Rancho Cucamonga, CA Real Estate Broker: HALT !!! Did my buyers REALLY say that?

HALT !!! Did my buyers REALLY say that?

I have been selling real estate for over 20 years and during all those years I have never experienced a real estate closing that made me want to pick up my things and leave the profession forever, until now.   Is it due to the current economic times?  Does it have to do with the record high unemployment rates in our county?  Is it due to the credit crunch which makes financing so difficult for buyers?  Is it because I am tired of working harder than ever for what seems to be a fraction of the income I made just three years ago?   Nope.

I'm a survivor who has experienced many ups, downs and round and rounds.  But above all, my real estate career has remained an exciting and rewarding one.   Rewarding because I know that I have helped a family, a newlywed couple, partners or an individual find the home of their dreams.  Nothing is more rewarding than handing the keys over to my client(s) as they begin a new chapter in their lives.  One of the largest financial decisions they will ever make in their lifetime will become a reality because I could show them how to make it happen.  I've spent years and years building lasting relationships resulting from my dedication and determination in providing so many people with their slice of the "American Dream".

Every single escrow closing comes with its own unique story.  Let me tell you about a recent closing that truly broke my heart.  I met a young couple through a referral service who were ready to purchase their first home after recently becoming married.  I quickly came to know their likes and dislikes after our first few outings together.  I found several homes that met their needs in almost every way.  We wrote several offers before one was finally accepted.  They quickly arranged for their immediate families to view the home to be certain that it was the "one".   The families approved and we opened escrow. 

I am always happy to assist referrals from agents in return for a 20-30% referral fee.  In this scenario the client would receive half of the 30% as a rebate to them payable at the close of escrow.   Based on the amount of the commission my company earned the couple would receive a total of $1,162.00.  Not a bad chunk of change for a buyer who also received the best representation available from a real estate professional in a somewhat disreputable real estate climate.  I also ensured their eligibility to receive the $8,000.00 first time home buyer tax credit offered by the Federal government that they had no prior knowledge of, negotiated a full 3% allowance from the seller to be paid towards their closing costs including a substantial reduction in their mortgage interest rate, achieved an early escrow closing date to accommodate their upcoming pre-planned family vacation and provided several thousands of dollars in existing home furnishings and upgraded appliances courtesy of the prior home owner's need to downsize.

It took a total of five months to conquer my client's ultimate wish list.  But I knew I accomplished my goal and performed a job well done.  I was proud to deliver another slice of the "American Dream" while continuing to build another lasting relationship for years to come.   HALT!  Stop the bus.  This ride is not going anywhere.  At least not with ME onboard.

 After a two month joy ride of believing that these kids were lucky to have me to look out for them and provide them with so many incentives, credits and goodies it would make you think that home buying is as fun as going to Disneyland with Santa Claus, I'm slapped with a series of email and text messages requesting that I send them a THANK YOU GIFT!  I failed to give them a thank you gift and they wanted it NOW!  What??  The Hallmark congratulations card was not enough?  I thanked them profusely in writing, what more could I afford to do?  And the accusation stemming from Dad that I make "plenty" of money only deepens the wound that I created by not providing them with the obligatory "thank you" gift.   It's been over two months now, oh the shame!!   

Is this a sample of what is to come from our future "Gen-X" boom?   The age of entitlement?  Or has the proverbial "thank you" gift become a staple of the business, an unconditional act no matter how well you performed your job?   What ever happened to a thank you gift for the Realtor? 

Makes me wonder if ANY form of thank you gift would be sufficient now?  Yuck.


Diane Wheatley, Broker

Real Estate Brokerage, Upland CA


(909) 815-4499 Direct Cell

CA DRE Broker Lic #01193694



Comment balloon 472 commentsDiane Wheatley • October 26 2010 01:53AM


Please tell me you are making this one up! That request is in such poor taste I don't have the correct adjective, and I have a pretty large vocabulary.

Posted by Jon Quist, Tucson's BUYERS ONLY Realtor since 1996 (REALTY EXECUTIVES ARIZONA TERRITORY) over 9 years ago

Oh my gosh... a gift is just that - a gift... How very sad that this young couple already have such an entitlement attitude and a father who encourages.  We can NOT always afford the gifts we would like because of the all the annual dues, the fees and expenses during slow times. Shame on them, but congrat's to you for 20 wonderful giving years of service to the profession.

Posted by Sherilyn M. Whistler, Need a Referral, Call Me ! (ERA Herman Group Real Estate-NoCo) over 9 years ago

I know an agent who's mantra is "show up, pay attention, tell the trush and don't get attached to the results."  The first three are no problem...it's the last one that hangs me up!  Pretty near impossible, I'd say, to be detached from the results you're describing. 

Posted by Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country (Pacific Union International) over 9 years ago

Diane, wow, I have never heard of this kind of clients before.  I can't believe how greedy they are!  They have more free stuffs in buying a house than any buyer I know, and that is still not enough for them??  It is a total shame to have the dad to stand behind them, what kind of parenting is that?  I am sorry that happened to you.  

Posted by Rita Fong, Realtor - Marion Arkansas Homes for Sale (RE/MAX REAL ESTATE TODAY, Executive Broker 901-488-9590 ) over 9 years ago

Diane, but you're a Realtor® - you make all that money!!!!!  Cracks me up.  Since the general public doesn't know about the $1500 or so per year we have to spend in different licensing fees and all the hour we have to spend in training classes, they just don't get it.  Oh, and our costs for our signs and advertising. Sorry, but a card with a thank you note never goes wrong. 

If you can afford a small gift card to a local restaurant or The Home Depot, fine,  But, to "expect" something, always tasteless!!!

Posted by Juli Vosmik, Scottsdale/Cave Creek, AZ real estate 480-710-0739 (Dominion Fine Properties) over 9 years ago

What spoiled brats!  It is indeed the age of entitlement but I know my kids and their friends would know better. Perhaps Daddy should buy them one instead, he has obviously not prepared them properly for life.

Posted by Maureen Fukumoto, Maureen (Help-U-Sell Realty Pro) over 9 years ago

Their gift was $1162.

Posted by Kevin Dwyer (Sellstate Next Generation) over 9 years ago

There's a sense of entitlement with many people in this country (and many parts of the world for that matter).  People like that are never happy with what they have, they always want more.

Posted by Bryan Robertson over 9 years ago

I wouldn't blame it on age.  I would blame it on poor manners and upbringing.  

Posted by Bob McCranie, Your best advocate when buying or selling your hom (Broker/Owner - Texas Pride Realty) over 9 years ago

I believe in "the gift of service."  Don't let it get you down.  Sounds like you provided them outstanding service.

Posted by Jason & Amber Gardner, We're Committed to Your Success! (Hasson Company, Realtors) over 9 years ago

I'm at a loss for words that I can type out and make public

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) over 9 years ago

That one leaves me puzzled. One response could be  that you send them items over their lifetime so you spread out the thank yous over time in your "farm" items. That could give a nice spin to the request.

Posted by Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland 301-980-7566 (RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com) over 9 years ago

I agree with Kevin, the gift was the money, and a key...in this market!!!

Posted by Erika Walker, "Selling Real Estate with a Touch of Class" (Dyer-Walker Real Estate) over 9 years ago

I am rather speechless, yet this is another story of the youngest generation of homebuyers having serious entitlement issues.  You have to just let it go (easy for me to say, I would be stewing too).   Just try to think of your many grateful clients and wash these people out of your system.

Posted by Coral Gundlach, Real Lives. Not Just Real Estate. (Compass) over 9 years ago

Diane, my heart goes out to you.  I've been in a similar situation.  Sometimes you just can't give enough.  Don't let it get you down.  There are plenty of clients who love you and plenty more who will.  It's all in the attitude.  Don't let these spoiled brats spoil you.  Good luck!

Posted by Marty Patrizi Virtual Homes Real Estate New Hampshire over 9 years ago

Entitlement seems to be the buzz word....and this situation to me, falls into the "more guts than brains" ...and certainly no manners dept.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 9 years ago

Unbelievable to demand a gift, especially after getting a significant rebate!

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com) over 9 years ago

Hi Diane,

I would want to ask these kids exactly what type of gift do they have in mind?  And like you said, whatever you gave them probably wouldn't be enough.  They should be giving you a thank you gift.


Posted by The Scott Loper Team Bux-Mont Premier Properties (Keller Williams Real Estate - Montgomeryville) over 9 years ago

It does seem that folks are becoming less shy about telling us what they want even if it is at someone elses expense.

Posted by Jay Schmitt, Gettysburg Real Estate Agent (Keller Williams Keystone Realty) over 9 years ago

Their gift was all your hard work, the $1100, the first time buyer credit, the 3%...come on...I don't need to go on...they need to be sending you a thank you gift...

I sometimes refer to "Uncle Joe" when we are dealing with inspections and they are taking advice from someone who doesn't know the details of the deal...sounds like "Uncle Joe" is at it again...

Posted by Brin Realty Associates Team At Bean Group, Amherst NH homes and Southern NH real estate (Bean Group | Brin Realty Associates) over 9 years ago

I would have had to bite my tongue until it bled. Did you ever respond in any way?

Posted by Barb Szabo, CRS, E-pro Realtor, Cleveland Ohio Homes (RE/MAX Trinity Brecksville Ohio) over 9 years ago

Little by little our down economy has allowed  fertility  to breed a new kind of consumer. . .

Greediness and lack of respect for professional services. .

"You are making how much??? you have to share"

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) over 9 years ago

Oh my gosh!  Isn't funny how much money people think we make??  If only they realized we work almost 24/7 sometimes.  You provided these buyers with so much a gift was in order BUT for you!

Posted by Cynthia Grimes, "With You Every Step Home!" (eXp Realty, LLC) over 9 years ago

Nothing more frustrating than a lot of hard work that is not appreciated. Your gift to them is one of those "priceless" items - new ad!

Posted by Jane Wemyss, CRS (Compass) over 9 years ago

This makes me really sad...and kind of mad.  You did so much for them and for so little.  And, then to demand a gift?  A gift is from the heart.  wow.  Quite sad.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 9 years ago

A thank you gift? I really have a hard time understanding what it is they're looking for? A kickback, as in money back from your commission? 

If so, I would definitely make a case to contact them and explain to them in some way they would understand how compensation works in real estate, to try and educate them while they're still young :-)

Posted by Manuel Monserrate over 9 years ago

You deserve the gift, too bad they are too ignorant to realize that!  I sometimes wish I could give buyers and/or sellers a copy of my Schedule C at settlement so they can see where "all that money" really goes.

Posted by Susan Ackerman over 9 years ago

Please judge them favorably.

A gift of a Family Bible with a place to keep their family records might be just the gift that this couple needs.


You have lost them any way...so why not  turn the matter to a higher authority and consider that your gift is a lasting gift

given with love for their new home.


the idea of asking for a gift was probably not their idea and as such surprise them what my mother always provided as a gift

sugar (for a sweet life in the new home) and a broom (to remove any of  the negativity left in the house).  A note explaining

your gifts might turn the situation to one where you will be rewards for your heart!



Posted by Sonny Landau (St Louis Home Improvement and Painting Companies) over 9 years ago

their gift was the $1162.00.  Don't give up on mankind, this is just a miserable buyer with miserable parents trying to flex their ingornant ego.

Posted by Miriam Bernstein, CRS over 9 years ago

Wow, that is disgusting behavior!  Unbelievable...I can't imagine your frustration.  But, I'm sure you did do a fantastic job for them, they're just too wrapped up in themselves to appreciate it.  What a shame.   

Posted by Sara Kraemer (United Real Estate Lexington) over 9 years ago

WOW! Some nerve! It does seem that a closing gift is becoming expected but I do not agree at all. I do give gifts to exceptional buyers or sellers where we have had a wonderful relationship and that has spoken highly of me to family and friends. But I would not buy a gift just for the sake of buying one - it has to have meaning based on what I know they like.

I did have a seller that tried to haggle commission at the listing presentation, during initial negotiations when an offer was presented and during negotions for inspections. He told me that I should spit the difference with the other realtor. I almost walked away from that seller and deal many times. Needless to say, he did not get a gift and I stood strong with my commission.

Posted by K.C. McLaughlin, Realtor, e-PRO, Homes for Sale - Cary, Raleigh NC (RE/MAX United) over 9 years ago

It is always interesting to say the least.  Everytime we think we have seen most of what can happen something new always happens.   

Posted by Bob Jakowinicz, Michigan Real Estate Agent-- MI RE Adventures (National Realty Centers Livonia--Bob Jakowinicz) over 9 years ago


How disappointed you must have felt. After working so hard, I am sorry. Thankfully there are clients out there who appreciate the time, experience, and service it requires to close a transaction.

Posted by Cherimie Crane (Cherimie Crane & Associates) over 9 years ago

It's not just the 'kids' who behave like this.  Several years back I had a client in divorce, and I had to make many calls to her attorney to make sure that she and the ex husband had separation of credit.  Getting her credit on track was one journey, getting her approved was another hill to climb.  We finally found a property in her price point, and that turned out to have it's challenges too.  At the closing, she brought along her adult daughter, demanded a gift and that I take them both to lunch because they expected it.

During the boom, agents were offering incentives to buyers that they began to believe were an entitlement. One buyer kept referring to the flat screen TV that he expected me to buy for him.  Whatever we make on a sale sounds like a lot of money to a buyer or seller because we get it in one lump check, and not over the duration of a several month transaction.  Most of our clients have a 9-5 job, get either weekly or biweekly checks that have a slew of deductions.  We get a check only at the end of the road if we get to a successful closing.  It looks like easy money to them. 

Posted by Mary Jo Quay, I Move You Home (EXP Realty ) over 9 years ago

This is a new one,  A client requesting a gift after all that money you saved them. 

Posted by Keith Lawrence, ABR, CDPE, SFR, 203K Specialist (Christie's International) over 9 years ago

It sounds like you had a really good working relationship with them during the process. Have you picked up the phone and called them? My guess is that there is something else driving this. Not sure if it is family or...? To me, their response does not match up with the not getting a gift.

My $0.02.

Posted by Michael Simcock, Elk Grove, CA Realtor 916 425-1084 (Coldwell Banker (Elk Grove, CA)) over 9 years ago

WOW, this behavor is why I wrote the blog listed below. Not that anyone ever did this to me, I just chose to avoid the problem of the "right" closing gift

Closing Gifts, Do You or Don't You - Another Way

Posted by Dave Minder (Wellspring Investments LLC) over 9 years ago

Delete the communications and ignore them. They obviously have a lot of growing up to do. I have never given closing gifts to buyers or sellers. I did a job and I got paid to do so. They either got a house or sold a house. I feel no need to give a gift.

Don't let their ignorance bring you down.

Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) over 9 years ago

I like Sonny's #32 suggestion much better than mine. Great idea!!

Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) over 9 years ago

That is amazing. Some clients we simply let go to the next agent in the future. Who asks for a "gift"? What kind of people do that?

Posted by Scott Baker, Realtor Homes for Sale Cincinnati/Dayton Ohio (www.eHomeReports.com Coldwell Banker West Shell) over 9 years ago

That's incredibly selfish.  I have heard similar comments about how we make so much money, we are over paid, etc.  People will never know how much real work goes into our job and some won't appreciate it.  That said, close this book and move on.  Your not going to please everybody all the time. 

Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) over 9 years ago

Diane, all I can say is these are BOLD people. Never heard of such a thing with their DEMANDING....

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) over 9 years ago

That is really strange they would request a thank you gift.  On the other end I do think its good no matter what to give a gift at closing on top of wonderful sevice.  Its like the cherry on top of the ice cream!

Posted by Chuck Carstensen, Minnesota Real Estate Expert (RE/MAX Results) over 9 years ago


How sad!  And a little odd...

Your skills were a great gift to them. 

Posted by Mike Jaquish, 919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate (Realty Arts) over 9 years ago

I would remove them from my database. Certainly, I would never do business with these people again. Not that they would want to do business with me. Selfish brats!

Posted by Tom Robinson, Experienced Real Estate, Professional Serving No. VA and DC (Keller Williams Realty Kingstowne/Alexandria, VA Office) over 9 years ago

I've had TWO recent experiences with rude young buyers, who showed their true colors early enough in the relationship for me to drop them.  If this IS a sign of our next generation of homebuyers, I say we go back to the subagency days.  These kids don't deserve buyer agency.

Posted by Dianne Bartlett (Brightside Realty, LLC) over 9 years ago

Wow.  I'm speechless.  I know that buyers do feel that way as I've gotten more than one listing because when they bought, their agent didn't give them a closing gift!  It's unbelievable that a gift is expected when the job, and done well, should be gift enough.

Posted by Susan Mangigian, Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches (RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A) over 9 years ago


People come in many wondrous varieties, some we cherish and some we don't. You performed your job very admirably and should sleep easy at night. I would respond to their request with a polite card thanking them for their business and hoping they enjoy all the following items you provided for them due to your skill in negotiating. Finish your card with a polite salutation and be done with them. You earned an A+ on this transaction and they garnered a D-.


Posted by Brent & Deb Wells, Prosper TX (LivingWell Properties) over 9 years ago

If they are on Facebook, you could send them an "AnnounceMyMove" notification which is of course a way of them sending referrals out for you by them. My board has this as a benefit and it's very inexpensive. Make sure you label it as a gift saving them the trouble of notifying all of their friends of their new address.

Brian Geraghty, Broker
David Wain Realty, LLC

Posted by Brian Geraghty, Short Sale Expert, 954-790-2602 (David Wain Realty, LLC) over 9 years ago

This is just what (other) agents have started.  Like, BB, I provide a service and get paid for it.  How many "thank you" gifts have you gotten from other service providers?  I like Sonny's answer.  They could use it.

Posted by Roger Johnson, Realtor - Hickory NC Real Estate (Hickory Real Estate Group) over 9 years ago

Since Dad is involved in this tasteless and selfish outburst, it's evident where one of the young couple inherited their spoiled values!

Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) over 9 years ago

I do give thank you gifts, but for a buyer to feel they are entitled to one? My husband and I have bought and sold several homes - we have never received a thank you gift. and it really has never occurred to me to expect it.

Posted by Susan Thompson-Solomons, Southern MD Real Estate-Solomons Specialist (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services McNelis Group Properties) over 9 years ago

Believe it or not, I had the exact same thing happen to me, and my jaw dropped to the ground. I could not believe the audacity. Sometimes you have to decide whether you want to be right or whether you want more business. That's the icky part about being in real estate.

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (RE/MAX Gold) over 9 years ago

Im a little surprised that their lender approved 3% concessions plus the additional commission rebate, but thats the subject of another post

I dont do closing gifts for all the reasons you outline so as a matter of policy, these folks wouldnt have gotten one from me either, but if I did do gifts(as a matter of policy) I would have done one here. 

I suspect that you generally do give closing gifts but for some reason (perhaps you came to dislike these folks over the five months you worked with them) you didnt in this situation

If you want an answer for Dad, try this..."Closing Gift??? I was waiting for one from you to me. A piece of that tax rebate when it comes will work just fine

By the way I wouldnt blame the entire younger generation for this...It has dads handwriting all over it. He's the selfish one and he raised a selfish kid

By the way...I do agree with your client on one thing....That long list of things you already did for them...Thats not a substitute for a gift...thats your job; a gift is extra

Posted by Ron Parise (LocateHomes.com) over 9 years ago

During the past year the same type of attitude seems to be popping up in more then just the "Gen-X" generation.  

Posted by Tanya Connie, Myrtle Beach Real Estate (Sun Rise Real Estate ) over 9 years ago

OMG!  I'd have to send them the free local coupon packages we have here locally along with a nice note about the 3% rebate they recieved and that you hoped they were able to use some of it to appropriately thank their friends, families and all others involved in their purchase.

Keep on doing your good works, Diane and be the good example you are.  There are others out there that will benefit and be appreciative of your works.


Posted by Carol Andersen, NW Floridanulls Real Estate Pro, TRC, ICREA (Navarre Beach Agency) over 9 years ago

Thanks for the interesting story today.  Good Luck in the future.

Patricia/Seacoast NH&ME

Posted by Patricia Aulson, Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes (BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOME SERVICES Verani Realty NH Real Estate ) over 9 years ago

Diane, tally up all the benefits they received by working with you. I'm sure if you did give them a gift, it wouldn't have been enough. Put it behind you and move on.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 9 years ago

Now that is a first! BTW I do not believe in closing gifts at all. Never give them and don't plan to start.

Posted by Mary Strang over 9 years ago

You can't change others...you can only change how you deal with them.  The dad obviously doesn't have any manners and unfortunately has passed that lovely attribute onto his children.  Even if you had given a gift, sounds as though it would have been judged and you would have heard grief no matter what.

Although easier said than done....let it go!

Posted by Kirsten Mellinger, Ventura County Real Estate (Emerald Funding & Realty) over 9 years ago

Unbelievable!  I guess the moral of the story is that we should work to meet our own standards, because there's just no predicting what (some) other people expect.

Posted by Jeanne Dufort, Madison and Lake Oconee GA (Coldwell Banker Lake Country) over 9 years ago

That's not surprising at all, really. It is unfortunate, though.

Please don't let the actions of a couple ignorant kids throw you off your game. You're clearly good at what you do. Send them a nice response that you considered the referral fee the gift and move on.

We used to send the locksmith to our clients' homes at close as a gift. We are considering putting that back into our services. It's fairly inexpensive and most appreciate it.

Posted by Brian Bean, Homeowner Advocate, Dream Big Team, S.Calif (The Dream Big Team at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Champions) over 9 years ago

You have to shake it off and move on... you will... I do give a small gift every time (even a box of chocolate or whatever...) I just want to help them celebrate at closing. Not a judgement at all but I am  trying to put myself in the shoes of my clients who are hopefully celebrating.

You did everything right and I am sorry you had such a bummer of an ending. Take yourself out to dinner with your commission.

Posted by Ellie Shorb, Realtor DC, MD & VA Luxury Home Expert (Compass Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Nothing you do is going to be enough for greedy clients like this. I hope you tell us what you decide to do - I think #58 Elizabeth is probably right.

Posted by Dawn Maloney, 330-990-4236 Hudson & Northeastern Ohio (RE/MAX Trinity Northeast Ohio Real Estate Specialist) over 9 years ago


I have had that happen only once ... so far. It's a disingenuous thing to do.

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) over 9 years ago

Hi Diane~ Now, that was just plain rude!  If you normally give gifts, give one!  If you don't,then don't!  Don't take it personal as they are probably like that with everyone!

Posted by Vickie McCartney, Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY (Maverick Realty) over 9 years ago

I'd make a copy of the HUD statement showing the $1162, frame it and put it on their doorstep.  And delete them from my contact list.

Posted by Jeanne Gregory, RE/MAX Southwest, Sugar Land, TX over 9 years ago

I'm a Gen X'er and absolutely appalled at their asking for a gift.  I think, though, that this is Dad's doing as this is their first home purchase and they wouldn't know anything about a thank you gift without Dad's input.  They really should be thanking you after all you did for them.  I wonder if they called their wedding guests and asked them for gifts too.

Posted by Lindsey Jackson over 9 years ago

People know things and will have their moments of conscience providing we point things out and.... that being said, communicate carefully your true feelings here. Either now or in time, they will get it and..... perhaps their next time out (or?) be more generous and understanding to the next person...I have always believed and said, there is enough for everyone in this business....

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 9 years ago

What an unfortunate thing.  I too have had younger buyers (20's) infer that I was making a lot of money because of them - as if to infer that I should be jumping through hoops and be at their beck-and call.  I take the approach that any other professional (doctor, attorney, accountant, financial advisor) does - I provide a valuable professional service...and that's why they're here with me.

 I assume the last time they paid a visit to a medical specialist they didn't receive a "gift" from that for their treatment - and they shouldn't expect a "gift" from me after I provide them the professional real estate services they've been provided either.  


However....On occasion, I do buy people gifts for their homes after they purchase - usually comes in the form of a pizza party for move-in day.  I know their friends and family will be there - and it's a great opportunity to further a relationship as well as network.  But I only do this for people where I can say we'll be friends after the sale.  


