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A relocation report is very different from the traditional mortgage appraisal. Appraising a property for a relocation company is a specialized field for appraisers. As a relocation appraiser, your clients include large and small corporations, government agencies, the military, and nonprofit entities. The major industry-specific player is Worldwide ERC (formerly known as Employee Relocation Council).

When there is a discrepancy between the available human resources and the needs of an organization, organizations must cost-effectively move human resources to meet their needs.


A major impediment to bringing the right person to the right location is the cost and time of the move (relocation). Generally, a significant part of the relocation is the disposition of the employee’s (transferee’s) personal residence. Companies and organizations regularly transfer employees across town, across the state, across the country, and across the planet.

  • The client is looking at selling the house within a defined period of time after the acquisition, generally 60 - 120 days or less
  • The client needs to know what must be done to the property right now to make it marketable within the identified marketing period
  • The appraiser’s estimate is used, with other information, to develop an offer or a “buyout” offer to the transferee
  • The appraiser is charged with developing an opinion of anticipated sales price, not market value

There are a number of differences between an appraisal assignment completed for an employee relocation and one completed for a mortgage lending transaction. The three most significant differences relate to:

  • the presence of an imposed assignment marketing period
  • the requirement for the appraiser to use forecasting
  • arriving at an anticipated sales price– NOT the market value

What makes the relocation appraisal different from a typical mortgage appraisal

Let’s look at three key differences:

One, the intent. In an everyday home purchase, a mortgage appraisal is used. This is a standard analysis of market trends designed to facilitate a loan and balance the risk of the mortgage company. It develops an opinion of current market value based on closed sales. In a relocation appraisal, on the other hand, we are seeking anticipated sale price. The anticipated sale price is a value designed for future sale and takes into consideration that the home could be in inventory.

Two, the comparable properties used. When a mortgage appraisal is completed, it can be brief, and just use closed comparable sales. The relocation appraisal is more comprehensive, and not only uses those closed sales, but it also uses competitive listings and pending sales. As so many employees are finding themselves in low-inventory markets, it is best to use those pending sales as well as those competitors to determine the most accurate anticipated sale price.

And three, the type of analysis completed. When an RMC reviews a relocation appraisal, the analysis can often include forecasting. Forecasting is unique to the relocation appraisal. It can either discount or mark up the value as it relates to current and future trends. The appraisal also includes market-change adjustments. So if your employee has seen appreciation in their market, past sales are then adjusted upwards to reflect this market increase.

Gardiner Ray, LLC is proud to have the ability and knowledge to perform  relocation appraisals. These appraisals require an understanding of the market as well as the knowledge and intuitive nature to forecast what the market will look like. Our appraisers who perform these appraisals are proud members of RAC ( RAC continues to be the premier appraisal organization whose members focus on complex residential properties for relocation, litigation support, testimony, and reviews.