By Joe Bean
If you’re one of the 15,000 salespeople and brokers who has completed your state-mandated real estate license transition, good job – you have not procrastinated about something particularly important to your profession.
If you’re not in that group, know that failure to complete the successful transition from salesperson to broker or from broker to managing broker by April 30 means you will be without a license and you cannot legally serve clients. Not only that, but if you miss the deadline and want to stay in the business, you will be required to obtain a new license by completing 75 hours of online, classroom or self-study pre-licensing coursework, 15 in-class hours devoted to the “Applied Real Estate Principles” course and pass the required examination. In short, you’ll have to start all over.
But while April 30 is the final deadline for courses to be completed for agents to stay in the business, everyone must pass their renewal exams by March 15. Yes, you read that right: three days from now!
“It’s urgent that salespersons and brokers who plan to continue in the real estate profession after April 30 of this year must get into the transition process immediately,” warns Tina Stepaniak, the director of professional development for the Chicago Association of Realtors (CAR) . “A number of educational and testing options are available, but the law imposes stringent deadlines. The commitments required for an individual to participate in the required continuing education classes, pass the appropriate test and complete the administrative follow up add to the time-
Established by amendments to the Illinois Real Estate Act of 2000 and signed into law in 2009, the transition upgrades educational requirements for real estate licensure to help the Realtor community better serve the consumer. It eliminates the salesperson license (none have been issued since May 1, 2011) and establishes two real estate licenses: broker and managing broker. It’s important to point out that all salespeople must transition to brokers, but not all brokers must transition to managing brokers; a broker can choose to remain a broker.
In brief, here are the options available:
A real estate salesperson making the transition to broker has three options:
1. Complete a three-hour review course and receive three hours of continuing education by March 15. Immediately following, take and pass the broker proficiency exam.
2. Complete a 30-hour broker transition course and pass a 50-question final examination with a passing score of
3. Take and pass the 90-minute proficiency exam by March 15.
A broker can choose to remain a broker or transition to a managing broker.
•To remain a broker, complete 12 hours of continuing education as currently required before April 30, 2012. A broker who manages an office must transition to managing broker.
•To transition to a managing broker, select one of three options:
1. Complete a four-hour review course and receive three hours of continuing education by March 15. Immediately following, take and pass the managing broker proficiency exam.
2. Complete a 45-hour managing broker transition course and pass a 75-question final examination with a passing score of 75 percent.
3. Take and pass the broker-to-managing broker proficiency exam by March 15.
“The April 30, 2012 deadline was established last May 1,” Stepaniak notes, “so this isn’t ‘new’ news. But people are busy, there are always other things to do, and we sometimes procrastinate.”
To deal with what she expects will be a high-demand, last-minute push to transition, Stepaniak says CAR is scheduling more classes, renting larger facilities and utilizing its four office locations to schedule morning, afternoon and evening classes, and Saturday and Sunday classes will also be available. “We can bring classes to an organization’s office space if the number of people on staff merits it,” she explains.
Her advice: “Get into the transition process now! There is still time – but not much.”