On August 9, 2019, Governor JB Pritzker signed Public Act 101-0357 into law. This updated the Real Estate License Act of 2000, extending it until January 1, 2030. The main purpose for this update was to overhaul the existing Act to meet modern-day standards, capture technological advances, adopt industry best practices and strengthen consumer protections. Know that the updates became effective upon the signing of our Governor.
These are the act’s major highlights:
- The sponsoring broker’s name shall be at least equal in size, or larger, than the team name or that of the individual licensee.
- Advertising now has been extended to include social media and digital forums.
- “Blind advertisement” is expanded to include electronic ads that do not provide a direct link to all the required disclosures.
- Licensees with a managing broker license may now advertise themselves to be a managing broker.
- The designated managing broker (which is now a defined term in the Act) must identify themselves as such in any ads they place.
- “Teams” are now defined as any two or more licensees who provide real estate brokerage services, represent themselves to the public as being part of a team or group and are identified by a team name different than their sponsoring broker’s name.
- The Act previously prohibited any advertising that is false, deceptive, or misleading in any way. The rewrite includes misleading terms that can no longer be used.
- Team names can no longer include the following misleading terms, such as “company”, “realty”, “real estate”, “agency”, “associates”, “properties”, or “property.”
PAPERLESS PRACTICE & TECHNOLOGY
- IDFPR is moving away from paper licenses and sponsor cards.
- A licensee no longer has to carry a pocket card but rather, they need to be able to prove they are licensed by carrying an electronic version of their license.
- Electronic mail may be used to send a notice of renewal to a sponsoring broker of all their sponsored licensees, serve a citation or provide notice of investigations and a hearing to the accused and their designated managing broker and sponsoring broker.
- A physical record required to be maintained shall be securely stored and made accessible to the Department at the sponsoring broker’s principal office.
- Electronic records shall be securely stored in their original format and made accessible to the Department.
LICENSING & MANAGEMENT
- The age limit has changed to allow broker licensees to be 18 years old.
- Pre-licensing hours are now reduced from 90 to 75 hours. Post-licensing broker education changes from 30 to 45 hours, divided into three 15-hour segments.
- The managing broker is now responsible for the oversight of the handling of earnest money for their new licensees, until their licensing requirements are fully met.
- Managing brokers are also now responsible for the oversight of the negotiation of contracts in the new broker’s real estate transaction until their licensing requirements are fully met.
CONSUMER PROTECTION & BUSINESS PRACTICES
- Discipline may be imposed for the following violations: cheating, compensation to an unlicensed person, failing to notify the Department of any criminal conviction, making a false statement of material fact on their application, not providing proof of sponsorship or termination of a licensee.
- CE requirements have changed for this cycle! Before you take any CE classes, click here to view your requirements.
For a full look at the changes to the Act, as well as the rationale behind some of these changes, please click here.
For questions relating to the changes mentioned above, please reach out to Amanda Withrow, Vice President of Member Care and Dispute Resolution.