“Would You Give to My Favorite Charity?”

[Note to Readers: The views expressed here are solely those of Ross Kaplan, and do not represent Edina Realty, Berkshire Hathaway (“Berkshire”), or any other entity referenced. Edina Realty is a subsidiary of Berkshire.]

What would you think if, six months after you closed on your new home (that you love!), the Realtor you worked with called or emailed to ask if you would contribute to their favorite charity?

Or, you got a call from one of their kids, making a similar request?

What if it happened while you were still working with them?

Awkward, right? (“tacky” and “unprofessional” also come to mind).

So imagine the reaction agents have when one of their clients (or their kids) does the same thing to them.**

Agent Response(s)

Although it hasn’t happened often in my 18 years selling real estate . . . it has happened.

Instead of calling out the client, my usual response is to say, “Sure, I’d be happy to!,” then write a check for $50 or $100 (more if the home was > $1 million 🙂 ).

But, it still leaves an unpleasant taste in my mouth — and no, I don’t reciprocate by soliciting a donation for one of my favorite charities . . .

P.S.: I can think of exactly two exceptions to the above:

One. The Realtor decides to make a contribution to the client’s charity as a closing gift. 

Two. If the Realtor and their client both serve on the board of directors of the charity . . . and that’s how they met.

Of course, if that were the case, the client would hardly need to solicit the agent for a donation.

**Somehow, I don’t see lawyers, doctors, or other professionals running into this issue.

See also, ““Realtor-Concierge” ” or “Realtor-Slave”?“; and “Will You Cut Your Commission?” Top 10 Replies.”

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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