Buying a home is a major purchase. Most home sellers are individuals or families who are upsizing or downsizing, or maybe moving out of the area. In some cases, though, the homes aren't owned by an individual or family but by a corporation. If your dream house requires a purchase of a corporate-owned home, the process is a little different than the typical homebuying process, and you might need some help to go from looking at the home to picking up the keys at the closing.
Corporate-Owned Home Meaning
If an employee is transferred to another part of the country or world, they might need to sell their home before they can relocate and buy a new one in their new location. Some corporations speed up the relocation process by buying the house from their employee, giving the employee the funds to move on to the next location. Other corporations purchase housing for its employees and throw it in as a salary benefit. In either case, a corporation could end up with an inventory of houses that need to be taken care of or sold.
A third option is that the corporation is in the business of buying homes at auction and selling them for a profit.
Buy a Corporate-Owned Home
Before you contact the corporate seller and begin the process to purchase a corporate-owned property, hiring a real estate agent or broker experienced in corporate homes sales is worth considering. Buying a home under a corporation can be complicated, mainly because it's not just a communication between one buyer and one seller. There might be two or more people who have to sign-off on each step of the process, and an agent can help you navigate through some of the other pitfalls, such as how to make the best offer or request repairs.
Get an Inspection
Before signing on the plethora of dotted lines that come with the purchase of any home, you'll want to do your due diligence. The primary task is to get the home inspected. Even if you're buying a home from a corporation, that doesn't mean it can't have issues that need to be addressed. Your real estate agent most likely can recommend a home inspector who will come in, inspect the property and alert you to any existing or potential problems. You can then submit the inspection results to the corporation and ask for any needed repairs, or if you're willing, the estimated cost of repairs taken off the asking price of the home.
Make An Offer
If the results of the home inspection are good, then at this point you can attempt to buy a corporate-owned home by making an offer. Your real estate agent can help with the paperwork and add any stipulations you might have and explain the offer price if it's different from the asking price. Once you put in the offer, you have to wait to see if the corporation accepts your offer, makes a counteroffer or rejects the offer outright. If you have other houses you're considering, hold off on making an offer until you get a response from the corporation, because having two accepted offers for homes can get complicated.
Be Prepared to Wait
The purchase of a corporate-owned home can be a long process. When the buyer and seller are individuals, an offer response can occur within a few hours, but this isn't the norm when buying a home from a corporation. As mentioned previously, there may be several people who have to agree to the offered price and stipulations before you get an answer.
This can take some time, since selling corporate housing isn't always a top priority. The wait could be as little as a few days, or even a few weeks. The only time the process might be shortened is if you're purchasing a home from a corporation that buys distressed homes and foreclosures at auction and sells the homes for a profit. In that case, the wait time is generally less.
K.A. Francis has been a freelance and small business owner for 20 years. She has been writing about personal finance and budgeting since 2008. She taught Accounting, Management, Marketing and Business Law at WV Business College and Belmont College and holds a BA and an MAED in Education and Training.