7 min read Apr 30, 2022

Top Real Estate Brokers and Brokerages in Illinois

✍️ Editor’s Note: In Illinois, home sales have climbed by approximately 11.5 percent in the last year. Choosing the right real estate brokerage can help you leverage this growth. To assist you in making your decision, our guide summarizes some of the best real estate brokers in Illinois.

» Save: American have listed $3.5 billion worth of properties on Houzeo.com in 2021. Start your FREE listing NOW!

In 2021, Illinois house sales increased by 11.8 percent, while median prices increased by 11.1 percent, as homes sold faster than in 2020.

Because Illinois has 48,000 real estate agents and brokers, finding the best will take some time. That is why we have conducted extensive research on the best real estate brokers in Illinois along with some brokerages in order to make your next real estate transaction a breeze.

» In this guide, we will cover:

Top Real Estate Brokers in Illinois

1. Vanessa Carlson

🔥 Best Overall

Vanessa Carlson

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  • 100% online and cover major Illinois MLS'
  • 5 Stars 5/5 36 reviews

Vanessa Carlson

💰 Sales volume: $68 million

👩‍⚖️ About: Vanessa Carlson is a real estate broker based in Illinois. She covers some major MLS’ and has 5-star consumer ratings. She has been in the industry for the past 16 years. As per realtor.com, she has 466 listings under her belt.

🥇 Accolades:  She launched a discount flat fee brokerage to provide exceptional online listing FSBO services. She is additionally associated with Houzeo which is America’s #1 Flat Fee MLS listing service.

iRealtyFlatFeeBrokerage

🏡 About: iRealty is a discount brokerage that offers sellers affordable MLS packages and a 0.75 percent closing rebate to buyers. For a first-time seller, they offer full-service alternatives as well as additional tools such as a yard sign and all legal documentation required by FSBO sellers.

Houzeo.com

💰 Save Thousands on Commission: Venessa offers her services through Houzeo’s plans typically for a small flat fee. This will save you thousands. If your buyer is unrepresented, you save the buyer agent commission as well.

📣 Maximum Exposure: Listings get syndicated to the MLS, Zillow, Realtor.com, Redfin, Trulia, and hundreds of other websites. Houzeo also has nifty social media sharing tools. No other platform gives you this much exposure.

 Fast Listing & Changes: Through Houzeo, Venessa offers all her services 100% online. Listing is easy and changes are fast. So you can focus on what is most important – your sale.

📱 Cutting-edge Technology: Through Houzeo, Venessa provides various tech-enabled solutions. These include:

  • IntelliList Listing Management System: Lets you manage your listing 100% online.
  • Houzeo Showings: Manage showing appointments online.
  • Houzeo Offers: All offers are summarized online. You can view and compare offers, or counter an offer. In a multiple-offer situation, you can also call for the highest and best offers.
  • Buyer Search: Buyers can contact you directly on Houzeo.com instead of going through a real estate agent.
  • Houzeo Settlement Agent Platform: Guides you to your closing.

No other Realtor comes close to offering such features.

👉 Our Take: Venessa is our top pick because her services deliver an unbeatable combination of savings, and tech features, and covers all the major MLS’ in Illinois.

»SAVE: Start your free listing on Houzeo.com today!

  • Covers some major MLS’ in Illinois
  • 16 years of experience
  • All her services are 100% online from listings, changes, showings, and offer management

Vanessa Carlson covers the following MLS’ in Illinois:

  • Mid America Regional Information Systems, Inc. MLS-IL
  • MRED MLS-IL

2. Kimberley Taylor

Best local knowledge

Kimberley Taylor

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  • Nationally Featured in Top Agent Magazine
  • 5 Stars 5/5 (236 reviews)

Kimberley Taylor

💰 Sales volume: $32 million (2021)

👩‍⚖️ About: Kimberley Taylor is a managing real estate broker in Illinois. She boasts of 20 years of experience in the industry and manages her firm NextHome First Class. She has excellent testimonials mentioning her quick closing and stellar local knowledge.

🥇 Accolades: She is the recipient of the Expert Network Distinguished Realtor award and was featured in the Top Agent Magazine. She sold about $32 million worth of properties in 2021 with an average of 1.5 days closing!

