You're so moved by the services rendered by your real estate agent that you want to seal the experience with a gift, above and beyond the commission your agent will collect.
But what to give?
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The hive mind at StreetEasy.com has a few thoughts....
- I hosted a happy hour (i.e. open bar, free food) for my team (broker, lawyer, and relevant staff) after I closed. I also sent a Shari's Berries gift box to their respective back office staff and to my lender's back office staff because I had a very weird closing and I felt as though they all really hustled to see my deal through. I'm not saying this is obligatory, but I thought it was the classy thing to do.
- I once gave a gift - an expensive chocolate basket from a local shop - to a buyer's agent who was great. He actually advised me not to buy the property I bought, spent a lot of time counseling me to make sure I knew what I was getting into....I recommend this guy to EVERYONE in the area and have probably netted his firm half a million dollars in commission, which is (let's face it) the best gift you can give to a broker.
- The best "thank you" is a referral....If somebody goes above and beyond the call of duty, especially if you have a difficult transaction, a small gift (along with a nice handwritten note) is very classy. If you don't know what to get the person, what I usually do is ask one of the people's co-workers. So that they have an idea of what you want to spend, I often say something like "I was thinking of getting __________ a ____________. Do you think he/she would like that or is there something else you think he/she would like better". You don't want to buy a bottle of wine for somebody who doesn't drink wine, or worse, doesn't drink at all. Another nice idea is a note to the person's boss/owner of the company about what a great job the person did.
- If anything, the BROKERS should be the ones giving the thank-you gifts!
- I feel like I get small thank-you gifts of the bottle of Dom/fancy chocolate/restaurant meals variety nearly half the time. Note that if you're thinking of giving a big thank-you gift (yes, some people tip fair amounts of cash, usually when you've saved them from a train wreck and put them in a good situation instead) it can't go straight to an agent, as that's a licensing violation, so it needs to go through the firm.
- I think just a really nice card with a personal note is great. If the sale closes, the broker is richly rewarded financially, so just a nice note of "Job well done" is quite satisfying.
- I agree that the best 'gift' a client can give is a referral to a friend or family member about the broker's service quality, etc.. All the gifts I ever got were referrals and verbal thank yous and maybe a drink night out to keep in touch after closing. Not that a gift isnt nice or anything, but a 'thank you' note on how I helped the client is really more than enough.