Gifts for Real Estate Agents: Yes or No?

You love your real estate agent! They have gone above and beyond to help you find your new home. It was a positive experience, and now you would like to thank them.

Where does the etiquette fall when giving a gift to a realtor at closing? Let’s explore that idea and go over your options.

What if you have a real estate agent, and you’re looking to find the perfect birthday or Christmas gift for them? This article provides realtor gift ideas that anyone employed as a real estate agent would appreciate.

Do people give gifts to their realtors?

Do you give your realtor a gift? According to Rocket Homes, although “it’s typical for an agent to give their client a gift, it’s not generally expected to give your REALTOR® a gift in return.”

Unsurprisingly, the buyer/seller would like to thank the realtor uniquely after a positive experience. Besides the fact of a realtor going above and beyond, it may be a shock to everything that the realtor’s job entails.

Realtors help to educate their clients on the housing market, understand their client’s needs and help them to negotiate the cost of their homes. Add to that the persistence in finding just the right property for the clients, for some, their dream home.

New home buyer shaking the hands of his realtors after the close.
Do you give your realtor a gift after the closing?

There are other ways to show appreciation to a realtor after the house closes. If you’re worried about proper etiquette, real estate agents rarely receive a gift nor expect one. It may actually turn into an awkward situation by presenting them with a gift. Realtors also know that buyers/sellers have their hands complete with moving and tending to a gift for a realtor is the last thing on their mind.

Should you tip your realtor?

Your realtor is not a waiter! Tipping your realtor or giving them a monetary reward is unnecessary. They are a professional running a business. Real estate agents may even be insulted if you list them.

If you have had an enjoyable client-realtor experience, alternative ways exist to express gratitude. Please refer to the suggestions on this page.

A couple sharing a laugh and having a pleasant experience with their real estate agent.
If you have truly enjoyed your journey with your real estate agent, expressing gratitude with a gift might feel like the right thing to do.

Emotions, stress, and buying a home

There are times when buying a house goes smoothly, and other times when it hits the stressful zone. It goes both ways, real estate agents get stressed, too.

I observed all of this when my son viewed a few dozen houses, by different real estate agents. In my rural area, competition is fierce between realtors. My son found out that there are even unwritten rules about best practice/etiquette between realtors. A few innocent questions put him in some hot water and a little drama between two agents.

My son is a caring and considerate guy. He naturally felt inclined to thank the realtor he worked with. However, the glimpse into the life of a realtor left him with a bit of a bad taste in his mouth. He appreciated the help that the realtor gave him through all of his questions, but he came to accept the interaction for what it was: a business relationship.

Keep in mind that realtors get a percentage of the home sale price. In larger urban areas with expensive houses, realtors can make a pretty good living (just check out what car they are driving).

In the event that your realtor really did go above and beyond, a small gift may be in order. By “small” I mean under $50 such as a bottle of wine. Again, it would be in an extreme case that a gift would even be given. Real estate agents hustling their butts is part of their job, and not unique to your experience.

Real estate agents will report overwhelming that they do not get gifts. One agent said if he did receive a gift, it was from someone he was friends first with. That really puts it into perspective: real estate agents getting gifts is quite rare.

How do you thank a realtor at closing?

Glad you asked! It’s essential to thank your realtor after the closing, especially since this may not be your only experience with them. Homeowners can go on to buy or sell more than one home in a lifetime. An established realtor/homeowner past relationship is a nice thing to have in place for future transactions.

You can do the same just like a realtor picks up tidbits of information when interacting with you. The likes and interests of the realtor can be clues that lead to perfect thank-you gifts.

Food interests. Do they have a preference for a type of local cusine? Thank them with a gift certificate to a frequented restaurant to a cookbook. Maybe a local brewery or coffee house.

Sports fan. Sports tickets.

Movie buff. Tickets to a movie night.

A couple sitting across a desk from their realtor.
A thank you gift to a realtor should not be expensive, but a small gesture expressing your gratitude.

