Real Estate by Debbie Reynolds: Should We Get Our Agent a Thank You Gift?

Should We Get Our Agent a Thank You Gift?

Should We Get Our Agent a Thank You Gift?

giftsWe take for granted that all buyers and sellers know proper protocol and what to expect in a real estate transaction. The big things we tend to cover but the little things can stay confusing for first time buyers especially. When we hear questions like this we wonder are they serious.

A sweet couple was just completing the closing of their first home. They were coming from an apartment and glad to be getting into a home of their own that had a pretty little yard. It was a beginner home but had nice features and space that would meet their needs for some time to come. It was exciting but scary taking this big step.

Their agent wasn't at the closing but their loan officer was. I was there to represent the seller and turn over the keys. When they asked this innocent question about whether they should buy a gift for their agent, the loan officer spoke up and said it wasn't necessary but she had a thank you gift for them. Many lenders do not go to the closings or buy gifts for their clients but glad this loan officer did as it wowed the buyers and made their smiles even bigger. 

I don't know if they will pursue getting a gift for their agent or just wanted to be sure they were doing what was expected of them. If they really want to present their agent with a gift, I think it would be a nice gesture. It isn't necessary or expected. Though we agents do not expect it it makes us feel flattered, pleased and surprised when a client remembers us in this way.

I am not sure if these buyers realized that their agent was being paid from the commission provided by the seller. Surely it was explained at the front end but many conversations and time had past and they must have forgotten. It is a good idea to remind buyers of some of the basics along the way.

Should We Get Our Agent a Thank You Gift? 


 Centruy 21 Platinum Properties2130 Wilma Rudolph Blvd.

Clarksville, TN 37040

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Debbie Reynolds
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Comment balloon 60 commentsDebbie Reynolds • January 20 2016 08:30PM


You're right, Debbie - not necessary, but always appreciated.  I would never expect a client to think of me with a gift, but I have received some tremendous ones over the years.  It's a really nice gesture, but entirely unnecessary and not expected.  

Posted by John Meussner, #MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852 (Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA,) almost 4 years ago


Many of the luxury agents have met are often given a gift by the sellers.  It is nice when the sellers recognize the value of their agents.  A

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) almost 4 years ago

Debbie before I became a Sales Manager I had more time to attend closings and I did.  It was rare that I would see a Buyer/Seller give their Realtor a gift, but I did see it a few times.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) almost 4 years ago

Yes I agree, an unexpected nice gesture.

Posted by Cindy Edwards, CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677 (RE/MAX Checkmate) almost 4 years ago

I think that this is a very common question.  I have received small gifts from buyers and sellers over the years.  I agree that they are appreciated, but not necessary.  Thank you for posting.

Posted by Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group) almost 4 years ago

I have only one time, and it was a beautiful blanket my client had crocheted. I love it, and always think of her when I see it.

Posted by Chrissi Chapman Topoleski, HOME~There is no place like it! (Re/Max Real Estate Connections) almost 4 years ago

Debbie, Every now and then we have buyers provide us a gift.  Always nice, and always totally unnecessary.

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 almost 4 years ago

A very nice gesture for sure and always appreciated!

Posted by MaryBeth Mills Muldowney, Massachusetts Broker Owner (TradeWinds Realty Group LLC) almost 4 years ago

I sold a house in December for a seller who had moved to California.  Two days after closing I had a call from Spec's Liquor Warehouse.  They delivered a twelve pack of nice beer and a very good bottle of wine along with two boxes of chocolates.  Beer and chocolate.  Two of the four basic food groups in my mind.  This was very unexepected and greatly appreciated!

Posted by Jeanne Gregory, The most important home I sell is YOURS! (RE/MAX Southwest) almost 4 years ago

Most buyers and many sellers are very confused by the pay structure for Realtors. 

Posted by Rob Arnold, Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F (Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc.) almost 4 years ago

I think we all have those special clients now and then that become close and giving or receiving a gift would seem appropriate.

