Abstract of Title: A historical summary of the public records relating to the title to a particular piece of land. An attorney or title insurance company reviews an abstract of title to determine whether there are any title defects which must be cleared before a buyer can purchase clear, marketable and insurable title.

Acceleration Clause: Clause used in an installment note and mortgage (or deed of trust), which gives the lender the right to demand payment in full upon the happening of a certain event, such as failure to pay an installment by a certain date, change of ownership without the lender’s consent, destruction of property, or other event which endangers the security of the loan.

Acceptance: Voluntarily agreeing to the price and terms of an offer. Offer and acceptance creates a contract.

Accrual Projection: A detailed projected expenditure on a calendar basis against budgeted costs used to forecast monthly/quarterly/annual budget requirements.

Accrued Interest: Interest on a note, bond, etc. which has been earned but not yet paid. Since interest is usually paid in arrears, accrued interest does not necessarily indicate a delinquency in payment.

Acquisition and Carrying Costs: Those fees and charges associated with establishing an appraised value, taking a home into inventory (except for formal closing costs in which title passes from the employee to the purchaser), and keeping a home in inventory until resale.

Acre: A measure, usually of land containing 43,560 square feet in any shape

Addendum/Addenda: Something added. A list or other material added to a document, letter, contractual agreement, escrow instructions, etc.

Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM): A loan with an interest rate that periodically changes in keeping with a current index, similar to one-year treasury bills. Typically, they can’t jump more than two percentage points per year or six points above the starting rate.

Affidavit: A written statement made under oath before a notary public or other judicial officer.

Agent (Real Estate): A salesperson responsible for listing, selling, and closing the sale of real estate. Real estate agents are generally certified or licensed and work for a real estate broker.

Agent (Moving): The local moving company representing a national van line. May serve as booking, origin, destination and/ or hauling agent.

Allowances: In real estate sale, a specific amount of money that has been negotiated in the contract of sale to he applied as a concession to the buyer. Typically for repairs, improvements, closing costs, etc.

Allowances/Incentives: Payments made, separate from base salary, to recognize the demands of moving the employee and family from the home to host location. Allowances/Incentives are intended to cover either specific items such as separation from family, difficult living conditions or hardships or to cover items not otherwise covered within the policy such as miscellaneous expenses.

Amended Value Sale: A tax advantageous process whereby the associate sells his/her former home to a 3rd party (MSI and/or their Service Partner) who, in turn, sells it to the new purchaser.

Amendment: A change, either to correct an error or to alter a part of an agreement without changing the principal idea of essence.

Amortization: The gradual repayment of a mortgage loan by installments

Annual Percentage Rate/APR: The cost of a mortgage stated as a yearly rate; includes such items as interest, mortgage insurance, and the loan origination fee (points).

Appliance Service: Preparation of major electrical appliances to make them safe for shipment.

Application Fee: A fee charged by a lender for accepting a loan application and initiating the loan review process. It typically covers the nonrefundable costs (such as appraisal, credit reports, etc.) a lender incurs when deciding whether a loan can be granted.

Appraisal: An appraiser’s written opinion of the value of a subject property, as of a specific time or during a specific time period. It provides details of the process of determining estimated value of a property and the justification of the value.

Appraisal Variance: The difference between two or more appraised values of a property. The variance is generally expressed as percentages of the values provided in each appraisal.

Appraised Value: The most probable sales price of real estate established by the relocation appraisal process.

Area Median Income (AMI): A method for determining income eligibility for various housing programs. AMI is calculated every year by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for every county and metropolitan area.

Area Orientation: The area orientation is a comprehensive introduction to the host city for the assignee.  Generally included in the itinerary is a tour of expatriate neighborhoods, cultural highlights, parks, historical sites, discussion of currency, public transportation, school tours, houses of worship, etc.

Arm’s Length Transaction: A home sale transaction where both buyer and seller act willingly, with full knowledge of all details of the transaction.

As Is Condition: Offering in which a seller will make no repairs to housing before settlement and makes no representations as to it’s condition. Term also means the appraisal method of examining the physical aspects of a home, noting any deferred maintenance requirements.

Assessment: The amount of taxes or special improvement charges created to improve property or surrounding area. Special assessment charges are usually for the costs of streets, sidewalks, sewers, etc.

Assessed Value: Valuation of a real estate property by a public tax assessment officer or board for the purposes of taxation.

Assignment: Act of transferring an interest, such as a loan secured by a mortgage, from one person to another.

Assignment Budget Development: Preparation of assignment costs associated with the total lifecycle of the expatriate assignment from pre-departure to repatriation and incorporates essential support data to keep your employee whole while maintaining company cost effectiveness.  The budget reflects real-time cost of living data, housing norms, school tuition costs, and hardship factors essential to a realistic target budget.

Assignment Letter (or Letter of Assignment): The assignment letter details all of the fundamental elements and terms and conditions pertaining to an assignment as agreed between employer and assignee.  Customized details include, but are not limited to, the home and host countries, job title and parameters, compensation and benefits, assignment start and end dates, approximate repatriation date.

Assignment Management (Ongoing): Continued support and administration of contracted and authorized global relocation services for the duration of assignment.  The scheduled contact may be monthly, quarterly or semi-annually as determined by client policy or directive.

Assignment Tracking and Reporting: All data and financial information pertinent to an assignment is captured for client reporting.

Assimilation/Adaptation: The process by which the employee and family fully integrates into the host country social, living and working conditions.

Association Fees/Home Owner Association Dues: Charges for maintenance or operation of facilities for a property by a management group or organization. In some cases, these fees cover taxes, utilities, or assessments.

Audit of Assignment Letters: The Assignment Letter defines assignment-related allowances to be processed, criteria specific to what is processed, payments to be delivered (ie. Home or host payroll), any additional pay items (deductions or additions) specific to each individual assignee, all which is critical for setup of compensation worksheet template

Automobile Leasing: Vehicle lease or purchase while on an assignment inclusive of research of local regulations and requirements for vehicle acquisition, obtain competitive price quotes, arrange for registration and delivery and provide financing options.


Balance Sheet configuration: Creation of balance sheet template specific to policy and assignment letter audit; includes all pay additions and deductions specific to policy and assignment letter and ensure pay elements are delivered in either the home or host location

Benefit Enlistments/Updates: Tracking of benefit dates for assignee to renew his/her standard benefit selections and advises of changes in specific benefits or policies.

Benefits Review: Identify pension scheme contribution percentages (EE & ER); identifies additional Deferred Compensation tracking requirements (percentage and/or amount); identifies stock option vesting schedules; critical to setup of per pay period payroll processing and compensation reporting

Bill of Lading (B/L): The receipt for your goods and the contract for their transportation. It is your responsibility to understand the bill of lading before you sign it. If you do not agree with something on the bill of lading, do not sign it until you are satisfied that it is correct. The bill of lading is an important document. Don’t lose or misplace your copy.

Booking Agent: Agent or person who sells and registers your move. A booking agent does not necessarily have to be located at or near the origin or destination.

Bridge Loan: A loan that is provided to an employee by his/her company to assist in purchasing a destination home when the departure home has not yet sold. The loan is typically interest free.

Broker (Real Estate): Any person, partnership, association, or corporation who, for compensation or valuable consideration, sells or offers for sale, buys or offers to buy, or negotiates the purchase, sale, lease or exchange of real estate. Brokers must be licensed.

Broker Market Analysis (BMA): A standard relocation industry format used by an agent to establish the most likely sales price and suggested list price of a property.