Posted by Joe Graham, Naperville Real Estate Marketing Specialist (Graham Real Estate Group) over 9 years ago

A copy of Miss Manners, perhaps. 

Posted by Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate (Baird & Warner Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Ditto, Kevin, their gift was the rebate. It is discouraging, and situations like this happen from time to time. Don't let it get to you, Diane, it sounds like you great at what you do.

Posted by Nick Tukmanian (RealWorks Residential) over 9 years ago

It seems as though those buyers didn't realize all of the hard work you did.  We do so many things behind the scenes and our clients have no idea at all of all the man hours we put in behind the scenes.

I think they should have given you a gift after the way you helped them.

Posted by Kathleen Koulouris (Re/Max Associates) over 9 years ago

Hey, if they had the audacity to ask for part of your commission why do you think they would stop there? Don't you know they are entitled to a gift? Obviously your post with all the things you HAVE done has gone unnoticed. Possibly they don't feel the same way? I'm not sure what you can do here besides tell good old 'Dad' to shut up & butt out. 

You could maybe send them an invoice/spreadsheet with all your costs for the month out of that whopping commission? 


Posted by Anonymous over 9 years ago

When I came into this business, I started giving gifts.  Mostly, because I thought I was suppose to.  Not sure why I thought that I have bought and sold several homes and never received a gift from my agent.  I wasn't until a came here and read articles from other agents on why they don't give gifts that I became a convert.  I provide a service.  I get paid for that service.  And if I'm working with a buyer, he is fortunate and doesn't even have to pay me for that service.  I do like the idea of the sugar for a sweet life and a broom to sweep your troubles away.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) over 9 years ago

Wow, this is an extreme example of poor taste.  And two months after the deal is done? 

From where I sit, I believe that greed is the #1 problem the people of our country need to overcome.  If they are chasing you with emails and texts, send a message such as:  "I usually give a gift valued at $50.  However, I gave up over $1000 of my pay for you. Is there a reason that is not sufficient?"

Or how about, "Thank you for the reminder.  I've made a donation in your name to xyz charity."

I'm sorry to hear that you are going through this. 

Posted by Kathryn Acciari, Brand Ambassador and Business Coach (Century 21 Real Estate) over 9 years ago


I about spit up my coffee reading your final paragraph... Where do these ingrates come from? Clearly they KNOW what you alrady did to make their journey easier - they have the fruits of your labor... And, until this, a high liklihood that you'd be there for them in the future - tax protests, refi help, whatever... Not sure I'd handle it as well as you have -

Posted by Patrick Harfst (Realty Executives - Phoenix AZ) over 9 years ago

Send the buyers and their father a link to this blog post with all the comments.

Posted by Bruce Hammond, REALTOR - Port St Lucie Florida Real Estate Sales (Port St Lucie ReMax Properties in Port St Lucie for sale) over 9 years ago

Bruce - perfect gift. *********

Posted by John Dotson, The experience to get you to the other side! (Preferred Properties of Highlands, Inc. - Highlands, NC) over 9 years ago

I like Bruces comment.  Sounds like they should be sending you a thank you gift!

Posted by Kate Bourland, Onlilne Marketing Mobile Marketing (Marketing with Kate) over 9 years ago

What ungrateful people. Send them and DAD a toilet plunger wrapped in funny papers.

Posted by Rob D. Shepherd, Principal Broker GRI, SRES (Windermere/lane county) over 9 years ago

So far, I haven't been fortunate enough to have clients like yours, so your story was eye-opening.  Thank you for sharing.

Posted by Katy Cardinale (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) over 9 years ago


send them an Entertainment book and be done with it. Don't loose your sleep over this. It is not worthy. And in my experience there is nothing you can say that will make them feel differently. They want the thank you gift, give it to them.

or... send them a polite email stating that your thank you gift is the excelent service you provide for all your clients.

or... send them a certificate that entitles them to free real estate consultations with the best REALTOR in town for the rest of their lifes.

or... Oops.. I ran out of ideas... Sorry!

Posted by Jose Dias, Sell Your Home in Scottsdale-Phoenix-Peoria-Glendale-Goodyear (Home Sellers Help in Scottsdale-Phoenix-Peoria-Glendale) over 9 years ago

The sad thing is probably any gift you gave them wouldn't be enough with attitudes like theirs.

Posted by Laura Coffey, Keller Williams VIP Properties (Keller Williams VIP Properties) over 9 years ago

To gift or not to gift...  I always send a Thank-You card.  Sometimes, I will take my client out to dinner or send a small gift - but not all the time.  And yes, sometimes, I have contributed to closing costs when last minute problems arise.  But all this is MY choice - not because my client is an immature brat whining in the store for a toy.  Sorry, nowhere in the contract did it include a line about me giving you something at COE.

Posted by Bea Lueck (Coldwell Banker Rox Realty) over 9 years ago

Diane,  Incredible...I do like Sonny's idea above.  Best of Luck to You and to the young couple.  They obviously need it.

Posted by John Howard, GRI, Mountain Home, Arkansas 870-404-3614 (Century 21 LeMac Realty) over 9 years ago

This one has always baffled me.  If we go to a car dealership and spend tens of thousands of dollars, we don't get a "thank you" gift from the dealership... yet we are expected to give ones to our customers/clients.  Think about it... if we work hard and spend time and money upfront to sell a house after we list it, we get a commission at closing for doing what we were contracted to do.  If we need extensive dental work or a doctor to perform some type of surgery, we pay them thousands of dollars in professional fees.  Has anyone ever received or even EXPECTED to receive a "thank you" gift from their dentist or doctor?

Posted by S. Leanne Paynter ☼ Broward County, FL, Davie, Plantation, Cooper City & Weston Specialist (United Realty Group, Inc.) over 9 years ago

I'm appalled.  It is definitely an entitlement attitude & with Dad chiming in, well, I can tell where they got this attitude!  I have to say that I generally do provide a closing gift to my Buyers (generally a small gift card to a home improvement store) but they are usually very surprised by it & not something that they are "expecting".  Not only that, last month I had a client give ME a thank you card & gift card!  So, there are some good apples out there too.  I guess it takes all kinds.

Posted by Christine Smith, Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA (Buyers Brokers Only LLC - www.BuyersBrokersOnly.com) over 9 years ago

Hi Diane,

Im young enough to say that I if I were to every buy a home I would not be expecting my realtor to give me a thank you gift. I would expect me to be sending them a thankyou card for finding me a home that I loved! and helping with the downsizing from the previous owner, they are so lucky to have you diane!

Posted by Nikki Jenson, Social Media Seattle Washington (Marketing, blogging, facebook and twitter) over 9 years ago

But you owe them one right?  They did you a favor by letting you help them. You should reply that you give closing gifts when their referrals close :)

Posted by Joe Feinhandler, FHA, Jumbo, San Diego (First Priority Financial dba Best Equity ) over 9 years ago

$1,162. referral fee buyer rebate was their gift.

You are quite generous Diane!

sometimes referrals can turn out to be "bottom feeders" - their level of expectation grandiosly exceeds those buyers we find by sphere of influence or those who find us on their own without 3rd party expectation$


Posted by Jeff&Grace Safrin, SpousesSellingHousesTM (F.C.Tucker 1st Team Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Wow! I agree with all the other commentors... your gift to them was great customer service, the rebate from the referring agent and all the other extras they got by having you as their knowledgeable agent. 

And the fact that they have pursued a gift 2 months after closing, like you've done wrong by not giving them something... Whatever happened to good manners?

Posted by Heidi Lynch over 9 years ago

Diane, after all you did for these people, they should be grateful.  I work with buyers (especially first timers) who switch agents for reasons like poor performance and lack of communication.  These clients of yours obviously have no clue of the value you provided them. I glad people like you are still in this business!  Don't give up!

Posted by Anonymous over 9 years ago

Wow!  That's just horrible.  I've stoppd giving thank you gifts because heck I'm making less money, but from time to time I do give Congratualtions Gifts because there's a bit more money in the bank and I have a good relationship with that client.  It really isn't fair that someone would expect a gift because you worked for them.  I never receive gifts from my accountant, my mechanic, my dentist or doctor.  However, I recently received an amp from a client of mine and I wa totally blown away.  I knew his brother from high school and as we got to know each other we ended talking alot about music because we both play guitar.  It was such a thoughtful gift and it has been a ton of fun!

Posted by Dale Cosack, Newtopias: The Cosack Team (BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors - Newtown) over 9 years ago

um.. ok. I can;t imagine ever asking someone to give me a gift, in any situation. I guess it backs up the news show I watched the other night when it said that the Gen-Y was the "gimme gimme gimme, I deserve it because I'm me and I'm special" generation.

Posted by Nicholas Goraczkowski, Your Mortgage Resource - (720) 83-RATES over 9 years ago

Sounds like Daddy put a bug in their ears. Sounds like you went above and beyond for them. That is what they should appreciate! We all make so much money. They should see our tax returns and how much Uncle Sam picks our pockets.

Posted by Jackie Connelly-Fornuff, "Moving at The Speed of YOU!" (Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Babylon NY) over 9 years ago

How terrible, what ungreatful buyers! This is becoming a recurring problem, buyers are getting a sense of entitlement!

Posted by Ryan Case, 877-828-0710 (SCA Real Estate) over 9 years ago

I wonder... I wonder if the last time they went to their doctor, or recently had surgery, or hired an attorney for something, or recently had a haircut - if they received a thank you gift from any of those people providing the service. I'm sure your doctor always send you a thank gift after you get your annual physical. Thank you for letting me examine you! None of them ever gave me a referral fee from their income after I referred myself. And I wonder, if a friend was to refer me to whatever business or profession they are in, business they work for or whatever - if I would get a referral fee from their paycheck AND a thank you gift.

I think this Thank You Gift business in our profession is really silly.

Posted by Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR, Phoenix Scottsdale. Sellers, Buyers & Relocations (West USA Realty) over 9 years ago

Congratulations on being a professional agent.  A card in this case sounds like a lovely thank you gesture.  Not all young people are like this, I have actually had plenty of older clients quickly calculate my commission.  By the time you add up all my licenses, fees, subscriptions, and advertising, it's not what they think!

Posted by Allan Sanchez, Rocklin & Roseville, Short Sale Agent (Roseville CA & Rocklin CA Short Sale Agent) over 9 years ago

Hi Diane,  Nothing to add to the above but if we are in this business long enough we will run into0 this client.  Take a deep breath, remember all the great clients  - and move on !

Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) over 9 years ago

I think being a professional is enough. Your service were excellent. I sometime look as gift as bribes.  Great service are hard to come by. I would just let go and go on.

Posted by Daniel Seider (BTRE Big Trees Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Honestly, Diane, I have little to add to the discussion here.  I was just brainstorming on a gift certificate for 'Negotiated Services of $xxxx.  Then a breakdown of all the things you saved them.  Then a pretty little 'Paid in full - I'm so glad to have been of assistance!' across the top.  Still thinking that Sonny has the better idea.  That darned high road is so much tougher to reach for when the other party starts on such a LOW one!

Posted by Dee Bundy, Helping You Make Colorado "Home" (Fort Collins Realtor @ C3 Real Estate Solutions) over 9 years ago

I don't remember ever hearing that taking the high road was easy!

Totally tasteless! 

Posted by Barbara Hensley, Homes for Sale in Rockwall County, Texas (RE/MAX Properties) over 9 years ago

I think that this is one battle that you cannot win.  You are right, there is NO gift that they would deem worthy at this point.  It is unfortunate that you are being harrassed in this way.  I hope that you know that as disheartening as this was, you need to move on and think about all the great clients that you have that appreciate what you do!

Posted by Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group) over 9 years ago

Oh, ick Diane. How zero class those entitled little twerps are.

Perhaps a book on etiquette would be in order. Send me their address and I'll send em one. :)

Posted by Candice A. Donofrio, 928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text (Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker) over 9 years ago

I hope this makes you feel better I work out of Walnut Ca a few miles from you and most of my clients buy me a thank you gift. I think and hope its a one time thing for you and all of us.

Posted by Victor T. Gurrola, Diamond Bar Real Estate Professional (Remax Realty 100) over 9 years ago

I'm with Sonny - send them a bible.

Posted by Rhonda Burgess, Moving to Nashville TN Real Estate Specialist (Southern Living Realty Partners) over 9 years ago

Diane - I don't understand what your problem is.  Of course they owe you a gift for all the work you did above and beyond normal expectations.  But you owing them a gift?  I'd say goodbye to those people today.  Don't let one nutball client wash away all the good memories you've enjoyed doing what you love.  Not only are there many other fish in the ocean, but new fish are hatched every day.

Posted by John Souerbry, Homes, Land & Investments (Cordon Real Estate) over 9 years ago

The "gift" was that you stuck with them and they got a house -- honestly they sound spoiled and greedy -- delete the e-mails and move on -- you will not be getting a referral from them anyway . It's over. Our 2 cents.

Posted by Bob & Carolin Benjamin, East Phoenix Arizona Homes (Benjamin Realty LLC) over 9 years ago

That is absolutely crazy, although I do experience times when I feel unappreciated! Some people don't understand how hard we work and how much stress and effort we go through to help them. It sounds like you did a good job, so don't beat yourself up.

Posted by Megan Phelps (Newstream Realty) over 9 years ago

Diane ~ Thank you for sharing your experience.  Your professionalism shines through.  I really enjoyed a number of comments, and I especially liked #24, Rene's "Uncle Joe", #32, Sonny's Sugar, Broom and Note and I chuckled heartily at #84, Bruce's suggestion to forward the blog posts and comments. 

You will continue to attract good clients as you have over the past 20 years.  I'm beginning my 5th year and have had a couple of clients (does the sale have to close to call them a client?) that I've misplaced the contact information for deliberately.  I wish them well, but I don't need their business.

Posted by Ken Speer (Alpha Global Associates) over 9 years ago

Diane, I agree that anything you give them probably will not be enough in their eyes.  They've already gotten over $1,100 and are still looking for something more. (I especially liked the idea of giving them a family Bible, though!) 

Posted by Kate Wheeler, CCIM - Murphy NC Real Estate for Sale (Country Homes and Land Murphy NC Realtor ) over 9 years ago

How about some thank you paper clip...or would that be too much?

Posted by HomeSalesForce.com Team Brokered by eXp Realty, Canton, Alpharetta, Roswell, Woodstock, Atlanta (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

Wow, this hit a nerve.  I wonder if they ask their dentist for a gift, or their financial planner?  How did we get to be the rodney Dangerfield of service businesses?  Stand proud - it's their bad, not yours.  there are still plenty of people with manners that are appreciative out there.

Posted by Linda Breeden (Century 21 Weinert Realty) over 9 years ago


With some people it is never enough.

They won't ever be satisfied.  Offer to exchange a dinner for two for the $1,000 you gave them.


Posted by Brenda Harmon (Century 21 Beal, Inc College Station, Texas) over 9 years ago

That is just horrible, they should be ashamed of themselves. 

Posted by Melissa Bliss, List With Bliss (Realty World Pigati & Russell Realtors) over 9 years ago

WOW! You gave them almost $1200 and they wanted more? I had a closing where my referral fee to the buyer was $5600 a couple of months ago, and I felt bad for all of 10 seconds that I didn't get them a THank You gift because I gave them $5600!!! They can go buy themselves something they really want with the rebate you gave them.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com) over 9 years ago

Diane,  Give yourself the very best gift of all and never think of them again.  No more, never, not another thought.  Don't let them become a sore touth.

Posted by Virginia Vanini, GRI,AHWD (Carey and Guarrera Real Estate) over 9 years ago

I would act totally appalled and state in a shocked voice; "What???? You didn't get the special gift I had express delivered to your new address? I can't believe it" And I would thank them so much for notifying me and assure them I would be right on it and get back them. Their lack of manners shouldn't reflect on your hard work and reputation. Get them a gift and keep on doing your outstanding level of service. As my grandma always said; It Takes All Kinds!

Posted by Julie Moorhead, A Love of Selling Homes (Edina Realty, affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway) over 9 years ago

Diane, you are so right with the mind set of entitlement, which has spread through all aspects of our society. With so much available and being able to buy now pay later we are destined for a big awakening in the not too distant future.

My clients, buyers or sellers get a letter from at the end of the transaction informing them that a gift has been made in their name to both the Children's Miracle network and the Susan G Komen foundation. No one has ever called or emailed me back telling me it wasn't enough. These kids got more than deserved with your help.

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) over 9 years ago

Do they read your blog?

I noticed it wasn't members only so maybe you will hear from them. A gift is a gift and you my dear gave it when you gave them the credit or rebate.

This is sad they they feel like you OWE them a gift.

I don't think it is age but manners and upbringing.

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) over 9 years ago

If they brought it up after 2 months I am led to believe it is not originally their idea. Had they felt that way themselves you would have heard about it right away. I suspect they were talking with friends or family (DAD) and they put that thought it in their head.

I like Sonny's idea. That's probably the higher road to take. Unfortunatley, oftentimes to my chagrin, the feisty hot Latina in me comes out and I end up saying or doing something that I later regret. So I've got no sage advice for you. Would you be very interested to hear how you handled it.

Posted by Julissa Jumper, Fayetteville, NC Real Estate (Select Properties of Fayetteville, LLC) over 9 years ago

If they brought it up after 2 months I am led to believe it is not originally their idea. Had they felt that way themselves you would have heard about it right away. I suspect they were talking with friends or family (DAD) and they put that thought it in their head.

I like Sonny's idea. That's probably the higher road to take. Unfortunatley, oftentimes to my chagrin, the feisty hot Latina in me comes out and I end up saying or doing something that I later regret. So I've got no sage advice for you. Would you be very interested to hear how you handled it.

Posted by Julissa Jumper, Fayetteville, NC Real Estate (Select Properties of Fayetteville, LLC) over 9 years ago

I don't bring closing gifts to the table, because it seems so awkward to hand over a fluffy gift while there is so much going on. I do, however, stop by periodically for months after the sale. It depends on the client: moving snacks, coffee cakes, wine, plants, mums, little things for the kids, a frame for the closing photo...it comes during or after the move-in, and sometimes at the next most appropriate holiday.

I'd "kill 'em with kindness" just for the fun of it. Email them back that you always wait until a new homeowner is settled in so you can bring just the right gift. You had hoped to surprise them with a special drop by visit and something for their baby/garden/workshop. I think tickets to a Christmas Carol would be perfect for these people and their dad. Or say that you always wait until Thanksgiving to genuinely express your thanks.....take them a turkey! Show your enthusiasm about how this is how it is always done, because you enjoy spending time with your clients after they've settled in.

Posted by Leslie Ebersole, I help brokers build businesses they love. (Swanepoel T3 Group) over 9 years ago

Where did this notion of a closing gift start in the first place. Do you know of any other situation where closing gifts are the norm?  just wondering!

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 9 years ago

Some people, no matter what you do, it will never be enough, nor will anything ever satisfy them.  In those cases, I would remind them of all the ways you saved them money already, wish them well, and delete them from past clients database.  Life is too short to have negative people suck any positive energy you may have -- but that's just me.

Posted by Chris Olsen, Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate (Olsen Ziegler Realty) over 9 years ago

What everyone else said. I can't believe the gall those people have in Demanding a closing gift! This entitlement attitude that's sprouting up all over the place needs to stop!

Posted by Eric Michael, Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519 (Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI) over 9 years ago

Wow!  Thank you so much for the resounding response.  I feel like a huge weight has come off of my shoulders by all the encouragement you have provided me.  You begin to doubt yourself when something shakes your core like they have. 

I have not responded to their recent request yet.  When I first received the text's and emails I ran to the phone angry, sad and ready to give them a real piece of my mind.  But then I gave myself a time out to cool off and poise myself which is almost always the best way.  But I do have the need for closure and to reiterate to them all the services that I provided to them, the facts behind what I earned in comparison to what they may believe, that it is not polite to look into someone else's pockets and the truth that a closing gift is not a staple of the real estate closing as they have been erroneously informed.

But then a part of me resents the idea of having to defend myself or prove my worth to these people.  But I believe that they will continue to hound me until I address this outrageous issue with them.  Your suggestions were awesome.  I love Sonny's idea with the Bible, that is terrific, and Carol #61 made me laugh out loud, great suggestion! or Kathryn's #82 donation to charity is super too.  Leslie #134, you think a lot like I do.  Wouldn't that be a hoot!  If I only had the nerve to pull it off without my blood pressure skyrocketing through the roof.

My philosophy has always been to "leave them smiling".  This business is so much about the lasting impression we leave with them at the end of the day.  I could eat crow and provide them with some worthless little piece of something that they will never believe is enough and take my chances that it's better to provide them with "something" rather than being remembered as the agent that left them with "nothing" (in their minds). 

I think that giving them a gift after they voiced their demand for one trumps the true meaning of a "gift".  It would not be a gift anymore, it would be a closing cost.  I've done that already.  A gift comes from the heart.  You can't make demands on someone's heart.  It loses all of its meaning. 

I am going to give some serious thought to telling them that I purchased a star in the heavens for them to cherish always and it took two months to find just the right one to match their unique tastes.  I will point to it high above us using just the right finger.  (now that was not professional and please know that I'm only joking).  I will let you know the outcome of how it plays out though - while keeping the faith that I will still be able to leave them smiling. 

Again, thanks a million for all of your support.  Truly.

Posted by Diane Wheatley, Broker, SoCal Real Estate Expert (909) 815-4499 (Move Up Properties) over 9 years ago

Tell them that as soon as they return the commission rebate you will have the funds to purchase the thank you gift of their choice - up to the amount of the returned commission rebate!

Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty (Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area) over 9 years ago

I hope you've sent them this blog post and all of the replies.  And maybe it's time to stop rebating commissions because you clearly deserve to keep every penny you earn!

Posted by Julia Horton Fishel, ASKjulia. REAL estate. REAL answers. (Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate) over 9 years ago


I really do not have words except for to say that I have one of those myself that closes today.

Posted by Lisa Ludlow Archer (Live Love Homes-Keller Williams, Charlotte, NC Ballantyne Area ) over 9 years ago

You have been more than generous with your time, service and rebate on top of that!  If there's anything to blame it's their inexperience and immaturity and likely bad advice from a trusted adult.

Posted by Barbara Altieri, REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale (Kinard Realty Group Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Tell them the gift was the $8 grand.

We have to get over feeling like this...


Posted by Randal Jenkins (Coldwell Banker F I Gray and Sons Residential, Inc.) over 9 years ago

Wow!  that just leaves me speechless.  I think a lot of the comments on here are right on target with the sense of entitlement some people have.

Posted by Stuart Dobson (eLoanRates.org) over 9 years ago

People always seem to feel we are just making tons of money daily and should give everything to them!  I had an attorney ask me to list her house and she would only pay the selling agent 3% and nothing to the listing- I said thanks but no thanks- she said WELL IF YOU WERE A GO GETTER YOU COULD MAKE MONEY!  I don't like working both sides of a deal and our office frowns upon it.   Instead of explaining that I would still OWE my broker money for selling her house- I just asked her if she took on all her clients for free and only charged them if she won the case???  Needless to say I never heard from her again- thankfully!

You were more than generous with the clients!

Posted by Meredith Welsh (RE/MAX Space Center- Clear Lake) over 9 years ago

There are a lot of Realtors who do not buy a gift at all for a client closing. An attorney does not give you a gift for using their services nor do contractors and they all make a lot more money than we do.

That said, I do buy gifts for my clients but when the occasion comes where they get it back in a referral or a home warranty or something similar I make sure my thank you note includes a reference to the gift. I call it out as a gift. Something such as I am glad to be able to provide you this gift back and appreciate that you selected me, etc. works.

We all have times when what we do is not enough. SWSWSWN (Some will like us, Some won't like us, So What?, Next!)

Posted by Brenda and Willie Gonzalez, The G Force of Havasu (RE/MAX by the Lake) over 9 years ago

Oh my gosh, what nerve! You had already given them enough gifts in the form of your service to them. I recently had this happen to me with a client that received a donation of 25% of my commission via the Homes for Heroes program that I participate in, thanking them for their service to our country only to find out later that they were going around saying they were extremely disappointed I hadn't given them a closing gift! Makes you appreciate your other closings that much more.

