Moving to a different city or cross country is no easy task. Packing up a life takes time, and it can be both scary and exciting to step into the unknown.

It can also be expensive. Companies understand this reality. Relocation assistance has become standard for employees recruited from out of state.

While the job market isn’t as tight as it once was, businesses still may have issues finding local talent. Relocation assistance helps them entice valuable employees to move by reducing or eliminating the financial costs of moving.

Here’s what you need to know.

What Is Relocation Assistance?

When a company offers a new employee to move from a different city or state it’s called relocation assistance.

The company can pay for a moving van, give you a lump sum to cover movers or help with real estate commissions to sell your current home and buy a new one near your new job.

While the cushiest packages are typically for senior-level executives, that doesn’t mean that you’re out of luck if you’re still stuck in the rat race.

If the company is entertaining candidates outside their geographic area, that means that they can’t find the expertise they need at home. They want your skills and talents.

Don’t get cocky, but remind yourself that they need you, which means you have some leverage. In other words, don’t just accept the offer at face value — take the opportunity to negotiate for better terms.

Ideally, talks should be aimed at finding the best solution for both parties. If they really want you, they’ll be willing to play ball.

What are Common Relocation Costs?

Basic common relocation costs typically include moving expenses, temporary housing, and a small stipend for miscellaneous expenses.

If the move is last minute and filling your position urgent, moving expenses could be a whole house packed up, transported, stored, and unpacked.

Temporary housing lets you learn and explore a new area before committing to a neighborhood or schools. Stipends could cover that flat-tire driving cross country.

Large corporations might have partnered with moving companies to get the best deals, or arranged special rates at extended-stay hotels. Others might write you a check.

However you receive your relocation package, keep track of your expenses and keep receipts. Anything not covered by the company could be tax deductible.

Ask the HR department if they have a written relocation policy or standard relocation benefits. While the policies are in writing, they can be negotiated.

If they have a brokerage that they work with and you’d rather work with your own, recommend that they look into a flat-fee or low commission agent.

After all, saving them money before you’re even working for them always makes a good impression.

What Other Relocation Costs Could you Request?

If you don’t ask, you won’t receive, right? If you’re afraid of losing out on a great opportunity because you might look greedy, work with a recruiter to help you put together a list of costs that you’d like the company to cover. Prioritize your list and be prepared to let some things go.

It’s also a good idea to ask around and find other employees that the company has paid to relocate and ask them what was included in their packages.

Another approach is to talk to friends and contacts at similar companies in the area to set reasonable expectations. Use this input when writing up your list. Think about requesting items which will make the move smoother.

Perhaps you’d like to bring your family to visit once before relocating to help get a spouse or kids on board with the move; maybe you need assistance finding an agent to sell your current home, or your partner needs help with finding a job in your new city. Negotiate for these perks.

Keep in mind that you will always have better luck getting what you ask for if you tie your request to the company’s needs.

Asking for help finding a daycare or school for your children may be slightly unusual, but you can point out that you’ll be able to put in longer hours from day one if you don’t have to leave to scout schools.

Partner With a Great, Local Real Estate Agent

Selling your old home and relocating often has to happen within a shorter timeframe than a move for convenience or upgrading.

Consider working with a full-service, local Clever Partner Agent to make this process as seamless as possible.

Tapping into our network is not only a free way to connect with a top-rated agent in your current city to sell — and your new city to buy — but will also help you save thousands on commission.

There are many things to think about when relocating, and many possible headaches. Working with experts reduces your stress and ensures that you’ll walk through the doors that first day at the new job with a smile on your face.