Broker Price Opinion (BPO): A marketing analysis of a subject property performed by a real estate broker or sales agent. The BPO reflects the best estimate of value as determined by a broker or sales associate who estimates value using comparable sales, recent listings, and knowledge of the local real estate market.

Buy Down: Money advanced to a mortgage to reduce monthly payments of a home mortgage. The buy down can be long-term, covering the life of the loan, or it can be short-term, reducing the mortgage payments for a certain time period.

Buyer Value Option (BVO): A home sale program in which the value for the home is established by a bona fide offer from an outside buyer, and not by an appraised value offer from the employer or relocation service company.

Buyout: The purchase of a home by a third-party company to alleviate the owners from the responsibility of selling the home themselves. The home is then sold by the third party company.


Candidate Assessment & Selection: Validated assessment tools, screening and selection processes to evaluate the innate qualities of a particular assignment candidate and their pre-disposition for an international assignment. The process allows human resource professionals and business unit managers to develop a qualified candidate pool for short and long term assignments where management and interface with multinational teams is critical to the completion of the project.

Candidate Pool Development: Customized programs integrated with internal talent review processes to produce a pool of “ready now” candidates for international assignment

Capital Gains: Gains realized from the sale of capital assets. Generally, the difference between cost and selling price, less certain deductible expenses. Used mainly for income tax purposes.

Capital Improvement: An expenditure that adds to the value or useful life of property and is considered a permanent investment to be added to the cost basis of the property. Capital improvements are different from the cost of maintenance and repairs.

Career Planning: Long-range strategic plan to develop the skills and knowledge of a particular employee that will ultimately benefit both the employee and the company.  It is approached from the dual perspective of the ambitions of the individual and the anticipated needs of the corporation and aligns the individual and company in a partnership of mutual interest, and then create a plan of execution that both can support.

Carrier: The mover providing transportation of your household goods.

Carrying Costs: Recurring costs and extraordinary charges of holding a property in inventory. This could include insurance, utilities, mortgage interest, taxes, assessments, repairs, maintenance etc.

Cash on Deliver (COD): Transportation for a private shipper for which payment is required at the time of delivery at the destination residence (or warehouse).

Certificate of Occupancy (C of O): An inspection of property and fee required by local government authority at the time of resale. It can include plumbing, heating, electrical and structural inspections. This certificate ensures that local, county, or state code requirements have been met.

Certificate of Title: In areas where attorneys examine abstracts or chains of title, a written opinion, executed by the examining attorney, stating that title is vested as stated in the abstract.

Certificates of Coverage (COC or E101): Apply for Canadian and US outbound assignee Certificates of Coverage.  We maintain copy of certificate and input relevant data into system for tracking and reporting.  We apply for extensions as required (US & Canada only), notify Tax Partner when extensions need to be applied for

Certified Relocation Professional (CRP): A designation from the Employee Relocation Council (ERC) earned after demonstrating experience in the relocation industry and receiving a passing score on the certification exam administered by ERC.

Chain of Title: The successive ownerships or transfers in the history of title to a tract of land.

Claim: A written statement requesting reimbursement for an item that is lost or damaged while in the carrier’s possession.

Clear Title: Real property ownership free of liens, especially voluntary liens such as mortgages.

Closing: A meeting among the parties and/or their representatives to close a sales contract. After settling the details that relate to the sale of a property, the seller signs and delivers the deed to the buyer. The buyer authorizes payment to the seller and the home sale transaction is completed or closed.

Closing Assistance: Programs that allow the Corporation or Relocation Service Company to assume responsibility from the seller for the closing of a property.

Closing Costs: Any fees or charges paid by the borrowers or sellers during the closing of a real estate sale. Typical buyer’s expenses- documentary stamps on notes, recording deed and mortgage, escrow fees, attorney’s fee, title insurance, appraisal and inspection, survey charge. Seller’s expenses- cost of abstract, documentary stamps on deed, real estate commission, recording mortgage, survey charge, escrow fees and attorney’s fees.

Closing Date: The date on which ownership of a property is transferred to a buyer and closing costs are paid.

Cloud on Title: An outstanding claim or encumbrance, which, if valid, would affect or impair the owner’s title.

Collateral: Property pledged as security for a debt, such as the real estate pledged as security for a mortgage.

Commitment Fee: Any fee paid by a potential borrower to a lender for the lender’s promise to lend money at a specified rate and within a given time.

Common Lands: The land, roadways, recreational facilities, and building sections owned jointly, most

Commuter Assignment: Employee commutes, long term or short term, between the home and host country to complete a defined business objective. The primary residence and family remain in the home country. Trips home can be weekly or monthly depending on the assignment length and distance between the home and host locations.

Comparables: Properties that are equivalent or similar to the subject property. Brokers and appraisers use comparables to establish value in their opinion of market value. The three most significant kinds of comparables are recent sales, competing listings, and new construction.

Competitive Market Analysis: See Broker Price Opinion.

Completion bonus: A payment to the employee as a reward upon the completion of the defined business goals set for an assignment/transfer.

Concessions: Items granted to a buyer that are outside the original terms of the listing agreement i.e. closing Costs, mortgage discounts points, etc.

Construction Loan: A short-term loan to pay for the construction costs of a building or home. These loans typically provide periodic disbursements to the builder as each stage of the building or home are completed. When construction is completed a take-out or permanent loan is used to pay off the construction loan.

Contingency: The insertion of language into a contract of sale which requires that a stated event, such as obtaining mortgage financing, or conducting inspections, selling a home must occur before the contract becomes binding.

CONUS: Continental United States. A term used by government to denote moves where both the current and new locations are defined as being within the continental United States. CONUS includes only the 48 contiguous states, not Alaska and Hawaii.

Conveyance: The transfer of the title of land from one person to another.

Cooperative or Co-op: A property, such as an apartment, whose title is held by a corporation with residents owning shares in such corporation that entitle them to occupy a certain amount of living space pursuant to a lease granted by the corporation.

Cost Estimate (or Cost Projection): A detailed estimate of the expected total costs necessary to send an employee to a specific host location for a determined period, generally including salary, allowances, housing, tax, relocation and other assignment-related costs.

Cost Estimate Configuration: Specific to each client policy, estimates are defined per services detailed in Policy; hypothetical tax calculator is configured and definition of actual home & host tax calculations are created

Cost of Funds Index (COFI): An index of financial institution costs used to set interest rates for some ARMs.

Cost of Living Differential: Compensation provided to employees moved by a company to a location where the cost of living is higher than at the employee’s former location. Typically, companies pay the differential as a salary supplement based of researched data involving the differences in the costs of housing taxes, transportation, and goods, and services between the two locations.

Cost of Living/Goods & Services Updates: Update spendable and goods and services differentials based on data received from Client’s data provider.  Implement changes through payroll process.

Credit Report: A report of an individual’s credit history prepared by a credit bureau and used by a lender in determining a loan applicant’s creditworthiness.

Cultural Training: A comprehensive Cultural Training program prepares the assignee and family for their expatriate assignment and being immersed in another culture.  Understanding the cultural protocols and the general “do’s and don’ts” of the host country lays a strong foundation for an easier and more enriching assimilation and assignment.  Cultural training facilitates a faster, more effective personal and professional transition for the assignee and family for easier interaction with host country colleagues and locals.  One or two day sessions are led by a professional trainer, who will customize the program to the needs of the expatriate and within the parameters of client policy.

Culture Shock: The impact of cultural differences upon living in a new country and the process of learning to navigate in a new culture, of adjusting and adapting to new attitudes, beliefs, lifestyles and ways of doing things.