Posted by Abby Waltz (Homes for Heroes) over 9 years ago

Diane~ Unbelievable! Thanks for sharing your story, I'm sorry you had to experience it. Keep moving forward, there are many people who need you & will appreciate you.

Posted by Diane M. Phillips Realtor 443-286-4365, Specializing in Carroll Co., MD (Frankly Real Estate Inc.) over 9 years ago

I have a magic button for nuisances that continue to persist in my inbox.... It magically moves these annoyances to the round file.  In Outlook, it is the rules button, and it oprates on rules every time you get inbound mail. On a Mac, it is in the Mail:preferences, and it sure saves time from all of those annoyances. 

Or... You could send them a statement for services, including gas, phone, filing, and other time you spent with the word "FEES FORGIVEN AS CLIENT GIFT" in red across the front.



Posted by Lou Farris, Lou understands real estate, and is your Concierge (Your Castle Real Estate, Inc.) over 9 years ago

These 2 need a lesson. I would suggest sending them a copy of an etiquette book.

Posted by Marcy Moyer, Probate, Trust, and Investment Specialist (eXp Realty of California Silicon Valley Probate, Trust, and Investment Sales) over 9 years ago

I'd like to condemn the Gen-Xers for their entrenchment in entitlementism, but I'll go one step higher and blame the parents of these kids and Mr. Rogers, for teaching them that everything should be theirs "just because you're you." They should be taught to work for it, and they weren't. I've found, over the past few years that even when gifts are given, it is too difficult and time consuming to bother to thank the Realtor® for that gift or for services rendered. 

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) over 9 years ago

Your buyers clearly did not deserve you! They were fortunate to have you solve so many problems and at the same time receive over $1000 of your fee at closing. A sense of entititlement is only part of the story. Perhaps we all need to look at how buyers perceive agents when they are referred by another agent. The new landscape of real estate is becoming more of a frontier everyday. Hopefully you will not "hang it up" as you are awesome to help us all by telling this amazing story.

Posted by Emily Medvec, Realtor | Serving Santa Fe & Northern NM (eXp Realty LLC) over 9 years ago

Wow the nerve to request a gift. Don't they know a gift is just that a gift. For the most part buyers have no clue as to how much a realtor makes and assumes they make the full 3% or 6% of the purchase price. Wow would they be surprised if we really broke it down for them the net check that we go home with. None of their business and shame on that father. He should know better. You did them a great service, but at this point I would not send them anything. Some coal in their stocking this year.

Posted by Suzie Mills (Century 21 Wildwood Properties) over 9 years ago

You gave them your time and great service.  I personally don't do closing gifts and have always wondered who started this practice?  So, you should not feel obligated, as not everyone gives a closing gift as Dad thinks.

I know that repeat business and referrals are important. Do you really want them as repeat customers until they grow up?  And, their "class" may run in the family.

Posted by The Hollinden Team, Serving the Greater Louisville area (EXP Realty) over 9 years ago

I hear you!  I had a client refuse to use me again...I flat out asked him why, and I found out that he didn't like the thank you gift that I gave him, he didn't think it was nice enough, and thought it should have been more. 

Obviously, that type of client doesn't respect what we do for a living and never will.  I wrote it off to not being worth my time anyway and moved on to my clients who are in my fan club!

Posted by Joan Pike over 9 years ago

Ask them if their boss asks them for a dinner each time they get their paycheck... I truly have a hard time understanding some people.

Posted by Dave Sulvetta, Realtor (Dave Sulvetta, ReMax Connection, Gloucester County Realtor) over 9 years ago

Ask them if their boss asks them for a dinner each time they get their paycheck... I truly have a hard time understanding some people.

Posted by Dave Sulvetta, Realtor (Dave Sulvetta, ReMax Connection, Gloucester County Realtor) over 9 years ago

Isn't a gift something engendered within YOU 1st?  If it is a request for 'more' - then they have a lot of nerve calling it a 'gift'!   Perhaps this father was the type who HAD to buy the kids their 1st car, HAS to pay for college, etc - becuase....well - the kids are just entitled to all these 'gifts' !

Makes me sick! 

Posted by Richard D. Ferris, Florida State Certified (FHA) Appraiser (AmcAppraisalsinc.com) over 9 years ago

This is the "entitled" generation.

Posted by Anonymous over 9 years ago

Diane, this would be a funny story if it wasn't so pathetic!  I'd send them a link to your post.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Great Blog!

Thank you,


Andy Brown

Posted by Andy Brown, Best Real Estate Training in Florida (Climer School of Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Lately I have been slashing my commissions to make deals work...that IS their THANK YOU gift....I am so glad I work in a state where it is prohibited for buyer rebates!

Posted by Darryl Brasseur (Brasseur Realty) over 9 years ago

That is outrageous.  I would explain to them in a text message that the rebate they got is more than a thankyou gift would be and that is why. 

Posted by Tatyana Sturm, Denver Realtor, GRI, Denver/ Aurora CO Relocation (Exit Realty DTC) over 9 years ago
send them a box of chocolates and a copy of forest gump movie(available in discount bargain bin)
Posted by Tom Burris, Texas/Louisiana Mortgage Pro - 13 YRS Experience (NMLS# 335055) over 9 years ago

I'm not sure about CA but in NY that would be a CLEAR VIOLATION OF RESPA LAWS currently in place.


No one can receive $ on a transaction for no reason(ex-kickback/referral fees)


Not to mention the pure gaul those people had.


After a few polite emails i would probabaly get rude(hell they are being rude to you right?)


and I like Dave Sullettas response"does there boss ask them to take him to dinner every time they get a paycheck?" lol

Posted by Dominick Gaccino (Dominick gaccino) over 9 years ago

Through your hard work and dedication they are now living in your thank you gift.

Posted by Bruce Swedal, Denver Real Estate over 9 years ago

Ohhhhh......I'd give them a gift alright. I would buy a book on Manners and Etiquette, and I would send it along with the HUD with all of the MONEY they would have not otherwise seen highlighted in yellow, and use some post-its defining each one in more detail, like "Glad I could get you the 8K credit!" and "I really had to fight for you for the closing costs!" On the enclosed note, I would take the high road and say something to the effect that as a young couple the book will be handy for a lifetime, and by the way, you'll need the HUD when you do your taxes. They will either get the hint or not. If they don't, you can't change them - dad has already done the damage.

Posted by Marianne Bazan over 9 years ago

It is sad but totally believable in today's age. there is this expectation that not only are you expected to do your job, but give up your commission and then pay for the priviledge of doing it well. Don't give up, just shout at the top of your vvoice NEXT!!!!!

Posted by Nick Vandekar over 9 years ago

Yes, Dave is right...and, ask them if they ever received a gift from a doctor...an attorney...duh! Also, I might [gently] remind them that "it wasn't in the contract...you performed as the contract was written." :)

You did a great job! Perhaps you could find it in your heart to send 'em a copy of Miss Manners' Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior!


Posted by Renee Drumm, e-PRO(R), REALTOR(R) (Home Experts Realty) over 9 years ago

I'd like to know that the dad behind this got to read your post & comments.

Posted by Mark R. Westpfahl REALTOR Broker, e-PRO® CNE® REALTOR® Minnesota Real Estate Broker (Vexillum Realty - Eagan, St. Paul, Minneapolis and suburbs) over 9 years ago

I feel your pain and frustration I have been in similar situations and you just feel shocked to the core! Hang in there and don't let the small people of the world ruin something that YOU DO WELL. You sound like a marvelous agent and they were lucky to have you whether they realize it or not. I like Patricia's idea of sending them the link to this post!

Posted by Diana Purcell, Delivering Dreams One Home at a Time (HomeSmart) over 9 years ago

Do a take-off of the MasterCard "Priceless" line of commercials.

Send them a list of the items you mentioned with the prices saved them, then at the bottom put something to the effect of "Gift of ALL of the above Superb Services= PRICELESS".

Posted by Travis "the SOLD man" Parker; Associate Broker, email: Travis@theSOLDman.me / cell: 334-494-7846 (iXL Real Estate-Wiregrasss\) over 9 years ago

When a gift is expected... does it become a closing concession? Hang in there. People are what make this industry great and frustrating.

Posted by Scott Petersen (Client First, Realtors - Canton, MI) over 9 years ago
Diane, I didn't read all the comments so this may be redundant. Since they won't be referring their friends and family because you failed to get them a closing gift, the best present you could give them is a link to this post and responses. Maybe then they'll understand by hearing from other real estate professionals. Here's your chance to influence another life changing event for them...awakening them from their rudeness and ignorance!
Posted by Chris Head, Realtor - Marketing Specialist - Norwell, Marshfield, Scituate Real Estate (William Raveis Real Estate - Norwell) over 9 years ago


As my grandmother would say, "they are not well bred". Take that for what it's worth and move on. You obviously worked hard and secured the best transaction for them, that should be gift enough. Class cannot be taught.

Posted by Valerie Duncan Stewart, Real Estate Agent-Broker, OKC, OK ((Metro First Realty)) over 9 years ago

I like Marianne's idea (#171) detailed breakdown with notes on the HUD with a reminder note regarding taxes. I don't think the etiquette book would ever get picked up, let alone read though.

Posted by Kirsten Mellinger, Ventura County Real Estate (Emerald Funding & Realty) over 9 years ago

OMG! Having been in the business about 6 years now...People never stop amazing me with some of the things they ask for.  It's frightening and I think it has worsened in the past 2 years. It seems that I haven't done a transaction in the last 2 years where one of the parties have asked me for part of my commission or for me to pay for repairs.  It's crazy...and I'd like to see consumers who we've negotiated thousands of dollars to their credit, maybe, just maybe give us a thank you gift!

Posted by Diana Manzato over 9 years ago

When I was first selling in Texas, a fellow Realtor who had been selling for over 50 years told me she had NEVER in all of her years, given a closing gift or any concessions EVER.  It has served her well.  She continues to have tons of referrals, and her clients love her.  I've always maintained the same mantra.  My gift, like that of any other professional, is my knowledge and my approach to ensuring the client avoids any minefields along the way.

There is no way you will be able to educate these folks or "Dad".  As Nick (# 172) said.... NEXT !

Posted by Thom Colby (Thom Colby Properties) over 9 years ago

Their "Gift" should be a referal to this blog, and the reaction of Business Professionals - not "Dad".

Posted by Associate Broker Falmouth MA Cape Cod Heath Coker, Heath Coker Robert Paul Properties Falmouth MA (http://www.CapeGroup.com & http://www.REindex.com) over 9 years ago

The problem with giving thank-you gifts to buyers & sellers is the agent's motive behind it. It's a bribe. Sure, it's a way to stand out. To be remembered. But bottom line, it's a bribe. It's a way of making the client think of the agent when they move again. Or recommending the agent to a friend or relative.

Do lawyers, painters, home inspectors, car salespersons, or any other service people routinely give gifts to their customers. YES! Their gift is the gift of service and value. If we as agents do our jobs right, that is our gift to the client. A job well done. If that isn't enough, a gift won't make it any better.

Posted by Judy Chapman (Referral Network of Illinois LLC) over 9 years ago

Wow, the same thing happened to me about 2 years ago.  I listed a home that was a corporate relocation and sold the home for well above the market.  The home was in poor condition and in need of repair.  Two years ago was when our market started to tank here in Atlanta.  The market fall had already begun and many homes just were not selling or really taking a hit.  We pulled this sale off and this seller did very well.  The home sold for $330,000 and since that sale, the highest sale has not  even cleared $280,000 in the same subdivision.  I considered it a job well done and frankly worthy of a thank you from him!  Remember, he was not even paying me a fee since it was a relocation!

Well, the movers accidentally packed up my lockbox and shipped it to California in his move.   We traded a few emails after closing and he agreed to mail me back the lockbox.  I then get an email from him that he will mail the lockbox back to his relatives house and that I could pick it up only when I deliver the "customary gift" that I failed to give him for being picked as the agent to sell his house.

What is up with people?  Since this incident, the only clients who receive a gift from me are those that are truly thankful and respectful to me as professional.  If I feel the respect, then I may consider a closing gift.  I am way overworked, underpaid, and deliver exceptional customer service.  My clients, whether they realize it or not, are lucky to have someone on their side that really puts his client's needs before his own.  That is a rare thing to find in this real estate market.

Posted by Matt Newman over 9 years ago

I agree with Bryan (#8) that it is common among many to feel a sense of entitlement.  Yes, it happens a great deal with Gen X, but they are certainly not the only ones.  Whenever I work at our local emergency food bank (where the food is FREE), many of the recipients of this free food complain about what they get, how long it takes to get it and one woman even refused the toilet paper in one of the four large boxes of food and supplies she was given because we workers had touched it (we have to remove the wrappers and divide it up among recipients as there is usually not enough to give one person a whole package).  Yeah.  

Posted by Christine Carroll (Done in a Day Design, LLC) over 9 years ago

Just do not react. They can only badmouth you when there is somebody who thinks the same way and you would not want that kind of client again anyhow. And I would probably spread that story, that is a good one to tell when you have "entitlement clients" who you feel are just starting to come out....

Somehow I think the parents should get to know though!

Posted by Annette Sievert over 9 years ago

To me that is just like someone asking for a donation and they give you the amount they want.  How ludicrous is that.  These weirdos are coming out of the woodwork aren't they?

Posted by Don Spera, Serving York and Adams County, PA (CR Property Group, LLC) over 9 years ago

Congratulations for venting to us.  I have come up with that situation.  I like #76.  Good advice. You were dealing with the "ME" generation and you only found out about it after the fact.  I had one client tell me that "I will never refer you unless you give me a gift".. To that I say, okay and go on to the next client.  I did my job better than they could have expected.

Posted by Betty Bart over 9 years ago

The buyers never pay a dime for the service you rendered them and they want a rebate of some kind?  It's the most difficult of processes to let go, isn't it?  Focus on the gratitude you received over the years from the well mannered, appreciative clients with whom you had a great experience.  They may never get what you have to offer, but others do and will.  Good luck on all fronts!

Posted by Robert Sizer, Associate Broker (Andrew Arroyo Real Estate - Lic#01187872) over 9 years ago

Ohh, oooh! Marcy (153) has a great idea with the etiquette book! A nice little thank you note tucked inside with a reminder such as Ed (130) suggested would be a great way to set the record straight. The way I see it is that you have probably lost any good will you would have received from these clients anyway, so you might as well have the LAST word and some feeling of justice here. Just for good measure, tell them you time your gifts to be close to Thanksgiving, as Leslie (134) suggested.

Thank you for allowing me to assist you in the purchase of your first home. Each time you see this book, I am sure you will remember that my real gift to you was the $1,162.00 that came directly from my commission, an introduction to the $8000 tax credit and insuring that you qualified, and my professional negotiation of 3% in closing costs paid for you as well as the numerous concessions that added several thousand dollars' value to your home. I will always remember the five months we spent together.

Vinegar covered with honey...

Posted by Liz Lockhart, GRI, Cape Girardeau Real Estate (Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO) over 9 years ago

I once worked with a client for 11 months, yes 11 months (total--looking at homes, making offers, then waiting and waiting to close). The clients had the nerve to call me and leave a message that they needed to speak to me urgently (I was out with another client). I called back immediately (with the permission of the other client) only to be told/asked "we saw your commission bill yesterday while at our attorney's office, so what is it that you are buying us for our closing gift?" I was so mad but I said "Really? ---did it have my name on it or my company's name? Ok, well my broker gets a cut and uncle sam gets a third. All of my clients get a closing gift, but yours might have to wait until ten days after the closing when I get paid." Since I was on their speaker phone, their response in stereo was "we'll wait". 

As far as your clients I agree with Marianne Bazan above, a book on manners or something like that. How about a book on "doing good deeds" as gift giving --holding a door for people, being polite, smiling, sounds like these people need something positive in their lives. Or send them a keychain with your info for when they need to sell their home. ;)

Posted by Ann Grant, SFR (KELLER WILLIAMS in CT) over 9 years ago

Goodie bags are for Halloween kids, the minute you open the rebate bag it becomes "the game" to see how much they can get! DO NOT start the giveaway game show cuz it will end like this alot, my bothers and sisters...

Posted by David Evans, HUD NLB Cumming GA (RE/MAX TOWN AND COUNTRY) over 9 years ago
I want to say I am shocked but the way I get treated these days just blows me away. I can so relate and I agree with the comment of Next!!!!!!!! If anything you should get a gift.
Posted by Deana smedlund over 9 years ago

This is just the kind of response that is making me think twice about getting my real estate business up and going here in Virginia after moving from MD recently.  People feel that since of entitlement and ask for all sorts of things from me.  Have you gone on youtube.com recently and seen the hilarious cartoons about real estate.  Those will help you know that we are all "feeling the pain" right now.

I love bringing the truth to light by breaking down my commission on a deal to a client.  I made $6,500 gross on this deal working for you.  We spent 4 months of my time, vehicle, gas, personal office equipment & supplies (all of which I pay for).  Most consumers just do not know how much money we do not make.  After I take out my expenses and the free lunches that I provided you, my amount just went down to $5,000 and then the government takes about 42.5% percent of my earnings as I am self employed and pay higher taxes than most people so I end up with less that $3,000 in my bank account in the end.  That is less than $750 per month.  Can you live on that income?  And, I have to deal with multiple people and work 12 hour or longer days now just to make enough money to pay my bills buddy.  Gift?....really.  Your gift was the rebate and the fact that you got great representation...PERIOD.  Just never feel like you cannot spell it out to them and let them know the deal.  It always works for me.

Posted by Tina Beasley, It's not about me...It's all about you! (Florida Homes Realty & Mortgage, LLC) over 9 years ago

Someone's been watching too many HGTV episodes expecting a note on the door and new bedroom set.  Let them know you are close to Hollywood, but this the studios.

Posted by Janet Willison (Pinnacle Estate Properties) over 9 years ago

I would have said. "I am so sorry which gift was not to your liking? - The cash rebate, the furnishings, or the appliances?  I will be happy to swap whatever it is you don't want for a nice glass vase!" Unbelievable!

Posted by Anne Lackey (Solid Source Property Management, Inc.) over 9 years ago

Just when you think that you have heard it all...it just never ends...

Posted by Bob Pisa, Broker Associate, Commitment, Service, Satisfaction... (Downing-Frye Realty, Inc. Naples, FL) over 9 years ago

Diane, after 27 years of assisting folks in buying and selling homes, I am just about at the point that absolutely nothing fails to amaze me.  One thing that seems to resonate here is the parental involvement which probably prompted them to "demand" a gift.  Truly, their gift was you and your devotion, time and generosity throughout their successful purchase of a first home.  I suspect that all along there was underlying "advise" from those who always know better than the professionals -- the parents.  It's a shame that their unbringing prevented them from seeing the positives of their situation and enthusiastically embrace that instead of looking to what else they could grab from you.  I'd gladly let these folks go forever since they, inevitably, will be a future thorn in the side of whomever has to deal with them in the future.  I've had to fire an occasional seller (and yes, it does feel good to stand your ground and not permit someone to continuously take advantage of you) and yes, occasionally it's best to let a buyer move onto another agent, especially when there is absolutely no respect for your time, effort and results.  Good riddance to them -- you did all the right things.  They did not!

Posted by Allyson Hoffman, Making Today's Dreams Tomorrow's Reality! (RE/MAX Villager (Chicago North and North Suburbs Real Estate)) over 9 years ago

You gave them everything you owed them and then some. After you recover from their gall, take Sonny's advice and get them a bible. It is cheap and if they don't like it they will sound even more tacky if they voice that one. 

Posted by J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner (J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY) over 9 years ago

Wow!  I am a Redfin Partner Agent and as part of their referrals I also give part of my commission (which is part of the referral fee) to the buyers.  I explain the process to them that they are getting part of my commission so the buyers know it's coming out of my pocket.  My buyers seem to understand that it's coming from me and they are very grateful.

I think you just got a buyer that is unrealistic and one that is being guided by Daddy.  And what kind of closing gift would be appropriate in Daddy's eyes?  A $25.00 door knocker?  A bottle of wine?  Give me a break.

If this happened to me I would write down the list of everything you have stated here and once again explain that the "commission rebate" was your closing gift and tell them that not all of your clients get this rebate if they don't come from the referral service.  Some people need to see it on paper - and then they can forward it to Dad.  I'm sure Dad never received a referral rebate and the kids might not have told him about it.

If that doesn't work then forget about them - I guess we just can't please everyone no matter how much we do and give.  Move on to someone who does appreciate all that you do.

Posted by Judy Orr, SW & Near West Chicago suburbs (HomeSmart Realty Group) over 9 years ago
Ann (192)~How about "Please have your attorney call me so we can get together to decide on a gift from the two of us."
Posted by Liz Lockhart, GRI, Cape Girardeau Real Estate (Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO) over 9 years ago


Sorry for your ungreatful clients and hard work on this one....  Unfortunately I just don't think it has to do with their upbringing and age.  I see more and more people who feel some sort of self-entitlement, and I feel it stems from our society (and attitude with the current Government) as a whole.  Everything people do now is about instant gratification and more, more, more mindset.   As a small business owner, and Father of three little boys, I see it in the business world and at home (which I'm try to correct).  I hope you stick to your guns on this one and do not give into the little brats!  What kind of referrals could you expect from them anways?  Probably just more of the same!  Good luck and thanks for sharing your story.

Posted by Justin Biehl, Broker/Owner, MVP Realty over 9 years ago
I've experienced this and more. There is this sense of entitlement that some people; not all have. I've had times when I say to my hubby enough. To Matt Newman; report them to the company that provided the relocation lead and demand from them the replacement of your lockbox. I'm sure their new employer would be thrilled to know their employee has such high expectations. I had one last year that demanded an array of items on one of my rentals and racked up over $300 in international calls. The Hunan Resource person received my clients bill and miracle the bill was paid and no further issues existed. What can I say?
Posted by Helena Kaucheck over 9 years ago
I've experienced this and more. There is this sense of entitlement that some people; not all have. I've had times when I say to my hubby enough. To Matt Newman; report them to the company that provided the relocation lead and demand from them the replacement of your lockbox. I'm sure their new employer would be thrilled to know their employee has such high expectations. I had one last year that demanded an array of items on one of my rentals and racked up over $300 in international calls. The Hunan Resource person received my clients bill and miracle the bill was paid and no further issues existed. What can I say?
Posted by Helena Kaucheck over 9 years ago

I think the ones who started giving "congratulations" gifts have sent the wrong message.  The agent needs a good "thank you"  if the job was well done and you "the buyer"  got everything and more than you ask. 

There is a misconception out there to an already "ME" generation. 

The unfortunate part is with every bad incident.... it leads to minus 200 referrals.  Law of averages as to how many people they complaint and down the line.......

I'm sure your reputation preceeds you.  Good job!


Cindy Snider


Posted by Cindy Snider (UPSTAGE) over 9 years ago

Oh Diane!  Shame on those buyers!! BUT maybe it is a blessing - you know the saying: Birds of a feather fly together.  If their friends and associates think the same, you might not want their referrals.  You might want to give a donation to Habitat for Humanity or a local homeless shelter in their name and a "gift" to them.

Have  great day !

Posted by Muriel Lawty (Keller Williams Downtown Seattle) over 9 years ago

The key word here is "gift" and the definition according to Wikepedia is: "A gift or a present is the transfer of something without the expectation of receiving something in return."

Seems to me the expectation makes it null and void!  Period.  I can't even imagine how you must feel.  This goes deeper than the subject and I understand why it's got you shaken.  I have had clients like that and then I have had clients that thank me profusely just for doing my job.   We have to weigh it all out.  In the end we will find the balance. 

These kids should be ashamed of themselves as well as the father.  And if he is promoting this sort of thing............well............all I can say is shame on him. 

