Ask the expert

by Dave Hershman19 Nov 2018

The last reader’s question was about closing gifts for borrowers, and there’s more to say on the subject. As a refresher:

I bring a gift to the buyer at settlement. One loan officer told me that I am violating RESPA's rules by doing so. Is this true? —Martha from Georgia

We have addressed from a non-legal perspective the RESPA issue and the provision of a gift which means something of significance to the clients. I also alluded about additional value that can be derived from the presentation of the gift. What could that extra value be? Let me give you a few examples:

  • What if you made the gift from the whole team that worked on the closing, not just you? It costs nothing more but provides recognition from everyone in the process. This includes the agents and the settlement company. You would have to coordinate with the other members of the team, so they don't bring a gift at the same time. Again, the gift would have to have meaning. In this way, you are not spending any extra money, but extending value to your referral partners.
  • What if you purchased these gifts from a vendor who was going to refer you business? Yes, ordering on Amazon is easy, but do you get referrals from Amazon? If you close 50 deals in a year, that is major value to a vendor. Pick the right one and perhaps that number becomes 53 deals.

What you are witnessing is a major dose of synergy that can be applied to the act of gift giving. Synergy is a major part of my teaching because it shows you how to maximize resources of time, energy and money. More effectiveness with less resources.   —Dave

Dave Hershman has been the leading author and a top speaker for the industry for decades with six books authored and hundreds of articles published. His website is Do you have a reaction to this commentary or another question you would like answered in this column? Email Dave directly at


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