 Today I got a text from a couple that closed last friday, the 15th.. they had friends over to see the new home last night and now want to live in the neighborhood.. Guess who they will be using. Me. That is a gift beyod measure ! 

Posted by Michele Connors, Your Eastern North Carolina Realtor (The Overton Group, LLC Pitt & Carteret County) almost 4 years ago

I have been given small but thoughtful gifts over the years. The most unusual one? Fresh Halibut caught along the California Coast by relatives of the buyer. And I still have some in the freezer.

Posted by Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®, Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea almost 4 years ago

Hi Debbie... I can't say I've run across too many buyers or sellers who felt they needed to give me a gift, but I have received some very nice ones over the years and I always appreciate anyone thinking of me in this way.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage ) almost 4 years ago

Debbie, I think my favorite thank you gift is a great referral!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) almost 4 years ago

I agree with Pat, the best gift is a referrral or kind words on social media sites.

Posted by Evelyn Johnston, The People You Know, Like and Trust! (Friends & Neighbors Real Estate) almost 4 years ago

I give Buyers a closing gift and feel awkward if they give me one.

Posted by Rob D. Shepherd, Principal Broker GRI, SRES (Windermere/lane county) almost 4 years ago

Hi Debbie - It's a very special thing to get a gift from a client, and it lets us know we've done a great job - we're always thrilled when that happens.

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) almost 4 years ago

Hi Debbie - it is a nice gesture.  In New York it is customary to tip the closer from the title company.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) almost 4 years ago

Debbie Reynolds - I couldn't agree more with Patricia Kennedy !  I have had one customer and friend refer 4  customers to me in the past 2 years.  She is a darling!  It really does feel wonderful to be appreciated. We never expect it so it makes that gratitude all the more sweet!

Posted by Sheri Sperry - MCNE®, (928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR® (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) almost 4 years ago

Debbie, their agent was not at the closing but the lender was. Maybe they need to consider getting their lender a closing gift.  Hum .... just something to ponder.

Many of my clients give me a gift.  I never expect it and am always happy to receive a gift because it shows they really appreciated my services.

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) almost 4 years ago

Great reminder Debbie Reynolds ....I don't think I have ever missed a closing with my buyers .....The agent is the one that should be giving a gift to them ....

Lake says Hi!


Posted by Rob Thomas, Bristol TN-VA & Tri Cities Agent, ABR, GRI, e-Pro (Prestige Homes of The Tri Cities, Inc. CALL....423-341-6954) almost 4 years ago

Debbie, thanks for an informative blog. Many of our consumers do not know protocol and it is our place to help them understand the process. I would not expect a gift from a Buyer or Seller. I would always appreciate a referral. We are here to serve but if our service was worthy of the thought of a gift that is enough in itself.


Posted by John Wiley, Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA (Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty) almost 4 years ago

We always thank our clients, but truthfully....look what we've done for them. We've helped them with a major transaction protecting their interests. Maybe a little gift is appropriate. Not expected, nor needed...but makes sense to me. 

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) almost 4 years ago

I have had a few buyers give me a gift. It is always a surprise! I would say that a referral or an online review is a great gift and much appreciated.

Posted by Janis Borgueta, LIC RE Salesperson (Key Properties of the Hudson Valley ) almost 4 years ago

That would have been a nice touch for their agent, but the gift that keeps on giving is a well written testimonial that will survive for years

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) almost 4 years ago

That big smile at a closing is the best gift that a buyer or seller can give all professionals involved!

Posted by 1~Judi Barrett, BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK (Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745) almost 4 years ago

Debbie, there have been a few times, when grateful customers surprised me with a small gift after closing,  it was always totally unexpected and much appreciated. 

Posted by Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES, Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living (Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch!) almost 4 years ago

If the agent is expecting a gift, the agent is off-base.  Sure a small gift when the agent has gone way above & beyond is fun, but totally unnecessary.

What struck me was the lender being at the settlement table, but the buyer agent not being there for first-time buyers.  That doesn't feel right.