Here is my answser:

Dear *&@&*,

I am saddened by your apparent lack of manners.  It's probably not your fault.  Apparently, your father never taught you the proper ways of life.  It is my sincere hope that you will reconsider your request for "a gift", but in the meantime I would like to take a moment to list the things I've already given you:

$8,000 tax credit that you were not even aware of.

$3,000 negotiation of closing cost credit.

$1,162 rebate (directly out of my paycheck)

I love Leslie #134's idea the best!

Do let us know how this ended.


Posted by Linda S. Cefalu, Broker Assoc., I'll Take You Home (Coldwell Banker Homesale Realty) over 9 years ago

Oh Diane!  Shame on those buyers!! BUT maybe it is a blessing - you know the saying: Birds of a feather fly together.  If their friends and associates think the same, you might not want their referrals.  You might want to give a donation to Habitat for Humanity or a local homeless shelter in their name and a "gift" to them.

Have  great day !

Posted by Muriel Lawty (Keller Williams Downtown Seattle) over 9 years ago

I feel your pain. I sold a home in '09 where the client paid 7000.00 below asking price, received 2300 for CC and received the tax credit. Actually, the client very happy. No problem for her. Problem was her mother. I received a call from the mother two days after the closing and stating "she was disappointed in me and thought was not professional for not having a $50 gift for her daughter" I was stuck on stupid! I did not know what to say at that time. I just listen and accept her compliant. When I call my client to dicuss her mother complaint she told my not to worry about and she know she got a hell of a deal from me.

It's amazing the one who complain would just sit back and see what their agents are doing on their behave, may be they would be ones bring gifts to the closing table

Good luck and God bless


Posted by Les Edwards over 9 years ago

Vent if you like, but buy the gift next time.  A $50 vase from pier 1 is cheap compared t the cost of lost referrals and bad reputation they will spread through friends, family and Facebook.

Posted by Kurt Miller over 9 years ago

Diane,  Count this one as young and inexperienced!   I'd like to believe that explaining to them what you've given them would suffice, but my guess is it won't.   It's clear that they don't understand the definition of "gift".   Sometimes you can't fix stupid and it's time to move on.

Posted by Sandra Ormerod (Sotheby's International Realty) over 9 years ago

My two cents, do not try to justify your worth by rattling off the dizzying amount of service you provide to these ungrateful clients.  It will be a wasted effort.  And at this point, unless you buy something staggering, they will be unimpressed with any "thank you" gift. 

What I would want to do at this point is have a conversation, no texts, no emails, about this closing gift situation.  I suspect they have heard from friends and dear ole Dad that they are entitled to a gift, perhaps Dad does a good deal of business with an agent who gives gifts, who knows.   But I feel that face to face interaction will knock the wheels off this crazy train and put it to rest.  Go in with a few things you want to say, have an out that you can only stay a certain amount of time, put this to bed once and for all.  I know, I know.... I wouldn't want to do it either, but sometimes when you put people in the same room, make it personal, rather than firing off texts and emails, things become more rational. 

Good luck in whatever you decide to do.

Posted by Darlene Humphreys, I love my job! (Coldwell Banker Holman Premier Realty) over 9 years ago

They saw one of those HGTV fix-up shows where the Realtor gave the client a huge gift and now expect it to be the norm. My Client just advised me they were looking for this miracle gift at closing too! I set them straight right away! Once again a poor representation by the awful media! Don't they know we are limited to $25 for closing gifts????

Posted by Dennis over 9 years ago

The only gift they should have is a lesson in manners.  Your gift to them should be a link to this discussion.  perhaps it might help them grow up a bit. Even failing that, it's worth a shot, at least to put an end to the rude emails, if nothing else.

It's not about age.  I worked with a very young client whose mortgage fell through, after he had a worthless "pre-approval" that was based on outdated criteria for his loan type, and he's been nothing but appreciative, despite the fact things didn't work out.

Posted by Frank B over 9 years ago
Give them a $500 off coupon on the next home they buy with you.
Posted by Dan Quinn, Dan Quinn (The Eric Steart Group of Long & Foster Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Anyone ever receive a gift from your dentist after a successful root canal? How about when you check out at your local supermarket - definetely a financial transaction, right? Ever received a gift there?

This entire gift giving thing is completely over rated and I'm not doing it! Nor do I expect anything from my clients. It's a business transaction, not Christmas or a birthday!

Posted by TheMillsTeam YourSebringRealtors, 863-212-5441 (Advantage Realty #1) over 9 years ago

I encountered a similar client.  I worked diligently to assist them in ways above and beyond my responsibilities as a realtor.  After the transaction, they sent me a text saying their friend's agent paid $1000 towards a privacy fence and since I didn't do that, they would send their referrals to their friend's agent. 

Posted by Lisa Boyd (Coldwell Banker Conroy, Marable & Holleman) over 9 years ago

It's clients like those that we all must walk away from emediatly when they show true colors. Mine usually show up telling me they will only go with the lowest interest rate and thats all that matters. I wish the best of luck and move on to buyers who work within my system.


Posted by Jacob Haddan over 9 years ago

I've never given a closing gift, because most of the time I can't really afford it. I've got too many bills to pay these days.  Instead, I try to go above and beyond in my service.  I frequently help others move in, I've been known to paint or scrape or fix a leak or whatever.  I'm capable of doing those types of things, and I think that they are worth more to my clients than some dumb gift basket.

I hope, though, that you don't get the feeling that this is a generational thing.  I'm still young (28) and I still feel a part of this up and coming generation.  Let me assure you that while there may be some out there that act this way, what a terrible mistake it would be to think that all people my age think, feel, or act this way.  I know plenty of people my age or younger who are humble and thankful for everything they have.  Just know that this sense of entitlement you are seeing is poor upbringing and is not generational. 

Posted by Joshua Pettus, Realtor, Florence, Alabama Real Estate (Home Grown Real Estate - Buy Sell Remodel Build) over 9 years ago

A book on etiquette, perhaps???


Posted by Dorothea "Dolly" Perkins, Dolly Perkins (Realty of Maine) over 9 years ago

Diane, I'm so sorry for all of us who are dedicated to our clients and who take care in what we do.  Most people do not understand that 80% of the time we work for free...but then there are those wonderful few who go the extra mile to thank us...i've a few gifts that I treasure...most are Hallmark cards of appreciation...one gift was even homemade!  (my personal favorite!) Those few are the ones that keep me in this business! I think most people just don't realize our net proceeds...our gas mileage and most of all all the hours behind the scenes researching and previewing and open houses and paperwork...probably because they never care to ask...so critical to think positive these days...I'm so sorry you were kicked in the teeth when you weren't looking.  I think I might draw up a pretty certificate itemizing their rewards including your hours of free service to find them finding the ideal home...send a copy to the idiot who raised them that way.

Posted by Anonymous over 9 years ago

WOW!  That is in complete bad taste, and like MOM always used to say....  It's the parents fault, don't blame the kids.  Even though at some point you have to start blaming them when they get to be that old.  Gotta love it, and I have a feeling that society will likely not degress back to more polite times.

Posted by Nathan Strauch, Colorado Real Estate Photography & Video (Hot Shots Digital (HotShotPros.com)) over 9 years ago

Diane, here is the deal:

  1. You dont want these people as repeat clients, and probably not any referrals (with same expectations) from them, so no need to coddle.
  2. Print out your blog post and all the other agents' comments and send it to them in a pretty envelope marked on the outside "Gift Enclosed".
  3. Move on to the next buyer. In my experience, a difficult client adds a great deposit into your Karma bank. The next one will be easy. You paid your dues on this one!
Posted by Sylvia Jonathan over 9 years ago

I would simply leave well enough alone.  You have no reason to EVER be in touch with them alone.  Ignore them.  Do not give them anymore of your time.  Truly who needs people like this in their life.  The time you spend giving them thought is time you could spend on something else. Do not give them the satisfaction of a response. Better yet delete them from any contact lists as well as hide anything even remotely associated with them out of sight.  

Truthfully your self respect is better than any referral these people could give you.  

You do not owe them anything at this point.  You have done your job. 



Posted by stacey over 9 years ago

I would simply leave well enough alone.  You have no reason to EVER be in touch with them alone.  Ignore them.  Do not give them anymore of your time.  Truly who needs people like this in their life.  The time you spend giving them thought is time you could spend on something else. Do not give them the satisfaction of a response. Better yet delete them from any contact lists as well as hide anything even remotely associated with them out of sight.  

Truthfully your self respect is better than any referral these people could give you.  

You do not owe them anything at this point.  You have done your job. 



Posted by stacey over 9 years ago

I hear ya!  I had a similar situation 15 years ago..........so no, I don't think it has anything to do with the economy...it's just poor manners and bad upbringing. I had the mom calling me telling me what a crappy realtor I was for not giving her beloved daughter a gift at closing.  I was happy to let that one go.  I want to attract wonderful, nice people into my real estate practice, and I don't want that kind of energy around me.  Next.

Posted by Allison Simson (Summit Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Hi Diane,  I hope writing your post was cathartic.  I'm sure all the supportive responses validated your feelings about these rude customers.   I especially liked Sonny's (#32).  I don't think it's a generation thing...I think it's bad upbringing.  I do think that we may have brought it on ourselves.  Many agents do give gifts and while a token thank you/house warming gift like a bottle of champagne or a welcome sign may be fine, I have seen agents spend hundreds of dollars.  Why, I'll never understand.  My stockbroker sends me flowers on Mother's Day, but other than that, I can't say anyone I deal with gives me a gift for doing me a service. 

Actually, maybe clients should start giving their agents a gift...for getting them great deals, for the guidance they've given them, for making sure all the details are handled, for driving them all over the county, and the many other things we do for them.  Just kidding, of course.

In a 20 year career, you're bound to run into a couple of rude customers.  Put this behind you and move forward to your next great sale. 

Posted by Marie-Denise Kratsios, Where ever you are, that's where I'll be! (Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty) over 9 years ago

Send them a laminated copy of their HUD-1 with the sections on the seller credit and rebate HIGHLIGHTED!  : )

Posted by Sally Hamidi over 9 years ago

Diane....These are probably the same people who return clothes to Nordstroms that wore it a for a year first. No class at all!


Joshua (3 post above) Closing gifts no matter how small are not only a token of your appreciation but a great marketing piece that remind your client of who you are and where to send their friends. Even a personally engraved key chain is excellent.


Diane...The Rebate they got was perfect. In situations like that I will write on the card: Thanks..bla bla....And I'm so happy you were able to get a nice rebate rather than a silly basket of fruit!

Posted by Pasadena Short Sale Agents Pasadena Short Sales (Munson Realty Southern California Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Cut the cord and be done with them. I customarily provide thank you gifts, but like you, have opted not to provide these gifts when I have provided significant monetary benefit--not to mention superior service. 

It is disappointing when a successful transaction leaves you with a bad taste...sometimes it happens and we just need to move on.

Posted by Holly Weatherwax, A Great Real Estate Experience ( Associate Broker, Momentum Realty) over 9 years ago

Hey.. i have a great gift idea for them.... go to a local RANCH and scoop up a bag of horse poop... send it to them as fertilizer for their new garden/lawn.... wash your hands afterwards...

Or.. you could send them this beautiful self portrait..

Bald Head

Posted by John Becker, John Becker / Bald Head (BALD HEAD REALTY) over 9 years ago


Wow!   Based on the number of comments you've received, I think you have struck a nerve with many realtors.    Many of the younger generation are "spoiled" and have been taught that they are entitled.    The baby boomer parents only have themselves to blame for this behavior. 

Posted by Randy Dieter, Real Estate One Saline, MI over 9 years ago

Send them a letter and itemize what they got out of the closing.  The money, the tax credit, lower interest rate not to mention a house they love.  That is their gift!

Posted by Patty Clark, Helping Families Move with Care (Morningside Homes, LLC 720-231-5200) over 9 years ago

Shake it off.

I stopped giving settlement gifts long ago, and nobody has griped about it.

Chalk this one up to rude kids who have no manners.

Exit 1st Choice Realty
Woodbridge, VA

Equal Housing Opportunity

Posted by Erick Blackwelder, Text or call Erick now at 703-677-1120. (Cell: 703-677-1120) over 9 years ago

I send thank you card to buyers.. I usually send a gift basket to the sellers.. but I have never sent a buyer a thank you gift??????

Posted by Joel Jadofsky, One of the Top Realtors in Panama City Beach Area (Keller Williams - homes for sale - Florida - Gulf - Beach ) over 9 years ago

It's always the ones you do the most for that appreciate it the least.

Posted by Ben Yost - 303-587-4297, FHA, VA, Conventional - Mortgage Loans in De (First Time Home Buyer, Mortgage Rates, Pre-Approval) over 9 years ago

This is just a shame.. After all your hard work... I would not even respond to them..

If they don't appreciate your services and hard work a gift won't change it...

They need to learn manners and grow-up.

We are sales people.. When you buy a new car, boat, RV or even a TV does the salesman give you a gift???? No ! I don't think so..

What makes us obligated to give a gift?

We give the gift of the American Dream that in itself should be enough...

Posted by Stephanie Leon | Miami Lakes Realtor®, Turning For Sale Into SOLD! (Realty Empire Incorporated) over 9 years ago

I was the broker in charge of a Realty company that rebated one third of its buyer side commission to the buyer. The buyers almost never worked with us because of the rebate and many did not even understand it. At some point, I tried to convince the ownership to discontinue the rebate program due to the above coupled with the fact that the company was behind on rent and payroll taxes. They refused and I resigned. They went out of business about one year later. Sometimes I will buy clients I have enjoyed working with generous gifts but I never use that to get their business. If their focus is not on the value added that I bring, then I won't work with them. Life is too short.

Posted by Lee Morof, Associate Broker, Attorney, CDPE (RE/MAX Showcase Homes) over 9 years ago

Absolutely unbelievable!  Don't let them discourage you.  It is clearly an example of poor manners, sense of entitlement and no class.  Shame on them and shame on "daddy"!

Posted by Debbie White, Your K C Realtor (Reece Nichols) over 9 years ago

There is a great sense of entitlement out there for many people.  Most, of course, are outside of the sale/commission industry.  Instead, they receive a regular paycheck.  Service is your gift to them.  The rebate even goes above and beyond that.

Posted by Rodney Mason, VP of Mortgage Lending - AL, FL, GA, SC, & TN (Guaranteed Rate NMLS# 2611) over 9 years ago

Unfortunately when you start making concessions and offering things folks will keep asking until you say no.

Posted by Mark Lackey (Atlanta Housing Source at Solid Source Realty, Inc.) over 9 years ago

It's about respect and appreciation for a job well done.  When you received none, it hurts.  Appreciation from a client means more than anything we can get.  We work so hard, we are people pleasers and it means as much to us to just to get a sincere thank you from our clients as the pay check we receive.  There will be others that appreciate you.  I know I do for your sharing this.

Posted by Bonnie Cox over 9 years ago

Send them a book on etiquette.  I can not think of anyone that needs one more.  Asking for a gift, REALLY??  Shame on them.  They need to get over themselves!  As I was reading your post I was thinking if I was not a Realtor, I sure would want you to represent me!

Posted by Victoria Gilliland, I'm Never too Busy to Talk Real Estate (Watts Auction, Realty & Appraisal) over 9 years ago

Wow that is so rude!  I have a book of Emily Post's Rules of Etiquette I think you should send them as their gift!

Posted by Mona Stanfield, Elle Realty (Dallas, TX) over 9 years ago

Oh my! I had the same situation this past January. After working with a buyer client for over 11/2 years, re-signing 4 buyer agency agreements, and finally putting together a sweet deal for a condo, I received the most nasty email. I was ready to bail... I forwarded the email to their lawyer and made an important decision. I dropped her..

Dropped her from my contact list, 8 years of newsletters and market updates, dropped her from existence. What happened to you was an act of ignorrance. DOn't let it swish around in your mind. DROP THEM! I'm happy you posted this one... it's a call for cleansing....



Posted by Sergio DePinto (Royal LePage Maximum Realty.,Brokerage - Greater Toronto Area) over 9 years ago

You should get everyone who commented on this post a huge Christmas gift since you make so much money! ;)

One of my ex-employers (not in real estate)  calls them "80s babies" and he says you can tell them from a mile away. They don't want to work; they expect something for nothing. There are many exceptions to this, though, of course I know that not all people born in the 80s are this way!

Posted by Lynda White, Admin. Mgr., Keller Williams Realty (Bluegrass Homes & Farms Realty, Agent Know How) over 9 years ago

I read a number of comments and then scrolled through the rest.

It looks like I may be the first person to disagree with your attitude. (Hey, I love you all, but I'm just surprised at the majority of comments here.)

I have never had a client ask me where their closing gift is because they get one. Either at closing or when I hand them the keys at the house.

I'm not siding with the Buyer or the Buyer's father. It was absolutely rude for them to ask for a thank you gift. But the whole situation would likely have been avoided if you had given a simple gift. 

After a great experience and a fun and laughter-filled transaction, somebody showed their true colors, and it was you.

Yes, the economy is bad. Yet they still put food on your table. You don't need to send them to Hawaii. You don't need to buy them a new car. A thank you gift would not be inappropriate and it would be professional.

Something I've learned over the years that is good for more than just real estate: EVEN IF THEY ARE 100% WRONG you will be happier, and sooner, if you will be the bigger person, apologize, take them a small gift and sincerely thank them for their business. (Not to dad, to your clients. You don't owe dad anything.) I am willing to bet that there is at least SOME chance that if your clients don't already feel awkward and embarrassed by dad's behavior and their own, at that point, they will. As you mentioned in your comment, sincerity here is key. Instead of you focusing on your entitlement and how they should be giving you a gift, try to focus on what good these people did for you with a "quick" closing, that sounds like it all happened in less than 2 months per your account.

And if your gift isn't good enough, at least you have done your part and can move on. 

The lesson to be learned from the experience is not that people are rude and not to be trusted. The lesson for all of us real estate agents who feel "our professional service is gift enough" is that it isn't "gift enough". Your professional service and looking out for their interests is what you get paid for. It is not a "gift". No matter how good you are! 


Posted by Benjamin Clark, Buyer's Agent - Certified Negotiation Expert (Homebuyer Representation, Inc.) over 9 years ago

Sounds like its not just the Kids since you mention Dad contacted you as well. Sounds as if he has given them that training on bad manners. Some parents shouldn't have had children.

Posted by Robby Leviton, Knowles Team (Keller Williams Realty) over 9 years ago

Thank em with a swift kick in the ass

Posted by Bill Iannelli (Iannelli and Associates) over 9 years ago

Again, I'm not agreeing with their attitude, just suggesting that our own may need an adjustment.

By the way, unless you want them to read this post, you should probably make it Member's Only.

Posted by Benjamin Clark, Buyer's Agent - Certified Negotiation Expert (Homebuyer Representation, Inc.) over 9 years ago

I don't know what to say...

I guess gifts are always nice... I love gifts, giving- getting - Even just witnessing some get a gift is quite exciting...

Expecting, or Demanding a GIFT ~ is 100% out of line and needs to be HALTED.

"The age of entitlement?  Or has the proverbial "thank you" gift become a staple of the business, an unconditional act no matter how well you performed your job?   What ever happened to a thank you gift for the Realtor?"

I've been in this racquet for 30+ years .... an d YES, When a Buyer and Seller complete the signing of documents at THE CLOSING TABLE....

Expectations ARE commonplace. truthfully, I believe that the agents, title companies, attorney, etc. 90% Do Gift The Buyer, Seller.... and who knows who else....

My MOM got a very handy tool box with over 100 pieces in a sturdy rigid plastic container...!... From the Title Company...

Funny, That Title Company had about 6 locations in South East Florida... They are no longer in business! I guess they gifted more than they should have...


Posted by Mott Marvin Kornicki, Waterway Realtors, Notary Public 786-229-7999 (Waterway Realtors® • South East Florida • Real Estate Brokers) over 9 years ago

Send them a copy of this blog post and the 200+ comments.

Posted by Dave Halpern, Louisville Short Sale Expert (Keller Williams Realty Louisville East (502) 664-7827) over 9 years ago

The solution:  Two paperback copies of Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People", one for them so they can learn to become human beings instead of "Me Things" and, one for you so you can absorb the great principle of never expecting appreciation for anything you do.  This concept releases you from the rude, thoughtless, stupid, vapid, selfish actions of virtually everyone on the planet and allows you to go forward with your good will intact, relentlessly spreading goodwill through your professional application of real estate sales skills!  Seriously, I found it helps.  Good luck.

Posted by Dennis Erickson over 9 years ago

Diane, your post certainly generated a strong response in all of us! I am sorry you experienced this shockingly rude behavior. Since they've sent you messages asking for their "gift" you may have already responded. I like what Darlene Humphries (#213) suggested. Whatever your response, the only thing I can share with you is what I learned through a difficult situation this summer...When we are faced with these ugly situations the real challenge comes from how we decide to conduct ourselves in response. You are a highly skilled professional. The hurt from their comments will ease with time. Even though you may never decide to do business with them, you don't want them to spread any malicious gossip about you, either. You don't owe them a gift, but maybe you can neutralize any tensions. Best wishes to you.

Posted by Nina Rogoff, Sells Real Estate! (RE/MAX Executive Realty) over 9 years ago

As a "professional" I believe in professional behavior. The professionals that I work with, My CPA, my doctor, my financial advisor and my lawyer don't give me a gift when they provide me with professional services. They give me a bill and wonderful service. When I provide professional services, I do it for a fee. I provide great professional services and go above and beyond what's typical to add value to the transaction for my clients.  So, I don't give gifts in exchange for services. 

Any one that asks for a "gift" is simply rude. 

Posted by Dava Behrens, Broker, Corvallis, Oregon (Coldwell Banker Valley Brokers) over 9 years ago

Good one Bill, My daughter had to have a very minor operation last year the surgeon never gave her a gift... the gall he has not bringing a teddy bear or something.... i'm just sayin!

Posted by Matthew Johnson (Keller Williams Premier Realty) over 9 years ago

I have actually gotten gifts from clients at the closing. I appreciated the fact that they recognized my hard work.

More and more every day we are being taught the sense of entitlement and expecting 'someone else' to pick up the tab for our wants and needs. Socialism is not only alive and well..it's growing faster than lightening.

Posted by Kimberly Luna over 9 years ago

Diane, You are right to be hugely disappointed in kids with no manners. The challenge really is deciding if you stay in touch with them as likely, you don't want to be their listing broker in the future for fear of unrealistic expectations ... or should I suggest, demands on their part.

Posted by Tina Gleisner, Home Tips for Women (Home Tips for Women) over 9 years ago

It bears the question, "Does your attorney, accountant or doctor send you a gift after a job well done?" I think not. Greed will be their downfall, not yours.

Posted by Anonymous over 9 years ago

Hi Diane,

I'm sorry to hear about that.  I think the hardest part to swallow is their total lack of appreciation for all you did.

Hang in there! 


Posted by DeeDee Riley, Realtor - El Dorado Hills & the Surrounding Areas (Lyon Real Estate - El Dorado Hills CA) over 9 years ago

Comment #7 @Kevin is right.

The gift was that.

Posted by Andrew Stutz (Rock Solid Real Estate Co.) over 9 years ago

I have to say that I had to re-read your post twice to be sure that I read it correctly. I think you need to heckle them at their office or some other kind of Seinfeld-likesesban response. Seriously, the commenter who suggested an etiquette book was giving very good advice. 

Posted by Dana Hollish Hill, REALTOR and Productivity Coach (Hollish Hill Group, KW Capital Properties) over 9 years ago

Diane, I am even younger than generation X (I am generation Y) and please let me speak for all of us when I say: NO, that's not a representation of everyone our age! That is a single (apparently ill-mannered) couple. Please don't take that to include all of us! I think that couple is both selfish, and tacky!

Posted by Taylor Shults Philley, Broker, Realtor , GRI (Austin Realty Firm) over 9 years ago

Diane, Congratulations on your Featured Blog! 

I agree with the other Agents who say--get on with it and let these clients go.  Whatever you do or give them from this point, they will not be satisfied.  Your value=their gift--the time, effort and money you have already given them.