NextHome First Class

🏡 About: NextHome is a real estate company servicing the north and northwest Illinois. They offer full-service options including market evaluation, marketing, agent selection, and much more for buyers and sellers.

 

  • Nationally featured in the Top Agent Magazine
  • Receipient of Expert Network Distinguished Realtor Award
  • Sold an average of 32 million in 2021
  • Average closing time is 1.4 days
  • Owner of NextHome First Class

Kimberley Taylor has 5-star reviews on Zillow.

Kimberley Taylor is an active real estate broker in Illinois. Her main service areas include:

  • Ogle County
  • Carroll County
  • Winnebago County
  • Jo Daviess County
  • Stephenson County
  • Eleroy
  • Freeport
  • Mc Connell
  • Baileyville
  • Dakota
  • Ridott
  • Cedarville

3. Edward Lukasik

Good Customer Reviews

Edward Lukasik Jr

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  • #1 RE/MAX agent in IL
  • > 21 years experience
  • 5 Stars 5/5 (97 reviews)

Edward Lukasik Jr

👨‍⚖️ About: Edward Lukasik Jr. is a broker and owner of RE/MAX Professionals in Bolingbrook IL with 21 years of experience in the real estate market. He is known for closing quickly within an average of 1.5 days. He has excellent reviews for his process expertise and negotiation skills. He is technologically advanced and uses tech to maximize client exposure.

🥇 Accolades: He is recognized as the #1 RE/MAX agent in Illinois and #1 in Will County for having the most sold listings. He is also the recipient of the RE/MAX lifetime achievement award and is the member of their prestigious hall of fame.

RE/MAX

🏡 About RE/MAX: RE/MAX (short for Real Estate Maximums) is a well-known real estate company in the world. RE/MAX, which has more than 125,000 agents across the country, was named the top real estate brokerage franchisor by the Franchise 500 for the year 2020.

💰 Commission: The company was established with a maximum commission concept, meaning agents would keep nearly all of their commissions and pay their broker a share of the office expenses, rather than paying their broker a share of the commission of each sale, which is common in residential real estate.

  • Owner of RE/MAX professionals in Bolingbrook IL
  • 21 years experience
  • #1 agent in Will County for most listings sold
  • #1 RE/MAX agent in the state of IL 2020
  • RE/MAX hall of fame member
  • RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Award

Edward Lukasik Jr. has 5-star ratings on Zillow.

He is an active broker owner in Bolingbrook IL.

4. Ray Young

Best for investment properties

Ray Young

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  • 19+ Years Top Producer with Dickerson Nieman Realtors
  • $154 million worth of closed sales

Ray Young

💰 Sales volume: $154 million

👨‍⚖️ About: Ray Young is a real estate agent licensed in Illinois and Wisconsin. He boasts of being the top producer of Dickerson and Nieman for more than 19 years. He also acts as a full-time REALTOR being a member of the IAR, and WAR.  He specializes in new construction homes,  investment properties, foreclosures, and acreage.

🥇 Accolades: He has been a consistent recipient of the Double Diamond and Diamond awards. He has over $154 million worth of closed sales under his belt and is a member of the prestigious President’s club.

Dickerson and Nieman

🏡 About: Dickerson and Nieman is a real estate firm catering to buyers and sellers. They hold the title of being #1 in Rock River Valley. They are a team of agents and real estate professionals known especially for perfecting the needs of clients needing new construction and relocation services. They also hold the title of one of the top residential real estate firms in the country.

  • Top producer with Dickerson and Nieman Realtors for more than 19 years
  • Double diamond and diamond award recipient
  • Member of the President Club
  • Member of the RAAR, IAR, WAR
  • $154 million worth of closed sales

No credible reviews were found.

Ray Young is a licensed REALTOR and real estate broker in Illinois and Wisconsin. His service areas include:

  • Rockton
  • Rockford
  • Roscoe

5. Lisa McKinney

Most experienced

Lisa McKinney

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  • Double Centurion Award Winner
  • > 30 years experience
  • 4.75 Stars 4.9/5 12 reviews

Lisa McKinney

👩‍⚖️ About: Lisa McKinney is a designated managing broker-owner active in Mount Vernon, IL with over 30 years of experience. For the past five years, she has held the record for the Double Centurion Award. She is regarded as a commercial specialist for her local knowledge and for leveraging cutting-edge technologies to stay on top of market trends.

