August 2015 Article

Working With Real Estate Relocation Companies
By Jim Tice, CDEI
Certified Distance Education Instructor 

Relocation companies help corporations and government agencies relocate employees by coordinating the sale of the employee’s current home in one location, and the purchase of a new home in the area where the employee will be transferred. If you want to serve the real estate needs of relocating employees, you must first understand the unique needs of relocation companies, especially when it comes to communicating with them.
Prompt and clear communications
Marketing a transferee’s home involves a discussion between a relocation company consultant, the relocation management of the transferee’s employer, the transferee, and the real estate broker or agent. In most cases the relocation company consultant is the lynch pin of that communication process, and can be an important ally for you by reinforcing—to both the employer and the transferee—your opinion of pricing, the property’s presentation, and the marketing strategy. Most relocation consultants are realists when it comes to market value, but they have the job of convincing the transferee’s employer before approving price reductions.
Candid advice
You will be required to provide a detailed, accurate market evaluation of the property to the relocation consultant. It is important at this stage to be open with your advice and opinions. Sensitive information not intended for the transferee can be kept confidential between you and the consultant.
An all-important bridge
The relocation company consultant will then advise the employer and the employee about recommended strategies that will help sell the property. The level of involvement by the relocation consultant will vary, but you can count on them to form a bridge of communication between you, the employer, and the employee. Good relations and cooperation with the relocation company consultant are critical for the listing agent. 
The communication chain
The chain of communication and accountability will be ongoing, and reporting by you to the relocation consultant will be mandatory. As a listing agent, you can often strengthen your advice about price adjustments, or repairs and improvements, by submitting timely, detailed reports to the relocation company representative. The sometimes tedious-seeming corporate reporting requirements are often rewarded by the consultant’s cooperation with you to make pricing changes leading to a successful sale. 
The negotiation phase
The relocation management company will inform you, as the listing agent, about the procedures and methods of negotiating, and for executing purchase agreements for each employee’s property. How you handle the paperwork could be critical to the selling employee’s tax consequences, so make sure you follow the relocation company’s procedures and policies accurately. These procedures might frustrate the buyers’ agents, especially when the procedures cause delays, unless you make those agents familiar with relocation company’s practices.
This article includes material from the Continuing Ed Express 3-hour CE course: “Relocation Realities,” written by Jim Tice, CDEI.

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