Illinois requires you to complete 75 hours of prelicensing education to receive your real estate broker license. In addition, 12 hours of continuing education is required every two years for license renewal. With so many options available in the Land of Lincoln to meet your real estate license requirements, we narrowed it down to the six best online real estate schools in Illinois based on course features, cost, support, and customer reviews.
- The CE Shop: Best overall real estate school in Illinois for agents looking for a quality online education
- Real Estate Express: Best real estate prelicensing resources for agents who want to jump-start their career
- Mbition: Best customizable continuing education for agents seeking to renew a real estate license in Illinois
- Real Estate Institute: Best for agents looking for fast-track learning options
- Kaplan: Most variety of learning style formats for Illinois real estate agents at any stage of their career
- Real Estate School of Illinois: Most affordable Illinois real estate school for budget-conscious agents
Things you need to know before enrolling for your Illinois real estate license education: Along with education requirements, there are additional steps to completing your real estate licensure. Check out our Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming a Real Estate Agent in Illinois to help you get started.
How We Evaluated the Best Real Estate Schools in Illinois
Convenience and quality should go hand-in-hand with a side of ranch for your online education to be successful. Understanding that everyone learns in different ways, we sought out the top online Illinois real estate schools for aspiring and experienced Illinois real estate agents seeking affordable, personalized education and time efficiency. The schools listed here stand out for diverse course formatting and detailed approach to the real estate specificity of Illinois.
With a 4.59 out of 5 rating, The CE Shop is the best overall online real estate school in Illinois. It earned our top spot for being the most affordable accredited school that offers all real estate education types, from the required prelicensing classes and the post-licensing courses for Illinois real estate license renewal to continuing education and exam prep with interactive content.
Additional criteria used to determine which are the best online real estate schools in Illinois are as follows:
40% of Overall Score
Pricing is based on the cost for pre- and post-licensing classes, continuing education courses, and exam prep.
The level of courses provided by each school according to licensing stage: prelicensing classes for new agents and continuing education for licensed agents looking for license renewal options and career development.
30% of Overall Score
Consists of various formatting and learning styles for online courses to meet the specific needs of the agent as well as ease of course accessibility.
15% of Overall Score
Convenience and attainability of customer service for technical support and instructor assistance.
15% of Overall Score
Based on customer feedback for each program, with particular attention to value for money, to certify the course meets user satisfaction.
The CE Shop: Best Overall Online Real Estate School in Illinois
Whether you are becoming a real estate agent in Illinois for the first time or are already licensed, The CE Shop has all the resources you need, and is therefore our best overall online real estate school for Illinois. Since its courses are self-paced and available on all devices, you decide when and where classes take place.
The CE Shop’s custom learning platform, LEAP 2.0, provides results-driven education using knowledge retention tactics. The result is high-quality and engaging education, tailored feedback, and interaction within each of the courses.
People loved the self-paced learning format of The CE Shop and felt that it fit nicely into a busy schedule. Others wanted more advice and interaction with instructors; if that sounds like you, check out the Real Estate Institute for opportunities to work more closely with local experts.
As a national provider, The CE Shop offers tiered packages as well as individual courses tailored to your educational needs.
Prelicensing: Starting at $325
All prelicensing packages include the 75 required hours of prelicensing classes required to become a licensed real estate agent in Illinois, as well as business e-books, career resources, downloadable resources, digital flashcards, real estate glossary, study schedules, and instructor-led webinars.
- Basic: $325 includes everything above
- Standard: $385 includes everything in the Basic package plus exam prep and pass guarantee
- Value: $425 includes everything in the packages above plus a building business course
- Premium: $585 includes everything in the packages above plus 45 hours of post-licensing classes
- Individual courses: $129 to $419
Post-licensing: Starting at $99
- Full 45-hour post-licensing package: $269
- Individual courses: $99 each
Managing Broker Prelicensing: $259
Continued Education: Starting at $19
- Two full 12-hour package broker courses: $99
- Full 24-hour package for managing broker courses: $195
- Individual courses: $19 to $115 based on credit hours
Exam Prep: $69
- Available for salesperson exam only
- Can be purchased for state or national real estate exam prep, or a combination of both for $69 to $119
Real Estate Express: Best Prelicensing Resources
Real Estate Express is our pick for best Illinois real estate prelicensing courses because of its course features, Career Hub, and exam prep course. Courses allow for self-paced study or livestream classes and direct instructor assistance for each course.
