Should agents accept a monetary "THANK YOU" gift?

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Real Estate Agent with Gibbs Realty and Auction Company

 

I have a fellow agent that was given a very substanial monetary "Thank You" gift from a recent client after the closing. Should the agent keep the gift or should it be graciously returned and if so how? Whats the most you have been given by a client as an appreciation for a job well done?

I'd love to hear your thoughts.....this has been discussed and now we want your opinions too....

 

 

 

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Rainmaker
969,174
Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC
Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC - Melbourne, FL
Personal Service, always.

I believe gifts here have to be processed through the broker, i.e. no direct compensation. I would say if the broker is OK with it (disclosed), then treat it like a bonus!

October 02, 2009 08:46 AM #1
Rainmaker
1,369,050
Donna Harris
Regent Property Group - Austin, TX
Realtor, CDPE & ASP - Hill Country Lakeway Austin

It's rude to give back a "gift".  As long as the agent didn't tell the client that gifts are standard and other things in order for the client to think a gift was something they had to do; if the gift was out of the kindness of their heart, there is nothing wrong with it... The most I've gotten is flowers.

October 02, 2009 08:48 AM #2
Rainmaker
150,461
Nancy Moeller
Seven Gables Real Estate - Anaheim Hills, CA

Tough call. The worst thing you can do to the sender of a gift, is return it! Flowers and some tokens of appreciation should be okay ... anything larger, perhaps should be donated or shared with the office, explaining why to the client along with your sincere appreciation.

October 02, 2009 09:51 AM #3
Rainmaker
230,653
Lina Robertson Jones
Ozark, Nixa, Republic & Willard Real Estate - Springfield, MO
REALTOR, Springfield MO Area Homes for Sale

I am with Gary.  We cannot accept money outside of our broker.  The label merely puts it in a gray area.  I would run it through the broker just to be safe. 

And like Donna, I've never received more than flowers.  Kudos to the agent for doing an obviously fantastic job!  Nice to see other realtors proving their worth!

October 02, 2009 10:02 AM #4
Rainmaker
437,217
JL Boney, III
Russell and Jeffcoat - Columbia, SC
Columbia, SC Real Estate

I agree with a few here, we are not allowed to accept money if it doesn't go through the broker. Either way, I would send the money back and say thanks.

October 02, 2009 10:32 AM #5
Rainmaker
313,115
Liz Loadholt
Liz Loadholt- AgentOwned Realty- Covering SC - Mount Pleasant, SC
Realtor--Broker-in-charge - Trainer--Relocation Director Covering SC

Laura --- a real estate agent cannot receive money for anything related to real estate services unless it goes through the broker --- one of my favorite sayings is "Nothing is a problem, until it is a problem" -- she may get by with it, but then she may not. I would not do it.
      
                   Mama Liz

October 02, 2009 02:09 PM #6
Ambassador
1,143,654
Paul Henderson
RE/MAX Professionals. - Tacoma, WA
I always put my clients first in any transaction!

Wow Laura,great post idea! One client offered me a large sum and wouldn't take no for an answer, I told them to donate the money in my name to the local food bank and they accepted...win/win? My broker thought it was a great idea...
Cherish every day!
Paul

October 02, 2009 03:53 PM #7
Ambassador
2,032,224
Todd Clark
Keller Williams Realty - Beaverton, OR
Broker - Beaverton, Oregon Real Estate Expert - (503) 524-9494

I'm actually in the same situation right now, but I made sure that the client paid my broker and then the broker paid me. I wanted to make sure there was no issues. I have no problem with a client giving a gift to an agent for a job well done, even if it is monetary, they clearly earned it!

Todd Clark - www.LivingBeaverton.com

October 02, 2009 05:55 PM #8
Rainmaker
982,527
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, Huntsville AL - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

Laura, personally I don't have a problem with it but the law is quite clear here, all money is processed through the broker.  I really like Pauls idea of having it donated in the agents name.

October 02, 2009 10:08 PM #9
Rainer
290,737
Richard & Carol DeGrace
1st Colonial Community Bank | Bank - New Jersey - Cherry Hill, NJ
Mortgage Loan Officers NJ 609-209-3700

Great comments here - not accepting the gift is rude, BUT always have to be on the cautious side - going through broker or making it a donation on behalf sounds right.

October 02, 2009 10:47 PM #10
Rainmaker
509,724
Lisa Wetzel
RE/MAX Realty Affiliates - Carson City, NV
CDPE, SFR carsonvalleyland.com

A gift is a gift!  What if the client was offering a priceless work of art or a valuable registered horse?  If they choose to give a gift ... I find it hard to believe that it's not acceptable or needs to be run through a broker.  If the gift is so high in value as to trigger a gift tax ... of course it need to be reported appropriately, but still ... a gift is a gift! 

October 02, 2009 10:58 PM #11
Ambassador
926,473
Amanda and Jared Christiansen, YOUR Fort Wayne Realtors
Century 21 Bradley (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Century 21 Bradley.

I wouldn't definitely run it through my Broker.

October 03, 2009 05:10 PM #12
Rainmaker
206,854
Mary Strang
Viroqua, WI
Real Estate

Good question, is a gift of cash a gift? or is it a bonus? I have to think it would be considered, by a reasonable person, to be a bonus. It should be turned into the broker and then paid to the agent, as the agent is a sub-agent of the broker.  

October 03, 2009 07:48 PM #13
Rainer
320,761
Chip Jefferson
Gibbs Realty and Auction Company - Columbia, SC

Yes guys right answer. Thre agent is me and I have ran the 1900.00 bonus through my broker. It just feels good to be appreciated that much by a client. She understands the work it takes too make a smooth purchase. Its now also forged a friendship for life. I won just with that task.

October 04, 2009 10:09 AM #14
Rainmaker
512,463
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX
Broker,CLHMS,GRI

I agree with tGary that the gifts like any compensation should go through the Broker and you did mythe right thing! I once was give a subsantila gift certificate to a local high end restaurant and my Broker was nice enough to not ask to go along for Dinner!?!? 

October 06, 2009 07:34 AM #15
Rainmaker
512,463
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX
Broker,CLHMS,GRI

I agree with tGary that the gifts like any compensation should go through the Broker and you did mythe right thing! I once was give a subsantila gift certificate to a local high end restaurant and my Broker was nice enough to not ask to go along for Dinner!?!? 

October 06, 2009 07:34 AM #16
Rainer
121,635
Michael Cole
CPG Tours - Orange, CA

Hi Laura,

Congratulations on such a nice gift. That speaks very highly of you and the quality of your work

October 07, 2009 06:55 AM #17
Rainmaker
477,913
Robert L. Brown
www.mrbrownsellsgr.com - Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Michigan

It's best to run everything through your broker so as there is no impropriety of bad conduct. Why jeopardize your license?

November 23, 2009 10:46 AM #18
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Rainer
320,761

Chip Jefferson

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