Posted by Gloria Ledesma (ZipRealty, Inc.) over 9 years ago

Over 20 years ago I developed a set of 10 rules for keeping my attitude and sanity in the real estate business.

The first three are;

1.  The deal is not over until the check clears.

2.  You are right, life is not fair.

3.  Never, ever expect gratitude.

We would like to think that our clients care about us because we care about them, but the reality is that 90% are only focused on what is good for them.

Are the saying goes ...."never, ever be attached to the outcome", but always do your best!

Posted by Bob Kuyper over 9 years ago

Over 20 years ago I developed a set of 10 rules for keeping my attitude and sanity in the real estate business.

The first three are;

1.  The deal is not over until the check clears.

2.  You are right, life is not fair.

3.  Never, ever expect gratitude.

We would like to think that our clients care about us because we care about them, but the reality is that 90% are only focused on what is good for them.

Are the saying goes ...."never, ever be attached to the outcome", but always do your best!

Posted by Bob Kuyper over 9 years ago

Have them show you the clause in the contract where you are supposed to supply one at a given rate.


Good for you on your service.  Don't worry about these kids.  They're attitude will come back to haunt them.


Posted by Mick Michaud, Your Texas Lifestyle is Here! (Distinctly Texas Lifestyle Properties, LLC Office:682/498-3107) over 9 years ago
This is shocking! Was your $1,162 gift not enough?!
Posted by Meghan Ramos over 9 years ago

If you got a request for a gift just imagine the request the lender got.  Sounds like you did your job, and more.

Posted by Anthony over 9 years ago

If you got a request for a gift just imagine the request the lender got.  Sounds like you did your job, and more.

Posted by Anthony over 9 years ago


I'm sorry about your experience. It sounded like a kick on the heart. Anyway, I agree with post #256 by Dava Behrens, no gifts are necessary. However, for years, mostly between 2002 and 2006, we have gone off the professional norm and made it a habit to give our clients nice and expensive gifts as a token of our appreciation. I beleive most of us have brough this upon us. It's different times now, and any client should know that, right?! I think not! They still think we make tons of money on one little transaction. I think is best to change the norm for good and behave like a standard professional, someone who provides a great service for a fee. These buyers were badly influenced by their father obviously, some of these people just don't have a clue. Good luck to you! 

Posted by Michael B. Nugent over 9 years ago

I don't know what to say to this.  I am so deeply sorry for their actions but I agree with one of the posts above.  Sounds like the fruit didn't fall very far from the tree.  These are difficult times because the situations you help clients and customers through these days give us a hope for a better time ahead.


Posted by Vicky over 9 years ago

To Benjamen #248.  I am quite surprised at your comment.  Albeit there are some responses that might be better left out, I do not understand your way of thinking.  A gift is just that and for a client to demand it is ridiculous.  You stated that it was a quick two months.  I think you might want to go back and read the original blog.  I saw five months, not two.  And that is really not the issue. 

We as agents are providing a service as you mentioned, just as doctors, lawyers and Indian chiefs do.  We do not expect them to provide us a gift in addition to that service.  When did this start anyway?  I give a gift at every closing and it is tailored according to the client.  Sometimes I receive closing gifts for providing such a great service. 

And then I have another question.  If you give a substantial closing gift and then you get invited to the house warming party, do you bring another gift?  Where does it end.

I think too that one of the great misnomers is that we all make a ton of money.  I had a friend who enlisted my services and wanted me to borrow them the money for a closing until they got their bonus.  And because they were a friend for many years, I may have done that if I had the money to give.  However, with the market being what it is, we too are struggling to hang on.  When I explained to my friend what I actually end up with after the closing they were shocked and this was someone who was actually pretty real estate savvy.  I think the father in this story that made the comments that he did should be sat down and told the facts since he obviously doesn't have a clue.


Posted by Linda S. Cefalu, Broker Assoc., I'll Take You Home (Coldwell Banker Homesale Realty) over 9 years ago

I've never had a Client demand a Gift; but I recently had the Parents of some Buyers tell me I should give their kids a Closing Gift.

I said "I usually give new people a subscription to the local Newspaper . . . . but Closing Gifts are at the perview of the Agent who's working for the Customer.  And in your case, you have your own Agent working for your Kids, so I'd go put the bite on her. And I'll take care of my Seller !"

A gift that's mandated . . . . is No Gift.

It's like the mandatory "Universal Access Contribution" Fees we pay with our te;lephone bills . . . . it's not a "contribution" if it's mandatory; IT'S A TAX.



Posted by Dale Hittle (Dale C. Hittle of GOLDEN RULE PROPERTIES in Glover, Vermont) over 9 years ago

I can believe it!! I've seen it.... and when it happened to me, I gave them a itemized list of the time and properties I showed, divided it by the days and showed them how much money  I made an hour ($6.15). Then asked them when was the last time they had to wait 7 months to get paid, then rebate part of their paycheck back to the company and add a gift to it as well. They were so apologetic, I got three referrals from them, who never asked for anything except what they wanted in a property. After closing those three deals, I sent a bottle of wine and a thank you card for the referrals. I was invited over to share the wine and they provided the cheese.

Sometimes having people face reality can be a slap in the face, but a lesson worth remembering.

I hope you did not give them a closing gift other than the rebate and the wonderful service you provided. Our biggest reward is not the money we make, but the knowledge we did an execllent job, because that is priceless.

Keep us posted as to what happened.

Posted by Sue Cobb (Instructor - Mattucci Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Gosh that makes me mad! The entitlement mentality never fails to amaze me. I've had one potential buyer who expected to split my commission with me, because he found homes on Zillow. He told me that if he found the same homes on Zillow that are in the MLS, there's no need for a realtor except to make the appointment to see the homes...which he said was ridiculous. He said we were holding buyers "hostage." I declined to work with that buyer...pronto.

And remember that no matter how you choose to respond to these rude people, they will show themselves for who they are to everyone else around them. The entitlement mentality isn't only focused on you. It's there every time they meet someone, become friends with someone, with their coworkers, with whom they do business, and even while driving. This mentality says IT'S ALL ABOUT ME. YOU are not important, I am. If they don't grow up, they will find this to become a problem in their lives, and they will lose friendships over it, and likely jobs over it, too. Respond, and I like the ideas here, then take these people OUT of your contacts. You don't need them.

Posted by Kathleen Kennedy - REALTOR®, SFR, Making All Your Real Estate Dreams Come True! (Keller Williams Avenues Realty, Wheat Ridge, CO) over 9 years ago

Diane, I think everyone is fairly speechless at these kids attitude. I would be tempted to add up their perceived monetary savings and credits and ask them for a gift or two or just tell them you forgot to mention that you had given their gift to charity and shame them right back. What is wrong with the youth of today. Wow!!  

Posted by Paul Whitehouse, Realtor, SFR (BEX Realty LLC) over 9 years ago

Dear Diane,

Never had that one before. Amazing what we can learn from each other here. I loved the suggestion of "sugar for a sweet life and a broom to sweep your troubles away" by Tammie (#81).

Posted by Dörte Engel, ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland (RE/MAX Leading Edge) over 9 years ago

Wow! A SERIES of emails & text messages???? My grandmother and mother (both deceased now) would have both been totally horrified at the sense of entitlement these people have, as am I (the child who actually learned good manners from them). I can almost hear their sharply breathed in gasps of shock.

Wherever did the kids get the idea that receiving a closing gift was written into your contract with them, and not a choice? Good ole dad - gotta love it. Passing it on down the line.

Their family might grumble amongst themselves, especially if they are used to having things handed to them or if they've had the experience of always getting a lavish closing gifts in the past, but to actually demand a gift? Geez Louise! I guess rude manners can be taught too. Did they say how much it should have been worth or what it should have been? How about a 52" TV? A fountain for the garden...or champagne & roses?

Anything given in response to a demand is not a "gift" at all. It would just feed their misguided notion that people owe them something, whether it's voluntary or not.You already gave them wonderful service, cut your commission for them (a big gift) and sent them a thank you note. Your job is done.

Hmmm I wonder how much expensive gas you bought if you drove them all around looking at houses?

Posted by Barb C over 9 years ago

Print out this entire blog with the posts and mail it to the father.  Gift delivered.

Posted by Jim Pirkle (Harvest Realty LLC) over 9 years ago

Diane, this type of behavior is just sickening. What spoiled rotten little ingrates! Obviously, the apple didn't fall far from the paternal tree. I wonder if they'd prefer a $50 gift card to the local hardware store over the rebate you gave them. I wouldn't send them a thing and wouldn't do business with them or anyone they may refer to you in the future. I can't imagine their friends would have any better manners. You know that you went above and beyond for this couple - it doesn't matter if they don't have the grey matter to realize it, too!

Posted by Heather Witte (Keller Williams Realty) over 9 years ago


I am shocked that someone who picked you because you were going to "give" them a big chunk of what you earned. Why are you shocked that it didn't stop there? You are obviously overpaid in this client's eyes and your agreeing to the concession only confirmed that belief. 193 and a couple of others got it right.

Posted by Cory Peterson over 9 years ago

WOW!!!! Just when we think this biz cannot get any more challenging than it already is, IT DOES!

I personally think that people who think you "owe" them a gift will not be satisfied, no matter how much thought, time & care you might put into it at this point. As one of the posts above mentioned, a gift is just that. I think that to provide them with anything now would come across as something you did because you had to.

I guess they somehow forgot that you gave up over $1000, which THEY benefitted from. Clearly, their sense of entitlement has been passed on by those who raised them.

They will not be likely to ever refer business to you (even if you do send a gift) and, even if they did, it is likely those potential clients would be expecting the same. In fact, if you were to ever get a referral from them, I would not hesitate to refer it to another agent.

I wish you the best - now, more than ever, we need conscientious & ethical agents like you.

Keep up the good work!

Posted by Edith Schreiber, Dallas Area Real Estate (Luxury Homes, Move Up Buyers, 1st Time Homebuyers, New Construction) over 9 years ago

What a sad commentary. I would have been tempted to mention to them that usually my clients send gifts to me as a thank you for all that I have helped them accomplish. Back when real estate was a hobby for kitchen realtors, I think gifts were more common place. In our area, they are not. I do keep in touch and bring things to my clients thru out the years. This is done because I want to, not because someone said I had to. Their behavior is outrageous to say the least.

Posted by Anonymous over 9 years ago

Tell them their cruise tickets were in the mail.....

Posted by Anonymous over 9 years ago

What does it say about us, that we live for that one out ot ten clients that actually appreciates all that we do for them? The rest of them treat us like used car salesmen. Some days, it's very disheartening.

Posted by Leah Thomas over 9 years ago

Sorry was not logged in on last post...


Good luck with your other clients.

Posted by Keith Shoemaker, Keith Shoemaker (Florida Homes Realty and Mortgage) over 9 years ago

I have never responded to an Activerain article, but this one really got to me.  (As I see that it got to others by the number of responses).  This is a very sad representation by the minority.  Most people are so appreciative, and I have even received gifts from clients.  PLease don't let them get to you, and like others, I believe that the response from Sonny was perfect.  And, if you aren't really into giving out Bibles, then go to the bookstore and get a book about "proper manners".

Congratulations on being such a great agent to these people.

Posted by Michelle Fry over 9 years ago

That was a time to do a "reversal." Your response should have been to ask them for one or more referrals. The best defense is a good offense.

Posted by Flavia Brown, Realty One Group United (310-374-9093) over 9 years ago

I totally agree that the gift at closing has long been overdone.  I think it is time to act like professionals.  My attorney, CPA, Vet, Doctor, Financial Planner, etc. do not give me gifts.  I have seen a marked decrease of gift-giving by brokers in our area. 

It's time to give the "age of entitlement" some long overdue discipline in the form of teaching them manners and courtesy by example.  They've been over-indulged for far too long.  Great post!

Posted by Judy Spear (Fuller Sotheby's International Realty) over 9 years ago

One word - wow.  So sorry you had to deal with that.

Posted by Tiffany Wilson, SFR, First Time Home Buyers & Investors (eReal Estate Corp) over 9 years ago

So sad.  It really is ashame that clients like these can't simultaneously experience what it's like to work with a bad, uncaring realtor.  They would definitely sing a very different too.  We don't know what we have until it's gone.

Posted by Leanna Scott (Leanna Scott Homes) over 9 years ago

I like to keep the perspective from this line of thinking....

You say you have been selling real estate for over 20 years and during those years have never experienced such a thing before.  Luckily 99% of all your clients are delightful to work with.  There's always one or two you come across.  Just say "NEXT" and move on and don't give them another thought.

Posted by Ann Dail, Broker/Realtor,CRS, ePRO, SRS, B.A.Chem (Baton Rouge Area Homes, Louisiana, USA, 225-761-0551) over 9 years ago

That's incredible...and judging from the responses, you really struck a cord here. I'm not sure what my response would be....but I have a "client" out there who hates me for somewhat the same reason.

I had a very tough closing which included an appraisal review. The day of the close, they dropped the value $12,000. So the buyer and I talked about throwing in all the closing cost credit and every other thing we could think of, including 1/2 my commission. The other side did the same, agent 1/2 of his and the sellers made up the rest. It closed.

3 days later....the buyer called to remind me I had offered to reimburse him $250 from an old escrow we cancelled which escrow charged him this fee. I was floored....when I told him that we had thrown EVERYTHING into making this work....and NONE came from him...he was outraged that I would throw in that too.

He now hates me and every once in a while emails me about how I cheated him out of it. I even offered to give it to him if he would give me a SS# so I could 1099 him. (just because he was really iritating me)..no, he wouldn't do that.

Amazing lack of tact and gratitude.

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) over 9 years ago


That is very deflating when clients act like that. So...what did you do? Did you ignore or send them a gift? I hope you set them straight....

Posted by Tracey Yates over 9 years ago

Wow!  That is crazy...yeah, I blame that all on the parents...without their prompting, they never would have known some agents even offer a "thank you" gift.  Just unbelievable...

Posted by Meredith Drews, Excellent Communication, Skilled Negotiations and (Keller Williams) over 9 years ago
Bless them by taking them off of your SOI list and you will relieve them of any more mail from you. Think green! Lolol
Posted by Linda DeVlieg, Albuquerque Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty) over 9 years ago

Diane ... Your sad story here about former clients showing lack of appreciation for your work is testimony to how values have changed for some people, those who are looking for hand-outs and seem to believe that customer service business people like us should be sharing our earnings with them.


Posted by Harrison K. Long, REALTOR , GRI, Broker associate, Attorney (HomeSmart, Evergreen Realty) over 9 years ago

I only read about 200 of the comments, so I apologize if this was already said.  I think it's a great opportunity for a turn-about... Something along the lines of, gee... I'm so glad you brought it up.  After saving you the $8,000 tax credit, getting you $___ of furniture, giving you $1162 of my money, and spending ____ hours finding you the right house, writing and negoitating offers, meeting with inspectors, and changing schedules to accomodate your vacation, I realized I actually got paid $___/ hour for your home purchase and was thinking you must have appreciated that so much you would want to give me a gift.   This is kind of awkward, huh? 

Posted by Menlo Park Real Estate and Homes for Sale, WendeByTheBay.com - 650.504.0219 - SF Peninsula (Wende Schoof) over 9 years ago

Wow.  That is enough to make you think twice! I have to say that I would be floored if that happened to me , but it does go both ways.

I have a friend who had listed her property with an agent in her area.  The house didn't sell so at the end of the listing she decided to list with another agent.  She really liked the 1st agent so she dropped off a bottle of wine and a personal note of thanks at her office.  2 days later my friend came home to find the note ripped up on her porch and covered with the wine that had been poured out.  She called me in shock and I told her to call the agent's broker immediately!

We have got to get control before society implodes.  Bad behavior is not acceptable from either side!

Posted by Gayle Barton, Forsyth County Real Estate, Cumming GA Homes For Sale (404) 710-0204 (BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY Georgia Properties) over 9 years ago

I received a cool little plastic waste basket wrapped in cellophane with a roll of toilet paper, 1 pk. of light bulbs, 1 dish washing liquid, 1 protein bar, a power aide juice, 1 roll of paper towels, and a Thank you Card. Personally, this was the first time I had received a gift when I closed on my home. (I've had 4 homes) and after I spoke to my Realtor (was a friend of mine) about the gift and Thanked her, she said that they spend less than $10.00 at the Dollar store all inclusive and put these little baskets together for every one of their clients whether a home owner or rental. She said that in the past there have been people who expected this, and some were rude as well and she might as well get these little "tokens" stocked up for future use.

With that said, this is a nice gesture and of course I was elated to see it on the counter of my new home, but by no means was this expected. I can't imagine that anyone would stoop so low as to write you about such a thing, and then to be so rude about it. That is just so wrong... 

Posted by Danielle Watson (DealPoint Merrill - The Merrill Group of Companies) over 9 years ago

I have to also disagree with the majority here.  Diane, you happily assist other agents by giving them a generous 30% referral fee.  How many other professionals give up 25-30% of their pay - the doctors, cpa's and attorneys certainly don't.  From this couples view point you DID NOT give them the $1,162 - the kindly agent who referred them to you was the gift giver - not you.  The agent who referred was probably a family friend or relative who said "what - she didn't give you a gift at closing!" I've read most every post above and most all of the ungrateful clients came from some type of referral - relo, agent referral, Heros Home etc.  This is probably a topic for another post, but when we give 25-30% our our pay away up front, we send a strong message that we are willing to work at a reduced rate. 

Posted by Ann Wilkins, Oakland, Berkeley, Piedmont CA (Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty) over 9 years ago

Sounds like you gave them plenty of thank you gifts, and expertise and professional actions along the way. Their request is discouraging to hear. Somewhere along the way they heard of the "great REALTOR gifts" that all homebuyers get. Sounds like the dad may have influenced their actions.

Posted by Michael Emerson (Keller Williams Realty) over 9 years ago

So I'm part of Gen-X and would never assume I get a gift! So I would have to say that it's not age- just plain RUDE!

Posted by Christy Rice (Windermere Property Management/Seattle-Bellevue) over 9 years ago

How sad that they are going through life with absolutely no ability to appreciate the wonderful people that cross their paths and help them out as you have. Take pride and joy in your work and your skills and move on. People like this are not worth giving any more energy to. You deserve better and we both know that many wonderful clients are out there as we have worked with great people before. You did a great job...be proud of that and let it go. Cheers, my dear!

Posted by Anonymous over 9 years ago

I would invite them to subscribe to your blog and see if they have the courage to read the number of people's comments and let them discover for themselves what other people think of their behavior!  This might give them pause and allow the world to shape them up!  You're the survivor, you have already risen above this little bump in the road.  Thanks for sharing your story. 

Posted by Richard Willard, Richard Delane Willard (Asset Realty Group) over 9 years ago

I think the best thing to do for them would be to buy them Emily Post's book on "Etiquette"!

Posted by Lois Jost, Broker Associate (Sea Horse Properties, Inc.) over 9 years ago

Wow - that is truly unbelievable. Around here we call it Chutzpah!

Posted by Donna Galinsky, Make Lake Norman Your Home! (Allen Tate Company) over 9 years ago

Well...I do my darndest to turn negatives into positives.  I often hear from folks "oh you're a Realtor you can afford it"  and then I look at my dwindling bank account and wonder what they would think if they only knew the truth!  I work 7 days a week and no one gives me a vacation or sick days or holidays.  So poor pity me - NOPE.  I advocate everyday for my customers through my involvement in the industry and local government and RPAC.  I make sure my customers know this.  Please send these kids a kind and gentle note detailing the gifts you give them now and in the future.  How you fight for private property rights, for new homebuyer credits, for being a watchdog for them throughout the entire transaction with your expertise and knowledge you have shared with them.  Also thank them - yes - thank them for the lesson they have taught you.  To further educate your buyers on what the letter R really means. 

Posted by Tracey Goldenberg (The Gold Group @ Keller Williams Realty) over 9 years ago

I am speechless over this incident but it just proves that you never know what's coming around the corner in this profession!  I really do lay the blame at the father's feet and love the suggestion of sending the link for this blog to him and the buyers.  Just remember that "What goes around, comes around" and sometime in the future, they will receive their just reward!  Keep your head up, a smile on your face, and warmth in your heart because this is an exception rather than the rule.

Posted by Jennifer Pierce over 9 years ago

What a riot.  As I finished reading I came up with the best gift you could possibly give them and I did a Google search to find the author....ironically comment #309 beat me to the punch!  A book on Etiquette is exactly what these people need.

Posted by Simon Mills (Mills Realty) over 9 years ago

I understand your need for closure Diane.  It would eat me up too, but I agree with Sonny on this.  Follow the highest you know and don't give this situation any more of your time or energy.  Send them a note sincerely wishing them well and perhaps explaining your "gift".   Bless it and release it - for your own good. 

Posted by Lonni McDonough, Realtor - Eagle, ID Real Estate; 208-949-3845 (Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Group ) over 9 years ago

I think I would have to go to the doctor and start on blood pressure medicine if someone said that to me.  Yoga might help also.  Just try to move on, easier said than done I'm sure.

Posted by Stephanie Williams, Realtor Murrells Inlet (Seaside Properties) over 9 years ago

Well, what a "kick in the teeth"! I cannot understand how this closing gift idea got started in the first place. Does any other professional send you a gift and offer their best service?

Posted by Paula Prince, Top 10% Grossing REALTOR in NWA (Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Journey) over 9 years ago

Tacky. Tacky beyond words.  I try very hard to think out my gifts to clients but there have been those folks that were so difficult that I was just glad to move on. 

a gift is something freely given, not demanded.

Posted by Rick Fifer, Broker/Owner, Vintage Homes Realty (Vintage Homes Realty) over 9 years ago

Diane, those buyers are SO prideful to do such a thing! You just keep being the great professional that you are, and do not let anyone allow you to salvage your own great name! You've worked hard to get where you are. I'd say send them a little something; some kitchen appliances or something - for your names sake, but just know that some people are just like that. Wow! < is all I can say.  :s

Posted by Cheriamor Houston, ADPR, CNE (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 9 years ago

I have never really understood the closing gift concept. We did get a gift from our buyers agent 17 years ago and my wife was quite surprised and thankful. That was before I became an agent. If you customarily give a gift, then give them what you customarily give. Ignore their boldness in asking/demanding. If you customarily do not give a gift, then so inform them.

I customarily do not give a gift. I have on occasion sent flowers, a fruit basket, bought pizza for moving day, maybe a bottle of wine.

It never ceases to amaze me what people will do!

Posted by George Walsh over 9 years ago

It just so happens I nagged my doctor yesterday for a thank you gift, my lawyer last week for one, and today I will text the Dean at my son's college for a thank you gift as well!  Geeesh!

Posted by James Lowenstern, Castles Unlimited. Newton MA Real Estate (Castles Unlimited®) over 9 years ago

This is disgusting.  A closing gift is YOUR choice and I don't give one to everybody.  Take them out of your database and move on to the next appreciative client that will understand what you have done for them.

Posted by Trey McCallie over 9 years ago

It just so happens I nagged my doctor yesterday for a thank you gift, my lawyer last week for one, and today I will text the Dean at my son's college for a thank you gift as well!  Geeesh!

Posted by James Lowenstern, Castles Unlimited. Newton MA Real Estate (Castles Unlimited®) over 9 years ago

It just so happens I nagged my doctor yesterday for a thank you gift, my lawyer last week for one, and today I will text the Dean at my son's college for a thank you gift as well!  Geeesh!

Posted by James Lowenstern, Castles Unlimited. Newton MA Real Estate (Castles Unlimited®) over 9 years ago

It just so happens I nagged my doctor yesterday for a thank you gift, my lawyer last week for one, and today I will text the Dean at my son's college for a thank you gift as well!  Geeesh!

Posted by James Lowenstern, Castles Unlimited. Newton MA Real Estate (Castles Unlimited®) over 9 years ago

It just so happens I nagged my doctor yesterday for a thank you gift, my lawyer last week for one, and today I will text the Dean at my son's college for a thank you gift as well!  Geeesh!

