Negotiating Your Relocation Package- Buy Side

Last week I wrote about various benefits you may get in a corporate relocation package when you need to sell a house. Today we’ll cover benefits you may receive if you’re buying a home in your new location.

In all cases, you’ll work with a real estate agent to find your new home. If you know of a specific agent that you’d like to work with, tell your relocation company that agent’s name and their brokerage firm and that you want to work with them specifically. Otherwise you will be assigned to whatever agent is next on the relocation call list at whatever brokerage firm is next on the list.

Your new employer may provide a lump sum amount to cover your (and your family members) airfare to the new location, lodging during your visit, rental car and gas costs, and meal costs. Or they may have you submit an expense report with receipts for your trip costs, which will be reimbursed after your visit.

Once you’ve found a home, closing costs may be covered. This benefit may include all or some of the following; mortgage application fee, appraisal fee, home inspection fee, closing attorney fee, first year of homeowner’s insurance, tax escrows, and adjustments for water, oil, and condo fees (if applicable). These benefits may be good up to 18 months after you move. So if you do decide to rent for the first year in your new location, you typically have another 6 months or so to find a house and close so that you can still take advantage of your closing benefits.

The mortgage application fee, appraisal fee, and home inspection fee are typically provided only on the first home you find. If for some reason the transaction does not go through (most commonly related to an unsatisfactory home inspection or appraisal issue), you are usually expected to pick up these fees for the next house you decide to purchase.

Coverage of your moving expenses for one move may be provided. The relocation company will give you information on the moving company that will be responsible for moving your belongings. Typically, if you decide to rent for the first year and then buy at a later time period, you’ll be responsible for your moving costs when you actually buy because the relocation company will have moved your belongings to your rental.

If you are unable to find the right home immediately, your new employer may provide a temporary housing allowance for a furnished rental. This benefit comes in two forms. Potentially you’d be given a lump sum amount in which you’d choose the hotel where you stay. Or you’d be provided accommodations for a specified number of days at a certain location selected by the relocation company. Three popular temporary housing locations that relocation companies use in the Hartford area are Hartford 21 and 55 on the Park in Downtown Hartford , and the Homewood Suites in Farmington near the UConn Health Center. This benefit is simply to give you more time to find a home to purchase.

Remember, each of these options may or may not be offered to you by your new employer. Your relocation package is something that you may be able to negotiate. If you find there is a benefit that you’d like that isn’t being offered, ask for it. If you don’t ask, you may be leaving money on the table.