Getting your real estate license is a fun and exciting way to start a new career. But what can you do when you’re looking for a fresh start to cover up a jaded past? If you have a felony conviction on your record, you may be wondering about whether you’ll be able to qualify. A felon in real estate may seem like a long-shot for beginning anew.

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Have no fear. The presence of a felony on your record doesn’t necessarily prevent you from starting over. You have an opportunity, just like everyone else. Here’s how.

Getting Started

Taking courses for your real estate license can all happen online. This allows you to complete your necessary education anywhere and on your own schedule. If you want to start a new career, becoming a real estate agent is a fantastic option.

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Disclose to the Real Estate Commission

Speaking with the real estate commission will give you a better idea of your ability to qualify for a career as a real estate agent. In most cases, if you disclose the felony conviction as required, you will still be eligible. A felon in real estate is not unheard of. However, it can’t hurt to do a little research before your official interview.

The commission can give you a better idea of whether it’s worth putting in the time and effort to become an agent. While it’s not likely that a felony will hurt your chances, it’s nice to know upfront before spending the money on licensing courses and exams.

Letting them know about your situation also shows integrity and demonstrates good moral character. These details are crucial steps in the process of qualifying for a career as a real estate agent.

Disclose Your Felony

Every state requires you to be of good moral character when starting a career in real estate. This may seem counter-intuitive to being a felon in real estate. Your first step to proving your potential is to disclose your felony conviction from the start. Explain your specific conviction to the commission and the circumstances surrounding it. 

You have to be forthright about any actions that were either illegal or unprofessional, even without a felony conviction. You’re not going to be the only person who divulges a checkered past.

What you say won’t automatically disqualify you from a career in real estate. However, refusing to disclose this information could lead to a forfeiture of your license later. Better to be forthright than to hide the information about your conviction.

felon in real estate - open handcuffs

The real estate industry requires professionals who are honest and trustworthy. If you pass your licensing exam and become certified, you’ll need to be able to meet the responsibilities and obligations of the profession for the benefit of your clients. These obligations include full disclosure of home sales. So, it’s essential to demonstrate your ability to disclose information about your past so that you are proven to be honest.

Determination of Character

Before you sit for the exam, you will be asked to disclose any relevant information. You may also be required to submit fingerprints or background checks so that the information you provide can be compared to state records. A determination of your character will be made based on how this information corroborates your previously shared history. 

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It doesn’t matter what the felony or misdemeanor conviction involved. You will be required to disclose it if you want to be considered for a real estate license. In other words, you will threaten your chances of qualifying if you do not disclose. Also, your license may even be revoked later if a determination of character is impossible.

While a felony conviction is a serious offense, it doesn’t prevent you from having a fresh start. In order to be a felon in real estate, you must demonstrate earned integrity. This will help the state determine your character. The qualities you exhibit when disclosing your personal information will prove you are honest and trustworthy. 

When you have already paid your debt to society and you’re honest about your past, you have a chance to start over in an exciting career full of opportunities.