Frequently
Asked
Questions
Is it difficult to get a real estate license?

You’ve probably heard that the exam is tough – you may even know people who tried to pass it, but failed. Nevertheless, it’s very doable if you attend an excellent school, and put in the effort. The material isn’t difficult to understand, there’s just a lot to remember. We’ve created a video that gives you more details, and even has some sample questions for you to try – click here to view the video.

Is it worth becoming a realtor?

It may seem like the real estate websites like realtor.com, zillow.com, and trulia.com may be making Realtors obsolete. In fact, there are tens of thousands of real estate agents in Chicago and throughout Illinois who are making a very good living, and enjoying the freedom, independence, and opportunity that being a Realtor offers. Being in business for yourself, you should expect to work hard, but if you ask any agents you know, they’ll probably tell you that it’s a great business to be in!

How long does it take to get a real estate license?

Most people are surprised at how relatively easy it is to get a real estate license in Illinois. The whole process can be done in about 2 months. The steps are…
– take the 75-hour Pre-license Course
– pass the state exam
– find a Sponsoring Broker
– apply for the license, and begin selling immediately!
The course is typically 5 weeks long. As of this time, there’s a delay of a month or more to actually be able to take the state exam, but once you pass, you can find a Sponsoring Broker with days, and get started on your new (or additional) career!

How long is a real estate license good for?

An Illinois Real Estate License must be renewed every two years. Real Estate Agents actually have what is called a Broker License, but unlike other states, a Broker in Illinois does not work independently. Instead, they must have a Sponsoring Broker for at least two years, at which point they can get their Managing Broker license. A Managing Broker may have their own agency, or work on their own.

Is real estate a good career?

People who are frustrated by being stuck in a 9-5 job, where they have to count on their manager to decide they’re worthy of a raise, may look at real estate and think that it’s a dream job. And it can be! But first… it’s not a job! Real estate agents are Independent Contractors, not Employees, so they work for themselves. That means that you have the flexibility to choose your own schedule… the independence to decide how you’re going to operate your business… and the opportunity to earn a fantastic income. But you’re also taking the risk that you won’t generate income, since you’re paid only when you actually sell something. If that sounds exciting to you, a career in real estate may be the perfect fit!

How hard is realtor school?

It’s always tricky to answer the question “how hard is something”? But here are two things to consider:
1. The material isn’t complex or difficult to understand – there’s just a lot to remember! That’s why a good school will present the material in a number of ways – live classes / webinars, pre-recorded videos, audiobooks, review sessions, etc.
2. Math is often a top concern for people considering taking the real estate exam. Look for a realtor school that provides in-depth video explanations of the most important math concepts, along with hints regarding how the state tries to “trick” test-takers.

What is the process of becoming a realtor?

People are frequently surprised how straightforward the process of becoming a realtor really is. Essentially, you need to…
1. attend an approved real estate school
2. pass the state exam
3. find a Sponsoring Broker
4. apply for the license
At that point, you can begin selling immediately under a provisional license. Note that your real estate school will help you through the process, up to the point where you find a Sponsoring Broker, and they’ll assist you from there. So you’re always in the hands of an experienced professional!

What kind of degree do you need for a real estate agent?

No degree is required in order to become a real estate agent. In fact, the only educational requirements are (1) completion of High School or equivalent, and (2) completion of the 75-hour pre-license course with an approved real estate school. There are colleges and universities which offer Real Estate degrees, but if you ask any Realtors that you know, you’ll probably find that few if any of them actually studied real estate at an undergraduate institution.

How much does it cost to become a realtor?

Considering the fact that real estate can be an extremely lucrative career, you’ll be happy to know that it’s not expensive at all to get your license. Rather than spending tens of thousands of dollars on a college degree, you can get a real estate license for under $1,000. The costs include: (1) the pre-license course, ranging from $500 to $700, (2) the state exam ($55), and (3) the license fee ($125). There will be expenses once you become a Realtor, but you’ll also be generating income to offset those expenses. Oh, and you’ll need to renew your license every two years (on even-numbered years), which will cost somewhere around $200 to $300.

What is the difference between the terms "Real Estate Agent" and "Broker"?

There actually is not a difference between these terms! Back in 2011, the State of Illinois changed the terminology, and what used to be known as a “Broker” is now called a “Managing Broker”. The first license you get is officially known as the “Real Estate Broker’s License”. We have a video that explains the difference. Click here for the video.

What requirements must you meet to become a Real Estate Broker?

