How much does it cost to hire movers and how do they determine the price of your move? Have a look at the different types of in-home moving estimates and how they can affect your budget.
Good planning and sticking to an achievable schedule are essential to making sure your move results you enjoying yourself at your new place, rather than you crying over the all the things you broke when you were packing your boxes, the toe you broke when you unloaded the boxes, and you being broke as well, because you thought the price of hiring movers would be more or less the same anyway and just picking one that responded quickly would be just fine.
Don’t make that mistake. Be picky about who you are going to trust with your belongings and who you want to pay – and how much you want to pay.
The difference in prices moving companies offer can actually be quite substantial – some of them cost more for a perfectly valid reason (the offer extra services, they bring their own boxes or supplies, they have helpers who deal with delicate appliances etc.), while others just try to get the most out of it without offering any kind of extra service.
Get Your Moving Quote in Time
One thing that moving cost calculators and moving companies during in-home moving estimates take into consideration is how early you scheduled your move. General rule of thumb: the earlier you are able to choose the right moving company and make an agreement, the better for you and your budget.
Prepare to book your movers about one month before moving day, so pencil some time to get the best in-home moving estimates or check out the most accurate and reliable online moving cost calculators before reaching a final decision.
Determining Moving Costs – How Is it Done?
There are two main ways to determine the costs of hiring a moving company: the moving company could either send over one of their experts which will have a closer look at your belongings to determine the workload as well as the price, or you could use one of the numerous online moving cost calculators.
What Happens During an In-Home Moving Estimate?
In-home moving estimates can tell you quite precisely how much your move is going to cost. The moving company sends over one of their experts, which will then evaluate your belongings – the quantity, he’ll look for fragile or delicate items and so on.
They will be able tell you upfront what kind of extra services they offer or whether any additional moving services are included if you choose to move with this particular moving company. Important: ask for any additional costs that may come up!
Some moving companies offer free moving boxes or include packaging services in their moving quote. Find out what they have to offer and compare it to a few other estimates from other moving companies. The differences can be huge.
Another great thing about in-home moving estimates is that you’ll have a moving expert at your house that will be there to answer all questions you might have about the actual moving process. If you think your move is going to be complicated or if you feel unsure about certain steps, this can be very comforting.
What Are In-Home Moving Estimates Based on?
In-home moving estimates are usually based on the total weight of your things and the distance to your new home. Make sure to ask about other services that could be included in the moving quote, such as packing, unpacking, preparing appliances etc.
In order to be able to provide these pieces of information, the moving expert will have to look into all your closets and cabinets. So if you plan on moving the appliances from the garden shed as well, make sure to let them know.
The Different Kinds of In-Home Moving Estimates
Basically, there are three different types of in-home moving estimates:
- Non-binding estimates
In this case, the moving company will charge you based on the total weight of your belongings on moving day. This means that the actual moving costs might be higher than those given with the moving estimate, but it could also cost less. The moving company can’t tell you the exactly how much the move is going to cost until your things are weighed on moving day.
Receiving a non-binding estimate will leave you in a rather vulnerable position, unless you’re working with a proven and verified moving company.
With non-binding estimates, fraudulent and simply profit-seeking moving companies can charge way more than acceptable, not only by giving a high moving estimate, but also by giving an unusually low moving estimate, which afterwards skyrockets for a variety of extra fees you had no idea you will have to pay.
So, make sure to find a great moving company you can trust in order to avoid incidents of this kind. Non-binding estimates are also quite handy, since they can also be given out over the phone in certain cases, which makes sense for people who are going to move with light shipments or those who are moving on a short notice and need a very quick moving quote.
- Binding estimates
Binding estimates tell you exactly how much the services of the moving company are going to cost. The moving expert will estimate the costs of your move, which will then be the sum you pay for on moving day, even if you are moving more or fewer things than initially planned.
Knowing the exact moving costs in advance can be tremendously helpful. Moving is always kind of a big investment, and knowing how much you’ll be able to save for other important things (furniture, renovation, rent) can be a real life saver.
There is one catch, though: if your things weigh less than stated on the estimate, you’ll still have to pay the full sum.
- Option-binding estimates
With option-binding estimates, your moving costs can’t go above the estimated price of the moving quote, even if the weight was higher than mentioned on the moving quote. Also, if your things actually weigh less than stipulated, your moving costs will be reduced accordingly. Great, isn’t it?
Ask your local movers about the different types of moving estimates they are offering and schedule an appointment after narrowing down your selection.
Bill Adams, who dealt with moving estimates for a long time, has a great tip for those of you who have an upcoming in-home moving estimates: schedule them all on the same day and make a two-hour break in between. The information they provide will be fresh in your mind, and comparing them to each other will feel a lot easier.