REALTOR® Membership & MLS Dues FAQ's | Chicago Association of REALTORS®

REALTOR® MEMBERSHIP & MLS DUES FAQ’S

Q: Did the 2020/2021 REALTOR® dues and MLS fees increase?

A: The CAR board of directors unanimously voted not to raise CAR dues this year. Illinois Realtors and NAR also decided on the same.

MRED has increased MLS fees by $14.

Q: What are my payment options?

A: You have the option to pay in full or in four installments. To view a detailed breakdown of the dues and MLS fees please select your member type below:

Q: Are there any incentives if I choose to pay in full?

A: If you choose to pay your dues in full this year, CAR will cover the $14/year increase to MRED, making your dues the exact same as they were last year. Paying in full will also save you the $40 additional fee, and you won’t hear from us about dues payments until this time next year. This brings your total savings to $54.

Q: How are the payments structured for this billing?

A: You can pick the structure that works best for you! You may opt to pay in full by October 1, or for an additional $40 fee, you may opt to stretch your total invoice into four (4) payments over six (6) months, with all invoices being due upon receipt. Please note: there are no payments due during the December holidays. The invoice posting dates and due dates are as follows:

Posting Due upon receipt, payable by:
Week of Aug 24th Oct 1
Week of Oct 5th Nov 13
Week of Dec 7th Jan 15
Week of Jan 20th Feb 26

Q: How was my invoice structure decided?

A: In August, we offer you two chances to pick your plan. If you do not respond, you will be invoiced in the same manner as you paid your 2019/2020 dues. If you paid in full, that is how you will be invoiced. If you made installment payments, that is how you will be invoiced. If you want to change your plan, you may do so before Sunday, Aug 23rd, 2020.

Q: How will I be invoiced?

A: You will be invoiced electronically via your Member Account on ChicagoREALTOR.com.

Please note that paper billing is no longer available, giving you an additional savings of $30.

Q: If I decide to pay in full, when will the invoice be posted to my account at ChicagoREALTOR.com?

A: The invoice will be posted to your account no later than August 25th; the invoice is due upon receipt. Once you have paid your balance in full, you won’t owe anything until next year. If you choose the pay in full option but do not remit payment prior to October 1st, your membership, including MLS services, will be suspended immediately until payment is made and you will be assessed a $30 late fee. You will also receive an invoice for the $14 MRED increase.

Q: Is there an autopay option?

A: Yes. You may opt in to autopay when you pay your first invoice. Please note: having a card on file does not enroll you in autopay. You must opt in separately in the My Account section of ChicagoREALTOR.com. Log in, and go to “Manage Credit Card Information.” Select the card you wish to use or add a new one. Click Submit. Under “Allow Auto Payment,” select “Yes.” Then click Submit. You must have a card on file to enroll in autopay.

Q: Can I come to a CAR location to make a payment?

A: Due to COVID-19 our offices will remain closed for your safety and the safety of our staff. You have the option of paying online at www.ChicagoREALTOR.com under “My Account.” We encourage you to use our credit card and telecheck feature online. You can also pay by phone with a credit card by contacting our Member Care Department at 312.803.4900.

Q:  If my credit card is on file for auto pay, when will the money be deducted from my account?

  • If you have opted to pay in full, the full amount will be deducted on September 28th.
  • If you have opted for the installment plan, the invoice amount will be deducted on the following dates:
    • September 28
    • November 9
    • January 11
    • February 22
  • Please note: there are no payments due during the December holidays.
  • Should you wish to remove your credit card from our auto-pay system, please login to your account at www.chicagorealtor.com, and go to “Manage Credit Card Information.”

Q: What if my auto pay card on file is declined?

A: We deduct the money from your account a week before the suspension date. This allows you seven (7) days to rectify and settle any outstanding balances should your card be declined, without penalty. If you do not settle any outstanding balances due to a declined card before the suspension dates, you may be subject to a late fee.

Q:  What dues and fees are included in these invoices?

A:  Each invoice is broken down to reflect four payments which cover your CAR, Illinois REALTORS® and NAR Dues and MRED MLS Fees for the fiscal year (October 1, 2020 – September 30, 2021). Note that your invoices will include a recommended investment for RPAC, CAR Foundation, and IL RPA. There are no payments due during the December holidays.

Q: If I make a credit card payment by phone and it is declined by phone, will I still be assessed a $40 NSF fee?

A: No. If you attempt to pay by phone or via the Internet and your card is declined, there will not be a service charge. The only time that you will be assessed this charge is if your credit card on-file is declined.

Q: Will my managing broker be notified if I miss a payment?

A: Yes. Your managing broker will be notified every time your account is late and/or has been suspended.

Q: Do I have to pay dues to NAR and Illinois REALTORS®?

A: Yes. To belong to a local association such as CAR, a REALTOR® must also join Illinois REALTORS® and the National Associations of REALTORS®. Local associations collect the dues for State and National.

