Are you a realtor? What's the nicest gift a buyer has given you?
May 5, 2015 7:51 AM   Subscribe

We adore our realtor, and are about to close on our new house. We want to give him a thank you gift, but champagne just doesn't seem like enough, nor particularly original. Any suggestions? Possibly pertinent: he's single, 50, fit, mild-mannered, very kind. We could spend $50-$75 (more?). Thanks!
posted by Specklet to Grab Bag (18 answers total)
You are giving him the 'gift' of a large amount of money -- the commission he earned.

The tradition goes the other way -- he should give you a housewarming gift.
posted by Dashy at 8:00 AM on May 5, 2015 [34 favorites]

Along with what Dashy said, the best gift you can give is good referrals to potential clients.
posted by vignettist at 8:03 AM on May 5, 2015 [7 favorites]

In addition to the commission he's earning from you, a good and appropriate gift would be to refer friends and family to him--let him know how much you enjoyed working together and say something like "We will absolutely let our friends know to call you next time they need a realtor. Thank you so much."
posted by witchen at 8:04 AM on May 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

Yes, definitely a glowing referral. If he's active on social media be sure to post your happy new house story on his Facebook site, etc.
posted by TwoStride at 8:09 AM on May 5, 2015 [5 favorites]

In addition to recommending him to family and friends, the absolute best thing you could do is write a glowing (but real) review on Yelp and his Facebook page. Small details are useful - is he communicative? Patient? Did he help you through the inspection? That is worth way more than any gift you could give him!
posted by barnone at 8:10 AM on May 5, 2015 [2 favorites]

I wrote a review on Zillow.

Echoing that our Realtor gave us a gift, not.the other way.
posted by deludingmyself at 8:10 AM on May 5, 2015

I gave my agent a gift card from an indie electronic store.
posted by brujita at 8:28 AM on May 5, 2015

In the USA, realtor gives gift to you!
posted by mullacc at 8:34 AM on May 5, 2015 [6 favorites]

Response by poster: To clarify: this realtor's fees are paid by the seller, NOT US. (We're in Oregon.)

We really do want to give him a gift! And yes, I have already been planning to write a review, and refer any friends who may buy in the future.
posted by Specklet at 8:46 AM on May 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Does he work for a brokerage? A note to his manager as well as to him would probably be appreciated.

As someone who periodically gets gifts from people I've helped in the course of my job, really, it's the thank-you notes I keep and treasure. So honestly, I think it's really fine to go with something like a bottle of wine or whiskey that is consumable or easily re-giftable.
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 8:58 AM on May 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

A realtor I know has been taken out to dinner by happy buyers with the invitation extending to his wife. One seamstress who was a repeat customer made him a custom suit. Both were much appreciated. Not sure how applicable those are to your situation though. The latter would require that one of you have a specialty that he could possibly use but not think to purchase on his own.
posted by bread-eater at 9:12 AM on May 5, 2015

Best answer: The fees are paid by the seller, and you are paying the seller. The process of buying a house is emotional; your realtor has helped you; that is your realtor's job. Write a lovely thank you note, copy it to realtor's boss, refer others to realtor. If you really want to give a gift, a nice bottle of wine is in order.
posted by theora55 at 9:19 AM on May 5, 2015 [4 favorites]

Best answer: We had a realtor we dearly loved working with, and I totally understand your impulse to give him a gift after helping you through this major life event! Yes, I realize that realtors make a lot of money off these transactions, but anyone who can bring warmth, generosity and a human touch into a very stressful-for-the-customer environment deserves to be recognized, in my book!

If champagne seems fairly generic, maybe a very nice bottle of bourbon, scotch, other? You'd need to know if he has an alcohol preference to really choose, but a really nice bourbon seems kind of universal to me. Realtors spend a lot of time on the phone and in their cars, so that might point you toward something, too. Do you have anyplace in your area that sells nice letterpress stationery? Well made writing paper or cards (maybe with his initial?) could be nice - our Realtor sent cards and notes to clients all the time, and it's nice to have something a little more personal than whatever the Century 21 people give them. For that matter, nice pen?