There are four requirements you must meet:

  1. Have a U.S. social security number
  2. Be at least 18 years old
  3. Be of “good moral character” (no criminal history)
  4. Have graduated High School or equivalent

Click here for video
For more information about this, click here.

What are the steps to getting licensed?

We have a video on this topic, and several others. Steps to getting licensed

How much money should a Real Estate Broker expect to make?

Last year, Indeed.com reported that on average Real Estate Broker’s made $80,000 per year. Now, this is an average and since your salary will be completely commission based, there is both the possibility to make less and the possibility to make a whole lot more. With Real Estate, YOU determine how much you make!

Can you work part time as a Real Estate Broker?

Absolutely! In fact, most agents start out part-time.

What jobs can I get with a Real Estate License?

You’ll have numerous options once you get your license – see this page for a list of some of them!

Where can I find out more about getting my license?
Much more information on getting your Illinois Real Estate License is available on our blog – click here
How does CRES compare with other Real Estate Schools?

You can see a detailed comparison between CRES and other area schools by clicking here.

Do you have an audio version of the textbook?
Yes, CRES is the only real estate school in Illinois to offer its entire textbook in Audiobook format. Learn while you commute! Click for details.
Is there a final class exam?

As of January 1, 2018, students are no longer required to take a final course exam. In lieu of a course exam, students are required to take chapter quizzes and pass each of them with a score of 75% or more.

Why is the CRES Classroom Course only 35 hours? Will I have to study the other 40 hours at home?

The state calls the course the “75 hour course” because it should take the average person about 75 hours to learn the material. However, the state only requires that you spend 15 hours in a classroom. At CRES, we have expanded that 15 hour requirement to 35 hours of classroom time for our classroom course. After years of experience, we have found that 35 hours is the optimal amount of time to spend in a classroom learning the material from an instructor. Any more than that, and the instructor would just be reading the textbook to you. We think your time is too valuable for that! With 35 hours of classroom instruction and time spent out of class taking the required quizzes and studying the text, you will be successful! In fact, over 90% of our students pass the Illinois Real Estate Exam on their FIRST TRY!

How long will it take to complete the course?

We have 2 different options, both of which take about 4-5 weeks to accomplish. More details are available on the following video:

How much is the course at Chicago Real Estate School?

Our pricing is the same for all of our course formats and we have three packages to choose from. They range in price from $559-$599. All of the packages include the basics for the course (your textbook and class materials), but the larger packages include valuable study material. You can read about exactly what the packages include here.

For the online course, the price of the course is broken up into two parts; $409-$449, $309-$349 for Part I; and $150 for Part II. You can read more about the online course here.

Is there a payment plan?

Yes, we do have a payment plan! Watch out for other school payment plans that charge as much as 30% interest – ours is a one-time fee of $20, that’s it! For the classroom course, the price of the course will be broken up into 3 payments: $199 on the day you register, $200 on the first day of class, and $180-$220 (depending on the package you purchase) halfway through the class. For the online course, the price is also broken up into 3 payments: $199 on the day you register, $230-$270 (depending on the package you purchase) two weeks after signing up, and $150 on the day you sign up for Part II of the course. To read more about the payment plan, click here.

Do you guarantee that I'll pass the exam?

No, we don’t. We know that a few schools do, but be careful to read the fine print – they generally say “we guarantee that you can keep taking classes over and over again if you fail the exam.” Nobody has time for that! Others may say that “as long as you pass all of these tests and do this extra work, we’ll give your your money back if you fail the exam.” But if you DON’T pass their tests, you often aren’t even allowed to sit for the state exam! Here’s the difference: CRES offers a quality experience, either in the Classroom or via Webinars, and because we do that, over 90% of our students pass the State Exam on the first try. Also, because our classes are so popular, we don’t have a bunch of empty seats to allow for people to repeat the course over and over!

Do you offer discounts if more than one person signs up at the same time?

Signing up with another person is a great way to improve your odds of succeeding in the class! We make it even more attractive by offering a 10% discount to any 2 or more people who sign up on the same day, and let us know that they are signing up together. Once you’ve all signed up, send us an email on that same day, and we’ll either refund 10% of your registration (if you pay in full) or take 10% off of your final payment (if you use the payment plan). So you can save $60 each if you purchase our Platinum Package!

When are the classes offered?
With between 1 and 4 classes starting every week, we have a lot of options for you to choose from! We have morning, evening, and Saturday classes. To see our full schedule for the next few months, click here.