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Elizabeth Weintraub

Top 10 REALTOR® Closing Gifts

By August 29, 2007

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Although agents regularly give their clients gifts at closing, it's also popular to give REALTORS® closing gifts.

Many readers have written to me asking for gift suggestions. They don't want to come across as ungrateful, especially if their agents have worked their tails off or sprinted that extra yard. But clients also want to appear thoughtful and give a gift that will be appreciated. So, what do you do?

Because it's not as though the agent hasn't earned a tidy little sum known as a commission for bringing the transaction to a successful close, which means the agent can buy herself or himself almost anything he or she desires. Moreover, a common concern among some home sellers and buyers is does the REALTOR® even deserve a closing gift? Some don't. Realize that closing gifts from a client are never expected, and you're under no obligation to deliver a gift.

But let's say your REALTOR® does deserve a gift, a small token of your appreciation and gratitude. What kind of gift should you send? Here is a list of the top 10 REALTOR® closing gifts -- but pay special attention to the number one closing gift because it carries tons more weight than anything else you could give . . . read more about REALTOR® closing gifts.

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At the time of writing, Elizabeth Weintraub, DRE # 00697006, is a Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, California.

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September 1, 2007 at 3:05 pm
(1) Albuquerque realtor says:

Great suggestions, I think gift certificates are always a good idea. Thanks!

March 11, 2009 at 11:34 am
(2) Josh says:

I think it’s rediculous to give a closing gift to a real estate agent. Real estate is the most ridiculous job in the world! It only takes about $800 and a couple weeks of classes to become a licenced agent, and for that they make thousands of dollars off of your home purchase and/or sale? Seriously, become a agent yourself and save the $6,000, but certainly don’t buy them a gift for making money off of you already!

March 11, 2009 at 1:31 pm
(3) homebuying says:

LOL. Tell us how you REALLY feel, Josh.

March 13, 2009 at 6:21 pm
(4) Al the Realtor says:

Oh really Josh, Go get your license and see for yourself, If you really think it’s that easy to earn that money.

April 25, 2009 at 10:40 am
(5) stretchbugs says:

I know how hard I work for my money. I am a 24/7 agent. In most cases the commission isn’t all that huge and it takes months to earn it. Every one of my clients deserves the effort and time I spend with them. One thing I would never expect or want is a gift from my buyer or seller. At the end of a transaction most clients write letters to the broker and refer business to the better agent. That’s the gift I want – for someone to be so happy with my services that they would refer me to someone else.

May 17, 2009 at 2:43 pm
(6) Sunita says:

It takes a tremendous amount of time, effort, patience and persistence to bring a buyer or seller to a close and the money earned is a nice bonus. There’s so much legal responsiblity you take for your clients too. In some cases you may have worked months with clients and they change their mind or their situation changes and you have to just smile, let them know you’re there when they need you and move on. These are the kinds of things that most people don’t realize we go through. They just look at the times when things do work out.

June 1, 2009 at 10:01 pm
(7) Terri says:

Whoever started this has little or no respect for the realtor’s time. I know, personally, I go above and beyond for my clients. I would love to make a top 10 gift list for the person who wrote this column. Before they speak, they need to be in our position and see how hard we fight on behalf of our clients.

June 8, 2009 at 10:39 pm
(8) Denise says:

To Josh,
Your comment sure comes from someone who NEVER walked in a Realtor’s shoes. I challange you to get your license then you will see why 80% of the agents get out of the business in the first year. We just make it look easy.

September 14, 2009 at 8:37 am
(9) Unhappy says:

I was very disappointed with my realtor. She would send me listings, but I was not interested in any of the homes she sent. Each and every house we looked at, I had found. When it came time to close, her associate told me my gift was in the mail. I never received anything. I called my realtor three times after the closing for various reasons and she never returned a single phone call. All this left a distaste with me. I had two referrals for her and she couldn’t be bothered to return my calls.

September 14, 2009 at 8:43 am
(10) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

That is unfortunate that your agent, for whatever reason, never called you back. I’ve had clients ask me at closing: “So, does this mean we’ll never see you again?” I tell them no. I never go away.

December 8, 2009 at 8:20 pm
(11) Marianne S says:

Amen on the comment on walking a mile in our shoes. If you’re a full time agent, you work way more than the average 40 hour week, field calls at all hours because problems don’t just pop up from 9-5 during the day. We don’t have the time clock to punch out and leave the work at the office. If it looks like your Realtor “really didn’t do much” to sell your house, then you were dealing with a professional. It’s our job to make the transaction as smooth and seamless as possible. If it was nightmare experience, we aren’t doing our job – if it looked easy, we don’t deserve our money. It’s a fact we get more money for a seller than if they sold it on their own and we get it done faster. Just as I couldn’t do something as simple as changing my own oil, I respect the mechanic who can do it in 15 minutes. Get real.

January 26, 2010 at 9:49 am
(12) Jessica says:

We started working with a realtor a few months ago and I have to say that I could never do that job. I give good realtors a lot of credit for all the time and effort and patience they give up in order to help their clients. As a college prof. who is never technically “off the clock” I can relate to most of it, but on top of all they have to be pleasant all the time! The dedication and good nature of our agent (who has worked for me while she was on Christmas vacation on the other side of the country!) never ceases to amaze me.

March 9, 2010 at 6:17 pm
(13) Kimberly Martin says:

If being a Realtor were easy… everyone would do it. Go ahead Josh, get a license!

July 14, 2010 at 8:36 pm
(14) clover says:

We are working with a realtor to sell our home. It has not been an enjoyable event. I do not know of one time our realtor has shown our home to anyone. It has always been another realtor bringing people and if our realtor is busy we let the realtor in, and then leave hoping nothing gets stolen.

