Can Realtors Accept Gifts From Clients?

can realtors accept gifts from clients

Written by admin

January 16, 2024

As a realtor everyone goes through this dilemma once in their lives, where the buyer or seller shows their appreciation for the realtor by giving them a gift. However, the question arises: can realtors accept gifts from clients?

We need to dive deep into the ethical considerations from a realtor’s point of view to understand whether it is acceptable to receive gifts from clients or not. If you are a realtor, and have recently faced this issue, you are in the right place. We will answer this question in this blog with in-depth discussions about the type of gifts that are considered appropriate for realtors and how much you can receive within the boundary lines, so keep reading.

The simple answer to this question is YES; a realtor is allowed to receive gifts from their clients once the transaction has been successful. It is considered a token of their appreciation, and it might be rude to turn down someone’s offer when they are delighted with your efforts and results. However, there are some things that you need to be cautious about.

Ethical Considerations

Just like any other profession, realtors are also subjected to compliance with an ethical code of consideration. Licensed realtors cannot go above the line and practice non-compliant activities. They will find themselves in a difficult position if any such thing occurs; hence, it is better to keep ethical considerations in mind while receiving a gift from your client.


The code of ethics for realtors requires them to build a transparent and trusting relationship with their clients. They are supposed to treat all clients with equal respect and have the same level of loyalty to them. You should also maintain that transparency while receiving the gift. If you think that the gift can cause a rift in your relationship, and you might lose your ability to have a transparent and equal relationship with the client, it goes against the code of ethics. In this case, receiving the gift is wrong.

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The Value of Gift

It is also important to assess the value of gifts before receiving them. If it is simply a token of gratitude, it can be a small gift as well. However, some clients tend to go overboard with these gifts, and it is wrong to accept something extremely valuable. This gesture can cause a problem in a relationship because if the client is giving you something valuable, they might expect some benefits from you as well. This will go against the code of ethics and blur the realtor’s judgment. Hence, accepting valuable gifts is not allowed. 

Small gifts are appreciated but at the right time. You must also consider the time when the gift is being presented to you. In some cases, the clients are presenting gifts at the time of critical negotiations. This should ring bells in your mind. Presenting gifts at crucial times simply means that the client wants you to bend towards them. As a realtor, you should make neutral judgments, and if you receive a gift at that time, it is ethically wrong. You can politely decline the gift and maintain your reputation as a responsible realtor.

Technically, no law says receiving gifts is a violation in real estate. However, there are laws that say corruption and bribery are punishable acts. This depends on the intention, value and timing of the gift. If your client is not getting any benefits in return for the gifts, it is not a problem. However, if there’s an unsaid intention behind these gifts and you give those benefits, this means you are violating the code of ethics. 

Appropriate Gifts You Can Receive

If you are thinking about what type of gifts are appropriate exactly. We have made this list to help you with this query.

  • Gift cards from a local gift shop
  • A coupon from a local restaurant or a coffee shop
  • A basket of snacks and chocolates
  • A bottle of wine or beer
  • A notepad or a pen, it can be personalized as well
  • A photo frame or a local artwork to hang on the wall of your house.

There are some other acceptable gifts as well, but you need to make sure that all those gifts are in the same boundary as the ones mentioned above. These gifts are not considered to be extremely valuable and can be accepted as a token of appreciation. Anything more valuable than these should be alarming to you. 

Inappropriate Gifts You Can’t Receive

We also have a list of inappropriate gifts that clients sometimes offer. You shouldn’t accept the following gifts in any case.

  • Money
  • Gold
  • Jewelry and clothing
  • Travel offers
  • Accommodation packages
  • Anything expensive

We cannot list out everything that might be considered unethical, but to give you an idea, we have mentioned the things that are most commonly offered. Money is not considered a gift but a bribe; gold is way too expensive to be a gift from a client. While jewelry, clothing, and accommodation might seem like an appropriate gift to some realtors, it affects their professionalism. You don’t give personal items in professional relationships. If someone gives you something as personal as these, you can politely decline by saying it goes beyond your professionalism to receive that. 

Other than these, anything that feels inappropriate or “too much” should be declined as well. You are the best judge when you are in that situation. You would better understand the intention behind a gift. It is not necessary that if the person is not giving something valuable or personal, they are not expecting anything in return. The timing also matters. If you think someone is giving you something at a crucial stage of negotiation (even if it’s a coupon for coffee), if you don’t feel comfortable receiving it, you should decline.

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Can Realtors Accept Gifts From Clients? 

As a realtor, you will face such situations where the client is presenting you with a gift respectfully. These situations are the hardest to get out of because if you have a good relationship with the client, they might get offended by the decline. However, it is essential to be mindful at all times. 

For you, it might be a simple gift, but in their minds, they might be expecting some benefits in return, which makes this situation very unethical and critical for your profession. Since you are the one facing this situation, you can decide for yourself because there are now laws that say receiving gifts from a client is illegal, but it can surely be considered unethical.

If you are certain that receiving the gift won’t have any impact on your decision, you can go ahead and accept it graciously. However, if you even have a slight doubt that the client is expecting something or you will feel burdened by their gesture, we would recommend you decline the gift and practice compliance. This can be difficult initially, but as you become more experienced, you will also get used to receiving or declining gifts from your clients. We hope that we were able to answer all your questions in this blog.


In conclusion, the matter of whether realtors can accept gifts from clients isn’t a straightforward one. While it’s generally okay to appreciate a client’s gesture, realtors need to be mindful of ethical considerations. Maintaining transparency, especially when the gift’s value is significant or when it’s offered at critical negotiation stages, is crucial.

Realtors must strike a balance between acknowledging a client’s appreciation and ensuring that the acceptance of gifts doesn’t impact their professional judgment. The key is to foster a positive relationship without compromising the integrity of the real estate profession. It’s about making thoughtful decisions that align with ethical standards, creating a win-win scenario for both realtors and their clients.

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