Are there such things as Interstate Property Exchanges?
March 21, 2008 11:40 PM   Subscribe

Are there any agencies to help people exchange properties / relocate in the US (i.e. from one state to another)? Do large organizations HR help their employees? Is it something the Government does to help out?

I have a relative on the East Coast of the US (near Boston) and he's retired, owns his own property and would like to move somewhere much warmer and drier (He considered Arizona and a few other states - right now, I can't recall which ones, though!).

Like many others, he's been stuck-in-a-rut for months - having a tough time getting his house sold, before having to look for something else.

So, with house prices and mortgages being what they are at the moment, I wondered if any property exchange agencies exist, or do large organizations help employees by matching people up in different states?

The idea being that if both parties accept the locations, and the properties, then only the difference in property values has to be considered (ignoring legal costs etc.) - and might be more convenient for both parties.

- e.g. is it worth speaking to {insert large organization-name} who may be relocating staff from Arizona to Mass.

I thought I'd ask here, in case anyone had some ideas / comments / suggested websites, etc.

Disclosure:BTW, I'm asking this question by proxy, for a relative in the US (I'll send him a link to this post) - I'm in the UK , so I'm not versed in US law/systems - I may be suggesting something which is not possible/sensible in the US - in which case, please let me/us know {oh, and I've been up all night and it's 0630 here, so I might not be too coherent - please excuse any obvious omissions/errors}
posted by Dub to Work & Money (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
There's no government agency like that. And I've never heard of a corporation arranging "property swap" that way. Corporations will pay to move employees, but usually don't get involved in real estate issues. (Sometimes, rarely, they'll do so for extremely valuable employees e.g. CEOs but not generally for the rank-and-file.)
posted by Class Goat at 11:47 PM on March 21, 2008

I suppose it's not in the Real-estate companies' interests to provide this service (or is it?!) - But I wondered if similar housing-associations (might be the wrong term) existed, in the US?

Plus, is it a mad thing to expect / suggest?
posted by Dub at 11:57 PM on March 21, 2008

I've never heard of any real estate company advertising such a service.
posted by Class Goat at 12:05 AM on March 22, 2008

This isn't exactly the same thing, but I have seen some commercials for ERA advertising a service whereby if you list your house with them, ERA itself will buy the property from you if they can't sell it within a set amount of time. Apparently it is called the Sellers Security Plan.

It seems like a dubious proposition, as I can't image any realty company agreeing to buy out a house unless the price was ridiculously low, but I thought I would throw it out there.
posted by that possible maker of pork sausages at 2:30 AM on March 22, 2008

The thing you want to research is called "house-swapping". I just saw a story on the news about this trend becoming more common in the weakened housing market, and here's an article with some resources.
posted by kimdog at 6:24 AM on March 22, 2008

You're looking for something called "Relocation Agencies", like Sirva.

Larger corps will hire RAs to do what you are describing, but at a (somewhat large) cost.
posted by unixrat at 7:08 AM on March 22, 2008

that possible maker of pork sausages, yes I agree.
Good link, kimdog.
unixrat, yes, I can see why, I just hoped that some of the larger ones might have been doing something similar for years, and may have had a system in place (even across industries!)

Another friend suggested that there might be tax implications if properties were just swapped (not "sold") - property swapping doesn't imply a sale actually takes place - I guess a direct swap would have been fine iff both properties were ideal for both parties.

I must admit, I wasn't thinking of the tax side of things- but rather to reduce the net difference - making it more affordable for both, and helping that way.

Thanks, people - keep 'em coming.
posted by Dub at 8:14 AM on March 22, 2008

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