Even amid what’s been an ongoing busy market over the last couple of years, Spring is still widely considered the best season to sell a house—May especially. The warmer, longer days and spring-bloom boost in curb appeal offer real estate professionals the opportunity to make clients feel extra sunny with a gift that speaks to their season of growth as a new homeowner.
What better way to make your client feel appreciated than with a personalized closing gift? Closing gifts are more than just a kind gesture. Like handing off the keys, this celebratory transaction signifies a job well-done for all parties, as well as a relationship that hopefully continues after all the paperwork is signed, sealed and delivered.
Selecting which closing gift to purchase may seem straightforward for most agents, but there’s a lot of factors that you should consider before making any gift purchase.
Gratitude over gains
Though you will hopefully benefit from future referrals and a five-star review at the end of this process, that should not be your priority. The art of gift giving entails that you expect nothing in return. A closing gift should emphasize the unique journey between buyer and seller, and reflect your attention to the finer details. Giving a personalized gift is a kindness that conveys the importance of building connections—a principle every agent should carry with them throughout their career.
Dollars to deductions
Before you determine your spending amount, consider what market you work in and your gross commission income from the sale. If you work in luxury real estate, you may think about spending a little more for a closing gift than you would for a middle- or low-tier market. According to eXp broker and real estate trainer Kyle Handy, typically, agents spend between 1-5% of their gross commission on closing gifts. A middle of the road, 2-3% percent is usually the best amount to spend. Also, you are allowed to write off $25 per gift per individual as a tax deductible, if you so choose.
Get to know them
Between all the phone calls and house tours and weekly sit-downs, you’ve gotten to know your client well by closing time. Maybe you know they really love the color sage green, or they’re big on coffee, or that they have a fur baby that winds down to classical music. Bring their personality and interests into consideration when choosing a personalized closing gift. If there are still some gray areas, send a friend request on social media and see what lights their fire outside the prized mantel that was the home’s selling point.
Gifts that keep on giving
When thinking of gift ideas, think of items and experiences that might stick with them long after you’ve given the last handshake. A pretty plant might be nice at the hand-off, but wilts after just a week. Think of gifts that have a longer life cycle or will create a lasting impression. Whether that’s an item they can reuse over and over again, or an experience that they’ll never forget.
Here are some closing gift ideas to get you going, and who knows what other ideas might spring up after giving this a read!
Closing gift ideas for spring:
- Smart garden: Do your homeowners have a green thumb? Or, do they love the idea of having a garden, but aren’t very good at maintaining one? No worries. Gift them an indoor smart garden that acts like a capsule coffee machine. Plant pods are inserted into the compartment and have features like automatic watering, pro-glow HD lighting and apps to teach you how your herbs, fruits, vegetables and plants are growing.
- Picnic set: After the long, cold winter months, people are dying to get outside. Treat your client to a picnic basket and picnic blanket so they can break in their new backyard the right way. Online woven picnic baskets can come with silverware and plates built into them, with places to neatly store all your charcuterie, snacks and refreshments. Custom embroider a Pendleton blanket or other designer style with the closing date or special couple detail to really make them feel all warm and fuzzy.
- Engraved party cooler: Backyard soirees and family cookouts are not complete without a large cooler filled with all your preferred drink selections. Get a stainless steel one engraved for your new homeowners so they always have a place to chill…the drinks we mean.
- Smart speaker: Let’s face it—they’re going to want to dance around the bare room floors before the furniture arrives. Give your clients a bluetooth speaker so they can have their Risky Business moment in their brand new home. Invest in a smart speaker, which allows you to not just play music, but also ask questions, control your smart tech like light switches and adjust thermostat settings and set alarms.
- Pizza stone: Air fryers are so last year. If your client loves to cook, consider gifting them a pizza stone that can be used in both the oven and on the grill. Not only can they impress their guests at the housewarming party, but they will appreciate the fun activity of make-your-own for years to come.
- Pet cam: When the weather gets nice, your client might want to spend more time outside the home where our pets can’t always go. Let’s take a paws to appreciate them. Give your new homeowners with pets an interactive pet camera. Smart pet cams allow you to see, talk, toss treats and get barking alerts connected to your phone.
- Market tote: If a local farmer’s market or walk about town is on your client’s spring weekend itinerary, gift them with an upgraded market tote they can carry the goods back home in. Most market totes come with separated compartments so you can store eggs or fruit without damage, and can be customized to show off your client’s spiffy sensibilities.
- Cold brew maker: Iced coffee season is upon us. Your client will be obsessed with the idea of making your own cold brew at home, and saving some money in the process. Some cold brew makers are as simple as pouring grounds in the filter, filling the carafe with water and letting it sit in the fridge, but if your client prefers to experiment a bit, there’s a ton of different options to choose from.
- Mini projector: Make outdoor movie nights a thing by giving your client a mini projector that can display your favorite TV shows and movies. Most mini projectors have features like built-in speakers and can connect to most of your tech easily. They’ll love the convenience of not having to go out to get that movie-theater experience and might even ditch the living room TV entirely.
- Polaroid camera: For your photography-loving clients, help them make memories everyday with a polaroid instant camera that shoots crisp but vintage looking photos they can cherish forever. Complete the gift with a polaroid album they can store all their polaroids in. Or, gift them with a clothespin board that will accessorize any space with mementos from their happy new chapter.
- A custom house-history poster or book: If your buyer purchased a historic home or they reside on a historic street, offer them a little piece of that history with a house-history book or poster that provides details and historic photographs of the home they can display as wall art or as a cherished, coffee table book. Investigative research teams like Brownstone Detectives can be commissioned to uncover and present secrets and facts of the home, the people who lived there and other details as an artful and aesthetically pleasing keepsake.
Joey Macari is RISMedia’s associate editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.