Real Estate Express acknowledges the hurdles you may encounter in your career as a real estate agent and assists in educating on how to tackle them. Their Career Hub provides insightful information about starting your real estate career, salary, marketing yourself as a real estate broker, and more. They also offer Exam Prep Master, which can be purchased separately or bundled for additional preparation before you take the Illinois real estate exam.
Discount: For Fit Small Business readers, use promo code FSB25 for 25% off your purchase of any Real Estate Express class. Click here to get started.
Individuals enjoyed the additional features offered by Real Estate Express’ tiered packages and felt they could tailor courses to their needs, although some were hoping for more on-demand video learning to break up the text in the self-paced courses. Try out Kaplan if you are looking for video-based learning options.
Although pricing may appear complicated, Real Estate Express pricing differs from the other Illinois real estate schools in giving you full-course packages with the ability to add on features to enhance your learning experience.
Prelicensing: Starting at $419
All packages include the required 75 hours of prelicensing classes, three e-books, and instructor support.
- The Basics: $419 includes everything above
- Exam Preparation: $518 includes everything in The Basics plus the school’s “Pass or Don’t Pay” guarantee, exam prep, and exam cram video and workbook
- Exam Preparation Plus: $773 includes everything in the packages above plus 45-hour post-licensing courses, dictionary, exam cram video, and instructor Q&A
- Ultimate Learning: $953 includes everything in the packages above plus printed textbook and one year professional development membership
- Livestream Packages: $953 includes everything in the Exam Preparation package
- Individual courses: $99 to $300
- 45 hour Post-License Package: $150 includes a 45-hour course
- Individual courses: $99 each
Managing Broker Prelicensing: Starting at $149
- Managing Broker Pre-License Topics: $149 for 45 hours of courses
- Managing Broker Basics: $200 includes 45 hours of courses plus e-books, instructor support, and a discussion board
Continued Education: Starting at $19.95*
- 14-hour Broker Renewal Package with NAR Ethics: $99.95
- 24-hour Managing Broker Renewal Package with NAR Ethics: $99.95
- Illinois McKissock CE PLUS Membership: $130 includes access to all continuing education (CE) courses for Illinois, a real estate coaching tool, access to the pro-series OnDemand webinar library, how-to videos, Sherri Johnson 90-day Boot Camp, over 100 job aids (worksheets, scripts, and checklists), product and service discounts, and knowledgeable education specialists
- Individual courses: $19.95 to $119.95 based on credit hours
*Offered through its partner company, McKissock Learning
Exam Prep: $99
Mbition: Best for Customizable Continuing Education
With your Illinois real estate license renewal coming up every two years, high-quality online real estate schools like Mbition are essential to have in your back pocket. As customizable as the toppings on a deep-dish pizza, Mbition allows you to choose the courses that are most interesting to you while also fulfilling your license requirements.
Mbition courses offer interactive, engaging content with real-world examples, which is perfect for agents continuing their real estate career education. Plus, the CE courses are self-paced and can be completed using any device, so you can fulfill your education requirements in-between showings or client phone calls.
Mbition (formerly known as OnCourse Learning) was praised for its flexibility and affordability, but if you are looking for schools offering real estate prelicensing classes in Illinois, Mbition can’t assist. Check out Real Estate Express or Real Estate School of Illinois for prelicensing courses.
Although Mbition does not offer as many course options as its competitors, they have an array of individual courses to fulfill Illinois CE hour requirements.
Continued Education: Starting at $20
- Individual courses: $20 to $49
Exam Prep: Starting at $59
- National Exam Prep: $59
- National and State Exam Prep: $129
Real Estate Institute: Most Program Options
The major draw of Real Estate Institute is the flexible scheduling options they offer so your real estate classes can fit your schedule. Complete your prelicensing classes with the Fast-Track option in two weeks, take the Directed-Track course in either five or eight weeks, or study at your own pace.
Courses include live webinars with qualified instructors as well as self-paced material and quizzes to gauge and reinforce learning. The school also has professional development and high-quality continuing education courses to build your Illinois real estate knowledge.
Real Estate Institute was rated very highly by many individuals for instructor knowledge, ease, and content. One user found it difficult to follow the fast-paced instruction. If you feel that you would like to go at your own pace rather than learn from a live instructor, take a look at The CE Shop or Mbition.
The Real Estate Institute is unique in offering courses in packages tiered based on time-to-complete rather than features or add-ons like other real estate schools in Illinois.