Currency Controls: Some countries limit the amount of money that may be taken out of the country either by taxing the amount transferred or by not permitting money to be transferred beyond a certain amount over a specified period.

CWT: 100 weight. A freight shipping term used to denote “per 100 pounds” of specified weight. It always is qualified as the type of weight involved, e.g., gross, net, gross chargeable, or dimensional.


Debentures: A type of debt instrument that is not secured by physical asset or collateral. Debentures are backed only by the general creditworthiness and reputation of the issuer. Debentures are often used to secure a school position, particularly in Asia.

Deductible Expenses: Deductible expenses are those that are included in the employee’s taxable income for which he/she is entitled to claim a federal or state tax deduction.

Deed: A written instrument by which title to real property is transferred from one owner to another. The deed should contain an accurate description of the property being conveyed, should be signed and witnessed according to the laws of the State where the property is located, and should be delivered to the purchaser at closing day. There are two parties to a deed: the grantor and the grantee.

Deed of Trust: A deed held in trust by a third party. In such a situation, the borrower transfers the title to a trustee who retains the title until a loan debt is repaid. A form of mortgage in some states.

Delinquency: A loan payment that is overdue but within the period allowed before actual default is declared.

Default: The nonperformance of a duty, whether arising under a contract or otherwise; failure to meet an obligation when due, such as failure to make mortgage payments as agreed to in the terms of the mortgage

Department of Transportation (DOT): The federal agency which, through the Surface Transportation Board within the DOT, governs the interstate transportation industry, including movers of household goods.

Departure Services (Host Country): Services rendered at the end of an expatriate assignment and are inclusive of all items associated with the termination of a tenancy.  Services include but are not limited to:

  • Lease termination
  • Deposit refund
  • Dilapidation negotiations
  • Dilapidation remediation coordination and documentation
  • Utilities termination and final billing
  • Postal office notification
  • De-registration from local government
  • De-registration from school(s)
  • De-registration of vehicle(s)
  • Temporary living accommodations

Deposits: Employees may be required to make cash deposits in the host country for utilities, housing, schools, club membership, etc. To assist the employee with these costs, companies may pay the deposits and require employees to sign a Repayment Agreement requiring the employee to reimburse the company if the monies are not returned in full at the end of the assignment.

Depreciation: Loss of value in real property brought about age, physical deterioration or functional or economic obsolescence.

Desktop Underwriter (DU): Desktop Underwriter is an automated mortgage loan underwriting system that reduces the time, cost, and subjectivity associated with traditional mortgage underwriting.

Destination Agent: Agent located at or near your destination that provides necessary services and information at the end of your move.

Destination Service Provider (DSP): In-country service providers who assist the assignee with their area orientation, home search, school search and settling-in in the host country.

Diplomatic Clause: Language added to a lease agreement or a document in the form of an addendum to ensure the ability of the tenant to be able to terminate the lease prior to its actual end date and is, most often, stated in number of days or months.

Direct Reimbursement Program: A type of home sale program in which the corporation does not guarantee an appraised value nor does it purchase the property from the employee but does reimburse some or all direct selling costs.

Discount Broker: A real estate broker who works for a commission lower than that generally charged in the area.

Discount Point: Discount points are the sum of money charged by a lender to reduce the interest rate of any particular loan. One point is equal to 1% of the loan amount.

DITY: Do it yourself. A move where the employee personally assumes the responsibility for carriage of personal effects to the new location. This term is most commonly used by government agencies.

Documentation Preparation Fee: Charges by attorneys, title companies, escrow companies, and trust companies, to prepare legal and other papers necessary to acquire property.

Documentary (TAX) Stamps: A state tax, in the form of stamps, required on pays in cash and does not finance with a mortgage.

Dual Housing Assistance: Financial assistance that may be provided by a corporation in the event the employee purchases a new residence before selling the prior residence.

Due on Sale: A clause in a mortgage providing that if the mortgagor sells, transfers, or in any way encumbers the property, the mortgagee has the right to implement the acceleration clause making the balance of the obligation due.

Duplicate Housing Costs: When an employee is responsible for two homes due to relocation, the corporation will assume financial responsibility for one of the homes typically the departure home for a specified period of time.


Earnest Money: Money given to a seller by a buyer with an offer to purchase as an illustration of good faith.

Easement: A right of way giving persons other than the owner access to or over a property.

Education Consultancy: Education consultancies address the needs of a child’s education and how to best maximize their education experience while on international assignment while managing the practical aspects of school search through an educational needs assessment, providing detailed information on the various schools available and their admissions requirements and application process.  They will often arrange school visits and interviews, prepare family for the interview process, arrange testing (if necessary or as required), provide curriculum comparisons, and review final options.  This service includes provision for children with special needs.

EE: Employee. Used in internal documents and systems to denote the transferring employee.

Effective Date of the Move: The date the new position becomes effective or the hire date, if the associate is a new hire.

Encroachment: An obstruction, building or part of a building that intrudes beyond a legal boundary onto neighboring private or public land, or a building extending beyond the building line or into an easement.

Equity: The market value of real property, less the amount of existing liens

Equity Advance: Payment of a portion of the available equity in the employee’s home prior to the sale of the home.

Escalator Clause: A clause in a contract providing for the upward or downward adjustment of certain items to cover specified contingencies, particularly interest rates.

Escrow: Funds paid by one party to another (the escrow agent) to hold until the occurrence of a specified event, after which the funds are released to a designated individual. Or may be associated with mortgage transaction in which an escrow account may refer to the funds a mortgagor pays the lender at the time of the periodic mortgage payments. The money is held in a trust fund, provided by the lender for the buyer to cover yearly anticipated expenditures for mortgage insurance premiums, taxes, hazard insurance premiums and special assessments.

Escrow Officer: An individual who administers an escrow and/or carries out the procedures necessary to transfer real property.

Escrow Fees: Charges for services rendered by an escrow agent.

ETA: Estimated time of arrival. The estimated time the shipment will arrive at port of entry.

ETD: Estimated time of departure. The estimated day the driver will leave the origin with the shipment or the estimated date that a vessel is to depart from a seaport/airport.

Exchange Rate review and configuration: Review exchange rate fluctuations (5% or more) to determine if updated is required.  Dependant on client-approval, process and implement updates as identified during implementation

Executive Coaching: One-on-one coaching focuses on meeting specific business objectives, as well as navigating the informal dynamics of a particular role or assignment.   The executive coach serves as a formal advisor/mentor to the employee to ensure maximum potential is reached.

Expense Management: During the course of an international assignment and ultimate repatriation, the assignee incurs many relocation-related expenses that are tracked and reimbursed on behalf of the client.

Extended Business Travel: Business travel projected to last less than three months. Travel between home location and host location to attend meetings, training, supervise virtual team, and/or complete a defined task, goal or project.


Family Transition Counseling: Preparing adults and children psychologically for living in another country and culture sometimes requires emotional support and family counseling to prepare a family for their new “adventure”.  Family or individual family member counseling is available as is special support tools for small children and teens.

FBO: Full buy out. Provides a guaranteed offer to purchase the employee’s home. Other names for the program include guaranteed buy out or appraised sale. The employee’s home is appraised by two or more independent appraisers. A guaranteed offer is determined by averaging the appraisals and the offer is made to the employee to purchase the home. If the employee accepts the offer, the relocation company purchases the home from the employee at the offer price. The employee has no further responsibility for the home and the relocation company carries the home in inventory until an outside buyer is found. In a separate transaction, the home is sold to an outside buyer.

FHA Mortgage: A mortgage that is insured by the Federal Housing Administration.