Posted by James Lowenstern, Castles Unlimited. Newton MA Real Estate (Castles Unlimited®) over 9 years ago

It just so happens I nagged my doctor yesterday for a thank you gift, my lawyer last week for one, and today I will text the Dean at my son's college for a thank you gift as well!  Geeesh!

Posted by James Lowenstern, Castles Unlimited. Newton MA Real Estate (Castles Unlimited®) over 9 years ago

It just so happens I nagged my doctor yesterday for a thank you gift, my lawyer last week for one, and today I will text the Dean at my son's college for a thank you gift as well!  Geeesh!

Posted by James Lowenstern, Castles Unlimited. Newton MA Real Estate (Castles Unlimited®) over 9 years ago

I was in a similar situation last year where a client who had closed asked for a referral fee when I helped her sister.  I had given them both expensive gift baskets as a closing gift, but then she requested a referral fee?  Hello?  She is not a licensed agent.  Last time I checked, that's not allowed!  I tried to explain why I couldn't do that, but she never responded, and I never heard from either of them again.  It was a tough one -- I truly liked both of them and enjoyed working with them.  But I was WORKING, and I thought I deserved to get paid.

Posted by Nicole Donaghy, Helping Families Home in Lexington and Columbia (Re/Max Purpose Driven) over 9 years ago

It just so happens I nagged my doctor yesterday for a thank you gift, my lawyer last week for one, and today I will text the Dean at my son's college for a thank you gift as well!  Geeesh!

Posted by James Lowenstern, Castles Unlimited. Newton MA Real Estate (Castles Unlimited®) over 9 years ago

My wife and I were discussing this the other night.  What is approriate as a gift, client expectations, just the whole ball of wax.

We came to the following conclusion.  If it is offered upfront, it is just part of what they are getting anyway, and they expect it.  Like buying a car, you expect it to have wheels. Right?  So with rebates offered upfront, they don't realize that you are actually giving up anything at all.  It's part of the transaction, and it's theirs.

I've offered rebates, and not offered rebates.  One way or the other did not generate any more business for me at all.

Thank you gifts.  I try and choose something for the client.  For example, moving day is here, they don't have a fridge.  I show up with a new cooler and it's full of ice and drinks.  Wine enthusiasts? A nice bottle waiting in the fridge with 2 glasses and an opener (who has these on moving day?)  Sometimes I get a thanks, sometimes i don't.  Kind of disappointing when I don't as that is NOT how I was raised.

What can you say?

Posted by John King, President & Broker (Bluefax Realty, LLC) over 9 years ago

All I can say is, wow. That really took some nerve, especially after you did all that you could do to help them, and the rebate. Don't give up on the profession (I'm sure that you haven't), but I do believe a sharp rebuke of both the clients and the parents are in order.

Posted by William James Walton Sr., Greater Waterbury Real Estate (WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group) over 9 years ago

I love the idea mentioned by an earlier respondent, of sending them a laminated (or framed!?) copy of their HUD with your 4-figure $ gift to them highlighted.

You could accompany it with an "abject" apology that you had not explained to them clearly enough all the unexpected extras they were receiving. Tho' maybe you'd think that cheesy.

Include one for Dad, plus a copy of a children's book on Manners, for him to read to his future grandchildren. Make sure it includes the bit about. "It's rude to ask ...."


Posted by maureen walker over 9 years ago

I can't help but comment even though there are over 300 existing comments saying the same thing.  I am offended personally that our profession is treated this way - it's like they are doing you a favor.  Tacky is right.

Posted by Amy Nakos (Your Castle Summit) over 9 years ago

You didn't see any signs they were like this while shopping?  This is weird.  I would tell them they credit they got was the gift, but if they would like to send it back you can mail them a Hot Pad or something.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) over 9 years ago

I am appalled at the audacity! The $1162 WAS their gift, period! Makes me shake in my boots thinking about our future with some of the upcoming generation!

Posted by Susie Johannes, SFR (Keller Williams Arizona Living Realty) over 9 years ago

While I find the behavior of the clients suspect, I'm also curious of the nature of the referral.  Was it from a company that offers a rebate if they let the agent refer them?  If so, what else would you expect from a client from this type of source.  I've had absolutely terrible clients from all generations, and the antipathy towards younger buyers shown in these comments tells me we(as agents) all need to work harder from the start setting expectations for our clients so that they are satisfied with our work in the end.  I would call them and have an honest discussion with them about why they feel the way they do.  It may be awkward, but it may also lead to an understanding and lead to more business, without much to lose. 

Posted by Shawn over 9 years ago

This is the 337th comment  before I read the ones above. My answer would have been. Since I have not received my TY gift, we are now even!

Many of my clients do give me gifts at closing>



Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) over 9 years ago

Forget you ever knew them. 

I don't give closing gifts.  I do put a FREE one year home warranty on all resales and I rebate 1% to new home buyers.  That's enough.

About 15 years ago, I closed on a home with a couple and at closing, they got the warranty and the service was as you described in your mail.  We got amazing repairs pursuant to the home inspection, a great interest rate negotiated because I did a lot of business with the lender, negotiated spectacular price/terms/conditions in the contract.  I was feeling pretty good about the entire transaction.

About 2 months after closing, I telephoned the couple to make sure everything was going fine and that they got the warranty binder.

The husband got on the phone and started complaining that I hadn't sent them a "thank you" card like the ones they got from the car salesman when they bought a car.

I, like you, couldn't believe my ears.

I, for one, have little patience with folks who go through life with their hand held out looking for gifts or discounts, benefits more than others, etc. 

Nothing to do but cross them off my list and get on with my business.


Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 9 years ago


I understand and appreicate your story all too well.  I recently worked with a buyer who asked me to give up 1% of my income to reduce the purchase price on a short sale.  That 1% would have been a $8700 reduction on the purchase price! The short sale failed but not without a lot of work to try to keep it together.  However, to be asked for a gift from your buyer after closing is unthinkable.  So, since you weren't able to read their minds about their need for a gift I'm guessing you're no longer their favorite agent.  And...in that case, I would send them a receipt for the $1162...saying that was their gift..."or did you forget?"  I have to admit this is what I would want to do but probably would not go that far.

I'm not sure about your State regulations but in some states $25 is the max you can spend on a gift anyway.  If that is the case in your state...then I would tell them you're limited to $25...but you thought helping them with the $1162 was well beyond the little closing gift of $25.

Just keep on a keeping on... :-)

Sherry (Cheryl)


Posted by Vicky Kimling - Sherry Kesling (HomeSmart Scottsdale Paradise Valley Phoenix) over 9 years ago

I agree with the commment to put it behind you and move on.  People ARE on edge more and more these days, but this behavior is beyond the pale.  Not worthy of your very valuable time!

Posted by Virginia Cheezum (F. C. Tucker Company) over 9 years ago

Blame HGTV and the gifts the buyers are given....peolpe think that the fantasy transactions on the show are the norm..they forget thta tv is edited for time and content..

Posted by Joe Harvey (Lake Worth Real Estate) over 9 years ago

I recently tracked a discussion on another site about whether to give closing gifts or not and it was definitely interesting to hear the different points of view.  However, whether or not that is an agents policy is totally up to them and the boldness of these folks to expect is really sad.  You know they think they are the righteous ones and don't even know how humbled they should be.  I've only been selling for 5 years and two sets of clients "behaved" themselves right out of my database- and yes they were "Gen-X"ers.  Here's one I like, "Some will, some won't, so what, whose next?"  Hopefully the blog lets you get it off you chest and keep moving :-)  Congrad's on the 20 years of service

Posted by Brittany Loan over 9 years ago

Do not take it personal I am sure you did a great job. I would move on and go to the next deal I am sure nothing short of a new car in the driveway would make them happy. On a side note maybe we should ask our attorneys and doctors for thank you gifts....just kidding. Keep your head up and they will soon be a distant memory.


Trevor Puskar CFS

Posted by Trevor Puskar (Realty World Homes of Distinction) over 9 years ago

Send them a letter, outlining what you already did for them. Don't send them anything additional. They aren't going to refer you to friends and family anyway with THAT attitude. You would be wasting your hard EARNED money.

Suggest the share the letter with "Pops" sounds like he knows IT ALL.

Know this, you did everything FOR them already. YOU are done sister. Pat yourself on the back.

Posted by Linda Arvanitis, Your Team Advantage (RE/MAX AllStars Realty) over 9 years ago

Diane, that's just about the rudest behavior I've ever heard of in this business. Maybe you could get a nice doormat that reads : Go Away!Two Brats Live Here.

Keep up the good work!

Posted by Harry Alger over 9 years ago

Hi Daine,

It is sad you had to endure their tacky, rude behavior.  I agree with so many who pointed out how often clients just do not appreciate how hard we work.

There is always "one rotten apple" and you found it with these clients.  Maybe the lady was still in "Bridezilla" mode, not sure what the excuse for her husband is.

Good luck in all your current and future transactions!


Posted by Kelly Mac Group (619) 319-7010 San Diego Beach and Luxury Realtors, San Diego Beach, Coastal and Luxury Homes (Keller Williams La Jolla) over 9 years ago

We recently had a discussion about "thank you" gifts in our office.  It is amazing that people expect a thank you gift from their realtor and yet, what other profession gives out gifts when you use their services?  I have never tracked the number of hours that I spend on a client from the first introduction to the closing table and I really don't want to know.  I doubt if my commission would be equal to today's hourly wage and yet I send out a gift card after closing.  I agree with everyone that stated your clients were rude and unappreciative of your services and time!  Thank you for sharing.

Posted by Sharon Bruner over 9 years ago



Posted by Susan Lehmkuhl, Associate Broker (Buy and Sell Smart Realty, LLC) over 9 years ago

I refuse to paint an entire generation with a brush tainted by a couple of ill-mannered buyers.  That would be like painting all REALTORS with a brush tainted by one bad agent.

Since they couldn't find the time to voice their displeasure for two months, if I decided to reply to their outrageous demand, this is what I'd tell them:

Dear Buyers,

It pains me to have to be the bearer of bad news regarding your demand request.  If you refer to the paragraph in our Buyer Agency Agreement which outlines the mandatory Thank You Gift requirements, you will see that the time limit for exercising that option expired 30 days from closing.

As disappointing as that is, it is my fervent wish that you will find some comfort in the fact that there are (typically) no contractual limitations on a parent with regard to bestowing gifts upon their children.  Armed with this information, I trust you will find within yourselves the strength to not beat yourself up over the fact that you missed the cut-off date for requesting the gift you were eligible to receive from me, and find some consolation in the realization that Dad is not bound by the same restrictions.  As such, I'm sure you will find that he will recognize his responsibility as an over-indulgent parent and will dutifully acquiesce to any demand your precious little newlywed hearts desire.


Of course, there's a very good chance that they will respond with an indignant, "What paragraph!?!  There's no Thank You Gift clause in our Buyer Agency Agreement!"

My reply then?


Posted by Kim Brown, Keene, NH - New England at its Best! (Keller Williams Realty) over 9 years ago

Diane -- I make it a habit to nearly 100% of the time to provide my OWNER-OCCUPANT buyers a small gift.  Its my "signature" gift -- a nice kitchen appliance, which our family happens to love to use on special occasions and holidays.   I got the idea about 5 years back and I think my clients appreciate it.  

I am consistent with this gift regardless of the price tag of the home, or the income I have netted from the sale.  However, that is NOT after having given up 30% of the commission.   That's the travesty here -- that you had to share your commission and then to top it off, they act miffed?   I'm with the vast majority of the above posters; the card was not even required, though sufficiently thoughtful.  

For them to suggest that a gift should be forthcoming, well, that just plain rude.  

Posted by Andrew Lietzow, MBA-Exec Dir Iowa Real Estate Investors Association - (IaREIA | Iowa Landlord Association) over 9 years ago

Diane -- I make it a habit to nearly 100% of the time to provide my OWNER-OCCUPANT buyers a small gift.  Its my "signature" gift -- a nice kitchen appliance, which our family happens to love to use on special occasions and holidays.   I got the idea about 5 years back and I think my clients appreciate it.  

I am consistent with this gift regardless of the price tag of the home, or the income I have netted from the sale.  However, that is NOT after having given up 30% of the commission.   That's the travesty here -- that you had to share your commission and then to top it off, they act miffed?   I'm with the vast majority of the above posters; the card was not even required, though sufficiently thoughtful.  

For them to suggest that a gift should be forthcoming, well, that's just plain rude.  

Posted by Andrew Lietzow, MBA-Exec Dir Iowa Real Estate Investors Association - (IaREIA | Iowa Landlord Association) over 9 years ago

Diane -- I make it a habit to nearly 100% of the time to provide my OWNER-OCCUPANT buyers a small gift.  Its my "signature" gift -- a nice kitchen appliance, which our family happens to love to use on special occasions and holidays.   I got the idea about 5 years back and I think my clients appreciate it.  

I am consistent with this gift regardless of the price tag of the home, or the income I have netted from the sale.  However, that is NOT after having given up 30% of the commission.   That's the travesty here -- that you had to share your commission and then to top it off, they act miffed?   I'm with the vast majority of the above posters; the card was not even required, though sufficiently thoughtful.  

For them to suggest that a gift should be forthcoming, well, that's just plain rude.  

Posted by Andrew Lietzow, MBA-Exec Dir Iowa Real Estate Investors Association - (IaREIA | Iowa Landlord Association) over 9 years ago

The business never ceases to amaze me. The clients obviously don't understand the value of your job.

Posted by Kathryn Vatsula, Professional Loan Consultant (Loan Depot) over 9 years ago

Sonny has the right idea. I feel like I've been kicked in the stomach after reading what these Buyers did to you. Move on knowing that you have done the very best job you could, and remembering that some people just can't be pleased.

Posted by Colleen "Cookie" Hooper over 9 years ago


I provide a closing gift to clients, not because I have to, but because I wanted to!  If I were in your shoes, I would choose to answer this couple with my intentions, none of which would include a closing gift.  Apalling, really!

Posted by Eugene Adan, Carlsbad Real Estate (Adan Properties, Carlsbad, CA (760) 720-9710) over 9 years ago

Hmm...home buyer tax credits, realtor rebates, etc. Sounds like we've created a welfare mentality out of buying homes.   

Gen X vs. Gen Y

Posted by Jeff Wilmoth (HomeStar Financial Corporation) over 9 years ago

Hmm...home buyer tax credits, realtor rebates, etc. Sounds like we've created a welfare mentality out of buying homes.   

Gen X vs. Gen Y

Posted by Jeff Wilmoth (HomeStar Financial Corporation) over 9 years ago

Unreal, did you ask them where your thank-you gift was. You drove them around, paid for who knows what, used all your expertise to ensure they got the best home for the best deal .......WHERE is your gift of thank-you?

Posted by F U, Dead (nobody) over 9 years ago

I'm a gen x'er and thank God for my awesome parents that taught me well. As stated before their "gift" is the over $1100 they rec'd as well as the benefits of liking and obtaining some of the furniture items. The fact that their Dad suggested you made a lot of money on this deal is as irritating as someone assuming your financial situation. It's hard enough with marketing $'s spent and the time it takes to make this happen. The good news is that you have thousands of activerainers that understand this unappreciative situation. Well, good luck and hopefully the next one will revive your belief in what we do. Keep the faith!


Posted by Michael Shank (Villa Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Get used to it. Everybody has their hand out now it seems.

Posted by Phil Hanner, Phil at http://www.findahomeinportorange.com/ (Keller Williams) over 9 years ago

Thank you for sharing!   They say 'misery loves company' ... and while that isn't 'always' true, it's fair to say we all acquire some misguided clients along the way who will have disrespectful requests of one sort or another.  ... In fact, don't get me started!   What I do know, or am learning, is that we needn't 'own' these situations.   Sure, we deal with them, but they are not always our fault.   

Sadly, I have a near replicate story  (therefore, I'll spare you the details!).   What incredible timing, as I'm dealing with this same client again on a closing this week (yes, I'll take the commission fees all the same).    

i had mentioned to my wife just this morning "Remember, I will be asked for a closing gift in two weeks time!"  i buckled last time.   Now, as a more experienced agent, I'm not as willing to overlook the special considerations and extra efforts I went to for the client.   Which I surely did.   Call me stubborn (or stupid) ... but I'm ready to explain to the client this time 'you've received the best of what I could deliver already.'   GET YOUR HANDS OUT OF MY POCKETS!    I can live without them.   Life's just too short to put a payday ahead of certain people.  

Fortunately, they are the minority.   In fact, I close another property this week with a couple who did two recent ends with me, a total of over 1 million in sales, and they OPENLY wonder how they can ever thank me!!   Wow.   Thank God for people like them!    I have to remember to keep such clients as these 'top of mind' ... why waste heartbeats while dealing with those who seemingly have little or no respect for me as a caring professional.

Thank you again for sharing your story, Diane!

Posted by Peter Jeffery, REALTOR; ABR; SRES; CNE, AGA, BA (Royal LePage Atlantic) over 9 years ago

Since I frequently sell vacant land in a gated community I often buy a gate opener for the buyers car as a closing gift. I have found that everyone appreciates it even though it is not expensive. If it's a house purchase I buy a 1 year home warranty. I have never experienced anything like you described which shows a real lack of manners and does not indicate that they appreciated all you did for them.

Years ago I had an incredible surprise when I sold a home to a woman who was divorced and struggling. I spent a great deal of time finding the perfect property for her. Her uncle was dying if cancer and purchased the house for her. It was a wonderful experience for me seeing her reaction to the gift of a house she could have never bought on her own. He managed to come to Arizona to visit and see the house after closing. He was so pleased with the job I did that he left a check made out to my real estate brokerage for a $1,000 to say thank you even though I told him that it was not necessary.

That probably won't happen again, it was totally unexpected.

Jacqueline Drake CRS PNM

Posted by Jacqueline Drake CRS, Southeast Arizona land, farms & horse properties (Jacqueline Drake Realty) over 9 years ago

Sad, sad, sad.  But reminds me of my worst clients, to whom I gave half of my commission (somewhere in the range of $4,000) to make the transaction work.  They never trusted me to be working for them.  They treated me like the enemy.  Like I was hiding something from them or not telling them the truth.  Wish things would have been better and I could have fired them.  But my family needed the money.  And these were not young buyers.  Though their children (early 30's) were the ones that showed more distrust.  This was about 3 years ago.  So not sign of the times.

Just goes to show and reinforce that "the more you give, the more they want."

Posted by Mary Robinson (Lenders Realty) over 9 years ago

From a therapy standpoint I think I'd still write them a summary letter of the transaction laying out how it went, the benefits they received (aren't we told to QUALIFY and QUANTIFY our value?) and what things that they might want to look in to as they are first time homebuyers....like resources such as painters, landscapers, etc. ...and should they have any questions in the future to know that you are a lifelong consultant for their questions relating to homeownership. I'd ignore the rude request discussing a gift, or respond in a quick email as 'that is not part of my business services, and more common when visiting a dentist (free toothbrush) than working with a professional consultant'.

Now would I send the letter? Maybe not, but I will have clarified in my own mind, for future transactions, that my clients need to know what I'm worth to them....  I think if they asked around they will learn that their request was rude, and inappropriate, as well as insulting....

Posted by Anonymous over 9 years ago

Unbelievable, maybe you should have gotten them a book on "manners"

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) over 9 years ago

Unbelievable, maybe you should have gotten them a book on "manners"

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) over 9 years ago

It sounds to me as though they have a personal problem.  Let it go and remember all the clients who were and are truly grateful.  They'll get theirs, it just won't come from you.

Posted by Maggie White (Coldwell Banker Danforth) over 9 years ago

Some of this is a sign of the times and the generation gap.  Latter Gen X and Gen Y are very difficult to please.   I noticing that 20 somethings seem to expect the moon and stars from their first purchase - which in NY is nearly impossible. 

I have been criticized for not working with people who want rebates.  But generally the type of person that expects the rebate is the type of person who will continually want to shake the commission tree.  Since I do a great deal on the entry level - the commissions are pretty low to begin with - so there really isn't any wiggle room for something like tht in the frist place.

Posted by Ruthmarie Hicks (Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605) over 9 years ago

I had this same thing happen a couple of years ago.  Funny thing is I had purchased the buyers a Home Warranty with a Spa Upgrade as a gift since the seller would not provide it and this was explained to them when I provided them with the Home Warranty Confirmation.  My buyer had got to talking with a bunch of people at a beauty parlor and someone had informed her of a lovely gift that their agent had given them.  However when I asked my buyer if that person had received a home warranty from the seller or the agent she could not answer.  I love the comment from Scott about the book of Manners.....

Posted by Scott and Stacey Spears (RE/MAX GoLD) over 9 years ago

You could send them a dollar store ribbon that says "congrats". Wouldn't you love to see their faces openning that one!

Let it go & just think about all the grateful clients you've had.


Posted by Sharon Sein (Sein Organizing Solutions & Home Staging) over 9 years ago

Over three hundred and sixty two comments and counting! Jeez a meez a! I am so sorry that you had that one bad apple in the whole bunch! I pray that this age of entitlement is going away. The news reports are saying that our graduating college students are finally getting the fact that their degree no longer guarantees them six figures and it's slowly dawning on them that their choices are limited and few in the employment market. Many are unemployed or underemployed.

Your job is more difficult than it ever has been before and no words can describe what we do on a daily basis let alone how much our overhead is. I pray you do not send anything but a sympathy card for their lack of respect.

Posted by Sheila Rasak (Keller Williams Realty-California Coast Property Group) over 9 years ago

Diane, shame on your buyers and, apparently, their parents too!  Tacky beyond all extremes! 

Posted by Kent Dills, Real Estate 817-495-8028, Bellingham, Washington (Broker, Dills Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Maybe send them a card or email asking them for a thank you card or gift (and the Dad) reminding them of all you did for them.....nothing to lose because they will never refer you to anyone now that dad has painted you as a Realtor who makes too much money.


I'm guessing these people work for the government with big fat bloated pensions and benefits, and have adopted the entitlement mentality either from Dad, their college, or their work environment.

Posted by Brad Yzermans, Temecula-Murrieta-Menifee FHA/VA Mortgage Lender (First Time Home Buyer & Down Payment Assistance Specialist in So Cal.) over 9 years ago

I am a very upfront person in everything I do, If someone really wishes to know what I think or make on a sale I have no problem politely telling them.  I think in a case like this I would break down the comission take out the cost of time, fuel, food, licensing, e&o and everything associated with getting them their property. Send it to them as a bill and say, here is the pittance I actually made, here are the expences I incurred, since it is all about dollars, when you pay my expences to sell you said property I will gladly give you back a wonderful gift.  See how quickly they respond. 

Posted by Gary over 9 years ago

Good grief, poor manners, poor taste, poor....I could just go on and on. Sounds like you did a great job and tell yourself that and move on.  These "poor" schmucks don't deserve to have you as their realtor again. I say get out of my way, I have plenty of clients that appreciate my hard work!  I gave up giving closing gifts years ago....it seems the more you give the more they want.

Posted by Melinda Ball, Licensed Realtor in Virginia and West Virginia (Coldwell Banker) over 9 years ago

What a sad ugly story! Classless is...well...classless!

Posted by Tony Hedberg (V Realty Group) over 9 years ago

People are just plain unbelievable! I like Scott's comment about the book on manners, perfect!  I know I've written a couple of emails to these kinds of past clients that I never send.  Gets it off my chest.  Luckily, I am blessed with some wonderful clients and agents to work with as well. 


Posted by Gail Kearney over 9 years ago

Diane:  There's not much more I can add.  What a horrible situation to find yourself in.  I'm sure someone else they know, whether dad or a friend, told them they are "entitled" (the word you use and the correct one I believe) to a closing gift and they should contact you and find out where it is.  Number one really impolite to ask, number two I don't have the, well you know what, to ask for one.  Horrible.  Carrie

Posted by Carrie Sampron, ABR SFR & Kathy Sampron (303) 931-3629 Highlands R (Home Smart Realty Group) over 9 years ago

At least now you know that you don't want to work with any of their referrals.  If that's the way they treat people who have helped them save thousands of dollars, imagine what type of friends they have.  Do they ask their accountant for a thank you gift after he saves them money on their tax return?

