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Getting Your Moving Estimates
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|After you have narrowed down your list of movers by receiving quotes and performing background checks, the next important step in choosing your moving company is getting estimates.
To help make the most informed decision possible, it is recommended that you get at least three estimates from potential movers, but how do you go about doing that?
Get to know your move
Before you even consider calling around for estimates, get to know the ins and outs of your move so that you can provide a company with the most information possible.
The more you can tell them about your move, the more accurate an estimate they will be able to give you.
To help your future moving company, familiarise yourself with answers to the following:
- What items will be moved and from how many rooms?
- How much do all the items being moved weigh? (moving pricing is generally done by weight and can be roughly calculated with a moving estimate weight cost calculator)
- Will the company have to provide packing and unpacking services?
- Will movers have to navigate obstacles such as stairs and elevators in both locations?
- What is the length of time it will take to get from your old home to your new home?
Learn about the types of estimates
Take time to learn about the three different types of estimates available so you can ask the moving companies which one(s) they provide.
- Nonbinding estimates - the estimated cost of your move may change on moving day (the cost will either increase or decrease depending on the actual weight of your items, moving time, etc.)
- Binding estimates - the estimated cost will be exactly what you agree to pay the day of your move, even if the exact cost turns out to be cheaper or more expensive
- Binding not-to-exceed estimates - this is the best option because the estimated cost may be cheaper than the actual cost but will never exceed the estimated quote
Making telephone calls to moving companies is the quickest and easiest way to get a moving estimate, but not always the best or most accurate option.
In the event that you have a small move or need to move quickly, an over the phone estimate is okay, but an in-home estimate is definitely preferable.
Set up an in-home estimate
In order to get the best estimate for your move, set up in-home estimates with moving company representatives. This way they can physically see what they will be moving to and from your home and in turn will be able to give you more accurate pricing for the day of your move.
In addition to a more accurate estimate, there are other benefits to an in-home estimate with movers.
- Movers will more easily be able to estimate the time it will take to complete your move
- They will be able to familiarise themselves with the details of your move ahead of time
- You get a feel for the company you may be hiring (professionalism, timeliness, etc.)
- You can ask questions about the moving process (insurance and liability, fees, etc.)
- You will be able to test what knowledge they have about the moving industry
Get it in writing
To help ensure that movers stick to the estimate they have given you come moving day, get any and all estimates in writing.
These written estimates should include:
- What it will cost to ship your items
- Whether the service will be charging you a per hour or flat rate
- How long it will take to complete the job
- The number of boxes that will be moved
- The relative size and value of the items to be moved
- The price of any other services you have requested (such as packing and unpacking services)
- How the moving and services will be paid for
- Your signature and the signature of the person who has given you the estimate
TIP: Make sure the estimate is as official as possible by requesting it be on company letterhead with the contact information and address of the company.
Most importantly, remember when it comes time to choose a moving company that the cheapest option isn't always the best option.