How To Negotiate A Better Relocation Package

Transferring to a new city might put you in the good graces of your employer, but moving expenses can add up. Sometimes, the cost of moving is greater than any benefits gained by relocating for a company. If your boss asks you to transfer to a different office, make sure you estimate all moving costs before agreeing to relocate.

Find Out If Your Employer Offers a Relocation Package

Although relocation packages often aren't as robust as they were prior to the Great Recession, many companies provide some form of compensation to employees who transfer at the company's request. To find you whether your company offers any type of relocation package, check the employment documents you received when you were hired or contact your company's human resources department.

If your company doesn't cover all moving costs, don't take the stated policy for granted. You might be able to negotiate for a better relocation package if you have a detailed estimate of all your moving expenses.

Get an Itemized Moving Quote

The primary component of your estimate should be an itemized quote from a moving company, since hiring a moving company will account for a large portion of your moving expenses. Most moving companies offer free quotes, so you might want several. If you have three to five, your employer won't be able to say your estimate is out of line because there are others it can be compared to.

When getting quotes from moving companies, make sure they include packing, moving and insuring all of your possessions. Most items in a house are automatically included in a standard moving quote. If you have anything unusual or of high value, however, there may be additional insurance or handling fees associated with the item. For example, if you have any of the following, you should get a specialized moving quote:

  • a classic car
  • a boat
  • fine artwork
  • a piano
  • a horse

Your quote should be itemized so you can explain to your employer why your move will cost what it will.

Estimate Additional Moving Expenses

Once you have a moving quote, estimate additional moving expenses. Some other costs that you might want to include in your estimate are

  • travel expenses associated with house-hunting trips
  • the closing costs of selling your home or the fees associated with breaking your lease
  • transportation costs to get your family to the new city

You might also want to add a "miscellaneous" item for unexpected expenses that aren't included in the aforementioned categories. One expense that might fall into this category could be a tip for the moving company. Moving quotes rarely include a tip, but 71 percent of people tip their movers. If you decide to give your movers a gratuity, you should budget for it. A miscellaneous line is the perfect place to include it, as it lets you decide whether to spend the money on a tip or not.

Negotiate a Better Relocation Package

Once you have a detailed estimate of all moving expenses, approach your company and show them just how much relocation will cost you. In the course of the conversation, remind them that you're an asset to the company, and you're making a sacrifice for the company. With detailed information in hand, you should be able to negotiate a better relocation package if the company's initial offer doesn't cover all of these expenses.

Even if your employer says the company can't cover all of the costs, you might be able to find creative ways that they can help you. Some ideas include

  • asking for extra paid days off so you can do more packing yourself
  • requesting that your employer helps you find discounts from moving companies
  • suggesting that the compensation be disbursed over two years

If your employer is asking you to move cities for the benefit of the company, you obviously are valuable. Create a detailed picture of how much the move will cost, and remind your employer how much you mean to the company. Together, you should be able to find a compensation package that meets your needs. For more information about the costs you might expect, contact a company like Absolute Moving & Storage Inc.