Relocation Services Making Your Move With NRCS
Relocation Services: Making Your Move With NRCS
April 10, 2009
The Natural Resources Conservation Service's Relocation Service gives you a
home finding and home marketing alternative when you must sell your present home
and find a new home at your new duty station. Simply request this service when
you return your Transfer Allowances and Relocation Information brochure
(NRCS-FNM-38) questionnaire to the NRCS administrative office that is handling
To get started, the Relocation Service will assign you a counselor from a
commercial relocation company. Your counselor will contact you by telephone and
explain which services are available to you. Written details about your choice
of services will be forwarded to you by your counselor within 5 days after your
What kinds of assistance does the Relocation Service offer?
Guaranteed Home Sale (Appraised Value) and Home Marketing Assistance
Naturally, you want to sell your home for a fair market price. The price is
determined by finding the appraised market value of your home - the method used
most often by independent property appraisers. Quite simply, the appraised
market value of your home is the average of two appraisals. You select the
appraisers from a list of qualified appraisers provided by the contractor.
If the two appraisals differ by more than 5% from the higher appraisal, a
third appraisal will be necessary. The closest two of the three appraisals will
be averaged to determine the appraised value of your home.
All of your appraisal work is handled by your relocation counselor. If you
need additional information, a videotape about the appraisal process is
available at NRCS State offices, technical service centers and Headquarters.
Should you work through a real estate broker and the Relocation Service at
the same time?
Yes, it's required by the contract. If you elect to use the Home Sale
Services Portion of the relocation service contract you are required to market
you home independently or with a realtor. If you list with a realtor, there must
be an exclusion clause in the listing agreement with the realtor giving you the
- Sell your property directly to the relocation contractor at any time and
to cancel the listing agreement with no obligation for commission.
- Turn over an acceptable offer to the relocation contractor for closing
purposes and the payment of any commission which is earned only when title
of your property is actually transferred.
The exclusion clause is listed in your Transfer Allowances and Relocation
What to do if you get an offer for your home before receiving an offer from
the Relocation Service?
If you receive an offer from a party outside the Relocation Service, you have
two courses of action:
- Notify your relocation company counselor of the offer immediately. The
outside offer must be received by your relocation counselor to determine if
the offer is bona fide. Your relocation counselor will counsel you
throughout the negotiation of your outside offer. Do not enter into a
contract, sign any agreement, or accept any funds from the potential outside
If your outside offer is determined to be bona fide by the relocation
company, they will make an offer to you to purchase the home at a price equal to
the amount of the potential outside buyer's purchase price. This is called an
- Accept the outside offer and cancel the Relocation Service Program.
If you accept an outside offer, you must cancel the Relocation Service
program immediately. Please note that once you cancel your Relocation Services
program you cannot re-enter the program even if your outside offer falls
What do you do if you get an offer for your home after receiving an offer
from the Relocation Service?
You have 60 calendar days to accept or reject the relocation contractor's
market appraisal offer. The acceptance/rejection period begins the day you
receive a verbal offer from the contractor. Within one working day of the verbal
offer the contractor will mail all confirming documents to support the offer to
However, if you are successful in attracting a potential buyer during the 60
day period willing to pay equal to or more than the contractor's offer, you
should be guided by the following:
- Do not enter into a contract, sign any agreement, or accept any funds
from the potential outside buyer.
- Do notify your relocation company counselor of the offer immediately.
The outside offer must be received by your relocation counselor to determine
if the offer is bona fide. Your counselor will note if there are any special
contingencies in the outside offer that could make it unequal to the
relocation company's offer. For example, special financing arrangements
might make the offer unequal. Also, many outside offers are contingent upon
home improvements to be made by the seller before the sale.
If your outside offer is determined to be bona fide by the contractor, they
will amend the original offer to reflect the changed value. This is called an
"amended value sale", in an amended value sale, the relocation company matches
the outside offer even if the offer is more than the amount the relocation
company intended to offer from the original market appraisal.
After you accept the contractor's amended offer, the contractor will initiate
an agreement with the applicable outside broker to pay a commission when the
sale by the contractor to your outside buyer is completed. You bear no risk if
your outside buyer does not ultimately purchase the home from the relocation
contractor or if the relocation contractor ultimately sells the home for less
than the amended offer made to you.
When will the contractor pay you the equity in your home?
If you accept the contractor's offer, you will receive 95 percent of your
equity within 5 working days after the contractor receives, accepts, and
executes the contract of sale while you continue to occupy the home. The 5
percent balance will be paid within 5 working days of the date the property is
If you have vacated the property at the time of acceptance and execution of
your contract of sale, 100 percent of your equity calculated shall be paid
within 5 working days of receipt of acceptance and execution of the contract of
sale by the contractor.
You may elect payment of your equity through a certified check, wire
transfer, or cashier's check.
During your acceptance period, the contractor may advance you up to 75
percent of your estimated equity, based on the appraised value offer, if you
request such advance for the purpose of purchasing a home at the new duty
station. You may secure the equity advance by a second deed of trust or other
security that the contractor I deems satisfactory. In the event you do not
accept the contractor's appraised value offer, the contractor may charge you a
$125 administrative fee. This fee is not reimbursable from the government.
Other Relocation Services
These other relocation services are availabl.e to you and paid for by NRCS
whether or not you are selling a home:
- Homefinding Assistance
- The contractor will provide you with information about the real
estate market in the area of your new duty station. Whether you are
buying or renting, you can receive information regarding rental
properties, schools, taxes, commuting, and other information important
to your move.
- Upon request, your contractor will provide the services of a
reputable real estate broker in your destination area. The contractor
will give the broker a complete profile of your preferences. The broker
then directly assists you in buying your new home.
- Rental Assistance
- Your contractor will contact you to discuss assistance available and
to determine the rent you can afford, your desired location, and
relocation schedule. Your contractor selects a reputable agency and
provides the agency with a complete profile of your preferences.
Occasionally rental agencies will charge extra fees for this service.
You will be advised in advance of any agency fees. The fee will be
billed to you directly by the rental agency as NRCS does not pay these
- Mortgage Counseling
- Your contractor will counsel you about nationwide and local mortgage
programs that match your financial objectives and qualifications. The
contractor analyzes your financial position and advises you about your
mortgage product alternatives and determines the mortgage amount that
you can afford. The contractor does not provide mortgages or recommend
- Relocation Services
- Employees are advised that rulings concerning the use of the
Relocation Services program are governed by the Federal Travel
Regulations, Relocation Services Federal Supply Schedule contract and
decisions issued by the Comptroller General of the United States. To
ensure a successful move, please work closely with your new
The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in
its programs on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion,
age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or
family status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)Persons with
disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program
information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's
TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).
To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of
Civil Rights, Room 326W, Whitten Building, 14th and Independence Avenue, SW,
Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice or TDD). USDA is an
equal opportunity provider and employer.