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How to negotiate relocation packages

Updated April 17, 2017

Moving for a new career is a stressful and expensive experience shared by the whole family. For this reason, many companies offer relocation packages to new employees; these packages may consist of a formal relocation policy, or they may be negotiated on a case-by-case basis. A good relocation package covers a variety of moving expenses, relocation assistance and temporary lodging assistance and expenses.

Relocation expenses are a benefit that could be included in your total compensation package. Before accepting a job that requires you to move, include a relocation package in your salary negotiations. Remember that there is not one set relocation package; everything is negotiable.

Know your options. The more relocation expenses you can come up with, the better chance you have of walking away with what you want during negotiations. According to Monster.com, expenses can include moving expenses, temporary housing costs, travel costs back home if your family isn't ready to move, job search assistance for your spouse, or assistance selling your home.

Get creative. Aside from common moving expenses, there are additional items that can be used for leverage in negotiations if you can't reach a monetary agreement. You could ask for additional paid time off to coordinate the move and get settled. You could also ask for low- or no-interest loans to purchase a home quickly in exchange for agreeing to stay with the company a certain number of years. With a little creativity, you will reach a mutually acceptable agreement.

Sell yourself. If your future employer is hesitant, remind him of why you were selected for the position in the first place. It's likely that your skills aren't available in the local area, so you should be compensated for what you have to offer. This is especially important if the new job is in an area where the cost of living is higher or if you have children who will need to attend a new school. Remind your employer that providing this added assistance will allow you to settle more quickly into your new life, thus making you more productive on the job.

Document the agreement. Make sure to get the final relocation package agreement in writing and signed by both parties before you begin work. Typically, this is sent along with the offer letter as a separate agreement. Make sure you receive an original, signed copy if the other employment documents are sent via e-mail.

Tip

Hold on to all documentation detailing the expenses that will be covered. Remember that relocation requests aren't uncommon and your future employer is probably expecting the topic to come up.

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About the Author

Angela Stokes received her Master of Science in health promotion management from the American University in Washington, D.C., focusing her studies on health policy and corporate health, including prevention and wellness. Stokes also holds a Bachelor of Science in human resources management with a minor in economics.