Century 21

🏡 About: Century 21 is one of the world’s largest real estate brokerage firms. Century 21 has over 11,600 independent franchise real estate brokers working with over 122,000 real estate agents as of April 2021. Their international offices span over 80 countries.

👨‍⚖️ Experienced Agents and REALTORS: According to Century 21 reviews, Century 21 real estate agents are highly regarded and well-informed. Century 21 Realtors are likely to provide a positive experience. Regardless of whether or not your agent is new to the real estate industry, you can rest assured that they have the support of a well-established company.

  • 30 years of experience
  • Century 21 All-Pro Real Estate
  • 2017,18,19,20,21 Double Centurion Award Winner

Lisa McKinney has 5-star ratings on Zillow.

Lisa McKinney is a managing broker active-owner in Mount Vernon Illinois. Her main service areas include:

  • Belle Rive
  • Benton
  • Bluford
  • Bonnie
  • Chester
  • Dale
  • Dix
  • Mt Vernon
  • Mc Leansboro
  • Mount Vernon
  • Nason
  • Opdyke
  • Wayne City
  • Woodlawn

What is a Real Estate Broker?

Real estate brokers and real estate agents are used interchangeably, but they vastly vary in definition. A real estate broker is a licensed real estate professional in their own right who’s also a licensed real estate agent.

The primary difference between a real estate broker and an agent is that a broker can start their own firm and hire real estate agents to work with.

For a real estate agent to become a licensed real estate broker, they have to take additional training courses and acquire an experience of a certain number of years. The exact requirements to become a real estate broker vary statewide.

While real estate agents focus on the sales aspect of the transaction, brokers specialize in the technical aspects, such as drafting purchase agreements, contracts, escrow arrangements, etc.

Types of Brokerages in Illinois

In Illinois, there are a variety of brokerages to choose from. We’ve handpicked a few to help you with your real estate transactions.

Largest Independent Brokerage

Largest Independent Brokerage

Baird and Warner Real Estate, Inc.

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  • #16 largest independent brokerage in the country
  • 2.5 Stars 2.5/5 24 reviews

Baird and Warner Real Estate, Inc. 

💰 Total sales volume: $6.3 billion

🏡 About: Baird and Warner have been active in the Chicago real estate market for a total of 167 years! They are a real estate company in Chicago, that serves both buyers and sellers. They are the nation’s 16th largest independent brokerage.

💰 Seller Services: In addition to the critical MLS listing, they construct a personalized website for your property that contains specifications, neighborhood analysis, photos, and full videos. You will also receive one-of-a-kind marketing materials such as innovative advertising, flyers, postcards, and brochures.

🛒 Buyer Services: In addition to immediate access to listings, you may explore neighborhoods and learn about market trends by using their useful filters. Furthermore, you can get pre-approved immediately through their website to increase the likelihood of your offer being accepted. They also provide title services through the title service team, which has over 1000 attorneys working to ensure that the property is free of debentures and that nothing interferes with ownership of your property.

 

  • 167 years experience
  • Excellent local coverage
  • Useful free tools
  • Caters to buyers and sellers
  • Inconsistent agent quality
  • Inconsistent franchise quality

Baird and Warner Naperville have an average rating of 2.5 out of 5 reviews on Yelp.

Baird and Warner Real Estate, Inc. is active in Chicagoland and neighboring areas.

Best Brokerage for Buyers

Top Brokerage for Buyers

Keller Williams Realty Infinity

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  • Franchise company of the largest real estate brokerage of the country
  • 2 Stars 1.8/5 (112 reviews)

Keller Williams Realty Infinity

💰 Total sales volume: $2.8 billion

🏡 About: Keller Williams Realty Infinity is a real estate brokerage in Illinois catering to buyers and sellers. They have a knowledgeable and professional team of real estate agents catering to you throughout the buying process.

