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The Big Move: What Does Your Employer Mean When He Offers To Pay Relocation Services Or Moving Costs?

Landing that new job or getting that much deserved promotion may seem like the answer to your dreams, until you realize that it requires relocation. Not only will your family need to adjust to your new work hours and new work schedule, they will need to adjust to a new home too. While it can be stressful, it can also be an exciting time for your family. Relocation services from professionals who can handle everything from arranging for the move and selling your own home to locating a new one can ease the transition and are often offered by the employer.

What’s the Difference Between Moving Costs and Relocation Services?

Many employers will offer to help with moving or relocation costs as part of the negotiated salary and benefit package. While that all sounds great in the heart of the negotiation, make sure you understand exactly what your employer is offering.

  • Relocation Services: Relocation services typically include selling your current home, providing temporary housing in the new location, assisting you in finding and buying a new home, and moving costs, which may include both the boxes and the movers.

  • Moving Costs: Sometimes, an employer will offer to pay for moving costs, instead of providing relocation services. Moving costs may include the cost of packing materials and a truck or may include the cost of hiring movers to do the job for you. As rule, moving costs are less valuable than relocation services, but that depends on the terms and your current situation.

Should I Insist on Relocation Services instead of Moving Costs?

Which works for you depends on your current situation, such as whether you rent or own your home and whether the move is expected to be permanent.

  • Renters: If you are a renter and intend to rent a home in the new location, or are facing temporary relocation, your needs may be met with moving costs. This frees you up to concentrate on the new job and alleviates the financial burden of moving. To determine the financial worth of moving costs, use a moving cost calculator to estimate the actual cost of moving your family to the new location.

  • Homeowners: If you own your home and intend to purchase a new home in the new location, relocation services are likely to provide you with the most comprehensive services to meet your needs. Because relocation services typically include selling your current home and purchasing a new one, your financial investment is understandably a major concern. Relocation services often include safeguards, such as a buy out clause if your current home does not sell within a certain length of time, assistance with closing costs on the new house and may include low interest loans that you could not secure on your own.

Can You Negotiate Relocation Services and Moving Costs?

Absolutely. Many employers use relocation services and moving costs as bargaining chips to entice potential employees to accept their job offer. Don’t be afraid to ask for the services you really need.

For example, if you are a renter who is not concerned about buying a home in the new location, you can use that to your advantage and ask for other services, such as paid rent for a specified period. Because paying for your moving costs is less expensive for the employer than relocation services, you have more room to negotiate for other needs.

Remember, not owning a house shouldn’t stop you from asking for assistance in buying a home in the new location. Relocation packages are not one-size-fits-all and can be tailored to meet your individual needs.

Review the Relocation or Moving Cost Agreement Carefully

Your employer will provide you with a written relocation or moving cost agreement that outlines the services and costs to be covered. Review the agreement carefully to ensure to your needs are being met fairly and sufficiently meet your financial obligations. Remember your employer is offering your these services because he has faith in you and wants your transition to be a positive one. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need.

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