New real estate rules and regulations: What agents can expect in 2018

by Jason Porterfield

Every new year brings changes to the way real estate agents conduct business. That may mean new state regulations or updates to ethical codes that govern transactions and interactions between agents and their clients.

2018 is no different, as agents will be subject to a number of new laws and standards, according to Kreg Allison, director of the Division of Real Estate at the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR).

He regularly gives presentations to local associations of Realtors throughout the state and has recently been sharing information on IDFPR’s online licensing initiatives, one of the most notable changes for Realtors in 2018.

“Everything is going online, and paper applications are going to disappear as a whole in 2018. Anybody who wants to start a new real estate brokerage firm or obtain a managing broker license, real estate broker license or leasing agent license will have to do so online, whether it’s an initial application or a renewal,” he says.

The deadline for license renewals is April 30, 2018. The new paperless application process is intended to help agents complete the process quickly and easily. The transition to paperless applications was first announced in February 2016.

The applications for transferring from one firm to another are also now online, making a process that could sometimes be delayed much more immediate. “A lot of brokers jump shop every two years, so that’s a meaningful thing,” Allison says.

IDFPR has also overhauled the online license lookup tool, making it easier for real estate professionals and consumers find out about an agent’s license status. Visitors to the site can look up firms to find out who the managing brokers are, see all the brokers in that office and find out how many branches are under the firm’s umbrella.

“In some ways that’ll allow the firms to clean up their data better, but it will also allow consumers and brokers to verify that these people actually work where they say they work,” Allison says.