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Can a Felon Become a Real Estate Agent in North Dakota?

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

  • 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 North Dakota, the estimated annual salary of a real estate agent is $103,816. 

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.  

North Dakota’s licensing requirement for real estate agents:

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

  1. “Licenses and license renewals may be granted only to persons who bear a good reputation for honesty, truthfulness, and fair dealing and who are competent to transact the business of a real estate broker or a real estate salesperson in such manner as to safeguard the interest of the public, and whose real estate license has not been revoked in this or any other state within two years before the date of application. To determine the competency of applicants, the commission shall prescribe and hold examinations at designated times and places . . .
  2. [A]n applicant for a broker’s or salesperson’s license must be at least eighteen years of age . . .
  3. Must have been actively engaged as a licensed real estate salesperson for a period of at least two years preceding the date of application; or
  4. Must have had experience as determined by the commission to be substantially equal to that which a licensed real estate salesperson would ordinarily receive during a period of two years . . .
  5. An applicant for a broker’s license must have successfully completed an additional sixty hours in courses of study approved by the commission . . .
  6. An applicant for a broker’s license must have satisfactorily fulfilled the educational requirement before taking the broker’s licensing examination.” – N.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 43-23-08 (West)
  7. “Conviction of an offense does not disqualify a person from licensure under this chapter unless the commission determines that the offense has a direct bearing upon a person’s ability to serve the public as a real estate broker or salesperson, or that, following conviction of any offense, the person is not sufficiently rehabilitated under section 12.1-33-02.1.” – N.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 43-23-08.1 (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 North Dakota 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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