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Mississippi Real Estate Commission...

Mississippi Real Estate Commission changes one-hour-drive rule

By: Frank Corder - April 12, 2024

  • The previous policy required that an applicant for a salesperson’s license be within roughly a one-hour drive or 50 miles of their supervising broker.

The Mississippi Real Estate Commission unanimously voted on Tuesday to change its policy and will no longer consider the geographic distance between a supervising broker and a real estate salesperson when evaluating applications.

Commission staff had previously interpreted a rule requiring real estate brokers to supervise licensees to mean that an applicant for a salesperson’s license must be within roughly a one-hour drive or 50 miles of their supervising broker.

A letter sent by the Institute for Justice, a national nonprofit law firm, in March called the unwritten rule “outdated,” suggesting that the requirement violates applicants’ rights under the Mississippi Constitution.

“For over a century, the Mississippi Supreme Court has held that ‘[t]he right to follow any of the common occupations of life is an inalienable right.’ Since then, the Mississippi Supreme Court has guarded that right zealously,” the firm argued, adding that the one-hour-drive requirement denies applicants their “inalienable” right to pursue an occupation for no good reason.

The firm requested that the Commission “reconsider this unnecessary burden and recognize that brokers now have many ways to keep tabs on their licensees beyond physical proximity.”

In a statement celebrating the Commission’s policy change, Institute for Justice attorney Michael Soyfer said the members made the right choice.

“The unwritten, one-hour-drive policy confounded applicants and denied licenses to qualified salespeople whose brokers could use all of the remote work tools available today to supervise effectively from a distance,” Soyfer said in the statement. “IJ commends the Commission for acting to protect applicants’ constitutional right to pursue a career.” 

The Mississippi Real Estate Commission (MREC) is a state government agency located in Jackson. It issues broker and salesperson licenses to qualified individuals who complete pre-licensing education, pass the licensing exam, and meet the MREC’s other statutory licensing requirements. The Commission, appointed by the Governor with advice and consent from the Mississippi Senate, is governed by five Commissioners, one from each of the four congressional districts and one at-large.

About the Author(s)
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Frank Corder

Frank Corder is a native of Pascagoula. For nearly two decades, he has reported and offered analysis on government, public policy, business and matters of faith. Frank’s interviews, articles, and columns have been shared throughout Mississippi as well as in national publications. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, providing insight and commentary on the inner workings of the Magnolia State. Frank has served his community in both elected and appointed public office, hosted his own local radio and television programs, and managed private businesses all while being an engaged husband and father. Email Frank: