Repurchase Options

A repurchase option (RPO) allows Dartmouth a limited amount of time, usually 30-60 days, to decide whether to purchase a property upon the occurrence of certain events, which may be the anticipated sale of the home or the owner's decision to leave College employment. The purchase price offered to Dartmouth is usually established by a formula contained in the Repurchase Option.

Releasing RPOs

Homeowners, brokers and real estate agents are encouraged to contact the Real Estate Office to discuss Dartmouth's potential interest prior to placing the house on the market. In most cases, Dartmouth will be able to indicate whether it would:

  • Consent to a permanent release of the RPO
  • Consent to a transfer of the property subject to receiving a similar RPO from the new buyer
  • Be interested in negotiating a potential purchase before the homeowner's receipt of a bona fide offer

In a limited number of cases, Dartmouth will indicate that it has potential interest in purchasing the property, but that it will need to postpone any more formal response until the homeowner has a bona fide offer.

Approximately 150 RPOs have been permanently released (i.e., no new RPO from the new buyer) since 1995. Many of these were included in blanket releases covering multiple properties in the Haskins Road and Dresden Road area; others were released by individual action.

Transferring RPOs

Dartmouth most often "rolls over" an RPO when sale of a property subject to a Dartmouth right of first refusal is proposed. RPOs designed to limit appreciation and maintain long term affordability (in the Grasse Road neighborhoods of Hanover) are typically exercised by the College assigning a specified employee its right to repurchase under the RPO (effectively rolling over the RPO and passing on to the new buyer the right to purchase at a reduced price).

Whether or not Dartmouth would be more likely to release or to exercise its RPO will depend at any given time upon Dartmouth's current needs, the location of the home, and the sale price. Still, properties farther away from campus are more likely to be released. The College will typically exercise its repurchase option on homes subject to a repurchase option designed to limit appreciation, prior to the property being marketed by the homeowner.

If You Have a Purchase and Sale Agreement on a House with an RPO

In all cases a copy of the signed Purchase and Sale Agreement should immediately be delivered to the Real Estate Office. Unless the College has previously consented to permanently release the RPO, the process will be more efficient if the Purchase and Sale Agreement confirms that the prospective buyer is willing to give the College a new RPO containing the same terms. RPOs usually give the College a fixed number of days to decide whether it will exercise its option to purchase, but as a matter of policy, the College does its best to limit any delay.

Selling Your Home?

Most RPOs give the College the option to buy the house at a price net of any commission. As a result, we encourage homeowners subject to an RPO to contact the Real Estate Office at (603) 646-2446 before listing the property. Owners who are interested in selling homes subject to RPOs are encouraged to first contact us to discuss Dartmouth's potential interest.