I think it's lovely that you want to do this!
posted by ersatzkat at 9:57 AM on May 5, 2015

Best answer: We sent ours flowers, as well as the sellers AFTER the deal was closed. They seemed to be greatly appreciated by both.

We also posted glowing reviews of our realtor online, and she did give us a housewarming basket including some homemade preserves.
posted by tkolstee at 10:27 AM on May 5, 2015

Mod note: One comment deleted. Folks, the "don't get a gift" angle is covered; from here on, please focus on suggestions that assume OP is going to get a gift. Thanks.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 11:11 AM on May 5, 2015

Best answer: My father is a realtor. The #1 gift you can give any realtor is a referral. Refer, refer, refer! Tell everyone you know how happy you were, keep his business cards on hand and give them away to anyone talking about buying or selling a home. Glowing online reviews, etc.

Second to that, a $50-100 gift card to a really excellent, classy restaurant; or a top notch gift basket. If my father received a gift from a client, it was usually a gift basket/something gourmet. When my father would give or receive gifts from other business professionals (title company execs/loan officers), it often involved things like a Honeybaked Ham (near Christmastime) or a pair of box seat tickets to a performance of one's choosing at a particular venue - gifts that arrive in the form of food or experiences are always great, since it leaves something to remember as opposed to something that may collect dust. Nevertheless, I like ersatzkat's suggestions above for good stationary or a really nice pen. Alcohol can be tricky if you don't know the person's relationship to alcohol, but if they drink and you know what they like, nothing beats a fine bottle of their favorite booze.

If you can afford it, he may also enjoy an overnight stay/getaway at a B&B that's within 50 miles. Somewhere he can go and not deal with the work phone/email for a night. (Try to find a place in the sticks, so that it's really really hard for him to get cell phone reception or internet!)

I think it's very kind of you to want to give him a gift! Yes, realtors can and do make a good bit of money when the economy is doing well, but it's been hard for many since 2008. And a lot of realtors can be unprofessional/under-deliver/are generally inexperienced, so I think it's a perfectly acceptable idea to reward the ones who go above and beyond. It will mean a lot to him to know that he didn't just make some income, but that he also delivered the kind of service that convinced his clients that he's honorable, compassionate, and trustworthy and that you'll be loyal to him/recommend him.
posted by nightrecordings at 6:01 PM on May 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Champagne only seems unoriginal because everyone drinks the same eight bottles of it, in some combination or another, at every festive gathering (that isn't hosted by a fraternity) that involves sparkling wine. This kind of Champagne, in general, is not very interesting, so people write it off. However, Champagne done right is your best friend. Everyone who has a tongue and is not a fundamentalist teetotaler will enjoy it in some capacity, and you don't need to know a whole lot about it to hit on some gems. You're in Portland, yes? Then your first and last stop should be Vinopolis. Then you should ask someone for help. The terms you want to use are "grower's Champagne" or "farmer's fizz," along with a price range. ($75 should be more than enough for this exercise) If the rep you are talking to knows his stuff, his eyes will light up and he'll talk your ear off about a grizzled French farmer that he once visited, who grows his own grapes according to tradition handed down over generations, etc. etc. Then he'll recommend you a bottle. There is a 95% chance that your realtor will never have heard of the producer, and a further 95% chance that it's better wine than any of the entry-level cuvées being sold by the Big Ten Champagne houses that he's heard of.

If his eyes don't light up, I can give you some recommendations. From a quick look at their stock list, I'd recommend the NV Benoit Lahaye Brut Rose de Maceration (crazy color, intensely different flavor than your everyday sparkler), or the NV A. Margaine Champagne Extra Brut (closer to what you think of as Champagne, but with a little more minerality and less of the cloying sweetness). If you have an extra $25 to add to your budget, the 2000 Deutz Champagne Cuvée William Deutz will knock anyone's socks off.
posted by Mayor West at 8:37 AM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I bought him a local bourbon that I love, and his eyes lit up. So happy he loves bouron! (He gave us a book on gardening that was particularly pertinent to our gardening interests.

posted by Specklet at 10:08 PM on May 20, 2015

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