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Can a Felon Become a Real Estate Agent in Arizona?

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Becoming a real estate agent can be a lucrative and stable career in Arizona, 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 Arizona. 

  • 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 Arizona, the estimated annual salary of a real estate agent is $107,343. 

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.  

Arizona’s licensing requirement for real estate agents:

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

  1. “If for an original real estate broker’s license, at least three years’ actual experience as a licensed real estate salesperson or real estate broker during the five years immediately preceding the time of application . . .”
  2. Complete “a real estate salesperson’s course that is prescribed and approved by the commissioner and that is at least ninety classroom hours, or its equivalent, of instruction in a real estate school certified by the commissioner and have satisfactorily passed an examination on the course.” – Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 32-2124
  3. An applicant must be at least eighteen years of age. – Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 32-2124
  4. “The commissioner shall ascertain by a written, electronic or other examination method that an applicant for a real estate license has:
    1. An appropriate knowledge of the English language, including reading, writing and spelling, and of arithmetical computations common to real estate practices.
    2. At a minimum, an understanding of the general purpose and legal effect of any real estate practices, principles and related forms, including agency contracts, real estate contracts, deposit receipts, deeds, mortgages, deeds of trust, security agreements, bills of sale, land contracts of sale and property management, and of any other areas that the commissioner deems necessary and proper.
    3. A thorough understanding of the obligations between principal and agent, the principles of real estate and business opportunity practice, the applicable canons of business ethics, the provisions of this chapter and rules adopted pursuant to this chapter.
    4. An appropriate knowledge of other real estate practices and principles as determined by the commissioner.” –  Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 32-2124

The Arizona code states that the “commissioner shall not issue a license to a person who has been convicted of a felony offense and who is currently incarcerated for the conviction, paroled or under community supervision and under the supervision of a parole or community supervision officer or who is on probation as a result of the conviction.” –  Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 32-2124

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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