Add A Little Bit Of 'Sparkly' To Your Real Estate Closings

Real Estate Agent with Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., Annapolis MD 21403 DRE# 319853

Today I was at a closing with one of my favorite agents on the other end. We had a few minutes to chat while waiting for the checks to be cut (yes we get checks to take back to our Brokers at closing!!) and the subject turned to interesting closings we have had in the past.

I mentioned one I had where I was working with a really cute first time home buyer. I had also just heard of a sweet new closing gift to give so I thought I would give it a try. The gift consisted of bringing a bottle of sparkling apple juice, plastic wine goblets and some cookies to closing. The idea was to open and celebrate right there at the closing table.

Happy ClosingHaving gotten to the closing a bit early and being this was my first time trying this new gift out, I sat everything up so that when everyone arrived it would be all ready. As the Buyers and Sellers walked in and saw what I had put out on the table the mood was, quite frankly, happy as everyone started giggling and a party mood took over.

As I filled each goblet and passed the cookies around the table the closing officer arrived. She took one look and her jaw dropped to the floor. What are you doing??? she asked in anguish. Do you not know we can not sign papers if everyone has been drinking??

All eyes turned their attention to me in total astonishment as if I had done the most terrible thing. As the stares stayed steady I calmly looked the closing officer in the eyes and said but this is apple juice. Can we not even drink apple juice before signing?

Then all eyes turned to her to hear her answer. But none came forward. Her face said it all though as we watched the flood of relief move across her face as she plopped down in her chair. That's when everyone realized what she had been thinking and the room  filled with laughter. As the closing officer regained her composure and the laughter calmed down we continued onward with settlement.

That day still brings a smile to my face and today it reminded me of how wonderful it made everyone feel at the closing. The feeling of celebration of two parties coming together in mind and spirit over the sale of a home was truly priceless.

That was my one and only sparkly adventure as I never brought another bottle to a closing. But after recalling the story today I think I am going to start doing so again. After all with the level of market stress for Buyers, Sellers and for us agents as well, a little moment of celebration is such a perfect ending to what always seems to be a not so ordinary transaction anymore.

This time though I am going to wait until AFTER the papers are signed before I pull everything out.

No need giving another closing officer a near heart attack.






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About the Author Martha Brown- As a third generation Annapolitan I love to write about my experiences in and out of the real estate market. Licensed since 1992 all with Long & Foster I am a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) and a Seller Representation Specialist (SRS) whose passion is homes in the Annapolis MD area and surrounding communities. My goal is to help my clients understand the real estate market and to then make sound real estate decisions. 


Martha can be reached  at 410-260-2800 ofc or

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Martha Brown of Long & Foster Real Estate.

320 Sixth Street

Annapolis, MD 21403

410-260-2800 office

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Peggy Chirico
Prudential CT Realty - Manchester, CT
REALTOR® 860-748-8900, Hartford & Tolland County Real Estate

I've never thought of bringing something to closing to share, but I will! The best closings are when the buyers and sellers meet each other, bond, and wish each well.  I wish it happened more often, but a lot of sellers pre-sign and never get to meet the buyers.

Oct 24, 2009 03:18 AM #32
Heather Adkinson
Windermere K-2 Realty LLC - Moses Lake, WA
Real Estate Agent - Moses Lake

Interesting idea haven't tried that one before

Oct 24, 2009 03:25 AM #33
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Hi Martha~ What a great idea!  I love it that she thought it was champagne at first! 

Oct 24, 2009 03:48 AM #34
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate

Martha- Thanks for the smile this morning....I would have loved to see that closing officers look, both times LOL :)  And laughter at a closing is a great way to end a transaction, glad you will bring your idea back for todays stressed sellers :)

Oct 24, 2009 03:53 AM #35
Patricia Aulson
Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes

Very nice idea for the buyers.....

Patricia/Seacoast NH

Oct 24, 2009 06:23 AM #37
Marney Kirk
Cummings & Co. Realtors - Towson, MD
Towson, Maryland Real Estate

Oh Martha, what a great idea -- but yes, waiting until the end for the sparkly may be the best decision! Good story!

