Becoming a real estate agent can be a lucrative and stable career in Massachusetts, 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 Massachusetts.
- 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.
The average base salary of a real estate agent in the United States is estimated to be $105,100. In Massachusetts, the estimated annual salary of a real estate agent is $115,755.
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.
Massachusetts’s licensing requirement for real estate agents:
In Massachusetts, the state does not issue a real estate broker license unless:
- If “the applicant is an individual . . . he shall have satisfactorily passed a written examination conducted by the board or an independent testing service designated by the board, and, in the case of an application for a broker’s license by an individual resident of the commonwealth . . .
- Every individual applicant for a license as a broker who is required to take an examination therefor shall, as a prerequisite to taking such examination, submit proof satisfactory to the board that he has been actively associated with a real estate broker for a period of 3 years as a real estate salesman and that he has completed additional courses in real estate subjects approved by the board, such courses to total 40 classroom hours of instruction.”
- “Each applicant shall furnish evidence of good moral character . . .
- No license shall be issued unless the application has been on file with the board at least ten days.
- No broker’s license shall be issued to any individual under eighteen years of age.
- Every applicant for a license shall furnish evidence that he is a citizen of the United States or shall present to the board a copy of his declaration of intention to become a citizen of the United States, certified by the clerk of the court in which it was filed, or a certificate from the Immigration and Naturalization Service of the United States . . .”
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 Massachusetts 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.