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Missouri Task Force One has rescued over 316 people in Houston

The Missouri Task Force One emergency responders group has rescued over 316 residents and 35 pets in Houston after arriving in the Lone Star State. The crew also gave safety instructions to 41 people who chose to stay in their homes. The team has been ...

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A good real estate agent can be worth their weight in gold as they help consumers navigate the confusing home buying or selling processWhile the majority of Realtors may be great, there is still that ever-looming question brought on by the low standards to become an agent: how can you know your Realtor isn't a criminal? The short answer is you can't Take, for example, the Texas Realtor who was caught doing drugs, and other things, in a home she sold just the day before in HoustonOne commentator on the message boards of that story, Niko, claims: Most consumers don't know that the real estate "profession" has quite a number of ex-felons working in itPeople that have been convicted of drug offenses (not just personal use), assault, theft (major theft) and even robberyNice to know that most real estate commissions/boards don't see the need to protect the unsuspecting public.  This, along with many other stories circulating about real estate agents such as this and this brings to the forefront the relative quality of real estate agents as a whole This begs the question, is real estate a becoming profession for ex or would-be criminals?  [Agree? Disagree? Please comment in the message boards below.] Upon first review by HousingWire, the answer is not simple, as it varies from state-to-stateBackground checks as well as licensing requirements also vary depending on the state the prospective real estate agent is in. While some states enlist barely any requirements, other states require many hours of work along with background checks in order for someone to become an agent In Massachusetts, for example, the only requirements are that the person is a least 18 years old, and take "24 credit hours of classes,” according to an article by Mark Ferguson for Invest Four More  For comparison, college students take a minimum of 12 hours of classes per semester, but many times will take even 15 or 18 credit hoursDuring the summer months one could easily take the last few to get to 24. This means that while college students study for four or five years to get their degree and start their career, real estate in some states offers an easy solution that doesn’t take near as much work or time. In Ohio, on the other hand, you must be 18 years old and have a high school diplomaIf you have a felony conviction, you may be denied a real estate licenseThe applicant must pass a state real estate test and complete 120 hours of education. While this does seem like it would prevent felons from becoming agents, that is not set in stoneIf the applicant is honest about their conviction and has shown change, they may still be granted their license. Other states, such as Colorado, are stricter with their background checkClick here to see the requirements in every state. Becoming a real estate agent, for some, is just the first stepAfter that they look to become a member of the National Association of RealtorsWith this membership they go from being a real estate agent to being a Realtor, but does it improve the likelihood of them not being criminals? Should a member be found in violation of a crime, the local Realtor association has procedures to determine what the appropriate sanction should be, NAR said in an email to HousingWire Among them are suspension and termination of membership. That being said, there are no background checks prior to becoming a memberThey do, however, have some ethics training that is required for membership. “Members pay an annual fee to belong to the organization and receive advocacy, education and other benefits,” the message from NAR said“In addition to completing pre-license education, the National Association of Realtors requires mandatory Code of Ethics training; some local association bylaws also require additional education, such as legal liability training, but that varies by association.” VIDEO FROM HOUSINGWIRE & OUR PARTNERSwindow.jwplayer = undefined; window._define = window.define; window.define = undefined;jwplayer.key = 'KGAOiHCD';window.define = window._define; Reprints // // Related Articles Appeals court halts execution of criminal who brutally murdered real estate agent Autopsy report reveals Abilene real estate agent’s true cause of death Real estate agent 6% commission increasingly under threat Kelsey Ramírez is a Reporter at HousingWireRamírez is a recent journalism graduate of University of Texas at ArlingtonRamírez previously covered hard issues such as homelessness and domestic violence and began at HousingWire as an Editorial Assistant. Recent Articles by Kelsey Ramírez ProTeck says Amazon will choose this city for its HQ2 HUD awards $1.5 billion to Puerto Rico hurricane relief Fifth-Third Bancorp elects new chairman of the board Employment surges in January lead by construction jobs increase First time buyers flood D.RHorton Express homes Services Guide // var disqus_developer = 0; var disqus_shortname = "housingwire"; var disqus_identifier = "article-37944"; var disqus_url = ""; var disqus_title = "Is your real estate agent a criminal?"; /* * * DON'T EDIT BELOW THIS LINE * * */ (function() { var dsq = document.createElement('script'); dsq.type = 'text/javascript'; dsq.async = true; dsq.src = '//' + disqus_shortname + ''; (document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0] || document.getElementsByTagName('body')[0]).appendChild(dsq); })(); Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus. Comments powered by Disqus var disqus_shortname = "housingwire"; (function () { var s = document.createElement('script'); s.async = true; s.type = 'text/javascript'; s.src = '//' + disqus_shortname + ''; (document.getElementsByTagName('HEAD')[0] || document.getElementsByTagName('BODY')[0]).appendChild(s); }()); The Latest News — Nowhere ElseSign up and we'll keep you up to date Thank you for subscribingExpect to receive your newsletter within two business days. 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Subscribe Now Feature What features do buyers really want in today's housing market? Deborah Huso InvestmentsReal Estate Would-be homeowners are inundated with picture-perfect examples of new and remodeled homes brimming with upgradesBut in the real world, homebuilders and investors must calculate the rate of return on these sometimes fleeting trends, weighing what buyers want with what they can actually affordThis feature looks at which features buyers of different age demographics consider the most important, and what that means for sellers. 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