👩‍💻 Advantage: Their state-of-the-art systems make the process of purchasing a home as simple and straightforward as possible. Additionally, they have the backing of an internationally known and trusted company, Keller Williams.

Keller Williams

🏨 About: Keller Williams Realtors is a well-known international real estate company that also happens to be the largest residential real estate firm in the United States of America. The brand has a culture that is agent-centric, technology-driven, and education-based, and it recognizes and rewards its agents for their contributions.

  • Brand Value
  • Marketing savvy and tools to get your home top-tier exposure
  • An allied partner looking out for you and your home throughout the selling process
  • Good customer service
  • Poor ratings on various portals
  • Many customer complaints

Keller Williams has an average rating of 2 out of 5 on TrustPilot.

Keller Williams is available worldwide.

Fastest Growing Brokerage Firm

Fastest Growing Brokerage in Illinois

@properties

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  • INMAN innovator award recipient
  • #1 brokerage firm in Chicago

@properties

💰 Sales volume: $9.6 billion1

🏨 About: @properties, founded in 2000, is one of Chicago’s fastest-growing brokerage firms. In addition to closing, mortgage lending, and title insurance, they provide a comprehensive range of services for buyers and sellers. Their agents are well ahead of the curve in terms of innovation, and they want to have a positive impact on the real estate community by providing a one-stop-shop for all of your needs.

🏡 Relocation services: They offer a range of tools and resources for relocation including destination services, rental assistance, customized market data, marketing, and inventory tools, vendor management, and staging among others.

[1] Data from April 2020

 

  • Good agent quality
  • Relocation services
  • Mortage lending
  • Title services

 

No credible reviews were found.

@properties is a real estate company with offices throughout the Chicagoland area.

Top Commercial Brokerage Firm

Top Commercial Brokerage Firm

Compass Real Estate

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  • #2 for closed sales and market share in Chicagoland
  • $4.13 billion sales volume

Compass, Chicagoland Inc.

💰 Total sales volume: $4.13 billion

🏡 About: Compass, Chicagoland a licensed real estate company in Illinois that utilizes the Internet as a marketing medium with the use of real estate technology. As of the first half of 2021, they have expanded widely across the Chicagoland region adding more than 70 agents to their pre-existing 1400. They rank #2 in the area for maximum market share and closed sales in Chicagoland.

Compass is also the first company to have built a proprietary mobile app for real estate agents.

🛒 For Sellers: Compass Real Estate operates similarly to any other traditional real estate company when it comes to selling your home. Their agents will handle every aspect of your sale, including marketing, holding open houses, fielding offers, negotiating, and finally closing with you.

👩‍💻 Technology: Compass Real Estate uses technology to sell homes, which sets it apart. Your agent will benefit from their data-driven strategy and analytical tools. It will sell quickly when combined with your agent’s local knowledge.

🧭 Compass Concierge Program: A seller may discover that minor repairs or improvements to their home can significantly increase their profit. But not every seller has the funds to make those changes. In this case, clients can use Compass Real Estate’s Concierge program. They will pay for upgrades and repairs up front.

🔏 Private Exclusives: Compass is known for its Compass private exclusives section of listings. These are homes that aren’t on the open market but are available to buyers who work with a Compass agent. Because they aren’t advertised, they are cheaper. Uneven market conditions may favor a private exclusive.

  • Traditional real estate agents with sleek branding
  • Excellent commercial database
  • Light up for sale signs for your yard
  • The large, well-funded company
  • Have attracted some top workers from other companies
  • Not available everywhere
  • Will pay typical commissions unless going through Houzeo
  • May not be an innovative technological experience
  • You may want to deposit your escrow money with your own attorney or title company

No credible reviews were found.

Compass operates nationwide. They have strong coverage in Chicagoland. 

Flat Fee MLS Real Estate Brokerage

Flat fee MLS real estate brokerage

Redefy

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  • Listing Fee: $3500 flat fee
  • In-person support
  • 4.5 Stars 4.5/5 (36 reviews)

Redefy

🏡 About: Redefy is a flat fee MLS real estate brokerage in Illinois that provide full-service MLS packages. It caters to buyers and sellers and provides a listing at a flat fee of $3500. However, the platform becomes expensive when a house is sold for over $1 million. The selling fee in such a case is 1% of the total sale price.

