This is an in-depth comparison of the 5 best online real estate schools that are approved in Illinois. I will show you the pros and cons of each Illinois real estate license school and which are my top picks.
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Best Real Estate Schools in Illinois
Real Estate Express
The CE Shop
1. Real Estate Express
First Choice For The Best Online Real Estate Schools In Illinois
My first pick for best Illinois online real estate schools is Real Estate Express. They are not only my top choice for Illinois but also the best real estate school overall for the whole US. There are many reasons they are the top in the state. You can read all of the pros and cons below and if you wish to learn more about them, see my Real Estate Express review as well as read reviews from students.
- Great Reputation In Illinois: When looking for the top real estate school in Illinois check the school’s track record. There is no online real estate school in the state that has a better track record than Real Estate Express. They have been in helping people learn how to sell real estate since 1992 so they know exactly what they’re doing.
- Five Illinois Package Options: I love the fact that for Illinois, this real estate school offers five package options for their pre-licensing course. This gives you an amazing array of choices which allows you to customize your Illinois pre-licensing education to meet your needs. If you just need the 75 hour pre-license course then choose their Basics package if you need more, you can go up to their Ultimate Learning option which has so much included.
- Both Online And Livestream: Unlike other online Illinois real estate schools, Real Estate Express not only has a 100% online self-paced course, you can also take advantage of their Livestream option as well. You get all of the benefits of their online course plus get the full Livestream experience.
- Great Illinois Course Pricing: For pricing compared to other Illinois real estate schools the Real Estate Express pre-licensing course for Illinois is very competitive. Most of the time, they run a sale with either 30% to 40% off so their pricing is on the lower end of the scale. With what you get for your money it’s well worth it.
- Full 75 Hour Illinois Curriculum: One thing you can be sure of with this online real estate school is that they offer the complete 75 hour curriculum as required by the Illinois Division of Real Estate (DRE). You will get everything you need to learn how to pass the Illinois real estate licensing exam.
- Q & A With Illinois Instructors: Meet with your Illinois course instructor with these live Q & A webinar sessions. You get a full 40 hours per month of live time with Illinois instructors to help you over any hurdles you may be facing as you take the pre-licensing course. This is a very popular feature and rated highly by students.
- High Rating By Illinois Students: Former students who have taken the Illinois pre-licensing real estate course by Real Estate Express give it high praise. With over 2,800 student reviews at the time this was written they give this Illinois course a 4.45 out of 5 star rating which is very high.
- Illinois Exam Passing Guarantee: This is always a great benefit to using this Illinois real estate school. They offer a full Illinois course guarantee which means if you do not pass the Illinois Broker real estate licensing exam you can get the full cost of your course refunded. They offer the best guarantee on the market by far.
- Illinois Exam Prep: Taking the pre-licensing course will help you meet the state requirements and teach you much of what you need to know to pass the state licensing exam. However, it’s always very important to get extra exam prep to prepare you further. With Real Estate Express, you will get all of the Illinois exam prep you will need to make sure you’re ready to take your exam.
- Less Interactive Content: The actual course material and features that are offered by Real Estate Express are extremely good. As stated above, this Illinois real estate school knows the industry so well and provides everything you need to get the proper education. If there is anything that could be deemed a negative, it’s that their content is not as interactive as AceableAgent. The problem is, AceableAgent does not offer Illinois pre-licensing education so Real Estate Express is the best choice considering everything else out there.
2. The CE Shop
Number Two Top Online Real Estate Schools In Illinois
Next is The CE Shop. This Illinois real estate school is featured because they tend to have good pre-licensing courses no matter what the state. Their Illinois pre-licensing course is also no exception. Below I list the positive and negatives about this school’s Illinois course. You will see why they’re number two on my list. Want to know more about them? See The CE Shop reviews from former students.
- Full Illinois Pre-Licensing Course: The Illinois pre-licensing real estate course that The CE Shop has put together contains the complete 75 hours of education you’re going to need to become a real estate agent in the state.
