Hi Patrick, As a former relocation consultant, now a licensed agent in CT, I have heard this question many times and it is a valid concern when relocating. All companies offer different relocation packages and it is best to consult your relocation policy and truly understand the company offer portion of your benefits. The one main difference is that a company offer for your home is based a "relocation appraisal" where the guidelines are very different than those of a "bank appraisal" . The best way to ensure you get the best possible offer for your home is ask your trusted real estate agent to provide the best comps for your home. If you are using an appraiser who is not familair with the market in your area, you could be short changed.
The price or your home will be determined by the guidelines set forth in your relocation policy (ie the average of 2 or 3 etc) The place that really can impact you most is not only the company offer price, but also in the inspection requirement portion. *You will most likely be required to have inspections done on your home and also be required to repair even the most minor issues on the report before your company will allow you to accept the company offer.*
You can not dispute the offer amount once it is determined and it is really ideal to follow the advise and marketing suggestions from your agent and ensure they are keeping your home competitively priced for the market. *Sometimes your policy may also provide a home selling bonus to you if you sell your home to a buyer instead of taking the company offer. In this case, let your agent know the amount of the company offer and negotiate any offers you get in order to ensure you can take advantage of this option. *
But to answer your question, typically a company offer is about 5% below the average market value of your home as the appraiser will be basing his opinion on the price to sell within 60-90 days, so if the average days on market for your area is longer, they need to adjust it lower in order to ensure it sells quickly so that your company does not continue to incurr maintenance costs for an extended period of time.
My advise is read your policy carefully prior to having it reviewed by your relocation consultant so you can ask questions. The goal of your policy is to help you, not to take advantage of you and short change you so they can profit from the sale of your home. A company offer is a great benefit, especially in a market where homes are not selling. It's better to sell it quickly for less than to be stuck making payments on a home you no longer need. Good luck in your new position and with the sale of your home!