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Can a Felon Become a Real Estate Agent in New Hampshire?

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Becoming a real estate agent can be a lucrative and stable career, 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 New Hampshire. 

  • 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 New Hampshire, the estimated annual salary of a real estate agent is $104,744. 

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.  

New Hampshire’s licensing requirement for real estate agents:

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

  1. “Has attained the age of 18;
  2. Has successfully completed an examination administered or approved by the commission which demonstrates satisfactory knowledge and understanding of the principles of real estate practice. The commission, or designee, shall only accept for licensure, an applicant who shows proof of completion of 60 hours of approved study which shall have been completed prior to the date of the applicant’s examination;
  3. Has been employed full time by an active principal broker for at least one year within 5 years of the date of application; or
  4. Has at least 2,000 part-time hours as a licensed salesperson in this state within 5 years of the date of application; or
  5. Proves to the commission that the applicant has experience equivalent to the experience required by . . . [(1) or (2)];
  6. Demonstrates no record of unprofessional conduct;
  7. Furnishes any evidence required by the commission relative to good reputation for honesty, trustworthiness and integrity;
  8. For a broker acting as a principal broker or a managing broker, but excluding associate brokers or a corporation, partnership, limited liability company, or association, files a surety bond with the commission which shall be held in accordance with RSA 331-A:14;
  9. Submits evidence acceptable to the commission of at least 6 separate real estate transactions in which the applicant was actively involved and was compensated or proves to the commission that the applicant has equivalent experience; and
  10. Complies with the criminal records check under RSA 331-A:10-a.” – N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 331-A:10

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 New Hampshire 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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