Rule-making process on some elements could take months

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed the Real Estate License Act (RELA) into law, a move that strengthens rules for training and professionalism and enhances consumer protections.  

Public Act 101-0357 was signed on Friday, marking the end of months of legislative work by Illinois REALTORS® and the state Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to craft an agreed bill. It is a rewrite of the Real Estate License Act, which by statute must be revised every decade to reflect industry changes. 

“At the core of the rewrite effort was the guiding principle that consumers would benefit from additional protections and by a law which more clearly defines responsibilities real estate practitioners have to the public,” said Illinois REALTORS® President-elect Ed Neaves. “Our work, in partnership with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, has well positioned the real estate industry to best serve consumers in the decade ahead.” 

Some elements of the bill take effect immediately, while additional provisions in the law pertaining to education, for example, may take longer to implement as the public act must go through a rule-making process that can take months.  

Highlights of the bill include: 

  • Enhancement of pre- and post-licensing requirements for a new broker’s license; reduction in pre-license hours from 90 to 75 hours and overhauls post-license education from the current 30 hours to a 45-hour program that targets essential skill-building; 
  • Enhances and more clearly specifies managing broker supervisory responsibilities, especially for new broker licensees; 
  • Reduces the minimum age for obtaining a license from 21 to 18; 
  • Defines and recognizes real estate brokerage “teams” and addresses the use of team names in advertising; 
  • Clarifies and streamlines consumer access to the Real Estate Recovery Fund and addresses and clarifies other disciplinary provisions. 

Illinois REALTORS® has created a page (member login required) which has all the updates and the Illinois REALTORS® legal team’s in-depth analysis of the RELA changes. There’s also a video which summarizes the highlights.  

The association’s governmental affairs and legal team will work in the months ahead to provide insight on the bill and what the changes will mean to members.