groupon real estate purchaseDream Town Realty, a full-service real estate office in Chicago, is offering $1,000 cash at closing to buyers or sellers who purchase a $25 Groupon coupon. It is believed to be the first brokerage in the country to try Groupon.

Less than 12 hours after the offer was presented, it had almost reached its 50 person minimum and there is no ceiling on the number of Groupon offers that will be sold.The goal of the promotion, which has triggered a ton of free media publicity for Dream Town Realty, is to bring in clients who visit the brokerage's website, said Dream Town's president and co-founder Yuval Degani.

The 165-agent firm was founded in 1998 and like other technology-based brokerages, operates a virtual office website that provides registered users with access to information about listings. It has opened its fourth office and handles more than $300 million in annual sales, said Degani.

Degani said that while many in the Chicago area use Dream Town's website, not all the users have been converted to clients. The Groupon offer hopes to tap into those who might be buying or selling a home in the next year.

Under the terms of the Groupon offer, buyers must close on the house -- priced at $150,000 or more -- by April 9, 2012 to redeem their $1,000 cash gift.
Sellers must list with Dream Town by the same date.

Email "blasts" to Dream Town and Groupon subscribers are scheduled to go out on Monday, Degani said.

Real estate brokers in other states might not be allowed to provide rebates in this fashion, depending on the laws of their states. A bill that would have restricted the practice in Illinois was introduced but opposed by the Illinois Association of Realtors and never voted upon.

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