Tips to Buying Corporate Owned Homes

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housing choicesMany buyers ask to see homes that are corporate owned because they are usually priced right and they’re in good condition. There are procedures that are unique to these homes that you should be aware of when a buyer wants to make an offer on either a “Corporate Owned” or a “Marketing Assistance” property.

First, it’s important to know what each of these corporate relocation situations mean. A “Corporate Owned” home is one where the original owner has accepted a buyout from their employer and has probably vacated the property. In this case ownership responsibilities belong to the Relocation Company that an employer (such as GM) has hired to handle the moves of their employees. 

A “Marketing Assistance” program is where the employee (homeowner) is still responsible for the property and will most likely have the power to negotiate an offer. The relocation company in this case, will step in as the owner of record once the homeowner has accepted the offer verbally. 

When you present an offer on a corporate transferee’s property please keep in mind the following:

1. If the homeowner is negotiating the offer be aware of two things. First, the homeowner cannot sign the offer, he can only verbally accept because the homeowner may not be the seller of record. Second, the offer might be subject to “corporate approval”. That means that the homeowner’s employer will want to see the offer and decide if the owner should proceed with the sale.
2. Read addendums carefully. Most of these homes have multiple addendums that must be presented with the offer. Ask the listing agent for the proper paperwork before writing up the offer. Most corporate homes do have disclosure forms as well.
3. If there is an “as is” clause, it means repairs might be made BUT nothing survives the closing. The buyer can and should get an inspection. Tip: Don’t inspect until the contract is signed.
4. Earnest money may be held by the listing broker on behalf on the relocation company.
5. The relocation company always selects the closing attorney. However, the buyer can still have their own attorney be present at closing
6. Relocation companies will not look at offers that have contingencies.
7. Under no circumstances can the prospective buyer move into the property prior to closing (and funding).
8. A signed contract may take several days. As a buyer’s agent you should advise buyers of this fact so the buyer will remain calm.

If you follow these rules and you present a complete and clean offer the process will run smoothly and your buyer will be a happy camper.

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8 Responses to “Tips to Buying Corporate Owned Homes”

  1. Arthur Harris Says:

    Great post Dana, I have had a few successful transactions on Corporate Owned homes and they are usually in good condition with very little repairs to be done.

  2. Keke Rachel Says:

    Dana, this was a great post and very informative! I am working with buyer clients who I have shown corporate owned properties and they have been very well maintained. I have had very great experiences with the listing agents/homeowners of corporate owned properties thus far. It is important to know who all decision makers are in the process when making offers on these corporate properties, so you don’t waste a huge amount of time negotiating with the wrong people (ex: some homeowners aren’t necessarily the decision makers)!

  3. Sandra Rodrick Says:

    Very interestng article, Dana. Thanks for “opening the door” on this information. For agents who are new or have not yet dealt with corporate owned homes before, your article makes this segment of real estate inviting to look at and could be creating a niche for some who have yet to find their specialty. As a premier relocation person, you know what your writing about and it’s always good to get the working procedures from an expert.

  4. Gaile Johnson Says:

    Great info for Buyers! Corporate homes are fantastic deals, too. All of the Seller’s are motivated as are the entities they work with. Relocation properties are priced to sell at current appraised or market specific value, they are generally in good condition, they have been inspected by professionals and everything is disclosed. Sometimes repairs are already completed! Yes, it’s more paperwork but what’s a little time compared with money-in-your-pocket savings?

  5. Dennis Doll Says:

    Thanks Dana!
    Corporate (non-lender) owned homes are a great way to get a good deal and not have the hassles related to foreclosures and short sales. Those transactions can take weeks (or months) to get an answer on an offer. Many Buyers are fed up with that process and are looking elsewhere.
    On my corporate owned listings, I tag all flyers and MLS pages with the following: “Make an Offer Today…Get an Answer Today!” Thats what many Buyers want to hear right now.

  6. Laura Quinn Says:

    Great article! On my last corporate owned transaction the corporation required the owner, their employee, to be out at closing. They would not allow the extra 24 – 48 hours of possession after, for liability reasons. So often possession transfers at closing, which is nice for the buyer.

  7. Valerie McDonald Says:

    Good information Dana. I find a lot of agents are unfamiliar with corporate relocation homes and don’t know how to advise their buyers.
    Most all I have seen are in good condition. In many cases repainted once the owner moves out. Thorougly cleaned. Usually already inspected with repairs made as you mentioned.
    There are disclosures and usually an inspection report or reports. The buyer has so much more information than with a foreclosure.
    & they get the addendums upfront usually and know what will be happening if they read them carefully.
    Most of the relocaton companies I work with for you give a reply within a day. Much less uncertainty than with a foreclosure.

  8. Chris Jones Says:

    is it typical for a corporate owned home to request buyer sign a contract which would NOT include and option period of 7-10 days?

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