Closing Gift Etiquette - A How-to Guide For REALTORS

by MAR Staff | Oct 29, 2013

Congratulations! You’ve survived yet another house closing and can finally give yourself a pat on the back for all your hard work! But, before you close the door on a now happy homeowner, you have one last task to complete as REALTOR®…

Oh no! What about a closing gift? After spending days, weeks, even months working together to find the perfect property, the relationship between real estate agent and home buyer can be everlasting. While a closing gift is standard for most real estate agents, it’s important to present a gift that celebrates the end of a thrilling and sometimes stressful experience for both you and the home buyer.

Rather than resorting to gift cards, flower arrangements, and baskets, the closing gift should be meaningful in a way to welcome buyers into their new home while also promoting your REALTOR® services.

Coming up with creative gifts that send warm wishes to your clients can be tricky. Here are some ideas that will highlight your creativity and build your reputation.

Hint: Custom Is Key

Customized gifts show the home-owner that you have valued them as clients and look at them as more than just a business transaction. Taking away small details of past conversations and incorporating them into your closing gifts is a sentimental touch that will go a long way.

Kim Clark, owner of Bayside Realty Consultants in Dennis says, “One of my favorite gifts to give with a nice bottle of wine is unique wine glasses. In the design, all of the fish are swimming one way except one that goes in the opposite direction,” she explained. “I have also had rooms painted for buyer clients. I have my go to gifts but will customize to the client.”

Julie Booras, owner of Heart and Stone jewelry also attests to the importance of personalization when giving a closing gift. Her personalized fine silver key chains have become a hot closing gift lately. “My clients are telling me that they want to give something with meaning, and something that shows they put thought into the gift,” says Booras. “The fact that they are handmade, heirloom quality key chains on which agents can place a front door key doesn’t hurt their appeal either,” she adds with a smile.

While giving a gift basket or a welcome mat is better than no gift at all, you may find the ritual more appealing if you look at it as self-advertising.

Jessie Wright, a Closing Gift Consultant for Cutco Knives tells us that some closing gifts can be legally deducted as an advertising expense. “Because the Cutco Closing Gifts are imprinted with the Agent’s branding information, it allows the gift to serve as a tax deduction under advertising. Gift baskets, gift cards and things like door knockers can leave you paying back taxes for years if audited.” Wright also talks about the fact that branded closing gifts are useful because they create top of mind awareness and actually create referrals and loyal clients forever.

  • Order a customized address stamp that will help their new location sink in.
  • Get engraved key chains made—puts more meaning into just handing over a set of keys.
  • Get a room or two painted before move-in. It will feel a lot more like home.
  • Advertise in your gifts to cut taxes and to promote yourself as an agent!

So when you ask yourself, what do I give to a new home owner? Think about gifts that are a symbol of the relationship you’ve built over the rigorous months together or better yet–give them something they will actually use.