Our realtor talks to me like I am stupid and talks down to me, though I am college educated. Amazing, since I hired him and he supposicly is working for me. Please note at first the Realtor was nice and pusued me to put the house on the market. Literally the moment I signed the agreement the hell began. I am talking within minutes.

I am just stuck in this contract for the home to sell. I will be glad when the time has passed, I do not even care if the house sales I just want it over. I will never hire a realtor again. I would rather get an attorney to handle the legal part and list is for sale by owner.

Sorry for all of the good realtors. I know you are only hearing one side, but as my children have told me I am way to nice and people take advantage of me. I wish I could see this stuff coming and be more strong!!

July 14, 2010 at 9:02 pm
(15) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I’m sorry you had such a bad experience. However, I will say that a good agent is one who inspires other agents to show your home. That’s what agents do. It is rare for an agent to bring his or her own buyer nor, most likely, would you really want your agent to represent both of you.

July 16, 2010 at 2:49 pm
(16) clover says:

If your realtor doesn’t really “sell” your home and waits or encourages other sellers to bring buyers than why are you paying your realtor 1000′s to “sell” your home. Why not just hire a real estate attorney to handle the legal sale of the property and pay a few hundred dollars to list your home on the MLS site. When I worked for a real estate agent he actually “sold” the home. Anotherwords he brought buyers and under the broker has someone in house represent the buyer. You sign the paperwork up front saying it is ok to do this with any agency anyway. When you “hire” a real estate agent they should “sell” your home. When did all of this change!! When did it change were the person you hire doesn’t “show” your home. If this is how it is now, than hiring a Real Estate agent isn’t worth it. You can sell your home yourself, hire a real estate attorney to handle the paperwork, and meet at the title company. This is what my neighbor did and sold her home in two weeks. She was right, yet I told her having a real estate agent was better. I was wrong, if this is how real estate works now.

July 17, 2010 at 2:58 pm
(17) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

A small part of a listing agent’s job is bringing in the buyer; it’s the work on the front end that brings a buyer. It’s staging the home, pricing the home correctly with the right terms and then exposing that home through marketing efforts to the widest pool of possible buyers. Agents can work with a seller for 2 to 4 weeks before the home even goes on the market. Then there is the negotation with multiple buyers — providing the home attracted more than one buyer, which the good listings generally attract. But if a seller doesn’t need or care about any of those things, you can sell your home yourself and hire a lawyer to prepare the paperwork. I believe NAR has published a report that show sellers who use an agent make 20% or 22% more than those who opt to do a FSBO. Obviously, though, there are sellers who make more without an agent.

October 17, 2010 at 7:41 pm
(18) Mike says:

Realtors are one step up on the food chain from used car salemsen…if possible do not waste time with them. They are only out for themselves. The buyer/seller is just a tool for them to make money!

October 20, 2010 at 1:31 am
(19) Eric says:

This is so funny to read….. I cant believe how uneducated people are about the job we do as realtors. Josh if its so easy why are you not doing it. And for those of you that are complaining that your agent never shows the property but “other agents do”, where do you think those agents come from? Thin air? Nope, they come from a service called the MLS which we all pay thousands of dollars to advertise our properties to other agents, then we split our commission with that agent that happened to have a buyer looking for your particular home. When I market a home it goes all over the web to websites like the MLS, Trulia & Zillow to name a few. Then a buyer see the home that I was really carefull to take the best possible pictures with a professional camera and calls the agent he or she has been working with and says ” I saw this on Zillow, can you show me that?” The agent says of course and calls me for an appointment and we split the comission. Besides the marketing we also write up the contracts that protect you the seller (Or the buyer depending on who you represent) and negotiate the sale to protect your equity. On top of that we have to coordinate the whole transaction which include, mortgage brokers, appraisers, underwriters, closing agents, attorneys, lien holders, home inspectors, mold inspectors…….. Oh lets not forget driving buyers around which time and gas cost…. you guessed it MONEY.

December 13, 2010 at 5:36 pm
(20) Marie says:

Ok Josh, It takes alot to become and stay an agent, and REALTORS deserve every dime of their commission. Don’t hate on how much money we make, trust me everyone can’t and shouldn’t become realtors if they don’t have a true passion for working with people. See the differnence with me, I love what I do, I listen to my clients, and that’s why in my first year in this still struggling economy, I’ve sold $500,000 in real estate!

So if someone wants to buy their agent a gift for doing an awesome job, I say go for it because we do deserve it!

December 14, 2010 at 4:00 pm
(21) Guest says:

You may have further trivializing and deepened the negative impression many have of what Real Estate Brokers and agents do. Not a favorable impression of what and how you do it. Hope you’re a member of the National Association of Realtors as you refer to yourself as a realtor. Only Realtors are members of the National Association of Realtors. Generalize what other realtors do? How do you know? Referring to your specific practices is fine. Generalizing others practices is improper, unethical and possibly illegal. Sounds as though you are acting as a Broker if you are the one splitting money with anyone.
…paying “thousands” of dollars for MLS system privilege? Again, generalized, irresponsible, misleading…
Come on; you really go all over the web? No stone unturned, no sites missed, promoted in every possible way & possible venues? I didn’t think so. …the best possible pictures? Is this even possible? If so, perhaps you should change careers. …are some cameras “un”-professional?
Licensed to write those contracts and practice law? Didn’t think so. Perhaps you fill in the blanks as directed by the customer or client. Exactly what are you protecting us from when you write up those contracts? …providing body guard service? Protecting us from being sued or something? …I don’t think I’d feel protected, but maybe you’re making some personal guarantees.…little defensive over your gas money? Odd for folks to have to buy gas to do their job? Oh that’s right; I think your profession may be able to claim that as allowable business expense deduction.
Statements such as yours do not serve to educate folks about the services, ethics and benefits professional real estate sales agent & Brokers provide. There are many talented Brokers & agents who are committed to serving real estate customers and clients extremely well and are more than happy to present their services and benefits.
Don’t perceive this distorted, misguided portrayal as example of others services.

