Why Realtors Give Closing Gifts (and Why You Should, Too)

The most seasoned real estate agents understand the value of closing gifts. Still, some wonder, “why do realtors give closing gifts?” There are several valid reasons to do so.

I’m here to convince you that your real estate business can benefit from the extra effort of closing gifts. Elevate your realtor closing gift strategies with these tips and pointers.

P.S. If you’re determined to be a pro real estate agent, check out realtor gift giving etiquette for real polish!

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Why do realtors give closing gifts?

So why do realtors give closing gifts? Maybe you’re looking for your own reasons to give or not to give. Some real estate agents think it is okay to skip closing gifts and that their outstanding service should speak for itself.

For the realtors who do give closing gifts, they have figured out the future value it gives back to them. Alisia Krastel says it best on her YouTube channel “Real Estate Success”: giving a client a gift releases dopamine (a neurotransmitter in the brain responsible for feelings of pleasure and happiness).

Alisia goes on to state that giving a gift is about having the client feel something every time they see the gift. You want to leave your client thinking and feeling how special they felt when they received the gift, and thus making you memorable.

As Alisia says, the right closing gift “can make you unforgettable.”

Don’t forget the Realtor Thank-You Note!

Realtor’s closing gifts acknowledge big life events

Buying a home is a significant event in a person’s life (and selling a home). Emotions are big. Buyers want to feel confident they made a suitable investment. It goes beyond that; the neighborhood and community will become part of their lives. Did they choose wisely?

I’ll repeat it; there is a lot at stake. Like people stalking someone before they go out on a date, home buyers and sellers scope out real estate agents to find out if you’re a “bad realtor.”

They’re not taking any chances with the most critical decision in their life. In addition, buyers have to bare their inner likes, feelings, hopes, and dreams. The process leaves them feeling vulnerable.

Closing gifts: because realtors are nice people

Preconceived stereotypes about real estate agents circulate publicly – and it’s not all positive. Casual discussion can reference realtors as “bad, sleazy, unethical.”

Add in online platforms that make it easy for your client to announce to the world, “My realtor didn’t give me a closing gift!” The negativity is hard to stay in front of. Thoughtful closing gifts and equally thoughtful realtor notes can change the perspective positively.

Yes, closing gifts are a strategy to get you referrals. But, referrals come not because of the gift but because of how you interacted with the clients, built trust, and represented them.

The closing realtor gift is the final impression you leave with the client. As in the case of my neighbors, you want to be there to sell the house again when your former client resells it.

Closing gifts show you have listened to your client

Individualized closing gifts signal that you have been listening to the client. To reference Alisia Krastel (YouTube channel “Real Estate Success”), she says gifts based on proof you are listening to what the person cares about means more than the gift itself. The result is a gift that makes you “top of mind” as Alisia points out.

Everyone wants to be seen and heard, not just a dollar sign in a realtor’s pocket. Keep your ears open for clues that reveal opportunities to connect with your client on these topics personally:

  • likes, dislikes (such as food)
  • hobbies
  • practical mindset, or a spendor
  • interests (tech gadgets, cooking. gardening)
  • personal values
  • likes to entertain
  • open to adventures
  • into quiet activities
  • future plans for the property

Client interests can help you customize a winning closing gift.

Real estate agent listening to her client's needs.
Good listening skills are one of the most important qualities of a real estate agent.

Spending time with clients offers an excellent opportunity to get to know them better. A couple is excited about the outdoor space, talks about favorite stores, or is into cooking.

Gifts could be sports tickets, a gift from a kitchen store, or searching out the perfect addition to a vintage collection.

I would caution you against giving more “stuff,” – especially generic stuff. We all have branded coffee mugs, thermoses, and water bottles crammed in our kitchen cupboards. Don’t burden your client with another gift object.
A thoughtful or helpful gift or experience can leave the clients fondly remembering you.

Celebrating the home closing: realtors who care

A house closing marks the end of the buyer search. This life event is thrilling and celebrates new beginnings for the client. Your closing gift can lean into the theme of this momentous occasion.

The “handing over of the keys” can be a memorable event. REH Real Estate drives this home with their ideas to make the day special.

A couple and their son holding a "sold" sign in front of their new home. Inset, another couple holding a "Home Sweet Home" sign.
Add to the excitement of a house closing by taking photos of the buyer and their family in front of the new home. Add some props in for festivity!

They suggest adding excitement to the event by placing a king-size red bow on the front door. Go the extra mile by delivering the keys to the buyer at the property. I especially like the idea of ensuring the house is clean (even getting a cleaning service) and making sure the house smells fresh.

Another nice touch is to stock a meat and cheese tray in the fridge with light snacks and bottled refreshments. What a pleasant little surprise to greet the new owners when they open the refrigerator (if there is no fridge, place a non-perishable basket of food on the counter). You can even add a small vase of fresh flowers in the bathroom (yes, bathroom!) as another little surprise. Don’t forget a note of good wishes!

You may want to do what one successful agent does and present first-time buyers with an American flag. He adds a touching note with the words, “Congratulations on achieving the American Dream!”

A happy, smiling couple holding the keys to their new home.
Buying a new home for first-time home buyers is emotional. It signifies achieving the American Dream and puts the stressful process of looking for a home behind them.

For the finale, ask your clients to take a picture at the front door with the king-size red bow behind them. Add some props, like a SOLD! Sign or the American flag. This photo will make a memorable canvas print or framed picture that you can deliver later.

If this is a closing gift for the seller, snap a picture of the house in the background with a sold sign. This photo opportunity makes a great photo gift for them, too!

Should a realtor give a closing gift?

I hope this article has convinced you that a realtor should give a closing gift. I understand, being a realtor is hard, and giving gifts cuts into your bottom line. As a new realtor, you need to look at the bigger picture, the longer-term benefits a closing gift brings.

Every situtation does not warrant a closing gift; you will figure that out as you get a feel for the business. The reality is that realtors who have never given closing gifts before are watching their rivals give closing gifts, with great success.

Consider it!

Happy family in background that just bought a new home. Realtor in foreground is questioning if he should give a closing gift.
Should a realtor give a closing gift?

In conclusion

These closing gift etiquette tips are just one part of becoming a top-notch realtor. Let your instinct guide you, and soon you will have your go-to list for perfect closing gifts.

In my first job, I helped clients design spaces in their homes. I can’t explain it, but I wanted to share their triumph at the end of the project. Picking out a beautiful, peaceful lily plant was my way of acknowledging one couple. Although my company had no policy about thank-you gifts for clients, I felt I had done the right thing.

A realtor gift is a bonding experience, acknowledging the journey you’ve shared with the client. If done right, it will leave a lasting impression on them. As one successful realtor put it, “Most of my clients are clients for life!.”

Male realtor with puzzled look on his face; happy family just bought their first home.
Realtor thank you cards to clients are a way to practice good manners in the business place.
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!