💻 Additional features: The company does provide in-house support which helps sellers with accurate pricing and other features like staging home, comparative market analysis (CMA), showing service, yard sign, lockbox, and more.

👨‍⚖️ Agent policy: Like some other low-commission real estate agents, Redefy has a process where limited agents cater to a large volume of customers. This poses a risk to service quality. Also, Redefy works on a team-based model rather than a one-agent policy.

🔍 Explore more: Real estate facts you should know

Pros

  • Decent listing fee for low value homes
  • In-house support
  • Flexible add-on features


Cons

  • 1% commission for homes with value $1M+
  • Average customer service quality due to high customer volume
  • Limited coverage
  • Non-refundable deposit of $500

Redefy is rated 4.5 out of 5 on Yelp.

Redefy covers only the region of Chicago in the state of Illinois. 

👨‍⚖️ Want Traditional Broker Service with Minimum Interaction?

Houzeo makes it possible!


Houzeo makes deals with top-rated, local agents across the country to get them to give you lower prices on Houzeo’s cutting-edge technology and 100% online platform. Houzeo’s tech-centric broker partners charge just the upfront flat-fee, and no commission for all DIY plans.

How to Choose the Right Real Estate Brokerage in Illinois

For Home Sellers

Approximately 89 percent of homeowners use the services of a real estate agent or broker when buying or selling a home, making the selection of the most qualified agent critical to a successful real estate transaction.

ParametersDescription
1. InquireWhen choosing a real estate broker or agent, inquire about their knowledge of the local market and your property type.
2. Marketing strategyQuestion the marketing strategy, methods of communication, references, and connections a broker has with other real estate professionals before making a decision.
3. Full-time ProfessionalMake certain to hire a professional who is available on a full-time basis.
4. GuidanceIdeally, a realtor will be able to guide you through the process of searching for and purchasing a house.
5. Local RealtorLocal realtors who work for themselves should not be dismissed. When compared to a larger real estate company, they may have more intimate knowledge of a community.

In addition to the questions listed above, there are several other factors to consider when hiring a real estate agent or brokerage.

Availability of Real Estate Agents or Brokerages: While there are competent part-time agents who sell properties, you must hire someone who can show your home at a time that is convenient for you.

Offer Suggestions: Other desirable features attract buyers in an area like pools, screened-in porches, etc. Pools, screened-in porches, and other desirable features are known to attract buyers to the area. They will advise on which rooms or features to emphasize or de-emphasize.

Similarly, ask the agent if there are any improvements you could make to the house to make it more desirable. The best agents will often make these suggestions without your input.

Local Real Estate Brokerages: Hire or retain a local expert. These agents will also be aware of the typical selling and listing prices in the area.

Other than that, ask a local brokerage or your friends and family if they know anyone who has sold many homes or businesses there. Also, other ideas include looking through local real estate publications to see which agents have the most listings.

For Home Buyers

In contrast, an inexperienced agent may make things more difficult for you (and your wallet) than they need to be during the home buying process.

There is a specific set of abilities that distinguishes the best real estate agents from the rest when it comes time to buy a house. Is there a list of these abilities? Let’s find out.

Point to RememberDescription
Good CommunicationBuying a home is just as much a team effort as it is a one-on-one effort between the buyer and the agent, and the buyer's agent and the selling agent. Don't forget to look for an agent who is a good communicator and can answer all of your questions about the home-buying process.
Reliable ExperienceWhen interviewing real estate agents, be sure to not only inquire about the length of time they have been in the business of buying and selling homes, but also inquire about their specific experience.
Strong Local Market KnowledgeEach market is unique. In order to navigate the nuances of your local market, you'll need a real estate agent who is familiar with local market trends and patterns. Asking about local market knowledge is a good start. Ask about the basics, like average time on market for new listings and average sale prices, but also about any local market trends that you should know about. and the time it takes for their clients to find and close on a new home. Choose a real estate agent who has a track record of quickly placing buyers in homes (and getting them a great deal, too).
Positive ReviewsOnline reviews are a great resource when choosing a realtor. Read as many reviews as you can before choosing a real estate agent, and look for past clients who have only positive things to say about their experiences. It's important to distinguish between complaints about the realtor and the stress of buying a home.
Personal RapportUltimately, you want a realtor you like. You'll be spending a lot of time together, so choose someone you enjoy being around and who truly understands your needs. If you get bad vibes, trust your gut and find someone else.