March 30, 2011 at 9:04 pm
(22) Guest says:

90% of buyers find their home on their own. The real estate business will change dramatically, and as commissions continue to compress, the unemployed will likely include a surge of out-of-work realtors. I’ve bought and sold a home, with and without a realtor, and there are way too many people in the middle of it trying to get paid. The great realtors will always have job security, all else lookout!

April 2, 2011 at 7:12 pm
(23) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I’ve been hearing that the real estate business is going to change and agents are going to be out of work since the 1970s when I started. :)

As with any profession, though, the individuals who make a career from it will tend to weather any storm.

May 7, 2011 at 7:10 pm
(24) Ken says:

So Josh, your post is written like someone with a big chip on his shoulder. Perhaps you’re the only oe that works for aliving and everyone else gets their money for nothing!

May 13, 2011 at 2:53 pm
(25) Nicky McDonnell says:

I have been a steakhouse waitress in NY, I was the assistant to the beauty editor of Vogue (yes, Devil wears Prada). I worked tirelessly as a realtor assistant for many years. Josh, I have to tell you, being a full time realtor is ONE HARD JOB. Really, there is no way to understand it until you are in it. I got into it because I thought the same thing!! :)

June 17, 2011 at 12:10 pm
(26) Danielle says:

Ok Josh- 17-20 hour days, phone calls, emails, traffic, marketing, representing your client- We don’t do this because we are looking to be rich, most of us do this because we love it – this is one of the most competitive careers out there so no we don’t make our “6000″ and walk away- compute the hours and time and dedication, and most of us are looking at a little more than minimum wage by the time a house closes (3-5 months to get paid, massive paperwork, and best is, after the “6000″ we still have to pay taxes on that)- so please I implore you to get your license & walk in our shoes for just one day, maybe you will get it

July 4, 2011 at 9:26 pm
(27) Valerie says:

Really Josh….I was a classroom teacher, a hair stylist, and a real estate agent. It takes lots of money to function each month as a real estate agent. You also have to have as many classes completed each five years to renew your license as a classroom teacher does (at least in Ca).
Being a real estate agent IS NOT AS EASY AS IT SOUNDS. I have been one for seven years now and it is one of the most difficult professions…if you do it right…there is. LOTS of hours, lots of stress. If you calculated the hours you spend on a tranaction, and the money that goes out of your pocket down to the money you make…the $ per hour is not very much. I used to have your attitude Josh…till I spend the last seven years walking in those shoes.

July 6, 2011 at 4:46 pm
(28) Bella says:

I just read every single comment here good and bad. I have bought and sold many homes.(I’m a consumer, not an agent.) I have to say being on both ends, I’m going to opt for FSBO next time. And don’t believe this crap about ‘making lessm oney’ without an agent. ‘ve sold my own home myself; it’s NOT THAT HARD. IThat’s all it is – crap. If you’re all so unhappy being realtors – QUIT! Or stop your griping. I’m locked into a purchase contract with one of you whiners right nmow, and I interviewed several. I have to agree – you are all just one step up on the food chain from used car and furniture salesmen.

July 6, 2011 at 5:54 pm
(29) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Hey, Bella, sounds like maybe you should go into real estate. Why I bet you’d mop up the floor with agents! But then you’d have to elevate your opinion and, somehow, I don’t see that happening.

July 7, 2011 at 11:03 am
(30) Bella says:

Maybe if I had such ‘wonderful’ agents as you all posting here, I wouldn’t have the problems I have now with mine, who also wanted nothing more than to sign the contract and now not have time for me, well knowing I just relocated from another state and need a house asap. That’s just bad business and unfortunately, yes, gives all of you a bad name. I stand by my statement that SELLING your house is not that hard if you have the time and effort, though. I plan on firing on my agent today after her blowing me off one last time. Just keep good records if you do have a contract, and have valid reasons for firing your agent. Remember – YOU WERE HIRED, YOU CAN BE FIRED. Period. If you can prove they haven’t done their job, you CAN dump them without repercussions. Remember the LLR board is there to help you, and why would a realtor want the bad name a client would give them after them screwing up??? Better to part amicably and move on. You unhappy realtors, don’t bother posting back; I’m moving on….SMILE EMOTICON. Shouldn’t you also be out showing properties? LOL…

October 24, 2011 at 1:49 pm
(31) Johannes says:

It’s the choice of the consumer whether or not to use a real estate agent; there are many benefits to using a “good” one. I tried to do a FSBO and I just did not have the time/experience/expertise to deal with it. I had to deal with some horrible agents that tried to take advantage of my situation in some way, but then I hired a very good agent and my house sold. Just like any business, there are the very good and the very bad and whole lot of others in between. Good agents remember that they achieve their personal business goals by providing comprehensive services that are focused on their customers, not by focusing on their own need to sell and make money. Unfortunately, it seems like there are too many of the latter that have made agents as a whole look pretty bad.

A similar thing can be said about any other commission-based salesperson, like the lady that sold me my floor tiles, a financial planner, life insurance person, etc….Get good referrals, do your interview, and if you don’t like them, find someone else to work with. In my state, a real estate listing contract can be canceled by the seller, which I would not have hesitated to do if my agent was one of the bad ones.

October 27, 2011 at 5:08 pm
(32) Brandy says:

The closing gifts are for the clients. In Louisiana it costs WAY more than $800 to become a Realtor, class, test, vehicle insurance has to be above full coverage, MLS, Supra, the list goes on and on and we have to take several classes and pass a test to get licensed and take even more within 180 days to keep it plus we have to take classes all year long in fact we spend alot of time and money on classes so we can learn the LEGAL part of real estate and and how to best serve our clients, we learn our entire career because laws are always changing we also are involved in the politics regarding real estate issues.