Federal National Mortgage Association/FNMA: A private corporation, federally chartered to provide financial products and services that increase the availability and affordability of housing by purchasing mortgage loans.

Fee Simple: The highest degree of ownership that a person can have in real estate. An interest in real estate that gives the owner unqualified ownership and full power of disposition.

FHA: Federal Housing Administration. A government agency whose main activity is insuring residential housing loans made by private lenders. It sets standards for building construction and underwriting requirements. FHA does not lend money or construct housing.

FICA: Federal Insurance Contributions Act. The combination of Social Security (OASDI) and Medicare tax rates. This term is often used to reference just the Social Security portion of the tax rate.

Fiduciary: A person who bears a special legally defined relationship of trust, confidence, and responsibility to others, such as a trustee or agent.

Finance Charge: Total amount of interest paid.

Financing: Method of providing money to a borrower for the purpose of purchasing a home.

Fixed Rate Mortgage: A mortgage in which the interest rate is constant for the entire term of the loan, typically 15 or 30 years.

Fixtures: Property that is attached to real property and is treated legally as real property while it is so attached.

Flight Charge: An extra charge for carrying items up or down flights of stairs.

FMV: Fair market value. The value of a property determined by an independent appraisal, based on comparable sales in the area.

FNMA: Federal National Mortgage Association. More commonly known as “Fannie Mae,” it is a corporation created by Congress to support the secondary mortgage market. It purchases and sells residential mortgages insured by the FHA or guaranteed by VA (see VA), as well as conventional home mortgages. FNMA sets the standards for underwriting residential mortgages.

Foreign Service Premium: A premium paid to some expatriates going on assignment.  The FSP is often provided to high potential or high worth employees as an additional incentive for accepting an assignment.  The FSP is sometimes provided in conjunction with hardship premiums to incentivize an employee to accept an assignment in a hardship location.

Furniture Leasing: The rental of furniture for unfurnished accommodations, this service is often used in lieu of shipping household goods or until the households arrive.

FRV: Full replacement value. The amount of money it will cost to purchase a new replacement for a damaged item, regardless of how old the damaged item was.

Functional Obsolescence: Outdated improvements limiting market value.


GBO: Guaranteed buy out. Same as FBO.

General Contractor: A builder who oversees a renovation or the construction of a house or an addition.

General Warranty Deed: The deed which conveys not only all the grantor’s interests in and title to the property to the grantee, but also warrants that if the title is defective or has a “cloud” on it (such as mortgage claims, tax liens, title claims, judgments, or mechanic’s liens against it) the grantee may hold the grantor liable.

Global Nomads: These are employees who move from one international assignment to another without returning to their home country.  They are also referred to as Career Expatriates or Career Assignees.

Global Policy: A company- specific document for relocating employees,  outlining terms and conditions for going on international assignment.  It is consistently applied across a company’s regions, countries and business to ensure a consistent approach for all moves.

Global Talent Management Selection System Design: A constellation of tools and procedures designed to maximize workforce productivity ultimately resulting in quantifiable improvement of business results by high performance employees.

GlobePointe Configuration for Exchange Rates/COLA Index: Input client exchange rate methodology into the MSI system specific to when the rates are updated.  System is updated with spendable and COLA index data provided by Client’s data provider.

GMS: Global Mobility Specialist™. A designation offered by Worldwide ERC® to allow relocation professionals to gain an understanding of global workforce mobility issues. To obtain the designation, participants must attend three training modules and pass an online exam for each module.

Goods and Services Tax (GST): The GST is a consumption tax that is placed on a product whenever value is added at a stage of production and at final sale. The amount of tax the user pays is the cost of the product less any of the costs of materials used in the product that have already been taxed. Ultimately, a GST is a sales tax that is paid by the end consumer of the good or service. It is also referred to as Value Added Tax (VAT).

Grantee/Grantor: A grantee acquires real estate by deed; a grantor conveys real estate by deed.

Gross-up: Company-provided tax allowance to offset, in whole or in part, the effect that certain taxable, nondeductible reimbursements or allowances may have on an employee’s gross income.

Guarantee Offer: An offer typically based on the average of two appraisals, made by a third party.


Handyman’s Special: Typically a house that is sold in as is condition, which needs a great deal of fixing up.

Healthcare and Benefits Consulting: International healthcare and benefits policy information and documents required to facilitate coverage for employees on international assignment.

Hauling Agent: Agent who owns the van assigned by the van line to transport your possessions.

Hardship Allowance/Hazard Pay: Hardship allowances are provided to those employees going on assignment in challenging locations with difficult conditions.

Hazard Insurance: Insurance coverage that compensates for physical damage to property from fire, wind, vandalism, or other hazards.

Healthcare and Benefits Consulting: International healthcare and benefits policy information and documents required to facilitate coverage for employees on international assignment.

High Value Article: Items included in a shipment that are valued at more than $100 per pound. These items should be disclosed to the mover to ensure they are protected accordingly.

Home Country Utility Norm: A contribution/payment by the employee if the employee’s home utilities obligation is either reduced or eliminated due to the assignment and the company is covering the utility expense payment in the host location.

Home Equity Loan: A mortgage loan, which is usually in a subordinate position, which allows the borrower to obtain multiple advances of the loan proceeds at his or her own discretion, up to an amount that represents a specified percentage of the borrower’s equity in a property.

Home Finding Trip: A home or apartment search in the new area, based on employee’s specific requirements and preferences, taken after the employee has made a decision to relocate.

Home Leave Coordination: A minimum of one home leave trip per year as part of an international assignment package.

Home Inspection: A thorough inspection that evaluates the structural and mechanical components and condition of a property. A satisfactory home inspection is often included as a contingency by the purchaser.

Home Inspection Services/Professional Engineers: Firms specializing in home inspections and professional engineering inspections of homes. Firms often offer structural, mechanical, heating/cooling, electrical, plumbing, septic, and other types of inspections and warranty services.

Home Inspector: A person who evaluates the structural soundness of a house.

Home Marketing Assistance: Designed to help the employee market their primary residence by designing a customized marketing strategy and to assist with offer negotiations.

Home Sale Assistance: Assisting the employee/homeowner with the disposition of the property.  This includes, but is not limited to, property market preparation, selection of a qualified real estate agent, pricing, marketing and sale of their property.

Home Search: The global home search includes, but is not limited to, the selection and finalization of suitable housing in the host country:  property viewings, lease negotiations, deposits and document requirements.

Home Selling Expenses: Expenses arising out of the sale of real estate such as brokers commission, transfer taxes, attorney and inspection fees, deed and recording fees, mortgage prepayment penalties, and incentives paid by the seller.

Homeowner Warranty: Private insurance that protects a buyer against defects such as plumbing, heating, and electrical systems in the property he/she is purchasing. The period and coverage of the insurance varies widely, and both new and existing homes may often be insured.

Household Goods (HHG): Refers to the shipment of the transferring employee’s personal belongings.

Household Goods Management: Matching the best service providers to the demographics and geography of each household goods move while utilizing major van lines to provide the highest quality service possible. This service is coordinated by MSI.

Household Goods Storage: Long term storage for employee’s personal goods while on assignment.

Housing Differential: The differential paid partially or fully to compensate for the difference in housing costs between location, either domestic or international. Usually includes home value differences as well as such ownership costs as mortgage principal and interest, property taxes, utilities, and property insurance.

HUDHousing and Urban Development. The federal agency that monitors the compliance of federal acquisition and relocation regulations.