Q: Why should I contribute to RPAC?

A: RPAC ensures your issues and concerns remain at the forefront of public policy makers and government officials who can shape how you do business. RPAC covers Federal and State elections with a portion shared with the local Association.

Learn more about RPAC & its importance to your business.

Q: Are RPAC Investments tax deductible?

A: Contributions to RPAC are not deductible for federal income tax purposes. Contributions are voluntary and are used for political purposes. The amounts indicated are merely guidelines and you may contribute more or less than the suggested amounts. The National Association of REALTORS® and its state and local associations will not favor or disadvantage any member because of the amount contributed or decision not to contribute. You may refuse to contribute without reprisal. Up to thirty percent (30%) of each contribution may be sent to National RPAC to support federal candidates and is charged against your limits under 2 U.S.C. 441a. A copy of RPAC’s report filed with the State Board of Elections is (or will be) available on the Board’s official website www.elections.il.gov or for purchase from the State Board of Elections, Springfield, Illinois. Except as may be required by state or federal law, the Illinois REALTORS® PAC (Illinois RPAC) is not required to refund political contributions. However, a refund request made by a contributor within 30 days of the date his or her RPAC contribution is received will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Q: Why should I contribute to Chicago Association of REALTORS® Foundation?

A: The Chicago Association of REALTORS® Foundation provides educational scholarships and charitable grants across the city of Chicago.

Scholarships: Due to the generous support of CAR members, over $400,000 has been awarded to over 300 individuals since 2007. The type of scholarships available are exclusive to members and include opportunities to obtain NAR designations, post-licensing classes, higher education, advocacy education, property management, etc. The Foundation also offers pre-licensing scholarships to individuals looking to begin a career in real estate. Furthermore, a variety of these scholarships specifically aids veterans, diverse communities, the young professionals network, female REALTORS® and more.

Charitable Grants: In 2014, the Foundation expanded to become the charitable and research arm of the association. Since this addition, the Foundation has donated close to $430,000 to several local organizations and institutions with a housing and/or community based mission. Such organizations include: Boys and Girls Clubs, Habitat for Humanity, All Chicago, Sarah’s Circle, ChildServ, The Ark of St. Sabina, 100 Club, Renaissance Social Services, and more!

To view all available scholarships and grants, click here.

Q: Is my contribution to Chicago Association of REALTORS® Foundation tax deductible?

A: The CAR Foundation is a 501(c)3 charitable organization and so contributions may be tax deductible depending upon your tax situation. We recommend you contact your tax advisor to determine if a contribution will be deductible in your individual situation.

Q: What is the Illinois REAL Property Alliance (ILRPA)?

Assist your REALTOR® community with a voluntary contribution to RPA which provides insight and analysis for Illinois property owners and a voice for establishing sound real estate policy that promotes growth and seeks to limit taxes and regulations which can make it harder to live and work in the state. Contributions to the Real Property Alliance are tax-deductible contributions.

Q: Do I have to pay the recommended amount for the voluntary contributions to RPAC, the Foundation & Illinois Real Property Alliance?

A: You can decide what amount you would like to contribute; however, the suggested minimum amounts greatly support the work CAR does on your behalf.

We are recommending that managing brokers and designated appraisers contribute $20 for RPAC, $20 for Chicago Association of REALTORS® Foundation and $5 for Illinois REAL Property alliance

We are recommending that brokers, leasing agents, and appraiser members contribute $20 for RPAC, $20 for Chicago Association of REALTORS® Foundation and $5 for Illinois REAL Property Alliance.

Q: Are dues and fees ever refundable?

A: Refunds will be granted only in accordance with the CAR Refund Policy. If you are hesitant about remaining active for the 2020/2021 year, please contact a Member Care Specialist for more information regarding our refund policy prior to making your payment, as it is possible that you may not qualify for a refund.

Q: Will I be charged a fee if I pay by check and it is returned for insufficient funds?

A: Yes. You will be assessed a $40 fee anytime a check is returned for insufficient funds. This fee, along with the original amount of the check, will need to be paid prior to the suspension dates. Additionally, if your account becomes suspended for non-payment, an additional $30 late fee will need to be paid in order to have your services reactivated.

Contributions to RPAC are not deductible for federal income tax purposes. Contributions are voluntary and are used for political purposes. The amounts indicated are merely guidelines and you may contribute more or less than the suggested amounts. The National Association of REALTORS® and its state and local associations will not favor or disadvantage any member because of the amount contributed or decision not to contribute. You may refuse to contribute without reprisal. Up to thirty percent (30%) may be sent to National RPAC to support federal candidates and is charged against your limits under 2 U.S.C. 441a. A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is (or will be) available on the Board’s official website www.elections.il.gov or for purchase from the State Board of Elections, Springfield, Illinois.