October 27, 2011 at 5:10 pm
(33) Brandy says:

REST OF MY COMMENT FOR JOSH: We do alot of work, hard work. We have fees to pay all through out the year. We use our gas and time to take people to look at homes and if they don’t buy anything we don’t make anything. We spend OUR money to market your home we do not just put it in the MLS and put a sign in your yard and if it doesnt sell then we just lost that money. Some people can sell their own but its a fact that only 2% of fsbos actually sell and when they do most of them sell way below what an expert could have netted them. If you do not have the equity to hire an expert then definately try to sell it. Most Realtors will do a CMA for you at no charge. Most people work so how can they show their home when people want to look, deal with inspections and appraisals and repairs, I set all of that up for my clients and since they work I basically take care of everything, how do you know who you are letting in your home, do you know about all of the legal disclosures and that using a Realtor can keep you from being sued. You have no clue. As far as what we make, whatever the commission is, is split between 2 agents and then the agent only gets a percentage of that and we have to pay a transaction fee so we do not make what you think. We only get paid if we close. We can work our butts off and make little or nothing. I think being a Realtor is the most unappreciated service offered, every single client I have ever assisted has been more than happy with the work I do for them. If you a bad experience with a Realtor I would like to apologize we are NOT all bad. If you don’t want to use one thats perfectly fine but to get on here and say that is just straight up rude.

October 27, 2011 at 5:15 pm
(34) Brandy says:

Bella, you obviously have a bad agent and an even worse attitude, I am not complaining about my job I am complaining about BITCHES like you!!!

November 1, 2011 at 11:09 pm
(35) Tonya says:

I just want to say we closed on our home today and our real estate agent was amazing. If it wasn’t for her, we would have given up because we didn’t get financed right away. She didn’t give up, she found us a great lender and our homeowner’s insurance. She is a wealth of knowledge and there is NO way we could have done it without her!

November 2, 2011 at 8:33 am
(36) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Hi Tonya: And I take it the reason that you found this particular article online is because you were searching for a gift for your agent. If this isn’t proof that some agents do receive closing gifts, I don’t know what is.

November 17, 2011 at 5:01 pm
(37) LD says:

Yes Josh, since you know so much. Go get your license and see how easy and time consuming it really is and costly. Amazing – Just amazing.

December 6, 2011 at 1:44 am
(38) Where's the Honesty says:

It’s amazing that so many feel they have to defend their choice of employment.
Just like every job, there’s the good, there’s the bad, but then there’s really bad!! it’s all what you put into it & if you don’t like the profession you’re in move-on,maybe it’s not right for you.

Some jobs require spending $ to keep up with the times & take educational classes… bottom line = job requirements.

What kills me is people like myself go to Realtor agencies expecting to get assistance in finding their dream home, & expect the person they’re working with to be honest, not many know the meaning of honesty anymore…pretty sad.
I’ve worked with 4 different agents over the past 2 1/2 yrs, searching for the right home. The first agent seemed so clueless, thou I gave benefit of doubt until I thought I found my home,(6 months looking) asked all the questions I thought needed, etc when asked about what was behind the home I was told “find out yourself” she couldn’t tell me about schools, jails,etc I was told go online figure it out. Huge red flag.. I walked away from home & agent. (Yes, I know the sex offender privacy law) 2nd Agent (different place) I’d search online,drive pass property if I was interested further I’d request a viewing. (why waste time if didn’t like area or exterior) I spoke on phone told did a drive by & wanted to see inside.. his response ” Drive by again & look at neighborhood, if still want to see I’ll meet you there” – I knew this clown enjoyed his desk job too much, never got another call from me. continued…

December 6, 2011 at 1:49 am
(39) Where's the Honesty says:

Continued….3rd person, thou seemed nice I was doing all the searching & after giving my price range,style home & desired areas she kept sending & showing listings of dumps/ fixer uppers which I clearly wasn’t interested in. After 8 months of WASTING my time I gave up it was extremely discouraging & frustrating. I’d search online for months waited for the Spring to come again to hopefully start again. I sent a request for additional info. on a home & was again in contact with an agent. This time I told her straight out what I encountered for past yr & half, I expect honesty, if I feel i’m being lied to i’ll walk away, I was tired of the BS. Again I’d find 99% of the homes, even new listing that came up in her logs.. There were a couple I liked but not 100% in love w/ when things got stale she would tell me many times why don’t you reconsider ***, I’d say it’s not my home. She had other clients,friends looking for homes in same price range same time.. if I found something I really liked I’d ask to see it, I was told “already in contract”.. over & over… or “seller having issues lets move on to another”….continue

December 6, 2011 at 1:51 am
(40) Where's the Honesty says:

yeah all because it “was” a nice home for her friends & other clients. After keeping records of homes she said were in contract or sold.. whatever the excuse, that’s right excuse!! I got smart, I’d call the listing agent & inquire about the home & 4 times I caught her lying to me, I finally called her on it & her stumbling went on. Agents never give you a straight answer & act as they’re your best friend until you’re in contract & almost done with the deal.. you wont hear a peep unless something concerns them on the closing process. (I know this from buying my first home 20yrs ago… She lied too, she was friends w home owners-fed us a bag of crap, used her recommended inspector-house was a money pit,started falling thru floors a week after moving in. Overpaid by $70,000). Guess after 1st experience I’m very cautious, I trust no one in real estate.
Now I bet some are thinking maybe your funds weren’t sufficient & saving me trouble of looking at homes above my income… No, my credit score 798, income over 130K, with 30-40% down, I drive my own car so my gas also used, I looked around her scheduling as she had 4 kids in school (which I had no issue with). After all the crap I caught her in, I could careless about finding a new home… So tell me are these classes to sell real estate the same classes they require car salesmen to go to?

