEARN MORE LEARN MORE LEARN MORE

 

For information about real estate licensing, visit the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation’s Real Estate Division

Real Estate Institute’s frequently asked questions have more detailed information about each license type.

Success Passing Illinois Real Estate Exam

Top 3 Things You Need to Know to Pass the Illinois Real Estate Broker Exam

Success Passing Illinois Real Estate ExamAre you planning to become a real estate Broker in Illinois? If so, follow this advice to improve your chances of success on the state licensing exam.

  1. Do Not Procrastinate: Take the State Exam As Soon As Possible
    As soon as you pass the Illinois Broker pre-licensing course, you will earn a 90-hour transcript that will qualify you to take the state exam with Applied Measurement Professionals, Inc. (AMP). Earning a transcript means that you have successfully completed the course, passed the final course exams and are now ready to take the next step.

    The next step is to take the state exam while the information is still fresh in your mind.  Schedule the state exam as soon as possible and no later than two weeks after earning your transcript. Refer to the AMP Candidate Handbook for detailed information about the exam.

    For most students, procrastinating will hinder their ability to pass the state exam. The sooner you get there, the more likely you will be able to successfully pass. If more than three months have passed and you were unable to take the state exam, you may benefit from a refresher course.

  2. Stay In the Zone – Stay On Track
    From the time that you earn the transcript, to the time that you take the state exam, allow NO DISTRACTIONS. Try to avoid any activity that will take you away from staying in the zone. For example, avoid scheduling vacations during this time.

    Stay focused by continuing to study. Review some of your weakest testing areas by rereading those chapters, retaking the practice quizzes and making sure that you understand the key terms.

  3.  Be Confident
    Being confident is easier said than done, especially when test stress gets in the way. For many, taking an exam is a very stressful experience. You made it through one hurdle by passing the 90-hour pre-license final exams but it’s still not over – The “big one” is next!

    If test stress begins to multiply and interfere with your positive mind set and ability to pass the state exam, consider enrolling in our test prep course.  This course will add a dose of confidence by teaching you additional test-taking skills and strategies to pass the state exam.

For more information about Illinois real estate licensing or licensure requirements, visit www.idfpr.com or www.InstituteOnline.com/RElicensing

3 Steps to Start an Illinois Real Estate Broker Career in the New Year

Successful Illinois Real Estate Brokers

If you’ve already forgotten about your resolutions, Real Estate Institute can help you get back on track. January is a great time to get organized and set your goals for 2015. If one of your goals is to start a career in real estate, now is a perfect time. By starting now, you can get licensed and start working for a real estate company just in time for the prime buying and selling season.


Illinois requirements to become licensed

In order to become a broker in Illinois, you must meet certain requirements. State requirements for licensing are:

Once you’ve met those criteria, you are ready to get started!

3 simple steps to becoming a licensed real estate broker in Illinois

  1. Complete a state-approved broker pre-license program.
  2. Pass the Illinois state exam.
  3. Become sponsored by a real estate company.

If you meet all the licensing criteria and complete the three simple steps, you can make 2015 your year for taking charge of your career and earning potential.

For more information about Illinois real estate licensing, visit the IDFPR website.

Let’s Interact!

Starting May 1, 2011, the state of Illinois will issue a “Broker” license for entry-level real estate agents. New Broker licensees are allowed to help others buy, sell, manage and lease all types of real estate.  In order to obtain the “Broker” license, applicants must complete a 15-hour “interactive class.”   Real Estate Institute will begin offering this live class in May!

“It’s really exciting to be a pioneer in the creation and development of classes that go beyond key terms and textbook material,” said Sue Miranda, instructor at the Real Estate Institute.  “The Applied Real Estate Principles 15-credit-hour interactive class delivers as the title promises. Students will learn to apply the basic textbook knowledge they receive in the program.”

Real Estate Institute’s interactive classes cover a variety of scenarios that will prepare students to pass the state exam and give them a better understanding of the real estate brokerage business. Sue further explains, “Our students will learn about real-life situations encountered by real estate licensees.  Students will receive a hands-on, step-by-step approach that will walk them through a real estate transaction from the beginning to a successful closing. “

In order to take the interactive class, students must complete a 75-credit-hour course: “Broker Pre-License Topics.”  Students can enroll now to begin this self-study course.   Real Estate Institute offers a discount package combining the 15-hour interactive class and 75-hour self-study class to satisfy the entire pre-license education requirement.

IDFPR Announces Important Changes in the Final Rules

The final rules implementing the Illinois license law transition requirements allow an ALL self-study format for transition education programs.  (Originally, a 15-hour live/interactive class component was required.)  Under these rules that are in effect, agents can now study and test at a time and place convenient for them.

This change to the transition rules provides a tremendous benefit to licensees.  By completing this new transition education program, salespersons transitioning to the broker license only require ONE-STEP!  The 30-hour self-study program satisfies the transition requirements and EXEMPTS licensees from having to complete continuing education for their first renewal.

There’s good news for brokers transitioning to the managing broker license too.  By completing the 45-hour self-study program, which satisfies their transition education requirements, they are EXEMPT from having to complete a live/interactive Broker Management Continuing Education class for their first renewal.  If you have taken BMCE in the past, you know that an exemption from this program offers a huge time and cost savings.

Real Estate Institute Leads the Way … AGAIN!

Real Estate Institute immediately responded to the IDFPR’s announcement as the first approved school to offer the new transition courses.  According to Alan Toban, Director at the Real Estate Institute, “I firmly believe that there is no question about how to transition now.  Taking a high-stakes, one-attempt exam adds unnecessary stress to the already stressful and confusing real estate changes.  Over the years, we’ve found self-study to be the most desired and popular option for our students.  We’re strongly recommending this new transition solution to all licensees.”

Apparently Alan’s recommendation is working.  Most offices and individual licensees that were originally enrolled to take the proficiency exam have switched to the preferred transition education program instead.

New Deadline for Illinois Real Estate Exam

As you may have heard, beginning April 30, 2011, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) will no longer issue new real estate salesperson licenses.  The original deadline for a new salesperson candidate to pass the state exam was March 15, 2011, to allow the state sufficient time to process and issue the new licenses. 

For many of you who have been pulling all-nighters to meet this looming deadline, your stress levels were taken to new heights when you found out that most test centers around the state were full.  Real Estate Institute has fielded so many calls from panicked students.

Good news is here!  Real Estate Institute was notified by the IDFPR yesterday that they have authorized Applied Measurement Professionals (AMP) to extend the deadline for salesperson examinations as follows:

  • Testing will now be permitted through Saturday, March 19, 2011.

For more information visit the IDFPR’s website. http://www.idfpr.com/dpr/re/REALEST.asp