Illinois real estate licensure rules get revamped

by Andrew Morrell

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law Aug. 13 two bills focused on licensure rules for the state’s real estate brokerages, appraisers and other real estate professionals. Drafted with support from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) as well as the Illinois Realtors Association, the governor’s office said the new laws will reduce red tape and compliance costs for real estate businesses.

“House Bill 5210 is a win for small business and licensed professionals in Illinois,” Gov. Rauner said, referring to one of the bills signed into law that focused on revising brokerage licensing requirements. “It is another step forward in our goal of reducing the amount of red tape, paperwork, and regulatory burden that puts our business owners and our state at a disadvantage.”

Under the new rules included in H.B. 5210, brokerage firms will be able to submit licensing information for all registered offices and employees at the same time, rather than submit separate forms for each individual office. The process of submitting, updating or renewing licenses will be made easier with the state’s recently unveiled online services portal.

According to Kreg Allison, director of the Division of Real Estate at the IDFPR, these new rules for brokerage licenses will not only reduce the direct costs of compliance by eliminating duplicitous application fees. Even more significant, he says, is the time that brokerage firms will save by getting all the steps required in the license renewal or revision process out of the way at once, using a single online platform to make changes in real time.

Streamlining the brokerage licensing process is good news for consumers as well, Allison says.

“Now consumers will be able to look up a licensed firm and find everyone affiliated with that firm, including each of its offices and who manages those locations,” Allison says. “The data is going to look much better and be easier to find as we move everything online.”

Gov. Rauner also signed H.B. 5502, aimed at increasing the number of licensed real estate appraisers operating within Illinois. According to Rep. Tony McCombie (R-Savanna), increased education and licensure costs have contributed to a shortage of appraisers in the state. Allison explained that the new law would allow appraisers to maintain their license to operate in Illinois indefinitely, while introducing other rule changes that encourage greater numbers of licensed real estate appraisers in the state.

These latest bills and the digital records initiative are part of a continuing effort by state officials to streamline professional licensing requirements for all regulated industries.

“On behalf of more than 47,000 Realtors throughout Illinois, we support this effort and appreciated the opportunity to work with IDFPR in crafting and passing this legislation,” said Illinois Realtors CEO Gary Clayton in a statement. “This is a sound policy initiative that will streamline the regulatory process for Illinois businesses.”