Becoming a real estate agent can be a lucrative and stable career in Michigan, 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 Michigan.
- 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 Michigan, the estimated annual salary of a real estate agent is $104,834.
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.
Michigan’s licensing requirement for real estate agents:
In Michigan, the state requires the following for a person to be eligible to obtain a real estate license:
- “The department shall not issue a real estate broker’s license to an individual who has been convicted of embezzlement or misappropriation of funds.
- A real estate broker shall maintain a place of business in this state. If a real estate broker maintains more than 1 place of business in this state, the real estate broker must obtain a branch office license for each of those additional places of business . . .
- Before issuing a license, the department may require and procure satisfactory proof of the business experience, competence, and good moral character of an applicant for a license under this article if the applicant is an individual or of each principal if the applicant is a business entity . . .
- [T]he department shall require that each of those individuals pass an examination developed by the department or contracted for with a recognized outside testing agency that establishes, in a manner satisfactory to the department, that he or she has a fair knowledge of the English language, including reading, writing, spelling, and elementary arithmetic; a satisfactory understanding of the fundamentals of real estate practice and of the laws and principles of real estate conveyancing, deeds, mortgages, land contracts, and leases; the obligations of a broker to the public and a principal; and the law defining, regulating, and licensing real estate brokers and salespersons . . .
- A passing score on an examination, or on a portion of an examination if the examination is given in separate parts, is valid for 1 year from the date of the examination.
- The department shall require proof that each applicant for a real estate broker’s license, if the applicant is an individual, or each principal if the applicant is a business entity, has the equivalent of 3 years of full-time experience in the business of real estate . . .” – Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 339.2505 (West)
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 Michigan 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.