Your own stash. This is my favorite and most personal. Give a gift of something you made, or had a personal connection with. For example, my aunt brings her homemade pickles to her family doctor. Sound weird? Turns out the doctor hides them so the rest of his family can’t have auntie’s pickles – he loves them that much.

If you have a business that already creates food, such as a bakery or catering business, your realtor would love to have a taste! I have a neighbor who has built a honey business empire; his reputation is known far and wide. Besides being a family friend, he keeps bees on our property. This personal connection gives us a story to give along with the gift when we give honey to others.

If you’re a woodworker, maker, or other type of artist, your original creation would be a valued gift. If you’re a photographer or artist and have captured images of the area, they could be turned into great notecards. This is a convenient gift that a realtor can use as a unique touch when giving closing gifts.

Gifts to avoid giving to realtor

Giving gifts in a professional relationship follows the same etiquette as realtor to buyer/seller gifts.

Nothing humorous. Your sense of humour may not be the same as theirs. This includes quotes, mugs, or hats or shirts with any printed text on.

Avoid personal items. This is always a bad idea. Something they would need to pick out themselves, such as a jacket or hat is best left alone. The same goes for jewelry.

Male realtor showing house for sale to young couple.
You’ve spent a lot of time with your realtor, and he went above and beyond to help you find a new home. A thank you gift at closing might feel like the right thing to do.

Skip the premium gifts, AKA “too nice.” Memorabilia, signed objects by celebrities/sports stars, luxury items, expensive tech gadgets. You would be teetering on the awkward zone.

Gift baskets? Gift baskets are great ideas, until you get into a gift basket exchanging war. The realtor gives a basket to you, you give a basket to them, it just feels like a setup for an uncomfortable situation.

Gift card. This could potentially be the same problem as gift baskets. Kind of like Christmas when everyone stands up to exchange cards… what’s the point? However, this is still a popular choice.

Writing a thank you note to a realtor

A honest and sincere note can be a rare find these days. When I receive an amazing letter, I keep it. I have walked into people’s offices that have wonderful and touching notes pinned to a bulletin board. A good note is a treasure.

I cannot emphasize enough how magical it is to be on the receiving end of a heart-felt letter. As one realtor stated, “there’s something deeply personal about receiving a handwritten thank you note.”

Realtors are real people, too. A well-written letter can transcend the realtor-client realtionship and touch the heartstrings. A good letter can stand on its own, or be given with another gift. A meaningful note will probably come as a surprise, because so few people take the time for it.

Woman at a desk writing a thank you letter.
A thoughtful thank you note or letter is one of the most awesome ways of expressing your gratitude to your realtor.

How to write a review or testimonial for a real estate agent

Every agent will appreciate positive reviews, testimonials, ratings and referrals. This can be both online and in person.

Online reviews are the gift that keeps on giving, long after your transaction has closed. Go to your agent’s Google business page, Yelp, Zillow, or Facebook, and post an honest (and hopefully positive) review about your experience.

When you started your buying or selling of your property, you probably scoped out real estate businesses, trying to find the best one. Overwhelming, right?

Likely, you relied on client testimonials to help sift through all the “noise.” As stated earlier, there is nothing a realtor wants more than a shining testimonial from a satisfied customer. Happy clients = more business.

If you believe your client did a good job, reward you realtor with a well-worded review. The examples below will sent the right signal to potential clients – your realtor couldn’t be more thrilled!

post it notes on a bulletin board with words "What our clients say?"
Obtaining a honest testimonial is valuable to establishing a realtor’s reputation.

Review Grower has a very thorough article about how to write a client testimonial. The only thing I can add to it is write what you would have liked to hear when you were reading reviews.

The trick of writing a good realtor review is not to sound canned. I was a bit put off by the “60+ realtor reviews you can copy and paste!” Realtors know that it is an uphill battle to deliver genuine testimonials that sound honest, so write from your heart.