Posted by Claude Labbe, Realty for Your Busy Life (Real Living | At Home) almost 4 years ago

I got tipped by a happy client with a bonus cheque. Another agent told me she got 1 only once in 30 years.


Sam Shueh

Posted by Sam Shueh, mba, cdpe, reopro, pe ( (408) 425-1601) almost 4 years ago

Debbie, it's never expected, but I have received a small gift from my clients after a closing a few times. Referrals are always welcomed. I was surprised the agent didn't make the closing. It seems like someone from that brokerage needed to be present to be with the buyers at their closing.

Posted by Jerry Newman, Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation (Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, almost 4 years ago

I have been given gifts at closing, it is a rewarding experience.

Posted by Peter Mohylsky, Let me help you find your path to the beach. (PrimeSouth Properties) almost 4 years ago

Good morning Debbie Reynolds,

As all real estate it is more local. I see in smaller cities and town often the agent is closer to a family and a closing gift is thought of as a nice gesture to their agent. I have received some nice closing gifts from clients over the years but a referral is definitely a pleaser with me. It shows they trust me to work diligently for their family and friends. 

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) almost 4 years ago

I agree, referrals are the best.  Not just because it is additional income-- but more importantly because of the message that comes with it- you are a trusted professional that did an impeccable job for someone.  I "wear" those referrals proudly!  :)

Posted by Faith LaRosse, Serving Berks, Chester & Montgomery Counties (Springer Realty Group) almost 4 years ago

Gifts are fun but certainly not necessary, good referrals are the best and a card after the closing makes me very happy!

Posted by Brenda Mayette, Getting results w/ knowledge & know-how! (Miranda Real Estate Group, Inc.) almost 4 years ago

Debbie, I am always wowed when I get a gift from a client but never me I appreciate the buyer/seller referring me on as the best gift given!

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) almost 4 years ago

Aww, that was a sweet thought but gifts are not required. When they are given, it's always such a wonderful surprise!

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty) almost 4 years ago

The first time I was given a gift I was floored. What? A gift for me? Totally unexpected and a really nice surprise.

Posted by Peter den Boer, MBA,GRI, Associate Broker, Realtor (Atlanta Communities) almost 4 years ago

A gift? Submitting a testimonial or a nive big smile is all the thanks I need.

Posted by Richard Robibero, e-Pro, ABR, SRS, Selling Your Home as if it were My Own! (Panorama R.E. Limited) almost 4 years ago

Hi Debbie -- while a thoughtful gift is nice, it is definitely not an expectation.  I admit to feeling a little uncomfortable accepting gifts -- yet another of my issues --- but certainly appreciate a nice thank you note(or email) and of course a referral or repeat business are always the right size.   

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 almost 4 years ago

When you consider that a gift can be as simple as a thank you card...why not?

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) almost 4 years ago

Debbie Reynolds kudos to a great article published in Realtor Magazine this month...great exposure!

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) almost 4 years ago

Hi Debbie Reynolds ,  Congratulations on or Feature.  You bring up a good point.   Appreciation is always welcome, but to me, just seeing the excitement of the buyers right after closing is gift enough, knowing that I helped to nake this new phase of their life happen.  That is the reward of being a Real Estate Agent.

Posted by Larry Johnston, Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN (Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC) almost 4 years ago

A gift should come from the heart.  I say if someone, whether client or professional feels they want to give ... go for it!  Express your feelings of appreciation and joy, Debbie Reynolds.  

As a Lender, I typically provide a small gift at the Closing table to my clients ... just a token of my appreciation for their business.  I've given small gifts to agents that "wowed me" and went above and beyond too (all RESPA compliant gifts!!).   And although I've received a gift on rare occasion,  the referral or testimonial provided in the future is the best one received ...


Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) almost 4 years ago

Great post Debbie, one time I got a $100 gift card from a buyer couple I had who mentioned a bad experience they had with their last Realtor.