HUD-1 Statement: A document that provides an itemized listing of the funds that are payable at closing. Items that appear on the statement include real-estate commissions, loan fees, points, and initial escrow amounts.

Hypothetical Social Security: A deduction that represents the Social Security tax you would pay had you remained in your home country Social Security system.  Used when applying the Balance Sheet approach of assignment salary build up.


Improvements: Items completed to make the property more marketable such as painting, carpeting, and landscaping.

Incentives: Typically, any payment of monies and/or valuable consideration or services performed to encourage the sale of a specific property.

Indemnification: A guarantee to protect another against specified future loss.

Immigration Document Renewals: Renewal of visa, work and residence permits required by local regulatory agencies to ensure being in compliance while remaining in that country.

Immigration Services: Service provision for processing all of the necessary legal and documentary requirements to ensure timely and compliant entry into a host country.

Immunizations: Inoculations against certain diseases while on assignment and may be required for travel to a particular country location.

Individual Development Plan: The IDP is a strategic plan to develop a high potential individual within an organization.

Interest on Equity: Interest on funds used to make equity payments, equity loan, and mortgage payoff, calculated pursuant to corporate policy.

Interest Rate: The percentage of an amount of money which is paid for its use for a specified time

International Assignment Assessment & Selection: Customized programs designed to evaluate employees and their families for international assignments using self-assessment tools as well as probative methodologies to determine appropriate candidate selection

International Drivers License Assistance: The provision of obtaining an international driver’s license in order to drive in a host country, though the home country license may be valid in the host country for a period of time.

International Household Goods Management: The coordination of all aspects of the shipment and guidance through completion of all required documentation.  This includes valued inventory and customs forms, the survey, packing, storage and insurance coverage as needed, and monitoring of the shipment’s clearance through customs and its ultimate delivery and unpacking to the employee’s home in the host location.

Inter-regional Policy: A policy that is specific to permanent relocations or assignments within a specific region.

Inventory Check-In/Check-Out: Process at start and completion of tenancy whereby an audit is undertaken of fixture/fittings, decorative status and furniture present in the property as well as identification of any dilapidations and remedial action that will be taken by the landlord.

Investment Property: Real estate owned with the intent of supplementing income and not intended for owner occupancy.


Joint Tenants: Two or more persons who hold title to real estate jointly, with equal rights to use it during their respective lives; often contains the provision that on the death of a joint tenant, his or her share in the property passes onto the survivor. A joint tenant often cannot sell or encumber his or her interest without the consent of all of the other joint tenants.

Joint Tenancy: An undivided interest in property, taken by two or more joint tenants. The interests must be equal, accruing under the same conveyance, and beginning at the same time. Upon the death of a joint tenant, the interest passes to the surviving joint tenants, rather than to the heirs of the deceased.

Judgment: The determination of a court regarding the rights of parties in an action. Financial judgments, when recorded, become a lien on the real property of the party whom the judgment is against.


Language Training: A pre-determined number of hours or modules for training an individual in a target language and facilitate improvement for conversational and business purposes.

Leadership Assessment: Analysis and evaluation of key talent within the organization to determine their level leadership capability to fulfill current and future organizational objectives

Leadership Development: High-potential Development Program Design
Customized programs created for individuals with the potential to function significantly above their current position.  Activities focus on building effective alliances, understanding organizational dynamics, and influencing across functional boundaries.

Leadership Risk Management: A disciplined and integrated program for identifying critical talent and paying attention to the factors that have been proven to keep talented people at a corporation

Lease Cancellation Fee: A fee charged to a tenant if the tenant breaks the lease before the term of the lease has expired.

Lease – Option Agreement: An arrangement by which a renter leases a house with an option to buy at the end of a specific period of time at an agreed-to price.

Lease Renewal: Negotiating the terms and conditions of a lease agreement, addressing all issues associated with that renewal as directed by client policy and assignee requirements.

Lender Fees: Fees charged by the lender to cover the administrative costs of originating a mortgage loan. These fees may include application processing; credit, appraisal, title, and survey review and approval; preparation of the closing package; resale of the loan to the secondary market or entering the loan into the lender’s portfolio.

Listing Agent: A real estate agent who is responsible for marketing the seller’s home to secure a purchaser.

Listing Agreement: An agreement between a seller of real property and a real estate broker whereby the broker agrees to attempt to secure a buyer for the property.

Loan Origination Fee or Points: Fees paid to a lender to reduce the interest rate.

Loan Commitment: A written promise by a lender to make or insure a loan for a specified amount an on specified terms.

Local Custom: A common practice in an area that is often unwritten.

Local Fees: Fees typically charged by local governments regarding the transfer and recording of real estate transactions. These may include recording fees for deeds, mortgages, releases of mortgages, city/county tax stamps, and other transfer.

Local Payroll Instruction: The template is defined as required by home/host payroll contacts for relaying payroll changes per pay period; cutoff dates are defined for submitting changes

Local Payroll Distribution: Process for delivering payroll through MSI Strategic Payroll Partner for fully outsourced payroll services

Local Payroll Reporting: Payroll reporting requirements back to client payroll once per pay period; processing is finalized and audited

Localization Plus/Local Plus: The employee is provided less than the full relocation assignment package but more than the pay and benefits of a local employee.

Lock: The period, expressed in days, during which a lender will guarantee an interest rate.

Long Carry: An added charge for carrying articles excessive distances between the mover’s vehicle and your residence.

“Look-See” Trip (or Pre-Determination Trip): This program is utilized for candidate assignees that have yet to confirm acceptance of the assignment offer.  The look-see trip allows the candidate to visit the potential host city/country and have a guided tour of the available housing, schooling, and general expatriate lifestyle assimilation based on family need.

Loss on Sale of Home Country Automobile: Reimbursement of or an allowance for the reasonable costs associated with the sale or termination of the lease of a home country automobile.

LTV: Loan-to-value. The ratio used to compare the amount owed on a mortgaged property to its fair market value.

Lump Sum Program: Monies given to employees in lieu of some or all services traditionally provided to relocating employees to facilitate the transfer.


Mandatory Home Finding Assistance: Required utilization of a customized home finding program which assists the relocating associate as well as offsets relocation costs through referral fee capture. The program includes determination of an associate’s exact needs in the destination area by gathering information about the timing of the relocation, arranging an area tour, assisting in the selection and management of a real estate broker, and serving as an advocate for the associate throughout the home buying process. This service is coordinated by MSI.

Mandatory Home Marketing Assistance: Required utilization of a customized home marketing program which assists the relocating associate as well as offsets relocation costs through referral fee capture. The program provides assistance for relocating associates in the sale of their current home by obtaining two (2) brokers’ price opinions, developing a realistic listing price and aggressive marketing strategy, providing negotiation advocacy and overseeing the sale of the home. The associate is required to utilize the program for a minimum of sixty (60) days from the presentation of the Guaranteed Offer. This service is coordinated by MSI.

Market Basket: An outside data provider measures the cost of goods and services in the employee’s home country and compares to pricing of similar items globally. The items measured are referred to as the home country market basket. This market basket is universal which means that the same types of consumer items are surveyed worldwide, typically excluding housing, taxes and transportation which are typically measured and weighted separately. These pricings serve as one benchmark against which the host country costs will be measured.

Market Rate: An estimate of the average rate being charged by lenders for conventional, fixed rate mortgage loans.

Miscellaneous Expense Allowance: The MEA is provided to help the transferring employee defray the overall costs of moving from the home to host location.

