The numbers speak for themselves, in most states the housing market has reached levels of competition that are considered intense by most in the industry. Even those trying to move locally have a hard time finding a home for a price that they can afford. But what about those who are moving for a new job? This tight housing market is playing a big role in the relocation of employees.

Looking at the big picture, moving to another state for a job is stressful enough, but what are companies and employees supposed to do if the relocating employee is unable to find suitable housing for their family? Are employees declining jobs because of this? Many employees are asking their companies for extensions in their relocation journey. In turn, companies are then turning to relocation experts and coaches to review options about extending those policies.

Obviously, the competitiveness of real estate markets across the country can complicate your moving plans, but there are ways to push through it.

Tips for Relocating Home Buyers

With the current market’s very low inventory, buyer’s agents must get creative when submitting offers for their buyers in this seller’s market. Seller’s markets exist when there are a large number of buyers competing for a lower inventory of active listings. So here are some workarounds to boost the chances of closing the deal on the home your relocating employee and their family needs:

  1. Cash offers are usually given the highest consideration with Conventional financing following, then FHA and VA are after that. Cash is king in so many industries, the real estate market is no different.
  2. Buyers can buy their own title insurance policy. This helps cut down costs for the sellers and can make an offer stand out in the field.
  3. Creative offers that will allow sellers to stay in the home a few days after closing. Sellers will appreciate a few extra days before having to move on which could make the offer more appealing. After all, the seller is likely in a similar situation related to the competition on properties they may be looking at themselves. There are ways for the seller to stay in the home for up to 30 days at no fee which is actually another monetary value the buyer can add to their contract. This is a month of no mortgage for the seller and allows the seller time to close on another home themselves.
  4. Providing healthy earnest deposits demonstrates a high desire to commit to the purchase. This is a risk to the buyer, as they may lose their earnest money in the event they breach the contract to purchase.
  5. The waiving of contingencies and an effort to shorten home inspection timelines can help to make an offer more appealing.
  6. In some cases, buyers are writing the sellers a heartfelt letter, explaining their situation and why they want to purchase their home. This may set some buyers above the competition.

Be Pre-Approved in Advance

Homebuyers should work with a lender right off the bat so that they’re ready to roll once they view a home that they want to put an offer on. An actual loan approval that has gone through underwriting for at least the amount of the offer is highly recommended. Time is of the essence in the current housing market. If a buyer shows up to a preferred home and is not ready to back an offer, it will be unlikely the sellers will choose their bid.

What Can Employers Do to Help?

It’s safe to say that the current hot housing market is having an impact on companies that are hiring or relocating employees. Many companies have noted an uptick in the number of declined or failed relocations due to some employees’ inability to find suitable housing in today’s highly competitive real estate environment. But what can companies do to help mitigate these issues?

Provide or Extend Corporate Housing Benefits

One way companies can assist their relocating employees is through the extension of corporate housing support. Corporate housing offers transferees short-term stays in fully furnished houses, condos, or apartments. However, this solution may come at an added cost, the pricing for such accommodations is also on the rise. Typically companies can offer three or six-month stays in corporate housing. But because relocating employees are having such a hard time finding homes, they are asking for extensions.

Consider Relocation Timeline Extensions

In many corporate relocation policies, employees are typically given one year to utilize their policy benefits. But because of the intense housing market – not to mention delays, closures, and travel bans due to the ongoing global pandemic – many relocating employees are having a tough time completing their relocation within a year. Companies should work with their relocation management company to evaluate their policies and identify areas where benefits or timelines can be extended.

While extending the timeline for your out-of-state transferee’s relocation benefits sounds like a simple fix, it’s worth keeping an eye on the tax implications that are becoming more evident as cash-strapped states challenge each other over where work is being performed. The concept of an employee’s “tax home” is currently under scrutiny as work from home policies became mainstream in 2020.

Lastly, the extension of benefits can lead to a rise in costs for companies with moving employees. A key area to watch is the costs associated with the temporary storage of household goods. As an employee deals with an increasingly longer home finding period (due to the competitive market), that employee’s goods will be sitting in storage, waiting for the day when final delivery can be made to their new home.

GMS is Here to Help

One of the best ways to work around the challenges of a seller’s market is to work with a qualified and certified relocation services company. Here at Global Mobility Solutions, we can help your relocating employees with their move and find the right home for them. Our services also include corporate housing options, which we can work with employees to extend stays when necessary.

We also can help companies construct policies that allow the benefit timeframe for employees to be flexible. In a time when moving is not only difficult but also uncertain, do not leave it to chance to allow your employees to be stressed. GMS is here to make sure you’re allowing the proper timeframe for your employees to get adjusted in their new setting, making them more productive for your company.

Our real estate team and relocation coaches can help guide transferees through the entire process while giving them peace of mind knowing that relocation professionals are helping them. Contact us today to discuss your corporate relocation needs.

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Senior Vice President, Global Account Management Sam joined Global Mobility Solutions in 1996 and has a unique perspective with her 25 years of industry experience. Samantha offers her clients relocation expertise and a commitment to excellence in her. Her proficiency in orchestrating the BVO and GPO Programs, as well as relocation policy design and implementation, are invaluable assets to the accounts she manages. Her experience in administering Pre-Decision Relocation services to enhance the recruiting process further demonstrates her unique abilities to service her clients. Samantha’s diverse experience, leadership, and outstanding communication skills enable her to manage the relocation process for her clients with finesse and polished professionalism.

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