Many 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.