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Can a Felon Become a Real Estate Agent in Alabama?

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Becoming a real estate agent can be a lucrative and stable career in Alabama, but the first step to such a successful career is obtaining a real estate license in your desired location. Having a felony record can serve as a roadblock on this journey, but may not be a complete bar to the profession in certain jurisdictions. 

This blog is not legal advice, but instead outlines general state requirements for people with felonies to better understand how to receive a real estate broker license. The question this blog aims to answer is whether persons with felonies can obtain a real estate license in Alabama. 

  • Role of real estate agent 
  • Average salary 
  • General requirements to be a real estate agent in America 
  • State specific requirements  
  • Recommended action 

Role of a estate agent: 

Real estate agents facilitate the buying and selling of commercial and personal properties. When working with a seller, a real estate agent may be referred to a listing agent. As a listing agent, the typical duties can include: 

  • Conducting market research to determine an ideal asking price;
  • Identifying assets that are the property’s attractive magnets and pinpointing improvement locations;
  • Staging the property;
  • Photographing the property;
  • Listing the property on the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS);
  • Advertising real estate properties to prospective buyers;
  • Hosting property showings and open house events;
  • Drafting and preparing documents, such as offers, contracts and closing statements;
  • Communicating with appraisers, escrow companies, lenders and home inspectors.

A real estate agent may also represent buyers. When representing buyers, real estate agents may be responsible for the following: 

  • Coordinating open houses;
  • Arranging meetings with prospective buyers;
  • Interviewing buyers to understand their needs and wants;
  • Scheduling property showings;
  • Coordinating appraisals and inspections;
  • Negotiating property repair requests and offers;
  • Drafting and reviewing documents and contracts;
  • Guiding buyers through the closing process.

Average salary: 

The average base salary of a real estate agent in the United States is estimated to be $105,100. In Alabama, the estimated annual salary of a real estate agent is $101,656. 

General Requirements: 

The requirements to obtain a real estate license varies state by state, however, the general requirements are the person be of good moral character, have some specified level of experience and specified education in real estate. The applicant must submit personal and professional information in their application, pass the state real estate license exam, undergo a background check, and pay a fee. The real estate license must be renewed pursuant to the state’s criteria.  

Alabama’s licensing requirement for real estate agents:

In Alabama, the state requires the following for a person to be eligible to obtain a real estate broker license: 

  1. “Is trustworthy and competent to transact the business of a broker or salesperson in a manner that safeguards the interest of the public.
  2. Is a person whose application for real estate licensure has not been rejected in any state on any grounds other than failure to pass a written examination within the two years prior to the application for real estate licensure with Alabama. If the applicant’s rejection for real estate licensure in any state is more than two years from the date of application for licensure with Alabama, then the applicant may not be issued an Alabama real estate license without the approval of the commissioners.
  3. Is a person whose real estate license has not been revoked in any state within the two years prior to application for real estate licensure with Alabama. If the applicant’s real estate licensure revocation in any state, including Alabama, is more than two years from the date of application for licensure with Alabama then the applicant may not be issued an Alabama real estate license without the approval of the commissioners.
  4. Is at least 19 years old.
  5. Is a citizen of the United States or, if not a citizen of the United States, a person who is legally present in the United States with appropriate documentation from the federal government, or is an alien with permanent resident status.
  6. Is a person who, if a nonresident, agrees to sign an affidavit . . .” – Ala. Code § 34-27-32

The Alabama Code also specifies that the state reserves the right to reject a person with a felony record if the felony involves a crime the state determines to be of moral turpitude. Additionally, there are examination and education requirements that Alabama may require from the applicant. 

Recommended Action:

If you are interested in obtaining a real estate license, it is best to consult with the state’s guidelines. If you do have a felony conviction, always remember to be open and transparent on the application, as lying can reduce your chances of obtaining the license. 

So what do you think about this blog post about whether a felon can become a real estate agent in Arizona and the requirements for the license? Have you or someone you know been in that situation? What was that experience like and how did they deal with it? Please tell us in the comments below.

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