How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Illinois

Planning to start a career as a real estate agent? To get your real estate license, you will need to take classes at a real estate school, and satisfy all the requirements set forth by the Illinois Division of Banks and Real Estate.

Here's what you need to know to become a real estate agent in Illinois:

1) Licensing Requirements

2) Duties of a Real Estate Agent

3) What is a REALTOR®?

4) Income Potential

5) Real Estate Schools


How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Illinois

1) Real Estate Agent Licensing Requirements

In Illinois,  real estate agents MUST be licensed by the Illinois Division of Banks and Real Estate, through the Bureau of Real Estate Professions.  To obtain your real estate license, you must:

  1. Satisfy the minimum requirements to apply for the real estate exam:
  1. Apply to take the State exam. 
  2. Pass the exam.  3 exam failures require a repeat of the education requirement.
  3. Pay the appropriate fees.
  4. Apply for Real Estate License.   Within 1 yr of passing the exam.

Newly licensed agents must work under the supervision of an employing real estate broker.  Most new agents start out by working for one of the large brokerages like Coldwell-Banker, Century-21, Remax, etc. If you would like to have your own business and work for yourself, you must upgrade to a broker's license.


2) Duties of Real Estate Agents

A real estate agent's main job is to assist their clients in the process of buying and selling real estate.

Their list of duties include:


3) What is a REALTOR®?

A real estate agent becomes a REALTOR® when he or she pays an annual fee to be a member of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribes to its Code of Ethics.

The agent generally joins through the local board or association.

For example, in Chicago, once you have obtained your real estate license, you may pay a fee to join the Chicago Association of REALTORS®.  This also makes you a member of the Illinois Association of REALTORS® and the National Association of REALTORS®.

All REALTORS® are real estate agents but not all real estate agents are REALTORS®.


4) Income Potential

Real estate agents are generally paid based on a percentage of the sales price. The seller will generally pay 4-6% of the sales price as the fee and that will be split 50/50 between the seller and buyer's broker.

For example, if the fee for a $100,000 house is 6%, the buyer's broker will be paid 3% or $3000 and the seller's broker will be paid 3% or $3000 as well.   The agent is paid by his or her broker, according to their previously agreed-upon commission split.  This is often 50/50 for beginning agents, so in that case the agent in our example would receive $1500. 

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, the Median Sales price for an existing single-family home in the Chicago area was $246,300 for the fourth quarter of 2004.


5) Real Estate Schools

Here are some approved real estate schools offering the pre-licensing courses for the state of Illinois:

Academy of Real Estate Education 5842 W. Fullerton Avenue
Chicago, IL 60639

AHI Real Estate & Insurance Services, Inc. 10115 W. Grand Ave.
Franklin Park, IL 60131

American Heritage Real Estate Academy, LLC 2106 N. Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60614

Chicago Real Estate Institute 2711 N. Halsted Street
Chicago, IL 60614

Coldwell Banker School of Real Estate 2700 S. River Road
Suite 400
DesPlaines, IL 60018

College of DuPage 425 22nd Street
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

College of Lake County ACE Division
19351 W. Washington Street
Grayslake, IL 60030

Danville Area Community College 2000 E. Main Street
Danville, IL 61832

Education Services, Inc. 2847 Pfingsten Road
Suite E
Glenview, IL 60025

Elgin Community College 1700 Spartan Drive
Elgin, IL 60123

Fitzgerald Real Estate Academy 5422 W. Warwick Ave. 1R
Chicago, IL 60641

Harold Washington College Real Estate Program
30 E. Lake Street
Chicago, IL 60601

Heartland Community College 1500 W. Raab Road
Normal, IL 61761

Highland Community College 2998 W. Pearl City Rd.
Freeport, IL 61032

Hondros College One Energy Center
40 Shuman Blvd., Suite 160
Naperville, IL 60563

Illinois Academy of Real Estate 316 N. Lake Street
Aurora, IL 60506

Illinois Association of Realtors Licensing & Training Center
3180 Adloff Lane
Suite 400
Springfield, IL 62703

Illinois Central College Business & Information Systems
One College Drive
East Peoria, IL 61635

Information Professionals, Inc. 15154 S. Cicero Ave.
Oak Forest, IL 60452

John A. Logan College 700 Logan College Rd.
Carterville, IL 62918

618/985-3741 ext. 202
John Wood Community College 1301 S. 48th Street
Quincy, IL 62305

Joliet Junior College Academic Services
1215 Houbolt Road
Joliet, IL 60431

Kaskaskia College 27210 College Road
Centralia, IL 62801

Kishwaukee College Business & Technology
21193 Malta Road
Malta, IL 60150

Krause Academy of Real Estate 20W444 Lake Street
Suite C
Addison, IL 60101

Lewis & Clark Community College 5800 Godfrey Road
Godfrey, IL 62035

Lincoln Land Community College 130 W. Mason
Springfield, IL 62702

Market Place Real Estate Academy, Inc. 700 N. Lake Street
Mundelein, IL 60060

National Academy of Real Estate 151 Bruns Lane North
Suite 104
Springfield, IL 62704

National Real Estate Schools 6321 N. Avondale #218
Chicago, IL 60631

Net Real Estate School 7000 West Archer Avenue
Chicago, IL 60638

New Heritage Academy 36 N. McLean
Elgin, IL 60123

Parkland College 1315 N. Mattis Avenue
Champaign, IL 61821

Partners Real Estate School 1842 45th Avenue
Munster, IN 46321

Pav Real Estate School 6447 W. Cermak Road
Berwyn, IL 60402

Prairie State College Matteson Area Center
4821 Southwick Drive
Matteson, IL 60443

Real Estate Institute 4433 W. Touhy Avenue
Suite 514
Lincolnwood, IL 60712

Real Estate Training, Inc. 1700 Ogden Avenue
Lisle, IL 60532

Richland Community College One College Park
Decatur, IL 62521

217/875-7211 ext. 263
Rockford Real Estate Academy 7210 E. State Street
Rockford, IL 61108

Salamanca Real Estate Academy 2075 N. Western Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647

The Real Estate Education Center, Inc. 200 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60601

312/456-3118 ext. 201



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