Be specific and write what you would be searching for in a review. This may include that the realtor was friendly, genuinely interested in the client’s needs, and how they went above and beyond to give exceptional service.

Video testimonials for real estate agents

Your realtor might be seeking a video testimonial. Video testimonials add a layer of honesty that sometimes can be hard to discern in a print testimonial. If you’re comfortable with it, it would be a great asset to create for the realtor.

A successful testimonial can also be done in interview form. The realtor can discuss the format with you ahead of time and go over questions. You should have the right to review the edited video upon completion before giving final approval.

Realtor talking with client at her office.
If you’ve had a pleasant experience with your realtor, giving them a glowing and positve review will be easy!

Gifts for the real estate agent in your life

Finding the perfect gift for a loved one in your life (who happens to be a realtor) is another gift-giving matter. If you’re married to a realtor, dating a realtor, have a sibling or son/daughter or friend who is a realtor, here are more personal realtor-themed gift ideas that you can give.

Gifts for a realtor’s office

People may think of realtors as always on-the-go, but they do get lots of desk time. Gifts for their office make a great gift. Some ideas include:

  • decorative piece for the desk
  • candy bowl for office desk
  • business card holder
  • small potted indoor plant that doesn’t require much care
  • high-quality pen
  • personalized stationery
  • interior decor items for the office
  • artwork for office wall
  • desktop or wall clock for office
  • decorative matching desk organizer sets
  • real estate agent accessories
  • real estate agent notebooks and support materials
  • real estate agent client marketing supplies

Gifts for traveling real estate agents

When people think of real estate agents, they think of them zipping around in their cars. Most of the time they are showing houses and properties to clients, but also commuting to work. You can make their car time more enjoyable with these gifts:

Male realtor working on a laptop in his office.
Give a gift to the realtor in your life! Gifts can be for their office, time spent in the car, humorous (only if they are your family) or for their personal interests.
  • phone dock for car
  • hands-free blue tooth for car
  • dash camera for car
  • car organizer
  • keep warm coffee mug for car
  • emergency kit for car
  • business card case

Gifts for tech-savvy real estate agents

Realtors embrace high-tech and look for any cutting-edge technology to give them an advantage in the competitive real estate world. Consider one of the gifts for the tech-savvy realtor in your life:

  • phone charger
  • wireless headphone with mic for car
  • screen cleaners and protectors
  • blue light protection screen
  • blue light protection glasses
  • smart phone camera accessories
  • phone tripod stand for taking pictures
  • touchscreen/texting gloves
  • laser distance measurement tool
  • Apple tablet

Gifts for a realtor’s home

A realtor has the advantage of touring many houses in a lifetime, gleaning all sorts of good ideas. In addition, they are usually home buffs themselves.

Kitchen enthusiast. They may have a passion for cooking or entertaining:

Interior decorator. Many realtors have an interest in home decorating, which compliments their realtor job. Consider a design or home improvement gift:

  • A nice flower vase with fresh flowers for a personal touch
  • decorative plant such as a succulent, bonsai or orchid
  • gift certificate to home decorating store

Do-it-yourselfer. Some realtors have an interest in home improvement. A gift card to a home improvement store or tools they have been eyeing can turn out to be the perfect realtor gift.

Personal gifts for a realtor

If you recall from above, I said that personal gifts we: off limits to realtors, but only in client-realtor situations. This is a list of gift ideas only if you personally know the realtor:

Man with confused look on his face, new home in background.
If you’ve had an amazing realtor experience, it’s natural to want to express your thanks.
Renee Cavvy
Renee Cavvy

Renee brings over 30 years of gift giving experience to holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, workplace and faith events. Every life moment is cause for celebration or those times in life when we need the "the gift of support". Her mission: Let's all be better in appreciating one another, put an end to meaningless gifts that clutter our lives, and give from a place of love and kindness. This midwest mom (and grandma) offers novel and creative ideas to do gift giving better!