Mobility Services Counselor: The relocating associate’s single point of accountability for arranging marketing assistance of old home, real estate assistance for new home, temporary living when applicable, and the movement of household goods. The Counselor, being thoroughly educated on the Company’s policy and procedures, will be the associate’s advocate from start to finish and monitor the process to ensure consistent and professional service delivery.

Mortgage: A written instrument that creates a lien upon real estate as security for the payment of a specified debt.

Mortgage Assumption Fee: If a mortgage can be transferred from seller to buyer, and the purchaser wishes to keep this capability for marketing purposes or due to a favorable interest rate, many lenders may charge a fee to allow a purchaser to take over the mortgage.

Mortgage Banker: A mortgage banker controls the entire mortgage process from origination through funding. Mortgage bankers fund loans with their own resources and generally sell their closed loans to investors on the secondary market.

Mortgage Broker: Arranges financing for a borrower by placing loans with lenders. Mortgage brokers are paid a fee by the borrower or the lender when a loan closes.

Mortgage Commitment: A formal document provided by a lender agreeing to make a mortgage loan on a specific property, stipulating the amount, length of time, and conditions of loan.

Mortgage Insurance: A contract that insures the lender against loss caused by a mortgagor’s default on a government or conventional mortgage. Mortgage insurance can be issued by a private company or by a government agency such as the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Depending on the type of mortgage insurance, the insurance may cover a percentage of, or virtually the loan amount.

Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP): Paid monthly by the borrower to HUD to set up a reserve account for protection of the lender against loss in the government insured loans or to a private mortgage insurer for conventional loans.

Mortgage Interest: The cost of borrowing mortgage money. Mortgage interest rates vary with the terms and type of loan required

Mortgage Interest Differential (MID): Payment of some or all of the difference between the interest rate on the employee’s mortgage in the origin location and the rate on their mortgage in the new location. Payments are generally made for a limited number of years, i.e. three years.

Mortgagee: The Lender

Mortgagor: The Borrower

MLS: Multiple Listing System. An arrangement among real estate boards or exchange members in which each broker brings listings to the attention of the other members. If a sale results, the commission is divided between the broker bringing the listing and the broker making the sale, with a small percentage going to the board.


Negative Amortization: An increase in the principal balance of a loan which occurs when the monthly payments do not cover all of the interest costs. The interest costs, which are not covered by the monthly payment, are added to the unpaid principal balance. This can arise when there is a payment cap on an ARM loan. If the interest rate increases and the cap prevents the borrower from making larger payments to keep pace with the increase, the additional interest on interest is added to the loan’s principal. Thus, over a period of time, the loan’s balance can increase rather than decrease, as is normally the case.

Negative Equity: Funds that are required to be paid by the seller when the amount by which charges and prorations exceed the purchase price plus credits.

Net Equity: The amount of eligible (funds), if any, due from the purchase price of the transferee’s property after all charges and prorations are satisfied.

New Payroll Setup: Initiate new payroll setup for home/host country specific to Client request utilizing Strategic Payroll Partner expertise.

  • Define payroll processing and reporting requirements
  • Define payroll calendar
  • Define pay elements and enhance Client Chart of Accounts as necessary
  • Manage/Audit per pay period payroll process

Non-Conforming Loan: Loans that do not comply with Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac guidelines. This includes Jumbo and Sub-Prime loans.

Non-Recurring Carrying Costs: Typically, charges associated with an inventory property, which are generally one time in nature. Examples include repairs, capital improvements, mortgage assumption fees, and assessments.

Note: A written instrument that acknowledges a debt and provides a promise of repayment.


OASDI: Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance. Also called Social Security Tax.

OCONUS: Outside Continental United States. Any move that terminates or originates in a non-CONUS duty station.

Onboarding: Customized programs and processes set up to effectively assimilate new hires into an organization.

Origination Fee: A fee charged by a lender for making a real estate loan. Usually a percentage of the amount loaned, such as one percent. The origination fee is stated in the form of points. One point is I percent of the loan amount.

Outplacement: Customized programs to support the corporation’s downsizing efforts and assist its redundant employees through transition and re-orientation to the job market through proven methodology of professional coaching, state-of-the art technology, comprehensive research, resources and employment leads


Pay Elements set up (Chart of Accounts): Create client-specific chart of accounts specific to pay additions and deductions; work with Strategic Tax Partner to define taxability of each pay element

Pay Reconciliations: Provide home/host pay reconciliations per assignee as requested by either Client or Assignee and review with either and/or both as requested.

Payback Agreement: An agreement signed by the transferee which stipulates that should the employee leave the company within a given time after the relocation, he/she just payback to the company some or all the relocation expense reimbursements and loans made to the employee.

(Expatriate) Payback Agreement: Agreement based on company policy regarding a transferred employee reimbursing the company for all or part of the employer’s expenses for the relocation if the employee leaves the company within a specified time, typically within a year after the move. Most payback agreements include a sliding-scale reduction in the amount that the employee must pay back.

Payroll Calendar Setup: Create home/host payroll calendar for cutoff dates specific to:

  • Receiving changes
  • Processing starters & leavers
  • Posting payroll changes for processing
  • Auditing of payroll
  • Delivering Net Pay to Assignees
  • Payments to local tax authorities
  • Local home/host holidays that need to be considered for payroll processing each pay period
  • Calendar is provided to home/host payroll processing partners
  • Reported correctly for payroll processing

(International) Payroll Delivery Services: Methodology utilized to provide pay to employees on international assignment. Companies will use one of five approaches to delivery base pay and relocation benefits to their employees:

  • Home Country: Salary and relocation benefits paid into employee’s home country bank account
  • Host Country Currency: Salary and relocation benefits paid into employee’s host country bank account
  • Currency of Headquarters: Salary and relocation benefits paid in the currency of the company’s headquarter and delivered into the employee’s home country bank account
  • Split Pay: Salary and relocation benefits split between home and host country either designated by employee or in the assignment policy
  • Hybrid: A “higher of home or host” approach, whereby companies compare the benefits of a home-country and host-country policy and choose that which is most favorable to the expatriate
  • Personal Administration Services
  • MSI coordinates lifestyle tasks on behalf of your employee and family while they are on expatriate assignment. These tasks may include paying personal bills, forwarding mail, and maintaining subscriptions and memberships in their home country.

PBO: Occurs when articles are packed for moving by the customer rather than by the van line.

PCS: Permanent change of station. These orders transfer a military service member from one duty station to another, and constitute the basis and authority for a household goods shipment.

Pension Review: Ensure any changes to pension schemes are properly implemented

  • EE contribution changes
  • ER contribution changes
  • Caps on Pensionable Salary
  • Caps on total contribution per year

Per Diem: A fixed daily amount paid to an employee to cover meals and lodging in lieu of reimbursing actual temporary living expenses via detailed expense accounts

Performance Appraisals: Customized products created to evaluate and measure employee performance and the development of processes to best communicate and motivate employees.

Performance Management Competency Models: Customized profiles created to identify the abilities, skills and personal qualities required for job success that are common across a wide range of positions.

Performance Metrics Development: Development of key performance indicators for a job,  job family or organizational unit, including the development of balanced scorecards.

Pet Transport: Coordination of all services relating to the relocation of a pet, with its family, from the home to host country.  Service includes home pickups and deliveries, international documentation and health certificates, quarantine as required and consulate services.

PITT: Principal, Interest, Tax, and Insurance. Used to indicate what is included in a monthly amount of a mortgage payment on real property. Principal, interest, taxes and insurance are the four major parts of a usual monthly payment.

Planned Unit Development (PUD): Zoning classification that allows flexibility in the design of a subdivision. PUD’s include individually owned units as well as some common space that is jointly owned.

