Gift or other "thank you" for realtor/lender?
August 7, 2017 9:22 AM   Subscribe

We are in the process of buying a house, and have really loved both our realtor and lender (they work together). So far whenever we have had a meeting, they have offered to pay for coffee or whatever -- I think because they were trying to get our business! Now that we are reaching the end of the sale (and obviously have chosen to work with both of them), I am wondering if it is appropriate to get a thank you gift? Or is the fact that they are both making plenty of money from the deal make it weird/inappropriate?

FWIW, I do feel like both our agent and lender have gone above and beyond and made things super nice and easy for us, in a way that I'm sure does not always happen. If we do get a gift, what would be appropriate? Either way, we will give a thank you card and of course pass on their names to anyone we know who is buying a house.
posted by rainbowbrite to Human Relations (17 answers total)
If you know they drink alcohol, a bottle of wine (or other booze, depending on what you feel like spending) is a pleasantly impersonal sort of thank-you gift. If not, some kind of food thing. But a consumable -- no one wants to accumulated tchotchkes from grateful clients.
posted by LizardBreath at 9:33 AM on August 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

Either to gift or not to gift is fine and acceptable. Our agent, when we purchased our house, left a really nice (fruit?) bowl on the kitchen counter with a design of a picture of a house with a white picket fence and below it said "Welcome to the West's House" or something like that.

We gave her nothing but a 5 figure commission. She gladly did the sale of the house 18 years later.

If I were to give a gift today, a heartfelt thank you note and maybe a $50 gift card to SBUX.

(It just occurred to me that we did give her a gift. Over the years I referred at least 4 house buyers that used her.)
posted by AugustWest at 9:40 AM on August 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Like you said, they are being paid and made money off this sale. I don't think a gift is necessary, but if you do leave a gift, I think it should be small and inexpensive enough that it's more about the gesture than the monetary value. Like a plant or flowers or something. Maybe add in $5 to Starbucks (good enough for one drink, basically).
posted by AppleTurnover at 9:43 AM on August 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I'd give them a very small gift or just a hand-written note. Almost guaranteed they're going to get you something much bigger when the house closes and then it's odd if you've both given each other significant gifts because it's, at heart, a business relationship. Also, offer to serve as a reference for prospective clients and tell them you're happy to write a glowing referral for their websites.
posted by whitewall at 10:03 AM on August 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

I gave my agent a gift card to an indie electronics store.
posted by brujita at 10:03 AM on August 7, 2017

Best answer: Tell other people that they've been good to you, and gone above and beyond, and try to get them referrals. Write reviews of them on yelp or social media sites. Tag them on a couple social media posts. Drive their name a bit. Acquaintances of mine who are realtors suggest this is best way to say thanks.

Getting a realtor or lending agent even one other customer can be pretty significant to them.
posted by furnace.heart at 10:13 AM on August 7, 2017 [6 favorites]

Anyone making money off of you should be giving you a gift.

The best thing you can do for them is to write a nice letter to each of their managers about how satisfied you have been working with them, and to give each of them good referrals.
posted by vignettist at 10:22 AM on August 7, 2017 [10 favorites]

We did many references and a box of frozen steaks.... not super expensive but he told us later that that was the best gift ever... because he could share with his family.
posted by pearlybob at 10:50 AM on August 7, 2017

The best gift for any realtor is the gift of referral.
posted by lstanley at 11:05 AM on August 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

Yes, the best gift you can give is really nice referrals. If there's somewhere public to do it (Yelp, their FB business page, etc.) spend some time composing a well-written and thoughtful review that will help others choose them in the future. I think it is a bit weird to give them something monetary (like a gift card) since they are already making money from you. In fact, the more usual thing would be for them to give YOU a gift, but I understand wanting to express your enthusiasm for their services.
posted by LKWorking at 11:07 AM on August 7, 2017

No gift, and take a careful look at the closing documents for any bad fees. If you must, a card.
posted by yarly at 11:18 AM on August 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

My realtor gave me a gift when we closed on my house.
posted by Autumnheart at 11:27 AM on August 7, 2017 [3 favorites]

It's typical to receive, not give, a gift. Your agent received a minimum of 1.8% of the total sales value of the house as a commission — more, up to 6%, if they are also the broker, or if they also represented the buyer. 1.8% is, for example, $5,400 on a $300,000 house. If you like, figure out for yourself how much time they spent on you and calculate their hourly wage working on your house. At $54/hour, they would need to spend 100 hours — 2.5 WEEKS — working on your house alone before they could be considered to be doing you a favor.

Now, your house might have been a dump that finally sold for $50K after weeks and weeks of work on their part, but it's funny, I have sold cheap houses and I have sold expensive houses, and it always seems like the real estate agents spend less time on the cheap houses.

I don't know for sure how the lending agent gets compensated, but I'm sure it's something similar. It's great that you felt well taken care of, but that is part of their job.
posted by ubiquity at 11:51 AM on August 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

First time I bought a house, I did buy wine for my agent.

Next four times I bought a house, I didn't... because they're doing their jobs, they're making a bunch of money, and I had already shelled out lots of money for buying the damn house. (And they also got to get a commission TWICE, once when we bought and once when we sold, so I think that's plenty.)

I didn't see much difference in how happy everyone was with the outcome either way. So I guess my vote is for no gift?

By the way, realtors do seem to always give YOU a housewarming gift of some type, so I think if they spend a little money on you it's just the cost of doing business, they probably write it off on their taxes.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 12:45 PM on August 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

flowers. That's a vote, not an answer, just gut response
posted by maiamaia at 3:45 PM on August 7, 2017

We bought a gift for our realtor because he walked us through a literal 11th-hour offer. I mean, in total number of hours of work we put him through we were an easy client, but the actual offer process for us was fraught (missed the offer deadline on a Tuesday because our lender fell through, called another lender he recommended so we didn't miss the next house, then got a second chance Wednesday to make an offer which he sent us to read and sign at 11PM Thursday, were under contract Friday afternoon). Also we live five blocks from him on the same street, and as he showed us houses he was like, "I'm going to sell you one on this street because I want you guys to be my neighbor, and no, I don't say that to all my clients."

We also bought a gift for our inspector because he first came out on the insane timeframe we needed to make the offer work, and because he helped us deal with the fallout from the fact somebody stole the outside heat pump compressor from behind the house the week before our final walkthrough.

Oddly enough our gifts for both of them were bourbon, because it had come up while we did the inspection.

I don't remember getting anything for our lender, but we used him again when we refinanced and we've sent a few other people his way, so I think he's done pretty well.
posted by fedward at 4:10 PM on August 7, 2017

The nicest gift you could possibly give them is positive online reviews.
posted by John Cohen at 1:53 PM on August 8, 2017

« Older What is the Proper Way to Prepare a Toothbrush to...   |   How to store / organise CV's in a useful manner Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.