Prelicensing: Starting at $599
All packages include 75 hours of courses and weekly live question and answer (Q&A) sessions with instructors:
- Directed-Track Live Class or Webinar, Broker Pre-License Program: $629 for a five- or eight-week program with the option to attend classes in person at multiple locations or take real estate classes entirely online via live online webinars
- Fast-Track Live Class, Broker Pre-License Program: $629 for a two-week program with the option of in-person all-day classes or live online webinars
- Flex Path, Broker Pre-License Program: $599 self-study and online webinar program with a flexible schedule
- 60-hour Broker Pre-License Topics (Self-Study): $449
- 15-hour Broker Pre-License Applied Real Estate Principles – Webinar: $250
Managing Broker Prelicensing: Starting at $200
- Complete 45-hour Managing Broker Pre-License Program: $350 includes self-study and webinar option
- 30-hour Managing Broker Pre-License Topics – Self-Study: $200
- 15-hour Managing Broker Pre-License Applied Management and Supervision – Webinar: $250
Continued Education: Starting at $25
- All Online, Anytime CE (12 hours for brokers): $85
- Class and Self-Study (12 hours for brokers): $109
- All Online, All-in-One Package (24 hours for managing brokers): $249
- Individual courses: $25 to $164
Exam Prep: Starting at $49*
- Basic Package: $49 includes 500 questions, comprehensive explanations, glossary, practice exam, detailed exam reports, flashcards
- Premium Package: $59 includes Basic Package plus video
*Offered through ExamSmart
Kaplan: Most Course Format Variety
Not everyone learns the same way, and Kaplan recognizes that. Kaplan is the best Illinois real estate school for the most variety of learning formats. Depending on your educational preferences, you can choose whether to go at your own pace using on-demand video, livestream classes, online self-paced instruction, opt for the home study option, or use the formats in combination.
If you want to study from the comfort of your own home, but with an in-person feel, the livestream online instruction model could be an especially great fit. The school’s materials are created and taught by seasoned successful real estate professionals, so you can rest assured that the educational content is relevant and high quality.
Students loved the options provided by Kaplan to mix and match learning environments to fit their educational needs. Other students found it challenging to get customer support when needed, so if you’re looking for seven-day access to customer service, take a look at The CE Shop.
Similar to other national online real estate schools, Kaplan provides multiple packages and individual courses to choose from, but also offers a variety of formatting options to personalize your learning experience.
Prelicensing: Starting at $489
All packages include 75 hours of Illinois prelicensing courses, online test engine, and interactive group study.
- Illinois 75-hour Broker Licensing with Master Exam Prep (self-paced online or home study): $489
- Career Builder Package (self-paced online or home study): $689 includes everything in the Basic package plus real estate accelerator course
- Individual courses: $189 to $429 depending on credit hours
Post-licensing: Starting at $17.50
- Full 45-hour course package: $299
- Individual courses: $17.50 to $119
Managing Broker Prelicensing: Starting at $219
- Illinois 30-hour Managing Broker Licensing (self-paced online or home study): $219
Continuing Education: Starting at $17.50
- Illinois 12-hour CE Package (for brokers or managing brokers): $69
- Individual courses: Available in self-paced online or on-demand video formats from $17.50 to $49 depending on credit hours
Exam Prep: Starting at $49
- Real Estate Study Package: $49
- Complete Illinois Real Estate Drill and Practice QBank (for brokers or managing brokers): $99
Real Estate School of Illinois: Most Affordable Online School
Although the “s” in Illinois is silent, the “s” in savings is not. The Real Estate School of Illinois’ low price guarantee promises that if you find a school with lower prices, they will beat it by 10%. This ensures you will receive a high-quality online learning experience at the best price possible. This school offers only Illinois real estate classes, so their material is written entirely for the state’s principles and regulations. Online classes can be accessed on any device and are formatted for self-paced study via online formatting.
Many enjoyed the course and found it was easy to follow and understand the content, while others were disappointed with the instructor access and wanted more interaction. If an interactive learning environment is something you seek, consider Real Estate Express or Real Estate Institute for their livestream course options.
Although the Real Estate School of Illinois does not offer as many course options as its competitors, they can compete with the lowest prices for Illinois real estate prelicensing classes based on the school’s low price guarantee.
Prelicensing: Starting at $399
- 75-hour prelicensing course package: $399
- Individual course packages: $169 to $299