Group coupon craze comes to real estate

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Editor’s note: This is a transcript of the audio file.

There’s Groupons for discounted dinners, exercise classes and spa visits … and now real estate. I’m Terence Shepherd with your Personal Finance Minute.

A group deal doesn’t mean you must buy a house with a bunch of strangers. It just means that a real estate agent will give you a bargain once a certain number of people have bought the same coupon.

Deals offered by real estate agents and brokerages come in various forms, including: commission discounts, cash gifts at settlement and gift cards to home stores.

Like other group discounts, a minimum number of customers must buy the deal before it “tips” and will be finalized. However, the real estate deals are offered for three to seven days rather than just one day.

For people who are buying or selling a home, real estate coupons can be a valuable bonus as long as they understand the details. So, it’s important to read the fine print.

Group discounts are regulated by state laws, so real estate agents will not always be allowed to offer commission discounts and may need to structure different kinds of deals.

For more real estate news and tips, visit I’m Terence Shepherd.