- Four Illinois Course Choices: It’s great to have choices and when it comes to getting your real estate education, having options is even better. The Illinois pre-licensing course offered by this real estate school has four packages to choose from allowing you to get the exact education you need.
- Illinois Exam Prep Edge: Get in-depth Illinois exam prep with the Exam Prep Edge system. This will help prepare you for the Illinois real estate licensing exam. It’s possible to pass the state exam without exam prep, but most people need this extra preparation to pass on the first try.
- Illinois Instructor Live Webinars: These weekly webinars put you in touch with actual Illinois instructors who will go over important topics related to the national portion of the state exam. Use the live weekly question and answer period to ask questions and have then answered in a fun interactive environment.
- Career Resources For Illinois: Learn to start your career as an Illinois real estate agent with useful career resources covering many topics related to working in the real estate industry.
- Great Illinois Course Platform: The Illinois pre-licensing course provided by this real estate school is delivered on a great platform. It’s very easy to use and makes taking the course easy. Featuring progress tracking, bite-sized course segments, and interactive quizzes, this Illinois real estate course is very well done.
- Business Ebooks From Illinois Experts: Learn to grow your business as an Illinois agent with these monthly ebooks. Each book is filled with actionable content that will help you do more in your real estate career.
- 45 Hour Illinois Post-License: Once you become an Illinois real estate agent you will be required to take 45 hours of post-license training. The CE Shop’s Premium package even includes this post-licensing education so you will not have to look for another school when the time comes.
- No Illinois Course Guarantee: The CE Shop does not offer a refund guarantee on the full course if you do not pass the Illinois real estate license exam. They will cover the cost of your initial licensing exam should you fail and have to retake it but they do not reimburse for the cost of the course as you find with Real Estate Express.
3. Kaplan Illinois
The Kaplan school (see Kaplan review) has been providing prospective Illinois real estate agents with pre-licensing training for many years. This is one of their strengths. However, they’re not my favorite online real estate school in Illinois but they’re better than most so I need to mention them in this guide.
- Two Illinois Course Options: The Illinois pre-licensing course offered by Kaplan features two package options. Only one package is for the online course and the other is for a home study course. If you prefer a home study textbook course, then they do have this option available.
- Full 75 Hour Illinois Course: The Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation requires that you have 75 hours of pre-licensing education. Kaplan’s course does provide the full 75 hours to satisfy the state requirements.
- Top Notch Illinois Exam Prep: The interactive testing QBank offered by Kaplan is one of the better test prep platforms and will provide you with simulations of various exam environments. All of this is to help you prepare for the Illinois broker real estate license exam.
- Illinois Study Group: Join in these live webinars with other Illinois students and instructors to help reinforce what you have learned in the course. Also use this time to get questions answered by expert Illinois instructors.
- Higher Price For Illinois Course: The cost for the Kaplan Illinois pre-licensing course is higher than either The CE Shop or Real Estate Express. While not the highest priced among all Illinois real estate schools, they’re still on the higher end of pricing.
4. Real Estate Institute
The Real Estate Institute has been teaching students in a classroom setting since 1992 so they have been around for some time. That’s the reason I have added them to this list. You can read about their pluses and minuses below to see if they would work for you.
- Long Track Record In Illinois: The Real Estate Institute of Illinois has been providing real estate education for many years. They do have a lengthy track record which is always a plus because you want experts who know what they’re doing.
- Unique Illinois Package Choices: A big difference with this Illinois real estate school is that they have several different package options available. They offer a self-paced online course, a self-study webinar based course and a classroom course. If you’re looking for other options besides an online course, this is good.
- Full Illinois Course: No matter which of their options you choose, the pre-licensing courses offered have the complete 75 hours of education required by the state of Illinois.
- Illinois Instructor Live Q & A: Weekly live webinars are held so you can have access to your Illinois instructor. This is a great time to get questions answered and to discuss issues you may be having as you take the course.
