Agent Choice: “License and Registration Please”

Before you sign that listing agreement, or start working with a Realtor® to find your next home, make sure the agent is licensed by your state’s real estate authority.

In Illinois that’s the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. Visit the Department’s website and confirm your agent is licensed as a “Real Estate Broker” or “Real Estate Salesperson.” You can do this by entering the agent’s last name, selecting Real Estate Salesperson (or Real Estate Broker) from the ‘Select a Profession’ dropdown, then clicking ‘Search.’

Confirm the agent is listed as either a salesperson or broker, his or her license status is “active”, and the license expiration date is in the future.

Also note whether the agent has ever been disciplined (if so, this is something to ask about). According to the Department, “if the ‘Ever Discplned’ column contains a ‘Y,’ there has been disciplinary action taken against this license. Click on the ‘Y’ to view details of the disciplinary action.”

An active broker or salesperson license is no guarantee that the agent is right for you. But consumers should consider it a prerequisite to working with any agent.

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