There are over 12,000 "real estate agents" in Chicago. I put real estate agents in quotes because there are over 12,000 people who have a real estate license, it doesn't necessarily mean they are a real agent.
I guarantee if you ask 5 people you know someone likely has a license or knows a family friend who has one. The reality is, to get a real estate license is not the hardest thing to do in the world. And a lot of people have a license just to help friends and family out. You know, earn a few extra bucks on the side. Weekend warriors! A.K.A. soccer Mom's haha. I'm just joking, but at the same time, I take what I do very seriously. There is so much to know when you are a full-time agent. To this day, I am still learning on daily basis and that won't ever stop. I write this because it amazes me how many agents I run into who have no idea what they are doing. They have a license just to make some side cash but at the same time, they are representing the biggest financial decision of peoples lives! I don't know about you, but I wouldn't trust a part time doctor to operate on me!!!
I understand my last example is an extreme one but I want it to hit home. Real estate is looked at as a sexy and glamorized job because of shows like Million Dollar Listing but in reality, it's a grind and a lifestyle. It's a major commitment of time, energy, and resources. There are a lot of very good agents in the city of Chicago. People who have been doing this for a long time and know how to protect you and best serve you. Agents who know what to expect and can help guide you through a transaction with your best interests in mind. These are the people you should be interviewing.
That brings me to my next point; INTERVIEW AT LEAST 3 AGENTS! I'm dead serious about this. You will be spending a lot of time with this person, you have to trust them and know that they have your best interests in mind. Not just chasing a commission check. In Chapter 4 of my Chapter Resources section of my website I have a list of questions you should be asking any agent you interview. Here is the link for you as well: https://www.mikeopyd.com/chapter-4-1/
Remember this is the biggest and most important financial decision of your life, do not trust it to just anyone!