Oct 24, 2009 06:36 AM #38
Maui Real Estate - Lisa B. Miller R(S)
Keller Williams Realty Maui - Kihei, HI

Martha, great story!  It sounds like everyone had a good laugh, which is a good start to the closing process.

Oct 24, 2009 06:41 AM #39
Barbara Altieri
Kinard Realty Group Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

Martha -- this was such a nice touch, especially if the transaction was a particularly difficult one.  Have one coming up next week. Might give this a try.

Oct 24, 2009 08:55 AM #40
Damon Gettier
Damon Gettier & Associates, REALTORS- Roanoke Va Short Sale Expert - Roanoke, VA
Broker/Owner ABRM, GRI, CDPE

Now that is funny!  Sometimes we need to relax just a little bit.

Oct 24, 2009 11:43 AM #42
Robert Vegas Bob Swetz
Las Vegas, NV

Martha - You sure know how to write great posts and congrats, I wish I could write like this! (Funny stuff)

Oct 24, 2009 12:25 PM #43
Michelle Gibson
Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. - Wellington, FL

Martha - In my market it is rare that the buyer and seller even get to meet.  I guess I could try this with my buyer clients though.  Great story!

Oct 24, 2009 02:01 PM #44
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

I bring cider, balloons and cake to closing.  Sometimes closing agents who are new to me find it odd though they usually enjoy it, and my clients love it.

Oct 24, 2009 04:20 PM #45
Kate Elim
Dockside Realty - Spotsylvania, VA
Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land a

Hi Martha...No matter what you do, take good care of those closing officers. 


Oct 24, 2009 04:20 PM #46
Sidney Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula
Realty Works Temecula - Temecula, CA
Realty Works Temecula

Cute story and a great idea.  We don't have buyers and sellers together but we do have the buyers sign their docs, usually with a notary...I just had one Friday night at 8:30 p.m. and they asked me where the champagne was?    I think I'll try your idea with the A.J.   :)

Oct 24, 2009 10:13 PM #47
Robert Savage
Bakersfield Property Solutions - Bakersfield, CA
Bakersfield Short Sales, Property Management, Cash

We don't get to have any of that fun here in Bakersfield, California. We don't have actual closings where everybody gets together. We just work like crazy in the few days before closing to  meet all the lender demands then we wait with baited breath to get the phone call or email telling us that it has recorded. In fact, many of the transactions we are doing now are REOs and the closing agent isn't even located in the area. I guess I could toss one back with the FedEx guy when he brings the check the next day.

Oct 25, 2009 04:01 AM #48
Penny Toombs
Coldwell Banker - Basking Ridge, NJ

Great idea...closings can be challenging in this market and to have everyone feel as good as they can and relieve a little stress with some "party" atmosphere (without the alcohol) would probably be good for all of us. I work in an "attorney'd" state so I think we could all benefit.

Oct 25, 2009 07:53 AM #49
Latonia Parks
Top Bragg Realty, Fayetteville NC, Home of the 82d ABN DIV - Fayetteville, NC
Certified Military Relocation Expert

That is a great idea and I can see myself telling the closing agent to settle down to keep her from further embarassment.

Oct 25, 2009 02:36 PM #50
Dawn Nuzzi
'Til Dawn Real Estate - Raleigh, NC

Very cute idea!! :)

Oct 26, 2009 06:06 AM #51
Jeana Cowie
RE/MAX Real Estate Limited - Paramus, NJ
Broker Associate, ABR, CRS, GRI, SRES


I hope you kept that bottle of apple juice to show the closing agent. I guess you also shouldn't bring O'Douls (non-beer) to a closing. Too funny, and a great story. thanks for sharing.

Jeana Cowie, Broker Associate, Re/Max Real Estate Ltd., Bergen County, NJ

Oct 26, 2009 09:55 AM #52
Kathryn Acciari
Century 21 Real Estate - Shrewsbury, MA
Brand Ambassador and Business Coach

Martha, how thoughtful and fun.  I remember one client of mine who, after signing papers, looked around and said, "Okay, where's the champagne?"  The closing can be anti-climactic, and it sounds like your sparkly idea is just what is needed.  Thanks!

Oct 27, 2009 01:29 PM #53
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