There is a reason why so many people decide to hire a moving company. For starters, there are many risks involved with DIY moving. Next, the costs of hiring a company don’t need to be that high, even though they depend on several factors: the distance, the services, and the company you choose, among other factors. But, perhaps the most important thing that will help you avoid the enormous final bill is knowing how moving quotes work. Here’s everything you need to know about moving quotes or estimates. After this article, it’ll be much easier to make the choice that will prove to be good for your finances.
Why is learning about moving quotes important
One of the ways to reduce stress when moving is to hire a reliable moving company. But, this also means that you’ll have to learn about moving estimates and quotes and why they’re important. Moving quotes are important because they give you an idea of how much you’ll have to pay a moving company for their services. On the other side, since most companies give quotes online, or via phone, the goal is to get a written estimate, as it will legally bind the company. That’s why there are different types of moving estimates:
- Non-binding moving estimate– this kind of estimate is a document with a mover’s guess. However, this means that other factors can affect the final price, like the weight of your items, and the overall services the company provides.
- Binding moving estimate – if nothing changes, the company is bound to honor this estimate. This means that as long as the company moves the items on the inventory sheet, the final price will be the same as the estimate. So, if there’s one thing you should know about moving quotes, it’s that you should try and get a binding moving estimate.
- Binding-not-to-exceed moving estimate – this type of estimate is very similar to a binding estimate. The difference is, that with this type of estimate, is your items weigh less than it was initially estimated, you’ll be able to pay less.
When getting moving estimates
During this process, there are some things you should keep in mind.
Never sign blank documents
If a company offers a blank estimate for you to sign then you know this is the company you shouldn’t do business with. And if they present this kind of document for you to sign on the day of your move, then you should request that they reschedule the move and consider different movers. If you sign an incomplete estimate, they could add additional charges to it.
Ask how the company determines its rates
You want to choose a company that determines its rates based on the shipment’s weight. There are other companies charge based on the shipment’s volume, measured in cubic feet. However, this is illegal in many states, as it makes it easier for movers to overcharge. That’s why you should always ask how the company determines its rates.
The right way to get an estimate
The way that some companies give you an estimate is online, or via the phone. However, the best way to get an estimate is if it’s based on an in-home inspection. The reason is that you want a company to be familiar with your possessions. This way, they can’t tell you that they didn’t know you have a piano to move or stairs in your home. They’ll be familiar with your possessions and your specific circumstances. That’s why if you live within 5o miles of the moving company, they have to physically evaluate your belongings unless you waive this right.
A table of measurements or a cube sheet is an inventory list of items that the company moves. You should get a copy for yourself and examine it. See if every item you want to move is on the list, even the smaller items.
Consider your moving date
Moving costs are not the same every day of the year. The reason is that there are there’s a time of the year when demand decreases. And that’s why the costs can be lower during this time of year. So, you should ask if the costs will change in a couple of days. And see how long the quote is considered valid. If you wait before booking the move, you might need to get a new estimate.
Moving fees and additional costs
It’s not only a matter of rates based on weight or volume. It’s the matter of specific service and if it’s included in the price. You should know what to expect if movers pack for you, you should know if that’s included in the price or not. So, this is why you should talk to your moving company and see what services they charge extra for. The following could be the reasons for additional services:
Long carry service
Long carry fee can be charged if movers have to carry the boxes a long way. But, the good news is that the written estimate should have the specified maximum distance the movers will carry your boxes, before applying this fee. Besides this one, there could be another additional fee involved, if the company can’t get the truck close to your house. In this case, they’ll have to use a van or a smaller truck. So, if it’s hard to find a good parking place near your home, see if the company uses smaller moving trucks.
Now that you know what you need to know about moving quotes, you have all the reasons to ask all the right questions. After all, there’s no such thing as a stupid question, if you want to play it safe and play it smart.