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Can a Felon Become a Real Estate Agent in Oregon?

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

  • 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 Oregon, the estimated annual salary of a real estate agent is $108,912. 

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.  

Oregon’s licensing requirement for real estate agents:

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

  1. Receive:
    1.  “[c]ertification by the applicant that the applicant has a high school diploma or a certificate for passing an approved high school equivalency test such as the General Educational Development (GED) test or the international equivalent, or other equivalent education acceptable to the commissioner;
    2. Proof that the applicant:
      1. Has successfully completed the basic real estate broker’s educational courses required by the agency by rule; and
      2. Has passed the real estate broker’s examination required by the agency by rule; and
    3. Certification that the applicant is at least 18 years of age.
  2.  A real estate broker who has acquired three years of active experience as a real estate broker may supervise for up to 90 days the professional real estate activity of another real estate licensee due to unforeseen circumstances or the temporary absence of a sole principal real estate broker, as provided by the agency by rule . . .
  3. A license for a real estate broker, principal real estate broker or licensed real estate property manager may be granted only to an individual who is trustworthy and competent to conduct professional real estate activity in a manner that protects the public interest. As a condition of licensing, the commissioner may require proof of competence and trustworthiness that the commissioner deems necessary to protect the public interest.
  4. In implementing this subsection, the commissioner shall require fingerprints and criminal offender information of an applicant for initial licensing and may require fingerprints and criminal offender information of an applicant for license renewal. Fingerprints acquired under this subsection may be used for the purpose of requesting a state or nationwide criminal records check under ORS 181A.195.”-  Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 696.022 (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 Oregon 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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