Ask the average consumer about the amount of required education and training an IL Real Estate Practitioner is required to complete before they earn their Real Estate License. Most will truly not know.
But others, perhaps many others, might cynically respond - "Not nearly enough!"
Indeed, pre-license training requirements are far less stringent than other major professions here in Illinois - lawyers, for example, or CPA's. Even beauticians and nail technicians have to endure more pre-license training, and a certain period of apprenticeship, than IL Real Estate Agents do!
In April, 2012, that will change, as New IL Real Estate Licensees will now be required to complete 90 hours of training, up from the current 45 hours.
New Practitioners will begin their Real Estate Career as Brokers, not Salespeople, as is the current rule. And they will be required to take additional Continuing Education Classes, both in the classroom and in interactive settings, to maintain their active license status.
Most of the time, when the public thinks of those selling Real Estate, they assume the agent representing them is a Broker. After all, that practitioner is "Brokering the Deal," right?
However, for many years, the majority of all Realtors in IL have been simply Real Estate Salespeople, licensed with minimum required hours. I assume that would surprise many Real Estate Clients.
Here, within our Chicago Real Estate Team, I have been a Licensed Real Estate Broker for nearly six years. But our Team Members Sue, Kathleen, and Jeff are still IL Licensed Real Estate Salespeople. Their work is of the highest quality, they are highly trained, with top integrity. But, technically, not Real Estate Brokers.
In a couple of years, Sue, Kathy, and Jeff, and thousands like them, will have had to either pass a proficiency test to obtain an IL Broker's License, or take an additional 30 classroom hours of coursework, and then pass a test. Or, perhaps for many - leave the business!
Me? Likely, I will complete the additional 45 hours of coursework required for a new IL Managing Brokers License - although will not likely buy out our Keller Williams Franchise anytime soon.
After April, 2012, there will be no more Licensed Real Estate Salespeople across the State of Illinois - only Brokers, and Managing Brokers.
Here is a link to the FAQ Page on the Illinois License Law Re-write, via the Illinois Association of Realtors Website.
While the rules changes affecting the classes of licenses will take effect two years from now, some changes impacting consumers and their Real Estate Practitioners went into effect immediately. Some highlights, again courtesy of IAR, and Elizabeth A. Urbance, IAR Legal Hotline Attorney -
- Stronger definitions and requirements for all types of Real Estate Advertising and Customer Solicitation, especially online.
- Stricter definition of Ethical Guidelines for Real Estate Professionals in IL.
- A NEW Provision requiring written disclosure when two of a Buyers Agent's Buyer Clients want to put an offer on the same property, simultaneously.
- Stronger regulations for defining the Designated Agent representing a buyer or seller client, in addition to spelling out responsibilities of the Brokerage Firm the agent works for.
- More stringent regulations for agents working in a Disclosed Dual Agent situation, where the other party in the transaction has no representing broker. No longer will prior confidential information be allowed to be discussed with either party in the transaction.
- Increased disciplinary action, with higher monetary penalties, for agents and brokers who violate IL License Law when selling their own property, or who are judged, by hearing, to lack sufficient competence, or are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Each Licensed IL Brokerage Firm must clarify their own company policy on items like Agency, Fair Housing and Non-Discrimination, Escrow and Earnest Money Handling, Associate Training, Advertising and Solicitation, Disclosure, Handling of Confidential Client Information and Risk Management.
- The ability of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Review (IDFPR) to issue a cease and desist order to any licensed Real Estate Brokerage Firm violating IL License Law continually, as determined by hearing.
- A NEW Right of Private Action, in which individual consumers can initiate an action seeking to stop illegal behavior by a Real Estate Brokerage Firm.
Will increased oversight, additional licensee requirements, and increased educational requirements result in a more professional Real Estate Practitioner Workforce, and increased fairness and transparency to consumers and clients? That's the aim here - let's hope the results concur!
Please read our post via BlogChicagoHomes.com.
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