General Requirements to Become A Realtor in Chicago – 2022 Illinois Real Estate License Requirements

2022 Illinois Real Estate License Requirements


2022 Illinois Real Estate License Requirements

Have you ever wondered what it would take you to become a realtor in Chicago?

Would you like to know the general requirements to become a real estate agent in Chicago this 2022? If this seems like anything you’d like, I’ve compiled this short guide on the latest Illinois real estate license requirements to help you understand everything you’ll need.

Pursuing a career in Chicago real estate can be quite promising but not without its own challenges.

Maybe you’re drawn to this industry of ours because you want to help people fulfill their dreams and aspirations of owning or selling homes. Perhaps it’s the glorious idea of being your own boss with a virtually unlimited earning potential. Regardless, there are some boxes you’ll need to tick before you can start practicing real estate in Chicago.

I’m not here to tell you whether or not it’s easy. But I’ll show you what you need, with a few tips on how you can get started.

General Requirements to Become A Realtor in Chicago

Chicago has some unique aspects of these general requirements to become a real estate agent. But this process is still similar to that in many other states, to a significant extent. That said, here are five of the major aspects of the 2022 Illinois real estate license requirements.

  1. Age Requirement – Be at least 21 years of age.
  2. Educational qualification – Must have at least a high school graduation certificate or its GED equivalent.
  3. Personal Identification – Must have either a Social Security Number (SSN) or Tax Identification Number (TIN).
  4. Real Estate Education – Must complete at least 90 hours of real estate education via a pre-licensing course at an IDFPR approved school.
  5. Certification/Licensing – Pass the Illinois real estate license examination, scoring at least 75%; and then hang your license at a broker’s office to start practicing.

2022 Illinois Real Estate License Requirements

Every aspiring realtor is expected to undergo 90 hours of real estate education through a pre-licensing course before they can sit for the Illinois real estate license examination.

Want to become a real estate agent in Chicago?

We’ll briefly discuss the three key steps in obtaining your real estate license to practice as a Chicago realtor. These include;

  1. Real estate pre-licensing course 
  2. Illinois real estate state examination
  3. Licensing by IDFPR

Chicago Real Estate Pre-Licensing Course

This pre-licensing course mainly covers the basics of real estate practices and policies in Chicago and is offered in both online and physical/offline classroom environments.

Whether you choose to go the online or classroom route, be sure you’re learning at a real estate school approved by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR).


There are two sections of the pre-licensing course;

A theoretical first part of 75 credit hours covering book topics and an interactive 15 credit hours section that seeks to apply the theoretical aspects of your real estate education into practical real-life scenarios.


Pre-licensing courses come in different formats. You could choose from programs with self-study options that allow better flexibility depending on your schedule as well as accelerated fast-paced courses if you’re keen on finishing this as soon as you can. The live classroom programs are also mostly taught in the evenings and weekends although there are some with daytime lessons too.

It used to be that exams were required during the courses but that is now optional so long as attendance can be proven. The IDFPR changed the structure of these courses in 2018 to make class examinations optional but exams are still required in self-study options before the participants can receive credit for the classes.

Upon successful completion of the pre-licensing course, you’ll be issued an official transcript. That transcript qualifies you to take the state exam. This will be valid for a period of four years.


Passing the Illinois real estate state exam

With your official transcript issued after the completion of your pre-licensing course, this qualifies you to attempt the Illinois state exam.

The Illinois real estate state exam is comprised of 150 multiple-choice questions drawn from state and federal real estate topics that must have been taught during your pre-licensing course.

Every student is required to score at least 75% to pass the exam.

You’ll have four attempts to write the state exam before you’ll be required to undergo another round of the Chicago pre-licensing course again. The Chicago real estate exam costs $55.00 which you’ll be required every time you register for the exam.

Upon successful completion of the examination, students will be issued a 45-day sponsor card. You can now begin the next step of their real estate license application at this point. Those who fail the exam will have three more attempts, on different days.


Obtaining your Illinois real estate license

If you pass the state exam, you can apply for a real estate license. The real estate license application costs $125. And the application is to be submitted to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR).

In Illinois, real estate agents are required to work under the management and supervision of a managing broker. Because of this, you’ll need a broker to sponsor your license application. The $125.00 license application fee, your new 45-day sponsor card, as well as the transcript issued from your pre-licensing course, should be submitted to your sponsor broker who will then have to forward this to the IDFPR. The IDFPR will email your broker license. This can take any time from six (6) to eight (8) weeks from your application date.


Should you get your Chicago real estate license?

Most definitely!

If you’re sold on pursuing a career in real estate, you’ll need a license to practice.

Believe it when I say that Chicago is one of the best states to start a real estate career. Don’t mistake that to mean being a realtor here is fun all through though. However, the real estate market here is hot and buzzing, and licensing is also quite easy. Knowledge of the important Illinois real estate requirements discussed here will even make the process of becoming a realtor in Illinois much easier for you!

A career in real estate carries great potential.

There’s a lot of freedom and flexibility with working as a realtor. And there’s a certain kind of joy, for some of us, that comes with this feeling of helping others and getting paid in the process. If any of these seems like something you’ll want to live for, congrats! You can be sure to find great real estate courses and programs both online and offline. You can also rest assured you’ll find one that fits your current schedule, no matter what it looks like.



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The Chicago Crystal Tran Team of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Chicago is one of Chicago’s best real estate teams. This agency is the brainchild of Crystal Tran, who herself experienced first-hand the extreme difficulty of navigating the cutthroat Chicago real estate scene as a new broker.

Over the years, Crystal has leveraged exceptional training and focus on constant growth to assemble a stellar team where every member is better-positioned to achieve both individual and collective success. This Chicago real estate team is steadily challenging the status quo.


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