You may be wondering if you should tip your realtor at all.
After all, they’re only getting paid by commission, right? And what’s the right amount to give? It’s hard to know what the right thing to do is in a situation like this.
Tipping your realtor is generally not a good idea, since they work off of the commission from the sale. According to law, any gifts or tips above $25 should be reported as income by the realtor, so if you do decide to give a tip, make it a smaller amount.
A simple “thank you” is enough to show your appreciation for a well-done job.
Realtors are responsible for finding homes that fit your needs, negotiating prices, and helping with all of the paperwork.
So, should you tip your realtor? In this article, we will explore the answer to that question and help you decide what is best for you.
We talked to several experts in the real estate industry to get their opinions on tipping realtors.
We also visited several real estate forums to see what homeowners who have recently gone through the process had to say.
Should You Tip Your Realtor?
Whether you’re buying or selling a home, there’s a chance that you’ll need the help of a realtor at some point during the process.
These professionals can make the daunting task of finding and purchasing a house significantly easier, but should you tip them for their services?
While opinions on this topic vary widely, most experts agree that tipping your realtor is generally not necessary or recommended.
Tipping your realtors can put them in a compromising situation, since any gifts or tips above $25 should be reported as income.
They might have to disclose the gift to their broker, which could put them in an awkward position if their boss doesn’t approve.
Tipping your realtor could also create a conflict of interest. If your realtor knows that they will receive a tip for helping you buy or sell a home, they may be more likely to push you in a certain direction so that they can receive the gratuity.
After all, realtors are paid by commission rather than salary, so they already stand to make a good deal of money from their work.
However, there are certain situations in which it might make sense to offer a tip to your realtors, such as if they go above and beyond with regard to helping you find the right home or deal.
Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to tip your realtor is up to you. If you feel that they have done an exceptional job and you would like to show your appreciation, a small gift or bonus payment is probably acceptable.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that tipping your realtor is not expected or required, so don’t feel obligated to do so.
Why You Shouldn’t Tip Your Realtor
In 1974, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) was enacted in order to protect consumers from abuse in the real estate industry.
One of the provisions of this law was that realtors could not accept any fees or commissions that were not related to the services they provided.
This means that, technically speaking, realtors are not allowed to accept tips for their services.
While it is unlikely that you would get in trouble for tipping your realtor, it is something that you should be aware of before you do so.
When it comes down to it, whether or not you decide to tip your realtor is up to you.
However, you should keep in mind that it is not required or expected and that there are some potential risks associated with giving a gratuity.
Don’t Attempt to Outsmart the System
Some real estate websites claim that you can get around the rules by designating your tip as a “marketing fee” or a “consulting fee.”
However, this is technically illegal, and it’s not worth risking your real estate transaction over a gratuity.
If you’re caught attempting to skirt the rules, you could face serious penalties, such as having to pay back the entire commission.
The next time you’re thinking about whether or not to tip your realtor, remember that it’s not required, and it could even put them in a difficult position.
A simple thank-you note is usually the best way to show your appreciation for their help.
How Else Can You Show Your Appreciation?
When deciding how to show your appreciation for your realtor’s help, it’s important to understand that tipping is neither expected nor standard practice.
Unlike other service professionals, such as your waiter or hairstylist, you’re not expected to tip your realtor for their services.
So, if you want to show your appreciation for their help in buying or selling your home, what can you do?
There are ways that you can express gratitude for all the hard work your realtor has put in during the buying or selling process.
A simple note or gesture goes a long way. Another option is to make a donation in their name to their favorite charity, which can be particularly meaningful if this organization has been close to the realtor’s heart throughout their career.
You can also visit their website and leave them a positive review, which can help boost their online presence and attract new clients.
If you’re really happy with their work, consider referring them to your friends or family members who might also be in the market for a new home.
These are just a few of the many ways to show your appreciation for your realtor’s services without breaking any rules or putting them in a compromising position.
Summing Up Tipping Your Realtor
You can tip your realtor if you’d like, but it’s generally frowned upon to do so. This is because they already make money from their commission. Unless they’ve gone above and beyond the line of duty, simply giving them a small gift or writing them a thank you note can go a long way.
Make sure you thank them appropriately at the very least! Realtors make the large job of finding and buying a home much easier.