December 6, 2011 at 1:52 am
(41) where's the Honesty says:

I believe so.. If a person gives a hint of interest, feed into it, ignore the negative, there is no negative side of a sale only $$$ signs. She would even avoid showing homes of certain Listing person…due to commission issues. Depending on state,area commission can be anywhere from 2.5 to 6 percent of sale depending on agreement of the hungry listing agent -can be much higher.
Maybe I need to chump it up that either I’m just another one of those BITCHY buyers as stated here or….
People need to admit…
There is truth to what’s said some of the real estate agents out there. They will do anything to close the deal, That’s all they give a crap about,closed deal= $ in hand.
What no recommendation? big deal 99% of the time you’ll never hear or see that person again anyway.
Biggest mistake for any seller or buyer is to tell their realtor they have no clue what to do or what they’re doing.

Do some homework online search out home buying process, closing steps,costs etc. never allow the realtor to have the upper hand, stay in control of the buying or selling process from start to finish. If you have any second thoughts or worries act on them before it’s too late, either resolve issue or move on, don’t settle cause of time pressure or seems you’ve searched all avenues. It’s a buyers market right now, just need to find the “KEY” to your dream home… & it all starts with the right agent
A good agent won’t force you to sign a contract first time you go out looking. Keep all avenues opened, a signed contract can limit your options… ask questions & if you do sign a contract.. add a clause allowing you to void contract for any reason you’re not comfortable w/o explanation-clearing yourself from any obligations to that agency. A “good” realtor won’t care, they’ll have confidence they will & can help you & if they can’t they will direct you in the direction you need.

December 6, 2011 at 9:45 am
(42) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

You had some extremely lousy experiences. How’s the water in your town? I know there are bad agents, but you didn’t seem to run into any of the good ones. And for the record, an agent is not allowed to disclose certain things that would violate the Fair Housing Act, which is why you were directed to look up those things yourself online.

December 6, 2011 at 11:10 am
(43) D. Beckley says:

This is amazing that these comments go on for two years. I just came across it today. As a Realtor, I have had the opportunity to do deals with some pretty disappointing agents. My sympathy to anyone who had to work with an incompetent agent during one of the most important transactions of your life. I would just like to add one thought to the discussion. It appears to some that agents just want to get to closing and get that check. Many of us want to get to closing because we are working with a seller who really wants to close or a buyer who really wants the house. Our job is to coordinate all parties to get it done. And we feel very happy to have helped our clients achieve their goal.

December 6, 2011 at 2:03 pm
(44) Chris Ann Cleland says:

I find it amazing that so many that hate real estate agents ended up on a blog post about the top ten gifts to give an agent that has represented them well. That’s like walking onto a Toyota car lot and telling them why you will only buy American. Too funny.

December 9, 2011 at 4:14 am
(45) Pacita says:

I have bought and sold several properties through 3 decades, and I have very fond memories of the realtors who really helped me through my transactions. Each time, I provided feedback and filed away my impressions.

It wasn’t until I became a realtor myself that I found new appreciation for what it takes to become a realtor who is knowledgeable about the market, the business environment, legal requirements and who have an endless list of resources.

No, it isn’t inexpensive to get in and stay in this profession, nor is it an easy job. But there is so much pleasure in seeing and feeling my clients’ JOY when they close escrow on their home, or when they are able to move on after selling a home. Their best gift to me? Referrals and repeat business. So I must be doing something right.

December 15, 2011 at 12:46 pm
(46) Selling the Zoo says:

First off..as an agent I don’t think my clients should get me anything. I worked for them, I get paid in my commission. I feel I owe my client a gift but nothing that is an advertisement. A bird feeder is a great gift.
For “Where’s the Honesty”…..I agree that some agents do in fact suck. I deal with agents that don’t work after 5pm, or weekends. I have some that I can’t get a call back from when I want to show a house they have listed. I personally feel that members of my profession have let you down. For that I am sorry. Most agents are not greedy, or rich, or dishonest.
For the ones that think we are rolling around naked in commission money think again. My broker gets half, plus a monthly office fee. I have to pay dues annually plus take 18hrs of continuing education that I have to pay for too. 80 plus % of agents in my state make less than 30K.
I love the job. I like meeting people and I love it when I help them find the right house and negotiate the best deal for them. I do not sell houses, most agents don’t. We help you find a home and negotiate a fair price. We do the advertising, the searching, the pre viewing and hold the open houses. Often it is in fact another agent that shows the house we have listed. That is because the advertising we did worked and an agent somewhere else had a client looking for that kind of house in that price range in that area.
A good agent will stay with you for life. You’ll get Christmas cards and an anniversary gift for many many years to come.
I treat all clients like friends. But if you say you want a ranch house, with hardwood floors throughout, and a 2 car garage and in this neighborhood, well don’t get mad at me if you see a quad level with wall to wall carpet and a 1 car garage on the other side of town and want to know why I didn’t show it to you. It happens often.

December 15, 2011 at 2:34 pm
(47) I Can Help says:

I don’t believe Bella won’t be back. Someone that posts like that certainly comes back often to see if they got a response.
You can sell your own home. That’s true. Like you said…all you have to do is put in the time and effort. But don’t kid yourself, how much is your time and effort worth? You have to pay to have your home listed, handle all the phone calls even the ones looking to rent or lease, use your available time to market and have open houses and you have to pay that FSBO web site to list it. Guess where they make their money from, you! You do all the work and they get paid for it. Meanwhile, an agent lists, markets, shows, does open houses on the weekends, coordinates with the title company, the mortgage company, the home inspector, the pest inspector and the appraiser too. As well as other agents, takes photos and does web marketing.
I love it all. I think this is one of the greatest jobs there is. Don’t group us with car salesmen, that’s like saying you’re a factory rat just because you work in a company with a factory. I don’t sell, I help make the magic happen so that a client can become a friend and enjoy the biggest investment they have ever made.

