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Closing Gift Etiquette: A How-to-guide For Agents

Written by Expose Yourself Public Relations on Wednesday, 11 June 2014 12:59 pm

Congratulations! You've survived yet another house closing & can finally give yourself a pat on the back for all your hard work! But, before you close the door on a now happy home owner, you have one last task to complete.

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 mostly 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, MA 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 accept 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," Booras 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 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!

For more information, visit: Expose Yourself Public Relations.

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  • Comment Link elizabeth tyers Friday, 03 October 2014 6:06 pm posted by elizabeth tyers

    who cares if they aren't buying, they've just hired and paid for you "The Expert" to sell their home and you made a good wack of money from their investment................................. Buy them a gift certificate to a fancy hotel and spa treatment for a weekend or better yet, "Ask" them what they'd like to have but wouldn't normally splash out on themselves!!

  • Comment Link elizabeth tyers Friday, 03 October 2014 12:20 pm posted by elizabeth tyers

    my selling agent just came by to pick up the keys to give the buyers, that would have been the best time to give "a little something " but no, just a limp hand shake and a meek thank you! I'm fuming for a number of reasons I won't go into but won't be using him again any time in the future as well, I am sending him a text to let him know we could use a new coffee machine.

  • Comment Link Lorelei Barrett Wednesday, 09 July 2014 12:20 pm posted by Lorelei Barrett

    To Beth,
    For buyers, I go by the property a couple of hours before they get the keys and leave a nice food tray of snacks, chocolate, fruit and the like and also leave a case of bottled water in the fridge. If they drink wine, I'll include wine and a pair of glasses (and opener!). If they are first time buyers and have a lot of fixing up to do, I'll give a gift card to Lowe's or Depot.
    For sellers, I'll send them a thank you card and a gift card for a nice meal ($100.) to a restaurant near where they are moving. This works as I can check out restaurants online if they're moving out of the area.
    Every one of my clients have called and thanked me for the nice surprises. I even got a referral once from a friend of the buyers who helped them move in their new home. He appreciated the snacks/water too and called to say he wanted to work with someone who is so thoughtful. :)
    Hope this gives you some ideas!

  • Comment Link Beth Thursday, 03 July 2014 3:51 pm posted by Beth

    Awesome ideas on the champagne, glasses, and wine! Thanks!

    For sellers I've given an engraved set (2) of Cutco knives. It's a small enough box that it's easy for them to pack and take, or mail to them after they've moved as a thank you. If they're renting, or ever move back, they'll have those for a long time.

  • Comment Link Dennis Brown Thursday, 03 July 2014 1:26 pm posted by Dennis Brown

    I usually leave a bottle of champagne in the fridge and a boxed set of engraved champagne glasses on the kitchen counter with a card thanking the buyers for allowing me to help them find their new home. The glasses I buy at Macy's for under $30.00. I spend maybe $30 to $100 on the champagne, depending on the transaction.

    For high end clients, if they enjoy wine, I'll leave a basket of 8 to 12 award-winning Washington wines in the home, along with the card of a local wine shop owner I know who offers 10% discounts to my clients. During the shopping process, I ask questions about their "favorite thihgs" and watch for ways to personalize.

    Both of these are very well received and I get comments from the clients years after closing.

  • Comment Link Gale Spencer Thursday, 03 July 2014 1:18 pm posted by Gale Spencer

    I struggle the most with what closing gift to give sellers who are not buying. Some rent for a time, others move out of the area. Suggestions?

  • Comment Link Beth Steil Wednesday, 02 July 2014 1:59 pm posted by Beth Steil

    Great gift ideas! Curious as to when other agents give their clients the gift..... at signing? After the closing? Make it a pop by? What are some ideas on when and how to deliver gifts? Thanks!

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