One of the most important steps to becoming a real estate sales agent is to get your real estate license. This path requires pre-licensing education, an exam, an application, and a background check. If you have prior convictions on your record, don’t worry. You may still be able to pursue a career as a real estate agent by providing additional documentation.
Can a Felon become a Real Estate Agent?
Yes, a felon can become a professional real estate agent. However, the rules and regulations governing this process vary from state to state. Each state in the U.S. has its own terms and conditions when it comes to granting permission to felons seeking real estate licenses. Generally, many states grant real estate licenses for those with a felony conviction if certain conditions are met:
- Non-Violent and Non-Sexual Crimes: Typically, states are more likely to grant a real estate license to individuals with non-violent and non-sexual felony convictions.
- Not a Threat to Public Safety: The state may require the felony to be deemed as not posing a threat to public safety.
- Time Elapsed: A significant factor is the time elapsed since the conviction. In many cases, a certain number of years (often five or more) must pass between the conviction and the license application.
- Completion of Sentence: Generally, you must have completed your sentence, including probation or parole.
However, it’s essential to note that crimes related to real estate, business, or financial management, such as fraud or forgery, often disqualify applicants from obtaining a real estate license.
What States Allow Felons to Get a Real Estate License?
Each state makes its own regulations and process for getting a real estate license, including the requirements for those with a felony conviction. The good news is that none of the states automatically disqualify an applicant solely because of a felony conviction. Here’s a state-by-state breakdown of whether felons can get a real estate license:
|State||Allows Felony on Real Estate License|
|Alaska||Yes, 7 years after the sentence|
|Delaware||Yes, 5 years after conviction|
|Georgia||Yes, 2 years after the sentence|
|Idaho||Yes, 5 years after conviction|
|Iowa||Yes, 5 years after the sentence|
|Massachusetts||Yes, 10 years after conviction|
|Mississippi||Yes, 5 years after conviction|
|New Jersey||Yes, 5 years after conviction|
|New Mexico||Yes, 3 years after conviction|
|New York||Yes, 3-5 years after conviction|
|Oklahoma||Yes, 5-20 years after conviction|
|Utah||Yes, 5 years after the sentence|
Please keep in mind that this information is subject to change, and it’s crucial to verify current requirements with your state’s real estate licensing authority.
Becoming a real estate agent as a felon is possible, but it often involves meeting specific criteria, such as the nature of the crime, the time that has passed since the conviction, and the completion of sentences and programs. If you’re considering a career in real estate and have a felony on your record, research your state’s regulations and consult with the appropriate authorities to understand your eligibility.