Becoming a real estate agent can have a huge impact on your life, giving you a brighter future and the ability to earn a great salary while enjoying professional and personal perks in the process. But what you may not realize is that going through the process of becoming a real estate agent is something that takes time and involves numerous steps.
You’ll have to go through an educational process at a real estate school, complete the exam, and get your license – all things that will take some effort on your part. And before you can qualify for your license, there is another step that must be taken – getting fingerprinted, submitting those fingerprints to the appropriate organization, and having a real estate background check done on you.
Only after you complete the fingerprinting and a real estate background check done can you officially become a real estate agent, and while it sounds like a huge burden the reality is that it’s a fairly small hurdle to overcome as you move forwards to a brighter future as a real estate agent.
But why do you need to undergo fingerprinting and a real estate background check? What is the real estate background check looking for? And how do you even complete the process? These are all questions that deserve answers, and are all well worth learning a bit more about.
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Why Are Fingerprints Required For The Real Estate Background Check?
Essentially, fingerprints are used as the tool that states rely on to run a background check on real estate license applicants. In order to ensure that the information that is given to the state is accurate, fingerprints confirm that a person is who they say they are and also allows the licensing committees to verify that the applicant has no criminal history.
Once that the fingerprints are submitted, the agency runs the real estate background check. They look for criminal charges filed against a person and ensure that they are legally allowed to work in the state – as well as that they are legally allowed to work in the field of real estate. The real estate background check looks for criminal charges and fingerprints on file for any reason to ensure that those who are filing to get a real estate license are free from past criminal charges and that they are legal residents of the country.
This is important because of the very nature of real estate. It’s important that those who work as real estate agents are able to prove that they are honest, trustworthy, and that they will adhere to the highest standards of ethics and professionalism. Background checks help prevent real estate related crimes, criminal misrepresentation, and more.
Since agents have access to properties, work directly with buyers and sellers, and are responsible or managing money, transactions, legal aspects of properties, and more, it is vital that their identities are verified and that they can show that they are reliable and free from criminal charges of any kind.
It is important to note that not all criminal actions on a real estate background check will disqualify you from working in the field. Each state will review the results and make a determination as to whether or not you are qualified to work in the field. Again, this may vary from state to state.
Where Do You Get Your Fingerprints Done For The Real Estate Background Check?
Just as the requirements for education and licensure will vary from state to state, so do the methods for fingerprinting. Each state will often have its own basic requirements and instructions. However, the basics will likely consist of the following:
- Applicants will review their real estate course supplemental materials to find the information concerning the fingerprinting and real estate background check process.
- You will find information that refers to specific third-party organizations that the state uses to fingerprint and handle background checks. You’ll need to contact those third-party organizations and set up a time and date to be fingerprinted, then go through the process.
- The third-party vendor then runs your fingerprints through the verification system and presents the results to the state, who then sends you your real estate license or approval for the exam – or denies it if this is the case.
To determine exactly what you need to do in order to complete your fingerprinting and real state background check, review all of the supplemental materials in your packet from your course. You’ll find the information you need to contact the third-party vendor that handles the process for your state, and you can then complete this step in the process and move forwards toward being able to secure your real estate license and move into your new career.
Is It Safe And Secure?
It is absolutely safe and secure to go through the fingerprinting process and have a real estate background check performed. The organizations in any state have strict privacy guidelines that must be upheld, and your personal information is safe. The process is simply required to ensure that all who are involved in it are fully safe and protected, and should be looked at as a safeguard measure that ensures only those qualified to do the job are allowed to do so – it’s a kind of quality assurance process that helps give real estate agents a good name and gives buyers and sellers the confidence needed to use them. In short, you can confidently go through the process.
The Bottom Line
No matter what your state of residence or practice, the reality is that you must take the time to go through the real estate background check and fingerprinting process if you hope to become a real estate agent. It’s a small step on the road to a brighter career, and one that all agents have taken or will take. Follow the guidelines for your state carefully so you can get your real estate license and start working in a field that is as rewarding as it is exciting.