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Can a Felon Become a Real Estate Agent in Mississippi?

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

  • 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 Mississippi, the estimated annual salary of a real estate agent is $97,226. 

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.  

Mississippi’s licensing requirement for real estate agents:

In Mississippi, 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 who present . . . satisfactory proof to the commission that they are trustworthy and competent to transact the business of a real estate broker or real estate salesperson in such manner as to safeguard the interests of the public . . .
  2. [S]hall be age twenty-one (21) years or over, and have his legal domicile in the State of Mississippi at the time he applies; 
  3. [S]hall be subject to the jurisdiction of this state, subject to the income tax laws and other excise laws thereof, subject to the road and bridge privilege tax laws thereof; 
  4. [S]hall not be an elector in any other state; 
  5. [S]hall have held a license as an active real estate salesperson for twelve (12) months prior to making application for the broker’s examination hereafter specified; 
  6. [S]hall have successfully completed a minimum of one hundred twenty (120) hours of courses in real estate as hereafter specified; 
  7. [S]hall have successfully completed the real estate broker’s examination as hereafter specified; and 
  8. [S]hall have successfully been cleared for licensure by the commission’s background investigation as provided in Section 73-35-10; and 
  9. [S]ign a form under penalty of perjury stating that the applicant will not hire any real estate salespersons for thirty-six (36) months from the date of approval of his or her active real estate salesperson’s license . . .
  10. An applicant who has not held an active real estate salesperson’s license for a period of at least thirty-six (36) months prior to submitting an application shall have successfully completed a minimum of one hundred fifty (150) classroom hours in real estate courses, which courses are acceptable for credit toward a degree at a college or university as approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.” – Miss. Code. Ann. § 73-35-7 (West)

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 Montana 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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