Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board

Negotiating a relocation deal

I am awaiting an offer from my employer to relocate my family and myself to their headquarters. I expect to accept the offer if we can work out a reasonable compensation. Have anyone else experience doing this and how were you compensated?

I am especially interested in how relocation expenses are usually reimbursed since we bought a house while back and the market has gone down some since then, so we can't expect to sell it for what we paid for it.

Not my usual full name
Wednesday, July 23, 2003

The maximum to expect would be:

- Professional movers, boxes, insurance
- Transportation for your family
- A one week trip before hand to house hunt
- A week or two "vacation" to move, settle, and orient

The minimum may well be:

- Moving expenses to some limit (as little as half the real cost)

As for compensation for real estate fluctuations, dream on. No one other than CEOs making 7-figure salaries gets that.

Anonymous Coward
Thursday, July 24, 2003

I got screwed on a relocation deal once.  The clause was "you have to stay with us for a year or repay the entire amount".  The company was bought out almost immediately after relocation, and I was stuck in a "waiting for layoff" situation.  I was forced to do nothing for a year, gaining no experience.  Luckily, it wasn't that bad, but it could have been a disaster.  Also remember that your future employer may hire very expensive movers.  If it's a $5k moving bill, you have to stay for a year or come up with $5k AFTER TAXES.  Even worse if they do a "gross-up", paying the tax you owe on the moving benefit.  You can wind up BEHIND several thousand dollars if you don't stay for the full repayment period.

Bottom line: IF YOU NEGOTIATE RELOCATION, WITH A PENATLY FOR LEAVING, MAKE SURE THE REPAYMENT IS PRORATED BASED ON TIME YOU'RE IN THE JOB.  That is, if you're required to stay a year, and you only stay 9 months, negotiate that you only repay 25%.  You may impose a minimum time period, say 6 months, with full repayment.

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Thanks, both of you. I am not planning to base my position on common practice, but rather what I believe is reasonable, and leaving my home prematurely when market conditions are bad sounds like a pretty good reason to ask for compensation.

I appreciate the suggestion for the "leaving early" repayment contract. I will probably be expected to sign something to that extent although it has not been mentioned as yet.

Original Poster
Thursday, July 24, 2003

If you have to buy/sell a house, the real estate commision could be very expensive. The company needs to pick this up. Also, in the US, sometimes moving expenses are taxed as income. The best way to work around it is have the company pay for everything, or have them reinburse you for your taxes. I've seen it done both ways.

Thursday, July 24, 2003

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home