Can A Realtor Have A Felony Record?

Can A Realtor Have A Felony Record?

Can a Realtor have a felony record? Well, there’s one way to find out; you can go to this link at the California Department of Real Estate License Lookup, also known as the DRE. You fill out a name or a license number.

When we receive an offer on a property, I always check the license number on the DRE site. I can make sure they have a license that is valid without any disciplinary issues or suspensions. If there are court records, you will find those documents attached. Then, the next step is MLS online to look up a buyer’s agent production numbers. It is important to know whether this is a newer agent and or does the agent have enough transactions completed to work without supervision.

On one occasion I found an older license number but only a few closed escrows. I looked up the agent and she had been suspended for several years for burglary. Yup, I’m serious. It is a bit shocking. There was a local sting operation and this Realtor was selling stolen property to law enforcement, according to the court documents. I thought to myself, how can the DRE give this person an ability to enter people’s homes with a Supra key? I closed a real estate transaction with this Realtor. Making the seller aware of the situation was completed. As it was a vacant house, the seller was not overly concerned in this case.

In another instance, I saw a posting of an open house, and I noticed it was a broker who had been previously arrested, as it was on the news. Another Realtor working with this firm also had a theft conviction, as stated on the DRE site, and was reissued a license. I called the DRE, as I was curious about this. There is a section they directed me to read up on called rehabilitation. Department of Real Estate Commissioner’s Regulation 2911. Criteria for Rehabilitation (Denial). This is surprising information. If there is a criminal issue, it will be attached to the license on the DRE link so you can read all about it. In this 2911 section, it even talks about money laundering. I think some sellers would have an issue with a convicted felon having the ability to enter an owner-occupied home.   

This was surprising to me. Though we have our fingerprints taken for a background check to apply for a state license, it appears convicted felons can obtain a real estate license in California. Burglary, theft, what’s next? Murder? I would think convicted felons would be denied a license. If they have enough time past the crime, are off probation or parole and have letters of recommendation, it appears in some cases they can obtain a restricted license. Then, after a year or two with no issues, they can apply to have their real estate license fully reinstated without a restricted license.

Can a Realtor have a felony record? It appears lawbreakers can. I am aware of a few agents who have reported burglary convictions and hold active real estate licenses. A suggestion, if you are concerned, you can look up the Realtor you are working with to ensure you are aware of any past or current issues with the DRE. This way you can decide if a criminal history is concerning to you.

Call Weintraub & Wallace Realtors, with RE/MAX Gold, if you would like to buy or sell real estate. You can look up any of our license numbers on our team with confidence. We look forward to working with you in Sacramento, Placer, Yolo, El Dorado, Amador, Sutter and Nevada counties. We can be reached at 916-233-6759.

— JaCi Wallace

JaCi Wallace
Weintraub & Wallace

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