December 24, 2011 at 11:35 am
(48) Samantha James-Tharp, PA says:

Are there bad Realtors? Yes and they annoy us as well
Are there good Realtors? Yes and I claim myself to be one

BS is slung in every profession, there are lazy people and those who do not learn their profession which annoys me to know end. I am proud to call myself a Realtor and will defend my record and my knowledge which has saved my client thousands of dollars.

I respect all opinions but we are not all the same. I get clients that have dealt with the horrible Realtors you speak about and they are now in their dream homes. Love those clients because I am good at my job I go to school every day to learn more about my profession. You can call any of my clients and they will tell you I go above and beyond and no I do not have a problem tooting my own horn.

I’m I in this business to make money “Hell Yes”, do I work for that money you better believe it. But as a person that likes to help and make people happy that’s not what it’s all about. I think back always to when I first wanted to purchase I was afraid and hoped for the best. I have to say I lucked out when I went back and looked over the docs after learning my profession as a Realtor and Licensed Mortgage Broker I saw that I was not taken advantage of. As an agent I spend an enormous amount of money each year to stay in business and think I deserve every dime and I will not apologize for it.

December 24, 2011 at 11:37 am
(49) Samantha James-Tharp, PA says:

You the consumer has to take some personal responsibility, interview people you choose to work with. Do I know everything, people please let’s be realistic here no one knows everything but I bet I will learn it.
I believe people will complain about everything and anything but it first starts with you. If you had interviewed the agent about schools, etc. before working with her you wouldn’t have wasted your time.

I love those people that live in a world that it is always someone else’s “PERSONAL RESPONSIBILTY “is the action to saving yourself some aggravation. As a proud Licensed Real Estate agent that knows her stuff and what I don’t know I will tell you and will find it out, I take personal responsibility for my actions professionally and personally. You can tell when people know their sh#t by asking questions. How many questions did you ask your Realtor about schools? How many references did you ask for? How many friends did you ask for referrals? “PERSONAL RESPONSIBILTY” Don’t you interview other professionals before you give them your money and time.
Lesson here you are complaining because you hired a bad Realtor. Statement “You Hired a Bad Realtor”, interview many to save your energy. Ask about the things that are most important to you.
I am not ashamed of being a Realtor nor do I mind you complaining there will be lazy in every profession you the consumer have to do your due diligence.
Working together with the right agent all things are possible.
Yours sincerely,
Samantha James-Tharp, PA

December 27, 2011 at 8:49 am
(50) Ron H says:

Get the facts Josh before you spout off, Your comments indicate a less than wise person.

January 26, 2012 at 2:25 am
(51) Real Estate changed my Life... says:

I had a bad experience as well with my Agent but instead of making all the very smart, hard working “Agents” look bad by bashing them for what happened to me , I went to Real Estate School For 6 Months, 90 class room hours, and paid close to $3000 dollars for my schooling,books and not counting gas and coffee to keep me going at 7:30 am. It is’nt easy and you have to pass the state Exam. I wanted to go to school to become an agent to help people not have to go through what I did when I bought my house. I love my Job now and wouldnt change it for anything and I love “HELPING” others find there dream home and have a good Experince weither they are selling are buying.

March 5, 2012 at 2:20 pm
(52) Tiffany says:

Thanks for the great ideas. I think I’m going to go with a gift card and some wine. I am not sure why so many people have written horrible comments about their realtor. I think it is their fault for sticking with a realtor they were unsatisified with. I went through 3 realtors before I found “the one.” The 1st took me to a total of 1 showing and was forcing me to get a loan through him when I already had my pre-qualification papers with the bank I wanted to go through, the 2nd never returned my calls and never took me to to a showing, and the 3rd took me to 1 showing and I just didn’t get a good enough vibe from her…then I found “the one.” He was awesome and helped me through buying a short sale that took 6 months. He worked all day, every day and literally made me feel like I was his only client (extremely professional). When I found out he had 20+ clients, I was amazed. He deserves every bit of gratitude from me and I will definitely be presenting him a gift when I get my keys today! :)

March 5, 2012 at 2:26 pm
(53) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Hi Tiffany: How nice to hear from you. I agree. If you’re unhappy with an agent, change agents. Problem solved. A good agent is fabulous to have on your side.

Congratulations on closing on your new home.

May 10, 2012 at 10:16 pm
(54) Josh-hater says:

Josh, have you ever closed a real estate transaction? Get real. $800? Try $800/ year just for MLS/Board fees, oh, plus E&O and other costs just to RUN your office, and that is IF you are a Broker. Clearly you are ignorant, and hopefully you aren’t actually selling real estate!

August 28, 2012 at 3:07 am
(55) ron says:

Most of the realtors on here are clearly a jaded bunch. Our work is so hard you say. “We have to work more than 40 hours a week”???? So does anyone in Corporate America with a job that requires any level of skill. “We have to pay for our own gas”, so does anyone who commutes to work. Seriously folks, showing houses is not rocket science. Anyone with a high school level financial pedigree can run comps and negotiate. Real estate agents used to have one key advantage in their factor….information. Unless you have been living in a cave, welcome to the digital age. Everyone has access to information. And you can hire a real estate attorney for $350-$500 to handle the close vs. coughing up 3% to an agent. Realtors are largely responsible for pushing their clients to buy during the bubble of the mid-2000′s. And many peoples financial futures have been detrimentally impacted by the advice of the so called “professionals”. If you are truly worth the money you claim, how many of you were warning your clients not to buy before the bubble? And for all of your clients that are underwater due to your advice, are you refunding their commission for following your flawed advice? No? Why not? And Elizabeth Weintraub, you should be ashamed for incinuating that clients should buy their realtors gifts.