Power of Attorney: A written document authorizing a person to act of the behalf of another person. The authorized person does not have to be an attorney.

Pre-Qualification: The process of determining how much money a prospective homebuyer will be eligible to borrow before applying for a loan.

PMI: Private Mortgage Insurance. Paid by the borrower to protect the lender in the case of default. PMI is typically charged to the borrower when the Loan-to-Value is greater than 80%.

Policy Briefing: A review of the company’s policy and benefits with the employee going on international assignment to ensure understanding and adherence to requirements.

Policy Consulting: Develop and maintain an all-encompassing, competitive global policy to ensure it reflects best practices and supports your broader human resources and strategic objectives.

POV: Privately-owned vehicle. Frequently used in government to refer to the transferring employee’s personal automobile.

Promissory Note: A written agreement, and executed by the maker, to pay a specified amount during a limited time. Commonly used to secure equity loans.

Pro rata: To divide, distribute, or access on the basis of proportion. This tetra is used on the Relocation Policy Acknowledgment Form. It refers to the amount of money the associate may owe the Company in the event the associate voluntarily terminates his or her employment within the first twelve (12) months after the effective date of the move.

Property Management: Professional management of the assignee’s home country residence while he/she is on assignment.  This program may include screening and managing tenants, lease facilitation and renewal, rent collection, maintenance coordination and supervision, regular inspections on vacant and occupied properties and status reports to the assignee.

Prorations Date: The day date of closing between homeowner and purchaser.

Purchase Agreement: An agreement between a buyer and seller of real property, setting forth the price and terms of the sale.


Qualified Buyer: A buyer who is ready, willing, and able to purchase a home and has been pre-qualified by a lender.

Qualifying Ratio: General guidelines that help establish a borrower’s borrowing limits for the purpose of obtaining a mortgage.


Real Estate Commission: A payment to a broker for services rendered, such as in the sale or purchase of a home. The commission is usually a percentage of the selling price.

Real Estate Inspection Services: The inspection and subsequent written report process that documents the condition of a home prior to its sale. Defects, if discovered, are identified and appropriate remedies are proposed.

Recording: Filing documents affecting real property as a matter of public record, giving notice to future purchasers, creditors, or other interested parties. Recording is controlled by statute and usually requires the witnessing and notarizing of an instrument to be recorded.

Recruitment Process Outsourcing: Consulting and advising organizations on the decision to outsource their recruiting and staffing function.   This includes developing proposal requests, selecting a vendor, and transitioning the vendor into the organization.

Refinance: The process of paying off one loan with the proceeds from a new loan using the same property as security.

Relocation Allowance: An allowance provided to transferred employees to offset miscellaneous expenses encountered during a household move, which are not otherwise reimbursed. The allowance is paid either as a lump sum or on an as incurred basis.

Relocation Appraisal: The methodology and format by which the Anticipated Sales Price of a residential housing unit, using the market data approach to value, is established. Assumes an arm’s length transaction, and follows the guidelines in the ERC Summary Appraisal Report.

Relocation Benefits form: The form the associate receives after the relocation is approved. The fonn outlines the benefits being offered to the associate.

Relocation Expense Voucher: The form used when submitting reimbursable relocation expenses to the MSI Expense Management Specialist.

Relocation Incentive: A payment made to relocation employees as an inducement for accepting an assignment that requires a transfer.

Relocation Policy Acknowledgment Form: The form the associate is required to sign in order to receive any relocation benefits. The form details the Company’s right to recover funds and the associate’s right to understand details of the benefits before accepting a new position.

Repatriation Counseling: Early repatriation counseling and awareness minimizes and often completely deflects the onset of reverse culture shock.  This program includes a policy review focusing on directives addressing the repatriation process and increase employee retention by setting appropriate expectations.

Reverse Expatriates: When an employee returns to their home country on assignment, they are considered reverse expats i.e. a Chinese national employed permanently in London is sent on assignment to China.

RFI: Request for information. A corporation typically issues a RFI to service providers to obtain general information on the provider’s company and services offered. Usually sent prior to issuing a formal request for proposal (RFP).

RFP: Request for proposal. Issued to service providers by a corporation and asks a series of questions to determine expertise, capabilities, recommendations for services, and pricing.

RFQ: Request for quote. A corporation typically issues a FRQ when it is seeking only pricing information, or requires a quote for a specific move or service.

RITA: Relocation income tax allowance. This calculation determines the difference between the payroll withholding (VVTA) paid throughout the tax year and a hypothetical calculation of the transferred employee’s actual tax liability due when filing IRS Form 1040. Also can be called delta.

RMC: Relocation management company. Companies that buy and sell homes for corporations on a contractual basis. Also known as national home purchase companies or third-party companies.


Sales Contract: A contract by which buyer and seller agree to terms of sale.

School Search: If school-age children are accompanying the employee on assignment, selection of the appropriate educational facility in the host country will likely be the first priority.  This program includes tours of the public, private, international and country-specific schools as requested, guiding them through the interview, selection and registration process.

SCRP: Senior Certified Relocation Professional. Those who go above and beyond the CRP designation to further the cause of ERC® and educate the industry may receive the Senior CRP designation.

Second Mortgage: A mortgage that has lien position subordinate to the first mortgage.

Security (Updates and Country Intelligence): Experienced security consultants provide counseling and/or physical protection to the employee and dependents, as dictated by company policy and host location security needs.

Security Deposit: Funds held to guarantee performance of terms. Most frequently seen in a lease wherein the tenant must deposit funds with the landlord for the life of the lease to guarantee performance and condition.

Selling Agent: Agent responsible for finding a qualified buyer for a property; often referred to as Buyer’s Agent.

Selling Costs: Costs associated with the marketing and selling of a property, including real estate commissions and monetary concessions and incentive.

Seller’s Market: Market condition favoring the seller, in real estate, when there is not an adequate supply of homes for interested buyers.

Settlement Statement/HUD: A statement prepared by a broker, escrow agent or lender giving a complete breakdown of costs associated with the sale of real estate. Separate statements are prepared for the seller and buyer.

Settling-in Services: Program designed to guide the expatriate family through the rigors of setting up daily lifestyle needs in the host country.  These services include but are not be limited to: assistance with establishing bank accounts, motor vehicles and driver’s license processing, local government registration, health insurance or social security documents, neighborhood walks, local shopping, childcare, tour of medical facilities, recreation, furniture rental and other resources required by the assignee and family.

Shadow Payroll Management: Identify instances where payroll must be processed in either home or host location to ensure local tax compliancy is adhered to on a per-pay period basis.  No net pay is delivered as a result of running shadow payrolls; utilized for social insurance/tax calculating and payments to local tax authorities only.

SIT: Storage-In-Transit. Temporary warehouse storage of your shipment pending further transportation, for example, if your new home isn’t quite ready to occupy. You must specifically request SIT service, which may not exceed a total of 90 days of storage, and you will be responsible for the added charges for SIT service, as well as the warehouse handling and final delivery charges.

Special Assessment: A special tax levied on real property for specific purposes such as providing paved streets, sidewalks, new sewers, etc.

Split Payroll: Payroll provider pays an employee’s salary and allowances in two countries and in two currencies.

Spouse/Partner Career Counseling: This program includes in-depth counseling and evaluation services of experienced global career management specialists who assist in providing career options, strategies and local resources to afford the spouse/partner the opportunity to enhance their curriculum vitae while on assignment, whether through employment, continuing education and/or volunteer positions.

State Fees: Fees typically charged by state governments regarding the transfer and recording of real estate transactions. These may include revenue stamps, transfer taxes, or other transfer charges.