Posted by Noah Seidenberg, Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917 (Coldwell Banker) almost 4 years ago

Hi Debbie, yes I have received sweet gifts from buyers. It is a good idea to remind buyers of some of the basics during the process.

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate (Vision Quest Realty) almost 4 years ago

I too have had the unexpected pleasure of receiving a gift from clients, both buyers and sellers. It's a very sweet gesture. However, as others mention, it's not necessary. But, I always give all of my clients a lovely parting gift. Lol.  And then continue to gift them on a cycle as part of  my SOI touch. 

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) almost 4 years ago

Gee, if she was truly a great Realtor, she would have been at the closing to wish them luck...just saying ~

Posted by Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400, Long Island Home and Condo Specialists (The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803) almost 4 years ago

Every now and then a client will send flowers to me or bring a bottle of wine to closing, and they're much appreciated. I did, however, receive my first ever VCR from a client when they were brand new technology. It's been years, but I'll never forget that thoughtful client who wanted me to enjoy my favorite shows in spite of being tied up with clients.

Another client brought me a brass magazine holder, which is next to my favorite chair. The chair has changed a few times, over the years, but that magazine basket is always there to remind me of those clients.

'Never had a lender give me a token gift to thank me for my referral, but I do give my lenders and their processors a poinsettia plant during the holiday season to thank them for a good job.

Posted by Margaret Woda, Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) almost 4 years ago


               I think it depends our first agent was very lucky, she took us out one day and we bought a new home. We never heard or saw her again execpt at the closing. I now know how much she made.. I think it was great work for very little work! I know they all do not work out that way but that is how I felt then and now.

Posted by Yolanda Cordova-Gilbert almost 4 years ago

Hi Debbie.  The best gift a client can give me is a referral.  All I ask is to help someone else.

Posted by Conrad Allen, Webster, Ma, Realtor (Re/Max Professional Associates) almost 4 years ago

I have given and received gifts at closing.  Some of the clients were truly grateful and felt I had gone above and beyond my duties. However, I assure them that a gift was not necessary. 

Posted by Sussie Sutton, UTR TEXAS Realtors - Rep for buyers and sellers. (UTR Texas Realtors) almost 4 years ago

I like the answer by Conrad Allen.

The best gifts for a real estate agent are referrals to home sellers and home buyers. 

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) almost 4 years ago

It happens occasionally and I am always shocked and very flattered.  Anyone should appreciate a gift, it's always lovely!

Posted by Jenna Dixon, Empowers You With a Better Real Estate Experience (DRA Homes | Cobb County Real Estate ) almost 4 years ago

Well, Debbie Reynolds, most of the agents that I know always take a gift for their client, whether or not the client brings one for them.  And I agree with Brenda Mayette - a referral is the best present you can get.  

Posted by Dana Tapia, Gulf Coast Real Estate Professionals (Re/Max of Orange Beach) almost 4 years ago

small gifts of appreciate are so rare in every industry that they have a profound impact upon anyone receiving them.  I like to give gifts to anyone who does a great service for me or goes above and beyond my expectations.  I think of it as great pr and marketing.

Posted by Robert May, Real estate consulting (Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate) almost 4 years ago

It is a nice gesture and I am thankful if one comes my way. Thanks to all of you for the comments.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) almost 4 years ago

Debbie - The fact that they allowed me to represent them in the transaction, and my commission check is more than enough for me. I certainly do not need a gift on top of that, but a testimonial or referral sure would be nice.

Posted by Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807, Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor (Good Company Real Estate almost 4 years ago

I once had a buyer purchase me a gift card to a very nice restaurant for $100. I told her I couldn't accept it and that I was getting nicely paid for my time. That didn't matter to her. She felt I went above and beyond when she ran into a problem with her lender (not someone I recommended). It was a very nice gesture and I happily accepted as I felt it was the right thing to do.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) almost 4 years ago

I like hearing about your personal experiences and knowing that clients take that extra step to say thank you. 

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) almost 4 years ago

Thank you all for all the comments and input.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) almost 4 years ago