Find Top Real Estate Brokers In Illinois With Houzeo

Working with the largest or the biggest real estate company has its own disadvantage. Often people have these 2 two questions: Real estate brokerages near me and how to find a good real estate broker? Understand, that it may be one of the biggest real estate companies near you, but the realtor’s experience might not be enough. As we have already read about the companies where the agent- experience may not be the same everywhere. Also, the agents may show interest deal only if the deal is extremely profitable.

In this case, a top-rated real estate agent is invaluable in helping you reach your goals, whether you’re buying or selling a home for the first time or the fifth.

With Houzeo, instead of paying the average listing rate of around 3%, you’ll only pay a flat fee which will save you not only thousands of dollars but also give you a great buying–selling experience.

Price ComparisonHouzeoOther Real Estate Brokerages
Listing Agent Commission / Fee$3295%-6%
Recommended Buyer Agent Commission2.5%2.5% – 3.0%

💰 With Houzeo, you save $12,000 more on an average U.S. home >> LIST NOW <<

What does Houzeo Offer? – A Quick Glimpse

💻 Houzeo’s tech-centric broker partners charge just the upfront flat fee, and no commission for all DIY plans (except in minimum service states)
👩🏻‍💻 Offers typically are routed to the brokers. Houzeo’s Offers Platform allows your broker to present the offer to you instantly
💰 Houzeo Offers Platform allows sellers to Counter an Offer and Request Highest & Best Offers Online
📱 Houzeo Showings is available both on Houzeo’s website and on the Houzeo mobile app (learn more)
🕛 Available only on weekdays up to 1 pm, and only in select MLS’. After you’ve purchased the Gold or Platinum plans, email support@houzeo.com with the subject line “Expedited Listing Request: “. Service is free for Gold and Platinum plan customers

Eager to Know How Houzeo Works?

Check out the following video for all the details you need:

What is Houzeo?

An overview of what the platform is all about

Start Your FREE Listing NOW!

Final Word: Why choose a Flat Fee Model?

Home prices in Illinois are rising quickly and steadily, as the state’s median prices go up. The Illinois market is brimming with potential. On the other side, finding the right right real estate broker in Illinois can be challenging. In addition, there are numerous brokerages in Illinois nowadays, each with its unique set of advantages.

A seller should evaluate aspects like as listing fees, listing time, services offered, customer service, coverage, marketing, and technology before selecting a brokerage.

This is where our list of the top Illinois real estate brokers and brokerages comes into play.

Remember that the typical agent commission in Illinois is roughly 6%, split 50/50 between the listing and buyer agents. So, if you sell your house in Illinois for $300,000, the commission will cost you $18,000. Choosing Flat Fee agents, such as Vanessa Carlson of Houzeo, will help you avoid this commission.

If you wish to avoid paying this commission, you could sell FSBO in Illinois on Houzeo. Houzeo not only helps suppliers, but also customers, by providing a choice of add-on possibilities.

Furthermore, Houzeo is completely online and automated, allowing it to meet the needs of a wide range of sellers and buyers. The platform is also the premier Flat-Fee MLS supplier that has revolutionized the way FSBOs function in the real estate business.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does an Illinois real estate broker make?

A real estate managing broker in Illinois earns between $120,000 and $190,000 a year, according to various sources. However, in some areas, such as Chicago, where a broker can earn up to $250k per year, they rise.

Can I become a real estate broker without being an agent in Illinois?

Beginning real estate brokers in Illinois must join an Illinois real estate brokerage and work under the supervision of a managing broker. A managing broker has successfully worked in the field, completed 60 hours of further training, and passed the Illinois managing broker's exam.

Can I be my own real estate agent in Illinois?

You can start building your own brokerage once you've earned your Illinois real estate broker license.

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