August 28, 2012 at 9:46 am
(56) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I hate to say this, Ron, but you have misspelled insinuating.

September 13, 2012 at 5:56 pm
(57) Happy Buyer says:

It seems like everyone on here is either a proud relator, or someone who hates relators. I just want to say that we just bought our first house, and our agent was invaluable. I must say that I am incredibly organized, very meticulous, and if I do not understand something, I do my research until I do. I have no doubt that I *could have* bought a house without my relator, but I must say there is NO WAY I would want to. Buying and selling a house in this market is so incredibly stressful as it is. (I think it was even worse for us with the bank since we used a VA loan.) I feel bad for relators because they have to deal with people who are stressed and at the end of their ropes all the time; and they do it with a smile. And when our VA underwriter started to pull some ridiculous crap, or when she tripled the property taxes on the house or any of their other mistakes, my relator stepped in and became the bad guy so that I didn’t have to risk pissing people off that had too much control. I don’t know how I would have made it through that process without him. I will refer him to everyone I know and leave him a testimonial on his site. I will also be sending him a thank you gift, whether he wants one or not, because I feel like I want to express to him how grateful we truly are. Just because someone works for you, does not mean it isn’t nice to show appreciation.

And btw all you people that brag about how educated you are, run a spell check before you post something online.

October 5, 2012 at 11:51 pm
(58) Stu says:

I understand how valuable realtors are in finding a house, but it does seem to also make the process so much harder.

For instance, our realtor was great until we were accepted and nearing closing. Then we had to be really on top of her to get anything done with the repairs addendum. It seems realtors make the process much harder by the buyer having to tell the realtor, who tells the sellers realtor, who asks the owner, who tells the relator, who tells the realtor, who finally tell me!!! Isn’t this a system of Chinese whispers? I fell like getting any information is like getting blood from a stone – and often the info received was very vague… no wonder really!

I had to drive to all the houses we saw, dealt with all the repair scheduling as our realtor was a little unreliable (we were in the bag, so why bother – we couldn’t replace her), and yes I also believe that it should be the realtor who gives a gift when the house sells. I bought our realtor a $100 spa cert when a house fell through and she did a lot of work, but when she is making $7000 on this house sale, shouldn’t it be only right that she buys the house-warming gift?

October 6, 2012 at 9:32 pm
(59) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I’m not certain that most people take into consideration the income of another when they buy that person a gift. Not to mention, some agents and their clients become friends in the process. I suspect clients give gifts to their agents for a variety of reasons.

January 9, 2013 at 4:41 pm
(60) Shnacks` says:

Clearly, realtors aren’t very busy if they are on here trying to tell people they aren’t merely glorified used car salesmen. My realtor had a normal 40 hr/wk job in addition to doing all this “hard work”.

February 16, 2013 at 3:31 pm
(61) Lynne says:

The greatest gift to any real estate agent, or anyone who works strictly off commission only— referrals! Your repeated business and kind words are the only thing that keeps a real estate agent going.

The average “wage” an agent makes is only about 30k a year.
Let’s say a house sells for $300,000. The seller agreed to pay the listing broker 6%. Sounds like a lot of money. But what is the breakdown of that $18,000?

— 3% of that normally goes to the buyers agent. Now we’re down to 9k.
—Then there is usually a commission split- – normally an agent gets 50-70% of that. So let’s be generous and say the listing agent receives 70% of the 9k. Now we’re down to $6,300.

Now think about all that goes into earning that money:

- 2+ months of work. But don’t forget, there are plenty of houses which are on the market for far longer.
- Association/Licensing fees of about $1000 per year
- Mailings/advertising
- Purchasing open house signs, for sale signs, etc.
- Desk fees/brokerage fees
- Website fees
- Gas to get all around time.
- Most agents are 1099 contractors which means they pay yearly taxes on the money they earn. The brokerage does not pay for any of their marketing/business needs.
- With all that an agent does, most can’t work with many buyers or sellers at a time. It just simply takes too many hours.

After all those expenses, that $6,300 is probably closer to $3,000…. for 2+ months of work (including nights and weekends).

March 20, 2013 at 6:46 am
(62) Debi says:

I came to this page looking for closing gift ideas for my buyers. I try to pick something special for each client. I have bought things from sellers that the buyer has expressed interest in, to giving up a bonus check to make the deal work.
You can make a good living in real estate, but it is not a free profession either. All the fees that are due each year, the insurance , gifts, advertising… Should I continue ? Well my point is, I never expect a gift from my clients. Referrals are the best gift I could get, and I usually end up with new friends n he process.

March 31, 2013 at 6:34 pm
(63) KT says:

You are an idiot Josh. Realtors have to know many things about laws, business, marketing, etc. The schooling is not easy and the state exam is even harder. I agree with the previous comment about you going to get a real estate salesperson license yourself and then we will see if you come back here and tell us know how easy it is. You are obviously a person who is not very educated.

April 15, 2013 at 10:45 am
(64) Brenda says:

@ Josh, If it is that easy to make money in real estate then why aren’t YOU doing it?

April 15, 2013 at 10:51 am
(65) Brenda says:

Josh, If I were a betting gal, I would bet that YOU couldn’t sell a property even if a buyer was handed to you. Also, make note, that 30% of people actually pass that little ol real estate exam on their first try. You sound ignorant . Please, let us know how you do on yours. Idiot.

