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Weighing the Components of Relocation Assistance
Because relocation costs vary—depending on how far you’re moving, how much stuff you’re moving, and where you’re moving to and from—there is no one-size-fits-all dollar amount to shoot for, although you can do some research and get an idea.
More concretely, evaluate what’s covered under your policy, which may provide the following benefits:
- · Transporting household goods to the new location
- · Assistance buying/selling a home or finding a rental
- · One or more house-hunting trips
- · Travel expenses to move the employees and family to the new location
- · Short-term housing, when necessary, plus temporary storage of household goods
- · A tax gross-up benefit. (Because relocation benefits are taxable to employees, many employers elect to cover the cost of the tax.)
How to Ask for More Relocation Assistance
Employers expect to negotiate job offers, including relocation. The worst that can happen is that the company turns down your request. That said, the best way to negotiate is to frame your counteroffer in terms of how it benefits both of you.
By making a job offer, the employer has indicated it wants you on the team. By offering relocation assistance, it’s indicated that it wants you at work and up to speed as soon as possible. When you tie your requests to these objectives, you’re more likely to get what you want.
For example, if you think you’ll need more time to sell your house and buy another, but you’re willing to start the job in the meantime, ask for short-term housing and temporary storage. Or, if a tax gross-up is very important to you, explain that it will help you be more productive by providing peace of mind.
It’s up to you to decide what you can and can’t accept—and ultimately, you may need to compromise. Assuming your negotiations are successful, get that agreement in writing—and start planning your big move.