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Can a Felon Become a Real Estate Agent in Delaware?

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

  • 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 Delaware, the estimated annual salary of a real estate agent is $105,874. 

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.  

 Delaware’s licensing requirement for real estate agents:

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

  1. “Shall be competent to transact real estate services by meeting the requirements of this section and the rules and regulations.” –  Del. Code Ann. tit. 24, § 2907 (West)
  2. “Shall not have been the recipient of any administrative penalties regarding real estate services, in this or any other jurisdiction, including but not limited to fines, formal reprimands, license suspensions or revocation (except for license revocations for nonpayment of license renewal fees), probationary limitations, and/or has not entered into any ‘consent agreements’ which contain conditions placed by a licensing commission or board on that applicant’s professional conduct and practice, including any voluntary surrender of a license. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Commission, after a hearing, may determine whether such administrative penalty is grounds to deny licensure.” –  Del. Code Ann. tit. 24, § 2907 (West)
  3. “Shall not have any impairment related to drugs, alcohol or a finding of mental incompetence by a physician that would limit the applicant’s ability to undertake that applicant’s practice in a manner consistent with the safety of the public.” – Del. Code Ann. tit. 24, § 2907 (West)
  4. “May not have a criminal conviction record, nor pending criminal charge relating to an offense that is substantially related to the practice of providing real estate services Applicants who have criminal conviction records or pending criminal charges shall request appropriate authorities to provide information about the conviction or charge directly to the Commission. However, if after consideration of the factors set forth under § 8735(x)(3) of Title 29 through a hearing or review of documentation the Commission determines that granting a waiver would not create an unreasonable risk to public safety, the Commission, by an affirmative vote of a majority of the quorum, shall waive this paragraph . . .” –  Del. Code Ann. tit. 24, § 2907 (West)
  5. “Is at least 23 years of age.”
  6. “Has the experience requirements as specified under the rules and regulations.”
  7. “Has the financial prerequisites set forth in the rules and regulations.”
  8. “Has successfully completed a prescribed prelicensing course of instruction for brokers including real estate principles and practices and Delaware real estate law.”
  9. “Has passed a uniform national and state examination for brokers, as is contractually arranged for, with a nationally recognized independent testing service, by the Division; and”
  10. “Has provided such information as may be required on an application form designed and furnished by the Commission with the approval of the Division. No application form shall require a picture of the applicant; require information relating to citizenship, place of birth or length of State residency; nor require personal references.”
  11. “An applicant who is applying for licensure as a broker under this chapter shall submit verification of the applicant’s responsibility for the day to day management and supervision of a brokerage organization and meet the experience and education requirements as defined in the rules and regulations.” –  Del. Code Ann. tit. 24, § 2907 (West)

The code also specifies that if it is “found to its satisfaction that an applicant has been intentionally fraudulent or that false information has been intentionally supplied, it shall report its findings to the Attorney General for further action.”

Recommended Action:

If you are interested in obtaining a real estate broker 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 Delaware 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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