May 6, 2013 at 9:00 am
(66) Irony says:

For all those who have attacked Josh saying, “If it’s so easy then why isn’t everyone doing it?” That’s the problem. Everyone who can’t get a job anywhere else IS doing it! The field is flooded with worthless agents, agents who have convinced themselves that they are so smart and so necessary and they work SOOOOOO hard. I’m sorry, but just because you have your phone on 27/7 (which is just another lie) doesn’t mean you’re working hard, and it certainly doesn’t mean what you’re doing is hard work. Yes I looked at becoming a realtor when the housing market was booming. The reason I didn’t take that step wasn’t because the work was oh so hard (what a joke). It’s because I couldn’t stand the idea of working with realtors all day. One step above car salesmen is about right, however I’m sure there are plenty of car salesmen who would be offended. By the way, I was searching for teacher gifts when this link came up. The very idea of buying a realtor who just took a ton of your hard earned money for doing very little work made me laugh, so I opened the link. I wasn’t searching for gifts I would by realtors.

Sorry guys, but your undeserved arrogance, which exudes from almost every post here made by a realtor, is exactly why you are despised. Notice that only one or two posts by realtors have any value, quality or class to them, and all the rest are worthless. I’d say those odds represent the field quite well.

July 13, 2013 at 5:38 pm
(67) Pappy says:

What a douchebag this useless “Josh” character is. No wonder he lives in a trailer.

October 8, 2013 at 8:28 am
(68) Adam says:

Now this message is not to defend my career choice as I love my job, but to inform you that there really are great Realtors out there if you look. I am a Realtor and I do see both sides of it. @irony, yes way too many people are doing it, but take a guess how many actually succeed. Id say about 20% make it past 1 year. The turnover is crazy. So don’t go and use the Realtor that is doing it part time or doing 1 deal a year. These people are a waste of your time. They don’t know the market and they have no interest in doing the work to put a great deal together. I wish it was harder to get your license, but when it comes down to it, only the ones who really take it seriously and treat it as a business will ever succeed and survive. The rest will move on quickly because without doing deals, the monthly bills in real estate will bury you quicker than you know. On the other side, believe it or not this is a cut throat business that does require a huge amount of work whether people think so or not, part time wannabe’s need not apply. People who are not in the business always put it down because of the apparent lack of work we do and the amount of money we apparently make. Well the shocking thing is very few of us make enough to make a living at it. If I wasn’t great at my job, I wouldn’t be getting 30-40% of my business from client referrals. In conclusion, sure anyone can get a license and sell real estate. Sure there are more bad Realtors then there are good ones. Just like any business, ever hired movers or heard of a bad moving experience from someone? Exactly. But if you find a true Realtor that is there for you every step of the way and is looking out for your best interests, the money they can save you with their knowledge and experience far outweighs the commission that is paid and is always worth the price. Oh, and I would never want a gift from my client, I always get THEM a gift.

October 28, 2013 at 2:19 pm
(69) Alexis says:

I am not a realtor, but I am a human being and although everyone is entitled to their opinion and also have the free will to do what they choose, I believe that if anyone goes above and beyond for you, they deserve recognition for that. Most would complain if the job was conducted poorly. It’s very sad that we are so quick to criticize and not to compliment. A small token of appreciation can go a long way with anyone you interact with.

February 27, 2014 at 8:30 pm
(70) Kim Houtz says:

I find that comment funny. I would hardly say it only cost 800 dollars. I spent 600 on the class, $105 to take the state and national exam, then $1297 to get started with the board, and then I now pay monthly fees. I pay 54 a month to the mls, 500 a year to the board, 75 for CE classes each year that are required, 675 a year for E&O Insurance, $50 a year for a privilege license in the state of NC, and then $225 in June for the call center for the year. That is just Mandatory bills. That does not include the money I spend on my gas showing people around, on my office space, on my copier paper, on my thank you cards, on my mail outs, signs for the yard, name tag, business cards, flyers, food and drinks for open houses and much more. I can promise realtors are not getting rich off of selling your home. And the $6000 you pay for an agent, GETS SPLIT WITH YOUR COMPANY so you end up making like 3000.. So please if it is so easy – go get your license and try it out. See how many millions of dollars you make! And some realtors have more than 6 weeks of school. Some take many additional classes to expand such as foreclosure certifications, short sale certifications etc. I have a bachelors degree in Technical Management with a focus in Criminal Justice and getting my real estate license was much more difficult to me than getting my bachelors. It is a lot of information to learn. I just want to make sure you have a little bit of an idea of what realtors really do. Not sit around and make $1,000′s of dollars. To make that $3,000 they have put in 100+ hours. We work 60-90 hour weeks not the normal 35-40. :) )))

April 15, 2014 at 10:30 am
(71) Nebraska REALTOR says:

Really quick comment. I stumbled across this “discussion” and had to laugh. I am a REALTOR and very proud to be one. It’s true that bad Agents are ot there. Most of us run across a handful of them every week while trying to provide the best service to our clients. They are the ones who take a listing and disappear, don’t provide feedback from showings, don’t fill out contracts properly, etc, however those of us who truly care about the people we work with and for work very hard to make the process go smoothly. In order to make money in Real Estate, you have to spend money. Getting your license and paying Association or Board fees, MLS fees, marketing fees, continuing Ed fees, and the list goes on. It isn’t cheap to keep your license active. Then you have the cost of signs, business cards, mailers, lock boxes, professional photographers, stagers, open house ads, etc. I want to be clear, I am not complaining. I love what I do but for those that think we spend a couple bucks and walk away rich, think again. The bigger point is, in every profession you have bad seeds that make the others look bad but, one bad teacher doesn’t make you generalize that all teachers are bad, and generalizing that all REALTORS are worthless because you chose to work with a bad one is very disrespectful to a very hardworking group of professionals. Statistics have proven time and again that sellers working with an agent net more money from the sale of their home. if you take the time to interview agents and get references and hire someone who understands agency and fiduciary responsibilities, they absolutely deserve every penny they walk away with. Keep in mind, commission is split four ways in most cases between brokers and agents on both sides of the transaction.

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