Sometimes, the big life change of buying or selling a home happens because of another big life change: a new job. When that’s the case, a relocation company may become part of your real estate experience.
What is a relocation company?
A relocation company is hired by your company to help you, as an employee, move from one place to another for a reason related to your job (such as starting a new job or your current office location closing).
Relocation companies offer a range of services which may include selling your current home and buying a new home.
Note that “relo” is a nickname for both relocation companies and homes offered for sale by relocation companies.
How does a relocation company sell your home?
There are two main ways a relocation company will work to sell your home. The descriptions here are from one real relocation company; you may find different options from company to company.
Here are the options you can expect to choose from.
1 – Buyout. In a buyout, the company pays you for the home. The relocation company will inspect the home and complete multiple home appraisals to arrive at a buyout price. They’ll purchase the property from you at that price.
In order to find out the price, you need to agree to this option without knowing the exact price. Of course, it’s in the company’s interest to make this price as low as possible, and it will generally be lower than market value.
Why would you take that risk? Typically people choose this option when they want to get the proceeds of their home sale and move quickly, or simply because they want to be finished with the process as soon as possible.
2 – List the home on the market. This option isn’t very different from selling your home without a relocation company. Here, the home is sold with a real estate agent on the market with standard practices such as photography and open houses. You will get to choose between offers from buyers should multiple people want to buy your home.
This option allows you to make sure you’re comfortable with the price you get for the home. You’ll be in regular contact with the relocation company. The company may continue to ask you to agree to a buyout with an unknown price.
The real estate agent in this deal will make a significantly lower commission than they do in other home sales, as the relocation agency receives part of their commission.
What should homebuyers know before buying from a relocation company?
If a relocation company is selling a home, it’s not only the employee they’re working with who’s affected. Buyers on the market may come across relo homes.
You may have more negotiating power
If the relocation company owns the home, you may be able to negotiate more aggressively than you would on another home in the same market. The company will generally prioritize getting back the money they spent rather than getting the highest profit.
You may face a longer timeline
Relocation companies typically follow a Monday-Friday work week, unlike real estate agents. They may take longer to respond and it may take even more time for them to communicate with the seller.
Contingencies are less likely to be accepted
The company will want a smooth transaction, so they’ll look for clean offers without contingencies. This can mean taking on more risk as a buyer, so be sure to consult with your agent about what contingencies you can confidently waive.
Points to remember
- If your home is listed by a relocation company, you’re still the owner of the home until the sale is closed.
- A real estate agent who is selling your home with the involvement of a relocation company may be less motivated than a typical listing agent because their commission will be shared with the company.
- Buyers who are interested in a home being sold by a relocation company are in a similar situation as they are for any home in the same market if the seller still owns the home.
- However, if the relocation company owns the home, buyers may gain negotiating power because the company likely won’t want to keep paying the carrying costs of owning the home.
FAQ about relocation companies and real estate
What does relocation company do?
A relocation company is hired by an employer to help employees with moving from one location to another for a job-related reason. The company is paid by the employer to take care of what an employee needs for moving so that the employee can focus on their job. Relocation companies may help with packing, moving, storing furniture and other goods, buying a new home, and selling the home the employee is leaving. They may also help with temporary housing when the employee first gets to their new location.
What does relocation sale mean?
In real estate, a relocation sale is one where the home’s seller is moving for a reason related to their job. The home may still be owned by that person or it may be owned by a relocation company.
Will a relocation company accept a contingent offer?
Generally, a relocation company will not accept a contingent offer on a home they’re selling. Their goal is typically to keep the selling process as straightforward as possible.
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