Your Options for Selling a House Due to Job Relocation
If you’ve received a new job offer out of state, congratulations! Moving to a new city or state for work is an exciting endeavor.
While relocating for a new job can be worthwhile in many cases, it also presents some logistical challenges. Most notably, you may have to sell or rent out your home in a time crunch. Not everyone has ties to a real estate investor, so, what are your options when it comes to selling house for job relocation?
In this article, we’ll explain how job relocation packages work. We’ll also review three options for selling a house due to job relocation and discuss their pros and cons.
Understanding Employee Relocation Packages
This is important to keep in mind when weighing the pros and cons of relocating for a job. Employers often offer relocation packages to subsidize the cost of job relocation. Roughly 70% of U.S. companies include relocation packages as a part of their hiring incentives.1
Employee relocation packages are typically reserved for long-term employees who live 50 miles or more from their new work location.2 A job relocation package can be structured in the following ways:
- Lump sum – Some employers may give you a lump sum of money that you can allocate towards your moving expenses as you see fit.
- Reimbursements – Other employers may agree to reimburse your moving expenses by a predetermined amount once you begin your new position. With this type of package, you’ll want to keep a detailed record of your moving expenses so you can be adequately reimbursed.
- Direct billing – Lastly, some relocation packages allow your employer to hire and pay for your moving company directly.
The types of moving expenses that your employer will cover can vary from one job relocation package to the next. Some costs that may be covered include:
- Packing and unpacking services
- Professional movers
- Transportation to the new location
- Lease-breaking penalty assistance
- Home sale assistance
- Temporary housing in your new location
- Down payment assistance
- Miscellaneous moving expenses
- Language and cultural training
Note: Since relocation packages are meant for long-term employees, you may have to pay back your employer if you leave your new position prematurely. The timeframe that you must stay at your job to keep your relocation assistance can usually be found within your relocation package’s payback clause.
What Is a Reasonable Relocation Package?
The exact cost of your move will depend on many different factors. A reasonable relocation package should consider these and cover enough of your moving expenses to make taking the job worthwhile. If you require a more robust relocation package, you can always negotiate it with your employer.
Weighing Renting or Selling Your House Before Relocating
After finalizing your relocation package, the next step is to decide what you want to do with your home.
If you currently own your home, you can rent it out or sell it:
- Listing your home for rent – Renting out your home can be lucrative if the rental market is strong. However, it also involves a lot of work. You’ll either have to take on the responsibilities of being a landlord or hire a professional property management company. You’ll also have to continue paying your old home’s property taxes, HOA fees, homeowner’s insurance, and maintenance expenses.
- Selling your home – Selling your home enables you to skip the hassle of becoming a long-distance landlord. What’s more, it can free up your finances considerably. Once your home has sold, you can use the money from its sale proceeds to help you buy or rent a home in your new location. You can also offload your old home’s property taxes and maintenance expenses to its new owner.
What Are Your Options for Selling Your Home?
If you conclude that selling your home is the right move, you can do so using one of the following methods:
#1 Traditional Home Sale
The first way to sell your home is by listing it on the market. While straightforward, this process can take a lot of work. You’ll need to:
- Conduct a pre-listing home inspection
- Clean, declutter, and stage your home
- Spruce up your home’s curb appeal
- Take professional photos
- List your home on the market
- Host open houses
- Review and negotiate offers
- Keep your home in pristine condition until it sells
There are some drawbacks to this approach: after finding a new home, arranging your moving transportation, packing up your entire life, and preparing for a new position, you may not have the time or energy to complete all of these steps.
Additionally, selling your home can take a long time. If your home hasn’t sold by your moving date, you may end up paying for two homes at once until it does sell. On the flip side, you could get booted from your current home too soon if the sale finalizes before your relocation date. In this case, you may have to scramble to find short-term housing accommodations.
A short-sale takes place when your lender agrees to accept a mortgage payoff for less than your remaining balance. Thus, this selling option is usually reserved for homeowners who are in financial hardship.
In a short sale, you won’t receive any proceeds from your home, making it much more difficult to afford housing in your new location. This option can also damage your credit.3 For these reasons, you should only consider short-selling your home if you’re at imminent risk of foreclosure.
Residential sale-leaseback programs offer unparalleled flexibility for homeowners looking to relocate. They allow you to sell your home to a cash buyer quickly without any sale contingencies.
Once the sale is complete, you can continue living in your home as a renter until you’re ready to relocate. In turn, you won’t have to arrange temporary housing after the sale, as you would with a traditional home sale. The best part? You’ll have plenty of cash on hand to put toward your new home purchase.
For these sale-leaseback benefits, residential sale-leaseback programs are a valuable method for selling a house for job relocation.
Is a Sale-Leaseback Right for You?
Relocating can be an exciting process—but also an exhausting one. If you’re selling house due to job relocation and looking for a way to sell your home that doesn’t waste your valuable time and resources, then a residential sale-leaseback program could be the solution you’ve been waiting for.
Selling a house due to job relocation can be a tricky task. While many employers provide relocation packages, understanding exactly what is being offered is important in weighing your options. A sale-leaseback may be the best option, as it provides the chance to convert equity from the house into cash, retain some ownership rights, and still relocate. However, you should also consider a traditional home sale, listing your house for rent, or even a short-sale if you owe more than your house is worth. Taking the time to research each option can help ensure that you choose the right option for you.
- Boone, Mary. “Everything You Need to Know About Employer Relocation Packages.” Fox Business. March 4, 2016. https://www.foxbusiness.com/features/everything-you-need-to-know-about-employer-relocation-packages
- Vasconcellos, Eduardo. “The Costs of Employee Relocation.” Business News Daily. February 21, 2023. https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/15842-costs-of-employee-relocation.html
- DeNicola, Louis. “How Does a Short Sale Affect Credit?” Experian. April 30, 2021. https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/how-does-a-short-sale-affect-credit/