- Higher Priced: The cost for the Illinois pre-licensing courses offered by this school are much higher than the others listed above. Ranging from $599 to $629 when this was written, this puts them at the higher end of the spectrum and just too high for what you get.
- Only One Online Option: This whole guide is about the best online real estate schools in Illinois so we are focusing on online options. While the Real Estate Institute has some creative package options, they do offer only one package for their self-paced online course. This gives you fewer choices if you should want to customize your education.
- Not Fully Self-Paced: The self-paced online course offered by the Real Estate Institute is called Flex Path. Part of this course is 15 hours of webinars which must be taken in six sessions. This means you will need to schedule this time. While this may not be a big deal, it does mean the course is not fully self-paced and some scheduling will need to be done.
I have included the Chicago Real Estate School (CRES) next on my list of top online real estate schools in Illinois because they have been around since 2008 and I think should be mentioned.
- Textbook Offered In Audio: If you would rather not read and want the course contents read out loud, the Chicago Real Estate School has this option available as part of their course.
- Three Illinois Course Options: The Chicago Real Estate School offers three package options for their Illinois pre-licensing course. Only their more expensive option comes with practice exam questions for test prep though.
- Good Student Feedback: One strength of this Illinois real estate school is that their former students do give them good feedback. At the present time, they have close to 500 reviews of the school with a 4.8 out of 5 star rating. This is quite high.
- Not Fully Self-Paced: It’s clear that this is an online real estate school and course. However, when you first sign up, you’re only signing up for part I of their course. You will need to sign up for part II when you have completed the first course and part II is a required 15 hours of webinars. These webinars are done in 4 sessions and all must be scheduled which means this course is not fully self-paced.
- Hard To Understand Packages: As stated above, there are two courses you must sign up for when choosing this school which are part I and part II. The problem is, it’s hard to understand this when on their website. It’s actually quite confusing.
- Higher Priced: While not the highest priced online Illinois real estate school, the price is still on the high side compared to other schools. When you calculate the cost of part I and part II, the cost is near $500.
Illinois Real Estate School FAQ
What Are The Steps To Become A Real Estate Agent In Illinois?
- To become a license real estate broker in Illinois you will need to meet certain requirements and follow these four steps:
- Step 1: Be sure that you meet the requirements as specified by the Illinois Division of Real Estate and that is you must be at least 18 and be a high school graduate or have a GED.
- Step 2: Complete and pass 75 hours of pre-licensing education from an approved real estate school.
- Step 3: Take the Illinois real estate license exam and pass with a score of 75 or higher.
- Step 4: Apply to be a real estate broker by completing the real estate broker application that is found online.
How Long Does It Take To Get A Real Estate License In Illinois?
It can take anywhere between 2 to 5 months to get your real estate license and become a real estate agent in Illinois. This time may be shorter or longer and will depend on how much time you dedicate to the process.
How Much Does It Cost To Get A Real Estate License In Illinois?
To get a real estate license in Illinois you will incur some costs. These costs are listed below and are averages. Costs may be higher or lower depending on which real estate school and test prep you may use.
- The cost for your 75-hour pre-licensing course will be around $350.
- Illinois Broker Exam Fee: $55.00
- License Application Fee: $125.00
- Membership to MLS: $312
- Membership to NAR: $150
The total cost to get your real estate license in Illinois will be $992.00. As stated above, this can be higher or lower and will vary depending on the cost of the real estate school you use for your education.
How Much Are Real Estate Schools In Illinois?
Real estate school in Illinois can range in price from $230 to over $600.
Do You Need A Degree To Become A Real Estate Agent In Illinois?
A degree is not required to get your real estate license in Illinois and become a real estate broker.
Is It Hard To Become A Real Estate Agent In Illinois?
No, there is nothing hard about becoming a real estate agent in Illinois. You will need to study and prepare for your state exam but it’s not hard if you will dedicate yourself to the process.
What’s The Average Salary Of A Real Estate Agent In Illinois?
Real estate agents in Illinois earn between $42,000 to $67,000 per year with the median average income being $44,173.