Becoming a real estate agent can be a lucrative and stable career in Montana, 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 Montana.
- 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 Montana, the estimated annual salary of a real estate agent is $98,838.
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.
Montana’s licensing requirement for real estate agents:
In Montana, the state requires the following for a person to be eligible to obtain a real estate license:
- “Licenses may be granted only to individuals considered by the board to be of good repute and competent to transact the business of a broker or a salesperson in a manner that safeguards the interests of the public . . .
- [M]ust be at least 18 years of age;
- must have graduated from an accredited high school or completed an equivalent education as determined by the board;
- must have been actively engaged as a licensed real estate salesperson for a period of 2 years or have had experience or special education equivalent to that which a licensed real estate salesperson ordinarily would receive during this 2-year period as determined by the board, except that if the board finds that an applicant could not obtain employment as a licensed real estate salesperson because of conditions existing in the area where the applicant resides, the board may waive this experience requirement;
- shall file an application for a license with the department; and
- shall furnish written evidence that the applicant has completed 60 classroom or equivalent hours, in addition to those required to secure a salesperson’s license, in a course of study approved by the board and taught by instructors approved by the board and has satisfactorily passed an examination dealing with the material taught in each course. The course of study must include the subjects of real estate principles, real estate law, real estate finance, and related topics.
- The board shall require information it considers necessary from an applicant to determine honesty, trustworthiness, and competency.” – Mont. Code Ann. § 37-51-302 (West)
- “In addition to proof of honesty, trustworthiness, and good reputation, an applicant whose application is pending shall satisfactorily pass an examination.” – Mont. Code Ann. § 37-51-303 (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 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.