Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions 

Education

How do I find out how many CE hours I have?
How do I become an appraiser? Where may I find Pre-License appraisal classes?
What are the requirements for obtaining my Real Estate License in Illinois?
With which states does Illinois have license reciprocity?
How do I become a pre-license or continuing education instructor?

Designations

How do I obtain my GRI designation?
Where can I get information on how to earn other designations?

Housing/Market Stats

How can I find information on the price of a home in a specific Illinois community?
What kind of data does the Illinois Association of REALTORS® have on housing?
What is the source of the data?

Member Services

Does IAR have health insurance for members?
What is the Health Savings Account (HSA) I keep hearing so much about?
Who does IAR recommend for Errors and Omissions insurance?

Complaint Procedures

I want to file a complaint against a REALTOR®, what should I do?
How do I file a complaint against a non-REALTOR®?

Licensure

How may I verify that someone has a Real Estate License?
How may I find a REALTOR® located in Illinois?

NAR Ethics Compliance

What is needed to comply with the NAR Code of Ethics Requirement?


REAL ESTATE EDUCATION

Q. How do I find out how many CE hours I have?

A. Use the IAR Education Lookup to look up your record of classes taken through IAR sponsored classes. If you have any questions regarding the information, you may call Becky Carver at 217/529-2600. If you need information regarding classes taken at other sponsored schools, you will need to contact the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR), Division of Professional Regulation, Bureau of Real Estate at 217/785-9300 or visit their website.

Q. How do I become an appraiser? Where may I find Pre-License appraisal classes?

A. To find information regarding obtaining an Appraisal License, contact the Illinois Property Assessment Institute at www.ipaionline.com or 309/828-5131. They may also be reached at 217/782-3274.

Q. What are the requirements for obtaining my Real Estate License in Illinois?

A. Broker License: To qualify for an Illinois Real Estate Broker License in the State of Illinois you must be at least 21 years old, a high school graduate or equivalent (G.E.D.), successfully complete the required coursework and pass the state licensing exam. Effective May 1, 2011 the Broker license category replaced the former Salesperson license category.

The new Broker license has the same privileges of the previous Salesperson license category, but requires additional education to include 90 hours of pre-license education, 15 of which must be interactive (classroom or webinar) and 30 hours of post-license education. The 90 hours would include a 75-hour Broker Pre-license Topics course and a 15-hour Broker Pre-license Applied Real Estate Principles Interactive course. Classroom, Online and Home Study Pre-license options >

Managing Broker License: All new licensees who require managerial privileges are required to earn a Managing Broker license. To qualify for an Illinois Real Estate Managing Broker's license in the State of Illinois you must be at least 21 years old, have an active valid Illinois real estate broker license, had an active real estate license for two (2) of the past three (3) years, successfully complete the required coursework and pass the state licensing exam. This new category of license for brokers who will manage and sponsor themselves and/or other licensees changed from Broker to Managing Broker.

The Managing Broker license is only available to applicants who held a real estate salesperson  or broker license for two out of the last three years. If you have a broker license and meet the two out of three year requirement, it is assumed you have completed the 120 Broker pre-license  requirement and you will only be required to take an additional 45 hours to include a 30-hour course, Managing Broker Pre-license Topics and a 15-hour Managing Broker Pre-license Applied Management and Supervision Interactive course.

Applicants who have never held a license will first have to  complete the 90 hour Broker license requirement and the 30 hours of post license and follow with the 45-hour Managing  Broker requirement. You would not be able to apply for your Managing Broker license until you have met the two out of three year requirement. Classroom, Online and Home Study Pre-license options >

Leasing Agent License:

In order to obtain a Leasing Agent license in the State of Illinois you must be at least 18 years old, a high school graduate or equivalent (G.E.D.), successfully complete a 15-hour Leasing Agent course at a real estate school approved by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, pass the state licensing exam. Live course offerings and home study courses are available.

Q. With which states does Illinois have license reciprocity?

A. For licensing questions, you may contact the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, 217/785-9300. For their latest reciprocity updates, visit IDFPR's License Reciprocity website. If you are currently licensed in one of the reciprocal states, you may obtain a reciprocal license by taking and passing the state portion of the Illinois exam. Study material is available from the IAR REALTOR® Store. This exam is administered by Applied Measurement Professionals (AMP) www.goamp.com

Q. How do I become a pre-license or continuing education instructor?

A. In order to become a pre-license instructor or continuing education instructor, you would need to apply through the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. They have downloadable forms on their website that list the criteria needed to be able to be certified. Click on Real Estate Professions and then forms. The pre-license instructor license does require taking an exam. Exam information may be found through the Applied Measure Professional's Web site at www.goamp.com. Continuing education instructors now have to complete an approved instructor training prior to making application with IDFPR. Contact IDFPR for a list of providers that offer the instructor training program.


DESIGNATION INFORMATION

Q. How do I obtain my GRI designation?

A. Courses to obtain your GRI designation are offered annually by the Illinois Association of REALTORS®. Some local associations offer Course I through Home Study and many office training programs qualify as equivalent credit for Course I. For additional information, contact 800/252-2910. Download the Illinois REALTOR® Designation Guide (pdf)

Q. Where can I get information on how to earn other designations?

A. The National Association of REALTORS® and its affiliated Institutes, Societies, and Councils provide a wide-range of programs and services that assist members in increasing skills, proficiency, and knowledge. Designations and certifications acknowledging experience and expertise in various real estate sectors are awarded by NAR and each affiliated group upon completion of required courses. Find a complete list and contact information at www.realtor.org/education/realtor_university/designation.