Unfortunately, we've done this to ourselves.  I sometimes give thank you gifts because its "industry standard", but its a terrible idea and I hate doing it.  When we give a thank you gift, we are telling our client that they did us a favor by letting us work for them.  While that may be true of many Realtors out there, the good ones know that WE are doing THEM a favor by providing information and assistance that is worth much more than we are paid.  They should be asking us how they can thank us and our response of course would be, don't buy me anything, just send me a referral.

Posted by Daniel Seigel over 9 years ago




Posted by BRUCE GRESH over 9 years ago

Wow Diane -  I think they received more that a gift working with you.   Information on the tax credit and $ 1162 back on top of that.   Scott's comment about sending them a book of manners is most fitting.   Keep your chin up...there are better clients out there just hoping to meet you!

Posted by Mike Dolezal over 9 years ago
Send them the link to this blog. That should be enough. They should be buying you a gift!
Posted by Chris curcuru over 9 years ago

Shame on them!  Sadly, we are in the only vocation who has a reputation for sending gifts to our clients to the point that it's expected.  I don't play that game.  I give plenty.  I bend over backwards for clients and find ways to make things work that may not with an unexperienced agent.

I could feel your frustration before ever getting to your point.  In my years of doing Real Estate, I've experienced some ungrateful boars; even one who tried, in desperation, to cut me out of the deal with a builder (to no avail).

My guess is that family or friends told them to expect a gift and weren't aware of the $1100 "gift" they already received.  I hope that you retaliated with that as your answer.  The bollocks of some people!  Getting through to the end of the deal is truly a gift these days!

Posted by Alyse "Aly" Sands (Village Real Estate Services) over 9 years ago

Diane - don't let them get you down.

I agree with Sue #277

Dear XXX,

I'm sorry that you were so disappointed with my expertise, negotiation skills to get the concessions you wanted, the time spent getting them and the time to show you the properties you were interested in that you went through with the contract to purchase your beautiful new home.

My personal costs were $x for millage, phone charges, office costs, mls fees, license costs, split to the brokerage (possibly n/a as the broker, but agents will), etc,

The number of hours spent negotiating this contract was xx hrs. Valued at $xx per hour.

My rebate of my commission to of $1,162 - pure profit that I gave up.

The total that I actually earned from this sale was $x per hour and all on the expectation that the sale actually closes. I actually would have made more if I could bill as other professionals do like attorneys and accountants

Some service industries expect the customer to tip those providing the service- our legally allowed tips are a thank you and any referrals by law. 

I have performed my services to you, as I do with all of my clients, to the best of my abilities as you have contracted with me to do as a licensed professional. When we met the first time and you became my client, I did not require you to pay for my services before or after we started that day - unlike any other professional service I know.  

I have but one questions to ask. When you go to your dentist, attorney, accountant or have a plumber come to you - do they allow you to pay at the end of all of your services and then give you a gift? Not even a thank card as I did for you?

I wish you all the best and success in all you do. 



Posted by Gerard Gilbers, Your Marketing Master (Higher Authority Markeing) over 9 years ago

Sissy wants her gift, eh? Send her a copy of Emily Post's Etiquette book with a tab on the appropriate page and highlighted so they don't miss the section. Buy the book from a garage sale...if it doesn't look the part, run over it a few times before sticking a bow on it and leaving it on their lucky-to-have-it new front porch. Some people's kids, I swear.

Posted by Cynthia Gentry Black (HomeStaging by Cynthia, Inc.) over 9 years ago


I would have reacted as you did, angry at first but waiting to cool off before responding back. As professionals, it does no good to respond in a way that could then create a complaint.

Present the facts, maybe they think we make the same money plumbers and attorneys do - ok attorneys and accountants.

Keeping the comments positive and factual will be more affective and will make you feel better that you educated them and not scolded them. (Don't expect them to see it that way though!)

If they keep asking for it after that - then send them the posts here and just add - this is what my peers thought!

Benjamin #248   To give in and give them a gift because they demand one is teaching them that if they complain long enough they will get what they want. While I am mixed on the "house warming gift", the fact is it is not a house warming requirement in practice or law.  Besides, if $1,162 wasn't enough then they will probably be asking for gifts for every holiday.   Maryland has an odd Requirement to graduate high school, they call it Community Service - REALLY. It is community servitude, a draft if you will! Does it really teach giving back to the community and volunteering for a cause - NO. It is essentially one more (dreaded) class to take.  The father is apparently teaching his child wrong, I would not perpetuate that.  


Posted by Gerard Gilbers, Your Marketing Master (Higher Authority Markeing) over 9 years ago


I have to believe that somewhere down the road they will realize what a great agent you really are. I feel that, in general, people think that we make too much money and they feel the need to take it from us as punishment for helping them. If I were you, I would not justify to them how you make a living. I would "kill them with kindness". Remind them of their gift of $$ back and thank them for using you and be done with it. By giving their negative energy too much credit, it will drain you of your positive energy and bring you down. You are obviously good at what you do and they are just a speed bump along the road.

Please keep us updated as to the results.


Posted by Jackie Turley over 9 years ago

I think you nailed it with "age of entitlement" - and I wish we knew how to deal with this type of attitude effectively, too. "Just say NO." sheeesh.

Or is this just a California thing?

Posted by Robert & Leslie Lang (Weichert, REALTORS® - McKee Real Estate) over 9 years ago

I love the idea of #134. Great idea.

However I don't think I would respond. If so then I would say that I have never been

asked for a gift before and ask where he got such an idea that asking someone for

a gift is ever appropriate after age 5 (from Santa).

The only gift I can really think of that I might want to give is a gratitude journal with

the first entry already written "Grateful for our Realtor and all she gave generously to us

to help us achieve our dream".

All the best,

Brenda Swigert, Realtor

Keller Williams Realty Associate Partners West Chester, OH

Posted by Brenda Swigert over 9 years ago

Let me preface by saying that no one should expect or ask for a gift in any situation. When you mentioned family members having to approve the sale, my antenna went up. Parents often are behind this kind of behavior.

But I have no problem with the idea of a housewarming gift. Especially since we are limited in what we can spend (not sure if it's the same in all states). It's a very small amount. There are many service providers who give their clients a gift. It's quite common. I don't think the fact that I worked hard for a client means that I would forego giving a small gift if that's what I usually do. Working hard for the client is my job, isn't it?

Posted by Diane Schubach (Laffey Fine Homes) over 9 years ago

Well, first of all I can't believe anyone would email and text about this, but since they did I think the perfect response would be to send them a Christmas card with an enclosure notifying them that you have made a donation in their name to a HOMELESS SHELTER.  It's called alternative giving and you'd be helping people out who need some help.  I'm sure THEY (homeless) would be grateful and you would be fulfilling your "thank you gift obligation."

Posted by Nancy McNamee (Keller Williams Realty) over 9 years ago

Yes, you saved them money on the house. (Your job) 

Yes, you helped them get the $8,000 tax credit (from the Government - and still, your job). 

Yes, you negotiated furnishings and appliances (Your job).

Yes, you paid a 30% referral fee (to the referrer, and "happily" as you say). 

Yes, they got half of that back (from the referrer - not from you). 

Yes, you negotiated 3% concessions from the Seller (Your job).

Yes, you renegotiated escrow to accommodate your client's vacation (Your job). 

No, you did not give them a "closing gift".


I'm not saying you didn't do a fantastic job, above and beyond, better than many (dare I say most) other agents. But still... that's your job, it's not a "gift" and frankly, I think it could come across as rude to suggest that it is. If you (or any other agents) deserve more compensation, raise your fee.

I'm also not saying that you "owed" them a gift... Or that they had any right to expect or demand one. But obviously something led them to expect one (dad, upbringing, something you said or did, a friend's recent experience with another agent, HGTV... who knows?).


Speaking in favor of gift giving:

Buying a home is not like having surgery. Or having your taxes done. It's neither one-time nor routine. Buying a home is more akin to a wedding, a birthday, a graduation, a new baby, etc. It's a major step in life. Just as gifts on those "occasions" are appropriate, housewarming gifts are appropriate. One would think that the person who helped the client buy the house would WANT to give them a small gift to help them celebrate and to thank them for the business.

If you want to feel good once, stick it to them, "defend yourself" and "prove your worth to these people" when you respond. It won't convince them. They either know how good you did already or they won't believe it no matter how strongly you yell it at them. I agree that something has gone wrong on their side more than yours, but unless you really thrive on "justice" or "revenge", you'll feel better only for a short time if you respond that way. Just because someone is rude to you, doesn't mean you need to be rude to them. That just fosters more and more rudeness in the world.

May I offer two suggestions for how you might avoid a problem like this in the future:

1. Provide a closing gift for every client, albeit small, if small is all you feel your clients deserve.

2. Don't provide closing gifts for ANY clients and be up-front with them from the very start that you do not give closing gifts.

Few if any clients will have a problem down the line (with any topic) if you have discussion on the matters up-front. If they are going to have a problem down the line, most will let you know up-front and you can handle it before you commit to work with them. If they don't raise objections when you address it up-front and then later bring it up, you simply remind them of the terms you all agreed to when you signed up together.

"I know your father wants me to give you a closing gift, but remember we specifically talked about this when we agreed to work together. I don't do closing gifts."

"I know it only takes another $1,000 to hold the deal together and that the other agent is paying a portion of their commission to try and make it work, but our agreement was for $x. We agreed up-front that it was fair and wouldn't be renegotiated as part of a purchase contract. So where can you get the other $1,000? I have a few suggestions..."


If you feel it necessary, put it in writing.

Personally I would suggest making it a practice to provide a gift to each client at closing or at possession. It doesn't have to be grand or expensive. A gift shows you really are grateful for their business, even though you have to pay a referral fee, split it with your broker, pay your own medical bills, buy diapers, braces, dues, fees, license renewal, continuing ed, put gas in your car, etc. etc. etc.

Posted by Benjamin Clark, Buyer's Agent - Certified Negotiation Expert (Homebuyer Representation, Inc.) over 9 years ago

Yes, by all means, SEND THEM A BIBLE...


"Follow after love, and earnestly desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. "
Author:     1 Corinthians 14 Verses #:     1

Posted by Ed Borne (Transitions Realty) over 9 years ago

Yes, by all means, SEND THEM A BIBLE...


"Follow after love, and earnestly desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. "
Author:     1 Corinthians 14 Verses #:     1

Posted by Ed Borne (Transitions Realty) over 9 years ago

I don't understand why you gave them the rebate. 

Posted by Alyce Martin, Albuquerque - THE Place To Be! (The Realty Group, LLC) over 9 years ago

In any distribution of people you will find angels and A-Holes.  These were obviously from the bottom end of the bell curve.

Posted by Marshall Brown, BSEE, CHI (Mid America Inspection Services, LLC) over 9 years ago

While I don't think that you are obligated to give them a gift, and I believe it's rude of them to text and email you asking for one, and the father needs to butt out and let his kid grow up instead of being a helicopter parent, I also don't believe anything you did for them should be considered a gift to them.  My guess is that the rebate was in exchange for making sure you got the sell and all the other things you negotiated for them was part of your job.  You received payment for that, and I'm guessing you received the payment you were due for those services.  If you are second-guessing your choices about not giving them a gift, or feeling guilty about it, then relieve your conscience and bring them one.  If you have a personal policy that if you make less than your normal commission split you don't give closing gifts, then tell them that a be done with it.  Either way, you need closure on this.  Tell them how you feel, buy them a gift, or ignore it altogether and they'll eventually go away and everyone will move on.

Posted by Nicole Fleming (FC Tucker Emge) over 9 years ago

It's ALL BEEN Said and Everyone Here that supported you was ON TARGET!!!!

I particularly liked #33 and #34 because those were my EXACT Thoughts!!!

404 Pegged Them Too

Move On - You are Better Than the UNGRATEFUL!  Joy

Posted by Joy Carter & Jeff Booker Brother and Sister Team, Trust Your Family's Move To Our Expertise! (Keller Williams Parkland/Coral Springs Realty-GreatFloridaHomes Team) over 9 years ago

I give buyers gifts but not sellers. Even if it is small. Usually like a home depot gift card or something of the sort. the more i like them the more they get. but always get them something even if its sinple. They dont care about what it cost to be a Realtor!

Posted by Rachel Purser, SFR e-certified (Prudential American Realty Center - Pickerington, Ohio) over 9 years ago

I give buyers gifts but not sellers. Even if it is small. Usually like a home depot gift card or something of the sort. the more i like them the more they get. but always get them something even if its sinple. They dont care about what it cost to be a Realtor!

Posted by Rachel Purser, SFR e-certified (Prudential American Realty Center - Pickerington, Ohio) over 9 years ago

Diane - What if this happened to you if they hadn't emailed or text messaged you? What would you have done if they asked you in person, face-to-face?

That happened to me 3 years ago. The buyer ASKED me face-to-face when I showed you to chauffer them to the title company.

I grabbed him by the hand and thanked him gratefully and THAT was his gift.

Since then, he never communicated with me. I've moved on.

I'm very generous in gift-giving especially to people who builds me up, not ask from me.

In the mean time, if you believe in prayers, this couple sure needs lots of it and growing up to do. Just love on them, pray for them and do what you normally do to other clients (if you drop by every once a while or mail them holiday cards, include them). You may be out of their lives.

Just as much as we thought we made a significance in people's lives, they do the same to ours. We learn each time, don't we?

Posted by Loreena and Michael Yeo, Real Estate Agents (3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co.) over 9 years ago

Personally, I do provide a closing gift for every client - but just the fact that they asked for a closing gift makes me cringe. I think there are some good, tactful suggestions in the comments on how to reconcile the issue...but still...I think it'll be tough to give a gift with any honest thankfulness after they had asked for it.

Posted by Ryan Halset, Realtor | (206) 930-7959 (Boardwalk Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Making a "donation" in their name to their (or your) favorite charity is a great idea. Tell  them that of course you had wanted to give them a housewarming gift and you just needed to know the name of their favorite charity so you could send the donation in the buyers name....because you had already given $1,162 towards their purchase and the IRS limits gifts to $25/per year.

I have had numerous experiences like yours with young couples and agree that it is very reflective of a generation that is used to adults sacrificing for them. I have been in the business over 30 years and am astonished at the lack of loyalty and entitlement of many (not all) of this generation.  My clients are now the grandchildren of my original clients and I have been apalled at the calousness of their demands. One couple (have sold grandparents, parents, friends etc.)..exceptionally educated thanks to the parents decided to buy a fosbo and thought I should be happy for them!  I had contacted the fosbo and had arranged a showing...they went around me to get a better deal!  Thank goodness the elders in the family had the good grace to be embarrassed by these kids. It's a relfection of the time.

Posted by Carla Reeves (Village Properties) over 9 years ago

No, it is this generation...............worthless!  I have many things that can be sent to them, but not on the internet.......................do yourself a favor...hope they don't refer you to their FRIENDS!!!!!!

Posted by Susan Waddle over 9 years ago

Wow, poor form on their part.  I have given gifts usually at each closing and in my mind it is a thank-you and a little bit of a bribe to keep me in their minds when they could refer me.  However, their sense of entitlement is absurd.  I guess I would rather know a clients true colors and their reason(s) for their behaivor but it doesn't change the outcome.  I would say you have every right to let them know what your "gift(s)" were and hopefully they'll realize the error of their ways.  It's too bad there's not some old Indian folklore or story about the "Young ungrateful homebuyers" and a moral to it about how a sense of entitlement robs a persons soul of true happiness.  Hmmm, maybe I'll make one up and share it in a blog.  In situations like this I wish Jackie O were still alive and had a web-chat every week that you could ask her what she would do in that circumstance.  I bet it would be classy and smart.  What a shame.

Posted by Carey Valentine (Medallion Mortgage Company) over 9 years ago

Diane; you went above and beyond. It's so sad. I always provide my clients with a closing gift in addition to getting them as many concessions as possible in a trying market. After reading this it made me think; by providing them with a rebate, which we all know can be a big chunk of our commission after all our other costs, splits and fees are taken into account, this may lead the buyer to believe that we really ARE making a lot of money since we are willing to part with that much. Little do they know. In cases like this, we must believe in karma...

Posted by Lisa Wiseman (Intero Real Estate Services, San Jose, Silicon Valley) over 9 years ago

My goodness I can't put myself in your shoes, I dont know what i would do. Amazing 

Posted by Sell Your Home For $39.95/m 0%Commission - (915-240-5276) - Se Habla Espanol (Washington Group - Real Estate Agents) over 9 years ago

I am surprised that with 20 years in this business this is the first incidence? It may be the first in writing but how many unknown "where's my gift" past clients have we not heard from?

Bad taste, yes. As we all know, you cannot please people all the time.



Posted by Ty Lacroix (Envelope Real Estate Brokerage Inc) over 9 years ago

I always give small gifts. The thought goes a long way. I formed a relationship with 3M and provide them with those command picture hanging strips and greeting cards that state they have move. I even provide them to my renters. My clients have always been appreciative. A little thought really goes a long way.

Posted by Joi Lawrence-Jones, The Joiful Realtor (NextRE) over 9 years ago

Hello Diane,


... the Soul in me honors the Soul in you ALL... who had courage, loyalty, the warmth of heart, of circumstance, and intuition....to come forward, and lovingly embraced the spiritual truth to come into others lives just at the right time to give answers!

As more people from the same family of souls will open up to encourage, support, demonstrate and encourage respect, professional empathy and integrity, the more we ALL would constantly connect, interact and create a new shift based on principles of integrity, support and ethical business acumen.

Thank you for sharing...let's accumulate on this journey truth and loyal souls from the Family of Light. Peter - Perth W.Australia

Posted by Peter Michelbach over 9 years ago

They are so wrong for asking about a gift from you it isn't funny! I would not even have responded to that. Entitlement sounds to nice for these folks...

Posted by Steve Facella over 9 years ago

If I have developeed a realtionship with the client, I usually give a gift.  When I first started I had a seller who at the last hour left the home a MESS. The buyer was holding $500.00 and said "I am keeping this for a clean up crew". The seller said to me "Well you get to pay the $500.00.  I had purchased a grocery gift card for the seller, I gathered me composure handed it to her and said you need this more than me.


Posted by Pat Z over 9 years ago

What a joke! But that is the way of this generation. The I deserve it handed to me generation. I would have told them what I have told others including my own kids," You'll get it when it is MY idea!"

Posted by Mike Budzius over 9 years ago

Like every respondent on this post, I'm astonished.  I honestly wouldnt say its the economy.  They just happen to be those type of people that, as you said, have a sense of entitlement.  Its on what you have done for them, its what you are going to do for them.  Shame.  Kudos to you for providing such great service and professionalism.  They should have kissed the ground you walked on when you were able to get them the $8K government credit. 

But listen, I'm sure I dont have to tell you this but hang in there.  There are a ton more appreciative people out there than there are greedy ones like this. 

Posted by Daniel Ovalles over 9 years ago

In this economy, I think "thank you" gifts are totally unnecessary from either party!  Getting them TO THE SETTLEMENT TABLE should be thank you enough!

Posted by Kathy Opatka, Serving Ocean City, MD, & The Delaware Beaches (RE/MAX CROSSROADS) over 9 years ago

Great blog!  Looks like you got everyone's attention!  I, too, cannot believe the nerve of your buyers!  I'm glad you didn't "give" them anything else...you had already given enough! 

Posted by Kris Deaton (Shumaker Realty, Inc.) over 9 years ago

As one of my favorite broker's always says "Next!"

I would remove them from my database, try to let it go and move on to my next buyer or seller who hopefully will be more appreciative of my time and effort. I thought I knew a lot about Real Estate before I got into this business. I had no idea how much work actually goes on behind the scenes. This business is too hard and life is too short to be treated that way!

Posted by Susan Smither (Prudential Tropical Realty) over 9 years ago

Oh yes, and there was the couple who did not approve of the type of Champagne I gave them to celebrate their purchase. I started giving oak saplings in a pot with a note saying plant this in your new yard to enjoy for many years to come. I'll dig some poison ivy for you to give to your clients.

PS Funny, my graphic for this entry is "chokecherry"

Posted by Peter Rhein over 9 years ago

I have a sister in law, who is really wealthy, that expects gifts (expensive ones) yet the gifts she gives are "garage sale" items.  So for the last few years, I've made charitable donations in her name--and that stopped the madness.  

Posted by Karen Deis, When In-house training is not enough! (ApartmentToolKit.com) over 9 years ago

You have GOT to be kidding me!

Posted by Trish Sarfert, Serving military & civilian relocations! (Gulf Coast Home Experts) over 9 years ago

I am guilty of giving gifts to my customers at closing most of the time.  I do it to enhance the happy feeling most people have after closing whether buyers or sellers.  I would however beshocked if I chose not to give a gift and then received a letter demanding one.  Unbelievable.

Posted by Lucien Vaillancourt, Jacksonville Florida Real Estate (Native Sun Realty, Inc.) over 9 years ago

I like Sonny's point and gift ideas. (#32)

Just turn the situation around.

It will make you all the more the experienced professional.

You'll make the right decision of how to handle it.


Posted by Jim Swanger over 9 years ago

wow! what a doozy. Obviously you didn't spend enough time explaining how much you were saving them and giving them in return and they were told by some idiot that they should have received a gift, probably someone who didn't know anything about the situation at all. It's a shame. 

Posted by Sandy McAlpine, Search Lake Norman Homes For Sale - Lake Norman NC (RE/MAX EXECUTIVE) over 9 years ago

I give gifts personalized for each client just because I love to give gifts.

In this case, I would suggest you outline -as you did with us- the exceptional service you gave. If you choose to and are able to give a donation to the homeless (great suggestion!) in the buyers' name I like that idea. Otherwise, I'd say avoid the snarky gifts of etiquette books, bibles, itemized bills, etc. (although it's sooo tempting) and give the gift of educating your clients on the great service you provided them. Then send them a blessing and move on to the next opportunity.

Many blessings to you and your business!

Posted by Karen Hunt, Seattle Real Estate Broker | Hunt Seattle Homes, Skyline Properties (www.SeattleHomeBuzz.com, Skyline) over 9 years ago

Great post! I must have a long list of unhappy clients, because I do not give closing gifts.  No one has ever complained or have been so bold to ask for a gift. 

Posted by Jake Forbes (United Country Forbes Realty & Auctions) over 9 years ago

They wouldn't happen to be from the other side of the Prime Meridian would they???

You should have turned the tables and asked them why they didn't give you a gift.  You were the service provider.

Clients give their doctors gifts.

Clients give their lawyers gifts.

Clients give their gardeners gifts.

Clients give their teachers gifts.

How did the real estate world get ass backwards?

Posted by Cameron Novak, Featured Corona Real Estate Agent Team (The Homefinding Center) over 9 years ago

People are feeling entitled, and expect you to give up 1/3 or 1/4 of your pay, when they only give up 1% in many cases. Worse yet, when the client doesn't say anything up front about their expectations, and has you show them 20 homes, and when its time to write up the deal, they spring that on you... and hold you hostage to it: They can get you to take 1/2 of what you are suppose to get for all the work you did, or get nothing, and they'll find another agent who will be happy to give them 1/2 for doing absolutely nothing except write the offer.

I once had a client who bought a rather expensive home. In the negotiations, I wound up having to give up 40% of my commission, in reducing my share from the seller. Then, the buyer had the nerve to tell me its customary for me to give them a closing gift, and a calendar didn't look good in his family's eyes. I told him I gave him a lot already. I never called him back.

Posted by Eugene Lew (RE/MAX equity group) over 9 years ago

I can give you another example----thank goodness this is the only time I had this reaction!

At the end of this particular closing I handed them a hard earned $60. fruit/candy gift basket. The wife took it threw it in the back seat and drove away. Not even a thank you!  Little did they know that I had even a little more planned and purchased; as I was going to drive to their home the day they moved in and give them another welcome home gift. needless to say, I didn't take the time to go to their home again. 

