Maybe now is the time to start a new career and practicing real estate is what you have always aspired to do. It would seem from the influx of questions about real estate career choices, there is a growing demand for both pre-license and broker programs. It may be that word is getting around that if you want to get your real estate license in Illinois, now would be the time due to the license law changes eliminating the salesperson category effective April 30, 2012, with no new salesperson licenses issued after April 30, 2011.

Here are answers to common questions I receive about the process and the benefits of getting your license before the deadline.  Keep in mind the hours and requirements change when the transition cycle of April 30, 2011 through April 30, 2012 ends.

What are the educational requirements to obtain my SALESPERSON license prior to April 30, 2011?

You will need to take the 45-hour basic transactions course (classroom, home study or online), pass the Illinois state exam and be sponsored by a managing broker. After April 30, 2011, as a salesperson you will need to transition to a new non-managing broker license category. You will have the option to take a proficiency exam to transition to the new broker license category AND/OR take a 30-hour course and pass the exam by April 30, 2012.

What are the educational requirements to obtain my BROKER license prior to April 30, 2011?

You will need to take 120 hours (includes the 45-hour basic transactions course plus 75 hours classroom, home study or online which are available in five 15-hour modules). By obtaining your broker license prior to May 1, 2011, you can transition to the new managing broker category by taking the proficiency exam AND/OR by taking a 45-hour course and passing the course exam.

So do I take the 45-hour basic transactions course and obtain my salesperson license before the April 30, 2011 deadline, or do I take the 120 hours and obtain my broker license?

It really depends on what path you want your career to take.  If you want to open your own office or be self-sponsored, you would want to take all 120 of the required hours and become a broker prior to May 1, 2011.  If you are content being a non-managing broker then taking the 45-hour course, being licensed as a salesperson, and transitioning to a non-managing broker would be your best option.

If you need assistance understanding the education requirements and changes to the Illinois Real Estate License Law to determine your career path, IAR is available to help. Just e-mail Stacy at or Carrie at or call 800-752-3275.