If you’re looking to start a new chapter and explore a real estate career, an important part is passing a criminal background check. Even if you have a prior conviction, it’s still possible to earn a real estate license in South Carolina. You may just need to go through a few extra hoops. This includes stating your case in front of the South Carolina Real Estate Commission (SCREC).
Read on to learn more about how to get your South Carolina real estate license if you have a criminal record.
Is It Possible to Get a South Carolina Real Estate License with a Criminal Record?
Every applicant must take a criminal background check. But, having a criminal record won’t automatically prevent you from getting your South Carolina real estate license. However, there are certain convictions that may prevent you from earning your license. Several examples of these types of convictions include and are not limited to:
- Committing financial crimes such as forgery, embezzlement, theft, extortion, fraud, or conspiracy to defraud
- Committing a felony that is drug, sex, real estate, or violence related
- Violating federal or state fair housing laws
If you are convicted of these crimes, you need to report them to the commission (by certified mail) within 10 days. If you don't, the commission may deny issuing you a license. They also have the right to take disciplinary action against a licensee.
These scenarios will need you to appear before the SCREC for an Application hearing. Before this hearing, you must complete the South Carolina pre-licensing requirements.
Other Reasons Your South Carolina Real Estate License May Be Denied
Having a felony conviction isn't the only reason your real estate application might be denied. There are other unsavory actions that can cause SCREC to deny you, including:
- Making a misrepresentation on a real estate license application
- Making a misrepresentation regarding a real estate transaction
- False advertising; not being truthful about a sales price
That's why it's always best to be truthful both on your application and in your work!
What Does the Mandated South Carolina Real Estate License Background Check Include?
Every applicant for a salesperson, broker, broker-in-charge, property manager, or property-manager-in-charge license must take a state and national fingerprint criminal record check. The State Law Enforcement Division and the Federal Bureau of Investigations will conduct these. This background check will uncover any crimes in your past, which is why it's so important to be honest in your application.
You'll get this background check completed after your submit your application. The SCREC provides instructions on how to complete it at that time.
What Do I Need to Do Before Getting the Background Check?
Before you can get to the criminal background check, you'll need to take a few other steps first. These steps include:
- Complete Unit 1 of a state-approved 60-hour pre-license course.
- Apply to take your real estate exam: you must complete this online exam application first.
- Pass the exam (you must score a 70% on both the national and state exam).
- Complete Unit II of a state-approved pre-license course.
- Find a sponsoring broker.
- Apply for your South Carolina real estate license.
Are you ready to start your new chapter as a South Carolina real estate salesperson? Begin your journey by studying for the exam with an online real estate course.