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Can a Felon Become a Real Estate Agent in Louisiana?

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

  • 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 Louisiana, the estimated annual salary of a real estate agent is $100,687. 

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.  

Louisiana’s licensing requirement for real estate agents:

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

  1. “Licenses shall be granted only to persons, partnerships, limited liability companies, associations, corporations, or other legal entities that bear a good reputation for honesty, trustworthiness, integrity, and competence to transact the real estate activities defined in this Chapter, in such a manner as to safeguard the interest of the public, and only after satisfactory proof of such qualifications has been presented to the commission.
  2. When an applicant has been convicted of forgery, embezzlement, obtaining money under false pretenses, larceny, extortion, conspiracy to defraud, or theft, or has been convicted of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude in any court of competent jurisdiction, such untrustworthiness of the applicant, and the conviction, may in itself be sufficient grounds for refusal of a license.
  3. When an applicant has made a false statement of material fact on his application, such false statement may in itself be sufficient grounds for refusal of a license.
  4. Grounds for suspension or revocation of a real estate license in Louisiana or any other jurisdiction, or the previous suspension or revocation, of a real estate license in Louisiana or any other jurisdiction shall also be grounds for refusal to grant a license.
  5. No individual real estate broker or salesperson’s license shall be issued to any person who has not attained the age of eighteen years. No individual real estate broker or salesperson’s license shall be issued to any person who is not a high school graduate or the holder of a certificate of high school equivalency.
  6. All applicants for an initial individual real estate broker license shall have first been licensed for four years, with two of the four years occurring immediately preceding submission of a broker license application, and shall show evidence satisfactory to the commission that they have satisfactorily completed at least one hundred fifty hours of instruction, or its equivalent, in real estate courses approved by the commission. Satisfactory completion includes passage of an examination on course contents.
  7. At least thirty hours of the broker educational requirement shall be obtained in coursework emphasizing broker responsibilities.
  8. Each person obtaining an initial real estate broker’s license shall complete forty-five post-license education hours within one hundred eighty days after the initial license date . . .
  9. All applicants for a salesperson’s license shall show evidence satisfactory to the commission that they have completed ninety hours or its equivalent of instruction in real estate coursework approved by the commission prior to licensure. Satisfactory completion includes passage of an examination on course contents.
  10. Each person obtaining an initial salesperson’s license shall complete forty-five post-license education hours within one hundred eighty days after the initial license date . . .
  11. Every applicant for a license shall submit a sworn statement attesting that he has knowledge of and understands the provisions of the Fair Housing Act of 1968 and the Louisiana Equal Housing Opportunity Act,1 and any amendments thereto or any successor legislation subsequently following, and that the applicant shall not induce or attempt to induce any person to sell or rent any dwelling by representations regarding the entry or prospective entry into an area, subdivision, or neighborhood of a person or persons of a particular race, color, religion, or national origin.” – La. Stat. Ann. § 37:1437

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 Louisiana 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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