Occasionally, it appears clients do think it's their due? That was a transaction where I worked so very hard for so long in so many ways, did my best and as usual went above what most other agents would do.  In this case so did the seller's agent--tough deal, but I got it done and well, too.

Fortunately, most all my clients are wonderful, and my other clients even more wonderful, etc.  It's the optimist in us that keep us going and providing the best service to our clients ! 


Best regards and good luck!

Posted by Sher Wenowitz over 9 years ago

I can give you another example----thank goodness this is the only time I had this reaction!

At the end of this particular closing I handed them a hard earned $60. fruit/candy gift basket. The wife took it threw it in the back seat and drove away. Not even a thank you!  Little did they know that I had even a little more planned and purchased; as I was going to drive to their home the day they moved in and give them another welcome home gift. needless to say, I didn't take the time to go to their home again. 

Occasionally, it appears clients do think it's their due? That was a transaction where I worked so very hard for so long in so many ways, did my best and as usual went above what most other agents would do.  In this case so did the seller's agent--tough deal, but I got it done and well, too.

Fortunately, most all my clients are wonderful, and my other clients even more wonderful, etc.  It's the optimist in us that keep us going and providing the best service to our clients ! 


Best regards and good luck!

Posted by Sher Wenowitz over 9 years ago

oh, what a sad thing. I guess i'm old. I thought a gift was a gift, not an expectation....

Posted by Liane Thomas -Top Listing Agent, Bringing you Home! (Professional Realty Services® International ) over 9 years ago

Not enough people understand what we do for them and how much gets taken from our commission checks and how much we actually put in the bank.   It's unfortunate that they had to ask you for a gift, how rude. 

Sometimes a client gets a gift from me and sometimes they don't.  So many clients seem dissapointed when we give them a small token.  Lawfully we can only spend $25- a donation to a charity and a card sent to them with the mention that a donation was made is a good alternative, since there is no dollar amount stated on teh card- simply that a donation was made. 

I'm surprised at how many agents are attacking Diane for not giving a gift.  That's her decision. A show of hands if you have ever received a gift from your car salesman??   

Posted by Dan Jasmer, Changing the way you look at real estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate) over 9 years ago

I think it's the 'entitled' Millennial generation. I hear lots of stories like this. Lots of requests for rebates, referrals, discounts. One of my associates has been able to temper this attitude by making it very clear how hard she works. Sometimes I think we have to demonstrate our worth in a much more obvious way. So much of what we do is behind the scenes and if our clients have limited experience in real estate they have no way of comparing the quality of our services with that of another agent.

Posted by Cece Blase (Paragon Real Estate Group) over 9 years ago

I think it's the 'entitled' Millennial generation. I hear lots of stories like this. Lots of requests for rebates, referrals, discounts. One of my associates has been able to temper this attitude by making it very clear how hard she works. Sometimes I think we have to demonstrate our worth in a much more obvious way. So much of what we do is behind the scenes and if our clients have limited experience in real estate they have no way of comparing the quality of our services with that of another agent.

Posted by Cece Blase (Paragon Real Estate Group) over 9 years ago

Used and abused.  Too sad.  Maybe we need to "bill" them for our services as we go through the whole process, just like contractors do.  Shame on them.  But then again don't we all have buyers who "milk" us for information and keep us "hooked" just to turn around and buy a home you showed them with the listing agent or a brother/sister/son who is an agent too?

Posted by Anja Kerstens, GRI, CDPE, CHS, ASP, Selling Silicon Valley Real (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 9 years ago

But if you don't give them a gift then they won't refer other selfish, ill mannered, narcissistic friends that they hang with your way.  On the other hand better not send them anything.

Posted by David Zuckerman, Mortgage Broker - Low-to-no downpayment mortgages (Millennial Home Loans, LLC) over 9 years ago

Wow, people like that really do not realize the hard work agents put in, do they?

Posted by Patricia Beck, Colorado Springs Realty (RE/MAX Properties, Inc., GRI, CDPE) over 9 years ago

I've been through a similar experience. My client actually asked me at the closing table with everyone present for a closing gift. I really went above and beyond for this client and actually had cut my commission $1000 so that we could close. It's really heartbreaking... sometimes I wonder if they truly think through what our Job entitles. We're not here to pamper them and shower them with presents, were doing a job with out any grantee of pay. I wish they could put themselves in our shoes. What would they do if they were asked to provide gifts at their job.

Posted by Tiki Shannon (Solid Source Realty GA) over 9 years ago

I've been through a similar experience. My client actually asked me at the closing table with everyone present for a closing gift. I really went above and beyond for this client and actually had cut my commission $1000 so that we could close. It's really heartbreaking... sometimes I wonder if they truly think through what our Job entitles. We're not here to pamper them and shower them with presents, were doing a job with out any grantee of pay. I wish they could put themselves in our shoes. What would they do if they were asked to provide gifts at their job.

Posted by Tiki Shannon (Solid Source Realty GA) over 9 years ago

In reading all these comments, I feel I just have to respond again. By the way, Tiki, how did you resolve the client asking for a gift at the table, in front of everyone? Hope everyone looked at them like, "how rude".

Its a shame how some people will use the commission as a bargaining tool. I can understand a seller who lists 3 homes with one agent, to ask for a reduction, but not to buy. The worse ones are the ones who no matter what, appears to try to see how bad they can screw you over. If they get a house for $10,000 off list, they ask you to give up money. If they get that same house for $25,000 off list, they still ask you to give up money. You almost have to anticipate their demand! Then, on the other side of the scale, you have clients who watch out for you, who want you to get paid. I had one who was so hung up on a mirror in a bathroom, cuz the seller didn't include it, that they were almost upset. I offered to put one in, and they were adamant about not allowing me to do that. It was an upper end home, and I was paid every penny of the buyers commission. In the end, I gave them a very nice custom gift basket, and they were just so thankful. These are the people I will always go out of my way to help, even if they just ask for help and not buy anything.

Gifts are just that. A token of appreciation, not a token of how bad the receiver can rip the giver off. I've had people ask for refrigerators, BBQ grills, and rebates, which I tell them that is not the way it works. These most often are not people who need every penny to close the transaction, but rather people who have and make a lot of money. They do not seem to grasp the fact that when they change their mind on buying something, we agents get zero!

Posted by Eugene Lew (RE/MAX equity group) over 9 years ago

Rude, rude, rude!! There really is no other way to describe these clients.

Posted by Kathie Burby, REALTOR, SFR, Tuolumne County Real Estate Guide (Coldwell Banker Mother Lode Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Seriously?  That is a complete slap in your face.  I give gifts to my clients, however, if I had given a referral or what I sometimes do, buy a home warranty for my client, I would only give them a card.  I have had this occur once about 2 years ago and the kid kept calling me asking where his closing gift was?  What?  I was totally taken by surprise.  Don't quit!  These types of people hopefully are few and far between.

Posted by Kim Sellers, Lake Arrowhead Realtor - BRE#01412099 - Lake Arrow (Lake Arrowhead, CA Coldwell Banker) over 9 years ago

Your closing gift should be a copy of this blog along with the comments.  And I agree with another comment...where is your Thank You gift or at least a card from them????

Posted by Heidi Hovatter - Sonora & Twain Harte, Heidi The Home Hunter (Century 21 Wildwood - Selling Homes and Cabins in Tuolumne County) over 9 years ago


I am still saying WOW after reading this blog.  I mean are you kidding me.....really!  A gift beyond the many gifts that you provided that went well beyond your due diligence as an agent.  Unbelieveable!

Posted by Alicia Stukes, GRI, CDPE, Notary (Exit 1 Stop Realty) over 9 years ago

Hmm. I think in this case I would make a donation of whatever nominal amount you choose in their name, then send the card or email with the certificate or thank you note from the charity on to them. 

They either will or won't get it but you will have made your point in a kind way that actually does some good.  Just a thought. 


Posted by Angela Johnson, Chief Technology Strategist , Assoc Brkr (J Philip Real Estate LLC) over 9 years ago

Wow! That's pretty brazen. You see all kinds of behavior in this business.

Posted by Wayne B. Pruner, Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI (Oregon First) over 9 years ago

Unfortunately nothing surprises me anymore in this business.   I was licensed in 1994 and never imagined I would see the things I am seeing, or read things like this that I have been reading.

That may be one of the greatest insults I have heard of however, after the cash back and everything else you did for them, maybe they need to be told to "pound sand" as an old saying goes.  I agree with one of the earlier posts that this is likely due to the way these kids were brought up . . . .

Posted by Pete Neuville (Realty Executives) over 9 years ago

Wow, I cant believe someone would even ask for something like that!

Posted by Gina Tufano, Ask Gina & Company, Northern Virginia Real Estate (Ask Gina & Company with Pearson Smith Realty) over 9 years ago

Wow! Thats crazy some people are just so ungrateful.

Posted by Chris McKenty & Bernadette Augello (RE/MAX Connection) over 9 years ago

Wow! Thats crazy some people are just so ungrateful.

Posted by Chris McKenty & Bernadette Augello (RE/MAX Connection) over 9 years ago

I have a very similar story where I received a scathing email telling me my client could not believe I did not send them a closing gift....after thanking, thanking, thanking them......they even stated that it was "such an easy deal for me"......

I was completely shocked....I am thinking now that this is a trend that I have to be ready to address....but how?

Posted by Kristin Petersen, Realtor - Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach - Ormond by (Adams, Cameron & Co., Realtors) over 9 years ago

The buyer owes you a gift , for working for less

Posted by John Krol, Naples,Luxury Homes,International Buyers / Sellers (Top Producers Realty, Inc. Krol Group International) over 9 years ago

Agree with almost of all of these comments. Don't let jerks like that bother you. You know you already gave them a lot more than what those maggots deserved. This reminds of me of 05-06 when the first question someome would ask was : "Do you give commission rebates?" My answer was always no, but thanks anyway for calling, bye." click.

Posted by Jeff Pearl over 9 years ago

That's a great story to share.  When my realtor sold my home back in 2008, I sent him a gift basket, even after earning a 6% commission.  He really put in a lot of work to make it happen. 

Some people just don't get it, that's really too bad.  Hopefully, they don't blast you all over the internet sites, that's another challenge professionals and business' face when it comes to disgruntled customers/clients.



Posted by Flora Valdez-Padilla about 9 years ago

Another example of the sense of entitlement society has picked up. 

Posted by Cookie Hooper, Real Estate Sales & Property Management (True Blue Realty) over 8 years ago

Ok! Wow, My jaw just dropped. Are you kidding me? While reading your post I was expecting something terrible to happen and then I read, they want a gift. OMG. I would write a letter pointing out all that was done for them, send it to the buyer and the parents, then just chalk it up to a bad experience. (HEE HEE maybe you should include in the letter, where is my appreciation gift?)

Posted by Malinda Montgomery RSPS AHWD-Realtor (Adams Cameron & Company) over 8 years ago

It is very low class and petty to ask anyone for a gift, ever.  That is why it is called a gift, it is given at someone's free will.  I think the whole situation is very tacky.  I would have given them a small token gift at closing, however,  These people don't seem like wine connoisseurs, so I would have given them the best bottle of wine $20 can buy, lol.  Now don't get me wrong I have given some extravagant closing gifts, such as original artwork depicting the buyer's new home, and much more.  But, I have to agree with the comments above, if I am rebating ANY of MY hard earned commission, THAT IS THEIR GIFT.  Period.  Case closed.  But, you are in a tough spot, it's worth a tiny gift, on the hopes that they will give you some referrals.  But, I would make it clear how many hours were put in, on their behalf, which earned you your "plenty" of money.


Posted by Brett Richman, New Orleans Louisiana Real Estate (Summers/East Coast Realty Group) over 8 years ago

I read your story and thought I was the only one this happened to... A couple years ago I worked with a client to find her first home on her own. Through the process, we developed quite a nice relationship. We met for coffee socially and she even invited me over for a drink after it was all done. She moved in and I emailed with her a few times over the next year just to keep in touch. A month ago, I ran into her at the mall. We chatted for a bit and she showed me her new fancy engagment ring - hugs, etc.

Then, wouldn't you know it, I get an email later that day saying that she was very disappointed she had never received a thank you gift from me when she bought her home. When talking to a friend, she found out it was common practice. She went on to say she thought I had done a very good job but she would never use me again nor recommend me to others because of this! Wow! Shocked is an understatement!

Posted by Deidra Junghans over 8 years ago

Your clients got the gift...the keys. You got to put a stop to this otherwise, they will be expecting asking for Christmas and New Years gifts...

Posted by Sarah Oswald over 8 years ago

Wow. Bad manners in the extreme. It's always in poor taste to ASK for a gift, and I think you are probably better off without these people in your life or your database!

I always send a "wishing you happiness in your new home" card. I show up on moving day with a bottle or six-pack of something if possible. Or if it's appropriate, I send a small donation to a favorite church or charity.

Before I became a realtor, my husband and I sold our "starter" house. Our agent gave us a small framed photo of the house to take with us to our new home. It still hangs on my wall and I treasure it. It probably cost her less than $20. I've borrowed that idea when it seems right, and it has always been appreciated. 

Posted by Jan Stevens (Coldwell Banker Pittsburgh) over 8 years ago

Deidra, I'd turn that one around to your lady... and ask her would she rather get a gift from an agent who did a poor job? That is utter betrayal, to be your friend for a year, then slam you like that. You have enough to say to put her to shame.

Gifts are just that. Given as an option. I once had a buyer who bought a sizable house from me, who wrangled about 40% of the selling commission off of the deal, then had the nerve to tell me that a calendar is not the best gift to give him, if I wanted to look good in front of his friends & family for future referral business. I never called him again.

Its a shame there are so many realtors out there who put up with this kind of nonsense from people. My first realtor never even gave me a gift, and I used him in 3 transactions... and when I got into the business, he helped me with advice. I stil talk to him periodically, and have no issues with that.

The nerve of some people!

Posted by Eugene Lew (RE/MAX equity group) over 8 years ago

OUCH!  No gift is necessary!  No matter how much, or how little, you did as their Realtor, a gift is not required and SHOULD NEVER BE EXPECTED.  I used to have a photo of my son over my desk and under it the following homily: "ALWAYS LOVE, NEVEER ENTITLED."   This was to remind me as well as him, that my love is unconditional and free.  Everything else requires "payment."  Of course, in my heart my son was/is entitled to everything I have, but I wanted always to ensure that HE understood that he's only entitled to what he mades the effort to acquire/achieve.

YOU did dood, girl .... BETTER than good ... OUTSTANDING!

Never let someone else shortcomings change you or alter YOUR demeanor and drive!

Posted by teri malone over 8 years ago

Wow. Gobsmaked. Closing gifts are not obligatory, buyers, and if you've gotten the kind of attention, focus and service described in this post, YOU should be sending flowers to your Realtor.  

There are some folks who don't get it, may never get it, and don't deserve to get it.

Send them a bill for administration of post transaction communication.

Posted by Susan Isaacs over 8 years ago

Wow, what did they want the other 12% of your commission? That is all that is left.


You paid a 30% referral fee, 28% to taxes, 20% to your broker, and 10% for expenses, (gas driving them around, coffee, lunches, prints), etc.

That leaves you 12% to pay your mortgage and feed your family.

Your total commission was $7,750. but you are only left with a whopping $930.00

If they got 1/2 of 30% and that was $1,162..... They already made more than you did!

You made PLENTY of money? HA HA HA

You should be asking THEM for a thank you gift.


Posted by Jayson Holland, Jay Holland (Listings.com) over 8 years ago


      That really does suck.  As a gen-X myself, I'm pretty embarrassed.  I don't believe in entitlements for anybody.  I work for what I make.  Prior to getting to the business myself, I also thought that Realtors were overpaid for what they did.  During the heights of the housing boom, many inexperienced agents did get overpaid on easy sales.  Certainly today, I know that Realtors who have survived in the business are working very hard for deals and are now appropriately compensated.  Unfortunately, many clients don't see the many long hours spent behind the scenes to make a deal happen.  And, many have no idea of the deal quality that we've just won for them.  That's just unfortunate, and I can only make an effort to explain or have them verify it with other home buyers.  

      As for thank you gifts, I usually give a nice token gift worth about $30-50 for deals below $200K.  For $500K-$1.5M deals, I go up to a few thousand for a gift.  For your deal of about $250K, I think the heartfelt thank you card is quite appropriate.  Your clients will just have to learn from the school of hard knocks to appreciate what you've done for them.

Posted by Tina Lam, Residential REALTOR, Broker - (408) 320-5261 (Archers Homes) over 8 years ago

We're faced with the "Whiner Nation" that is comprised of "all about me" ingrates. What surprises me is that it's NOT just young, first-time buyers. 

Posted by Phil Amodeo ABR,CRS,e-PRO,SFR, Carmel, Fishers, Geist, Indianapolis North (C21 Scheetz) over 8 years ago

Judging by the responses, we all are feeling the pains of this market and rude people. If people only knew that if you break down gas expenses, advertising, all of our time and our 24/7 schedule we only make about a buck and 1/2 an hour, maybe they won't be so greedy and give us a thank gift for all we do!

Posted by Tyla Edwards (Keller Williams) over 8 years ago

Quite the picture of the guard - what happened to the rest of his body?


Posted by Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate, Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs (Kelly Right Real Estate) over 8 years ago

WOW demand that is a first for me!  I give every client a gift at closing but none of them ever expect it, It is just a way of really sealing a realtionship with the client and showing my gratitude and blessing them with a little something which is always different for each client but never heard of the client demanding something, all I can say is WOW and some people just feel they are "special and entitled" WOW

Posted by Marilyn Boudreaux, Lake Charles LA Century 21 Realtor (Marilyn Boudreaux, Century 21 Bono Realty) over 8 years ago

Shocking! Oh Diane, I really feel for you. It's hard to not take something like that personally. I would lose sleep over being treated like that.  

I would have to agree with some of the posts on here though, pointing out to not blame it on age, but despicable manners and upbringing. I am a young Realtor with many young clients who are wonderfully grateful, and pleasantly surprised (or kindly acting surprised) when I give them a gift. 

Posted by Breanne Martin (Sotheby's International Realty) over 8 years ago

And you have a "gift" that keeps on giving, 480 comments so far on a blog written over a year ago.  Great job!

Posted by Steven Pahl, Real Estate Consultant Tampa, FL 813-319-6423 (Keller Williams Tampa Properties) over 8 years ago

Diane, although this post was written about a year ago IT IS TIMELESS for Realtors.

I agree with the one or more comments who said you should have asked the buyers, "where is my gift"? 

Posted by Kent Dills, Real Estate 817-495-8028, Bellingham, Washington (Broker, Dills Real Estate) over 8 years ago

That is just terrible.  I do think that this younger generation sends less thank you notes and expects a gift for their life milestones.  I have had buyers ask for a rebate at the last minute after I had spent months of my time and efforts and I refused.  They bought a house with another agent a week later....our buyer's rep expired.  I agree with a previous comment that they would have asked for more after that so good riddance!

Posted by Laura Gibson over 8 years ago
I think that perhaps an itemized statement of the actual breakdown of the commission, showing referral fees, splits, taxes, expenses (gas, etc) and then divided by hours would be appropriate. If they saw how sometimes we make less than they would ever accept, it puts reality in their faces and maybe a little gratefulness in their attitude.
Posted by Bonnie over 8 years ago

ah, it happens, I had a similar experience, never gave them anything... and they at still responding to  sphere touches... 

Posted by Terkel Sørensen, Realtor, 951.805.0773 , Bank owned and Short Sales (Real Estate Places) over 8 years ago

Hi Diane

  After the initial shock that some one would actually demand a gift. What relly jumps out at me is that the requests came by email and text. It is amazing to me how much father people will go when not in a face to face or live  phone conversation.

Posted by Brad Hornshaw, Realtor, Listing Agent, Buyers Agent, Investments (Brad Hornshaw Realtor Lynnwood, Bothell, Everett) over 8 years ago

Wow!  Should we end up moving to your area I want YOU for my Realtor@!!!  I helped my son and his new wife purchase a home....at the closing table the HUD -1 was missing the home warranty which I pointed out several times prior to going to closing. When my kids finished signing all their paperwork they not only didn't get their home warranty from the sellers, the sellers Realtor@ took the closing gift (for them) off the table and put it in her office.  I ended up purchasing a home warranty for them and still to this day have no words to explain the other Realtors actions about the closing gift. It was a very blatant and bold act on her part.

I really like the Bible and the Book if Ettiquette ideas.... I'll have to remember that!

Posted by Corianne Fugate (R.W. Price and Associates) over 8 years ago

You can hold your head high.  Your did our industry proud by providing honesty and excellent service.  That was and is the GIFT!

Posted by Anonymous over 8 years ago

Hi Diane.  After 20 years you are a professional.  Does you Doctor, Dentist, Accountant, or other professional give YOU a gift becasue you used their services?  I agree with you 100%!

Posted by Bob Miller, The Ocala Dream Team (Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty) over 8 years ago

Unfortunately because of the economy people feel they are entitled to something that is not theirs, they should be happy enough with all the services that you provided them but instead they probably want a bottle of wine or whatever instead, what a shame.  Congratulations on a job well done and don't let this bother you.

Posted by Christian de Almeida over 8 years ago

Corianne, did you say anything to the listing agent about taking the closing gift? What was her response? Can't just leave that one alone! LOL

Posted by Eugene Lew (RE/MAX equity group) over 8 years ago

I had a 21 yr old first time buyer who just closed on his home on Friday and today my doorbell rings and I am being delivered a beautiful bouquet of flowers with a sweet note attached!!  I was so touched that this young man sent me a thank you gift!!!  Sure made my day!!!  I did give him a closing gift but sure did not expect anything in return!! Good to know that not all of the younger generation lack ettiquette!!!

Posted by Laura Hentila (Allison James Estates & Homes) over 8 years ago

WOW!  I'm not usually without words, but this post left me speechless.  Yes, I do usually send a gift, but not out of obligation.  How dare anyone be so self-centered!  If I were you I would send them a bullet point letter of exactly where they're "gift" went!

Posted by Maria Picardi Kenyon (Re/Max Tri County) over 8 years ago

A professional couple old enough to know better were unable to be out of their home on the date called for in the contract.   With very little notice, the buyers graciously let them stay a few days.   I told them that the buyers would be paying for those days and it was reasonable to reimburse them, and the buyer's agent didn't say anything about it.   Everything had been cordial and both agents took for granted that the clients would be reasonable.   Then at settlement when the attorney asked what the per diem was, the buyers thought that was reasonable and the sellers didn't.  They wouldn't budge, and I ended up paying it because their mother was my dear friend, but I don't feel nearly as cordial about them as I had.   Top dollar, smooth transaction, until that.   

We live in interesting times.  

Counter-balancing that kind of thing are things like the cherished painting from a talented artist buyer, the crystal bowl from another, and the soup tureen, etc. 

I'd be happier if except in situations where they're personal friends (or we are confident we will stay close), they recognize that most professionals don't give gifts in addition to their services.   A gift is a gift, not an obligation.


Posted by Mary Sheridan, Creative Marketing, Buyer Agency 423-943-7655 (Keller Willliams - 1033 Hamilton Place,Johnson City TN 37604) over 8 years ago

unbelieveable for sure... and then I had a client that wanted to tip me gas money. Realtors can't be parents to teach clients how to behave.  It is a personal insult. The best advice is to ignore and more on!!

Posted by Janis Borgueta, LIC RE Salesperson (Key Properties of the Hudson Valley ) over 8 years ago

Hi Diane,

Of course they are upset!

You owe them 100% of your commission, not just 15%!!

For the oversight, the only way to make up for it now, is to give them the rest of the commission, and give them your car as well.

What were you thinking?


Posted by Phil Leng, Phil Leng - Retired (Retired) almost 8 years ago

Great post from the past.

I see the spam, I'll help clean it up.

Posted by Pete Xavier, Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide (Investments to Luxury) over 7 years ago

Diane, I would have to say that $1162.00 is a pretty generous closing gift! Be well!

Posted by Cynthia Frew (Premier Homes) over 7 years ago