Stealth Expatriates: Stealth expats are employee who works in a country other than their own without being a part of the company’s official international assignment program/roster and often without the Mobility Team or Human Resource’s knowledge.

Storage Management: Storage Management is utilized when household goods are not accompanying the assignee to the host location and not remaining in the home country property for the term of the assignment.  The management process includes coordination of the survey, packing, crating and storage lot at origin in climate controlled warehouse facilities until there is a request for the goods be released.

Subcontractor: A specialist such as a plumber or roofer who is hired by the general contractor to perform a specific task on a construction job.

Succession Planning: Identification and development of potential successors for key positions in an organization through a systematic evaluation process and training

Supply Chain Management: The identification, selection and ongoing management of suppliers that provide services of different inter-related disciplines through pre-established metrics and service level agreements.


Talent Acquisition Design: Customized program designed to improve the search and selection of top talent inclusive of programs and processes to effectively assimilate new hires into an organization.

Talent and Learning Management Integrated System Design: Customized program that creates seamless talent management processes to link the various stages in the employee lifecycle from recruiting through retaining and outplacing employees, leveraging technology to enable the integration.

Talent Selection: A customized process to screen out undesirable candidates and create a short list of top tier candidates for a position. This usually includes the integration of job related assessment tools and sound hiring decision making processes.

(Assignment) Tax Consulting and Planning: Tax solutions for corporations with employees on short-term and long-term assignments outside of their home country.  Programs include, but are not limited to:

  • Expatriate and foreign national tax return preparation, including review and analysis of special elections and treaty provisions available to expatriates and foreign nationals.
  • Preparation of annual tax equalization, tax protection, and / or tax reconciliation calculations.
  • Foreign country tax return preparation.
  • Expatriate and foreign national compensation tracking and reporting, including payroll and Form W-2 reconciliation.
  • International Compensation Balance Sheet development and review.
  • Expatriate and foreign national payroll consulting, including worldwide withholding and reporting requirements for expatriate and foreign national employees.
  • Home and host country tax counseling sessions with the International Assignee.
  • Tax Treaty planning and consulting.
  • Year of departure and year of repatriation planning.
  • Response to tax notices from U.S. federal, state, or foreign taxing authorities, including representation before the applicable taxing authority.
  • Writing or review of company Tax Equalization policies, up to and including the design and implementation of the company tax equalization program.
  • Calculation and coordination of required U.S. federal and state estimated tax payments.

Tax Equalization: The process whereby an employee on international assignment pays no more and no less income tax than had they stayed in their home country tax system.  Any additional tax liability due in the host location is paid by the Employer.

Temporary Housing (or Short Term Accommodation or Temporary Living): Facilities available worldwide to accommodate short term or temporary living requirements.  Properties are fully furnished and have fully equipped kitchens.

Temporary Living Allowance: An amount used to reimburse authorized costs incurred by a transferring employee (domestic or international) for the interval of time between leaving permanent housing to the date of occupancy of permanent accommodations in the new location.

Tenancy in Common: An estate or interest in land held by two or more persons, each having equal rights of possession and enjoyment, but without any right of succession by survivorship between the owners.

Tenancy Management: This is the facilitation of monthly rental payments in the host country on behalf of a corporate assignee for the duration of assignment.

Title: The written evidence that proves the right of ownership of a specific piece of property.

Title Agency: A representative of a title company that issues policies on behalf of a title company, the title agency is not the actual insurer.

Title Binder Fee: A fee charged for a commitment that the title insurance policy would be issued.

Title Company: A company that specializes in examining and insuring titles to real estate, e.g. Stewart Title.

Title Cost: Fees charged for items such as abstract of title search, title examination, owner’s and lender’s title insurance policies, and any other fee required to ensure the prospective buyer is receiving a fee simple or leasehold estate to the property, as applicable.

Title Evidence: The results of a search or examination of title in the form of a report, abstract, or opinion of title.

Title Insurance: Insurance that protects the lender (lender’s policy) or buyer (owner’s policy) against loss arising from disputes over ownership of a property.

Title Report: A document outlining the current state of title. The report includes information on ownership, outstanding deeds of trust or mortgages, liens, easements, covenants, restrictions, and any defects.

Title Search: A review of all recorded documents affecting a specific property to determine the condition of title.

Total Cost Reporting: Financial process capturing all payments paid by a Company, to and on behalf of an employee (including all expenses and employee benefits)or an entire employee population.

Totalization Agreement: An Agreement entered into by two countries with the purpose of avoiding double taxation of income with respect to Social Security deductions. This occurs when the employee is required to pay social taxes, together with the employer, to both the home and host country on the same earnings.

Transfer Tax: State tax on the transfer of real property. Transfer tax is based on purchase price or money changing hands. Transfer tax does vary from state to state.

Truth-in-Lending: A federal law that requires lenders to fully disclose, in writing, the terms and conditions of a mortgage, including the annual percentage rate (APR) and other charges.


U.S. Expatriate Employee: An employee working in a foreign location that is either a citizen or nonresident of the United States and treated as a U.S. citizen for tax purposes by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

Underwriting: The process of evaluating a loan application to determine the risk involved for the lender. Underwriting involves an analysis of the borrower’s creditworthiness and the quality of the property itself.


VA Mortgage: A mortgage that is guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Valuation: The degree of “worth” of the shipment. The valuation charge compensates the mover for assuming a greater degree of liability than that provided for in the base transportation charges. This is also known as Extra Care Protection.

Value Added Tax (VAT): VAT is a consumption tax based on the purchase price of a particular service or product.

Van Line: The national moving company through which affiliated agents are granted the necessary authority to transport interstate shipments. The van line handles dispatching, shipment routing and monitoring, paperwork processing, and claims settlement for all interstate shipments handled by its agents.

Vendor’s Lien: A lien either express or implied given to a vendor for the remaining unpaid and unsecured part of a purchase price.

VA: Veterans Administration. An agency of the federal government that guarantees a portion of each VA mortgage for qualified veterans of the United Stated Armed Forces. A VA mortgage is a loan available only to qualified veterans and service personnel, according to their entitlement, which is guaranteed by the Veteran’s Administration. This is a fixed-term mortgage in which the VA sets typically lower than conventional interest rates. No down payment may be required if the cost of the home equals or is less than the VA- appraised amount. Buyers may not be charged points. By law, the discount points charged by the lender to issue a VA mortgage must be paid by the seller.


Warranty Deed: A document used in many states to convey fee title to real property. A warranty deed contains provisions under which the seller becomes liable.

Worldwide ERC: The relocation industry’s global association created to provide guidance, training, and networking opportunities to relocation professionals.

WTA: Withholding tax allowance. Payment of withholding taxes on a pay-period basis by a corporation or government agency. A minimum amount of tax must be withheld from the gross employee payment (s) using supplement& tax rates during each pay period that an employee receives taxable payments.


Year-end Reporting: Monthly compensation collection and auditing. Train local payroll providers on requirements for reporting local payroll back to MSI for year-end compensation accumulation process. We develop reporting template to be completed by local payroll provider and train them on how to upload data into MSI vendor portal.

Year-end Reporting to Tax Provider and follow up: We provide Global Statement of Earnings (GSOE) for all Long Term and Short Term Assignees to Tax Partner, detailing worldwide compensation processed including relocation expenses

Year-end wage statement audit and reconciliation: Provide detailed compensation reconciliations which ties to box 1 – Taxable Wages on W2 (Specific to US only).


Zoning Ordinances: The laws of the local government establishing building codes.