HOUSING MARKET/DATA

Q. How can I find information on the price of a home in a specific Illinois community?

A. IAR does not track home prices for specific communities in the state. We do track the statewide, county and Chicago PMSA figures for median prices and the number of homes sold (single-family and condos).  For specific neighborhood or community market data, contact a local REALTOR® or the local REALTOR® Association in your area.

Q. What kind of data does the Illinois Association of REALTORS® have on housing?

A. IAR issues monthly and quarterly market statistics reports for the median price and number of homes sold (single-family and condominiums) by:

  • Illinois
  • Chicagoland PMSA (Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will counties)
  • County data is issued on a quarterly basis for all counties reporting

Q. What is the source of the data?

A. Sales and price information is generated from a survey of Multiple Listing Service (MLS) sales reported by 31 participating Illinois REALTOR® local boards and associations.


IAR MEMBER SERVICES/DISCOUNTS

Q. Does IAR have health insurance for members?

A. Health insurance and other programs such as life, dental, and disability are available through a third party administrator, REGIT, Inc., sponsored by IAR. You may contact REGIT, Inc. by calling 800/537-9786 or at www.regitinc.com/aspiar.

Q: What is the Health Savings Account (HSA) I keep hearing so much about?

A: An HSA combines a high-deductible health insurance policy with a tax-exempt savings account established exclusively to pay qualified medical expenses. The insured person controls the savings account, using it to pay health care and related expenses, such as dental, vision, and prescription drugs. It is particularly attractive because contributions to the savings account are tax-deductible.

Q: Who is eligible to establish an HSA?

A: To receive a tax deduction for contributions to the account, an individual must be covered under a qualified high deductible health plan. The person must also be below Medicare eligibility age (65) and not be covered under any other health plan with benefits similar to their qualified plan.

Q: Who contributes to the HSA and how much may be contributed?

A: Any eligible individual may contribute to an HSA. (In the case of an employer-sponsored HSA, the employer and/or employee may contribute.) The maximum annual contribution to an HSA is determined by number of months covered by the qualified plan, but on annual basis it is the amount of the annual deductible to a maximum of $2,700 for an individual and $5,450 for a family.

Q: What is the tax treatment?

A: Contributions made by an eligible individual to their health savings account are deductible by the individual in determining adjusted gross income (i.e., an "above the line" deduction). Interest accrues tax free in qualified HSAs and any unused balance in the account accumulates as long as the individual is covered by a qualified plan.

Q: What can the HSA funds be used for?

A: Account distributions are tax free for qualified medical expenses and prescription drugs, as well as dental and vision expenses. In addition, HSA funds can be used to pay premiums for long-term care insurance, COBRA continuation, and health insurance while unemployed.

Q: Where can I get more information?

A: Contact IAR's insurance partner, REGIT, at 800-537-9786 or www.regitinc.com/aspiar. They will provide complete details on HSAs, traditional medical plans, as well as life and dental plans.

Q. Who does IAR recommend for Errors and Omissions insurance?

A. IAR sponsors a third party administrator, Capital Professional Insurance Managers, Inc. (CPIM), who writes E & O coverage through CNA. CPIM may be reached by phone at 800/922-4626 or at www.cpim.com.


COMPLAINT PROCEDURE

Q. I want to file a complaint against a REALTOR®, what should I do?

A. First, I would contact the agent's broker or manager and see if they can help solve the problem. If this isn't possible or if you want to file a grievance against the agent, then each local association has a complaint process for individuals wishing to file complaints for alleged violations of the REALTORS® Code of Ethics. A list of local associations may be found at the Illinois Association of REALTORS® Web site. Once you have determined that the individual you wish to file a complaint against is a member of that local association, your complaint should be filed in writing and in a timely fashion.

Q. How do I file a complaint against a non-REALTOR®?

A. If you believe the individual with whom you are working has violated the License Law, a written complaint should be forwarded to the Ill. Dept. of Financial and Professional Regulation, 217/785-9300.


REALTOR® LOCATION/LICENSURE VERIFICATION

Q. How may I verify that someone has a Real Estate License?

A. In order to determine if someone has a current Real Estate License in Illinois, you should visit Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation or contact them at 217/785-9300

Q. How may I find a REALTOR® located in Illinois?

A. The Illinois Association of REALTORS® website has a REALTOR® search function that will assist you in finding a REALTOR® by name or location.


NAR ETHICS REQUIREMENT COMPLIANCE

Q. What is needed to comply with the NAR Code of Ethics Requirement?

A. NAR implemented a Code of Ethics training policy on January 1, 2001, which requires quadrennial ethics training under two different schedules, depending on when an individual's NAR membership began. Those who were REALTORS® before January 1, 2001 must complete a NAR-approved course sometime before December 31, 2004. The next deadline for this group will be December 31, 2008, and so on. Members who joined after January 1, 2001 must take a Code of Ethics orientation course during the provisional membership period. After completion, this group is subject to the next, full quadrennial cycle, which is from January 1, 2005 through December 31, 2008. In this way, new members are phased into the same ethics training schedule as existing members.

Ethics courses are available through your local association- contact your local association for details - or at www.realtor.org/mempolweb.nsf/pages/newmemberorientationcourse and www.realtor.org/mempolweb.nsf/pages/quadrennialethicstrainingcourse. Both pages require membership log-in to access.