How To Obtain The Most Accurate Moving Estimate

Written By Thomas Curry | Updated: Oct 29, 2021

How To Obtain The Most Accurate Moving Estimate

The best way to obtain the most accurate moving estimate is to hire a licensed mover, have in-depth knowledge about the details of your move, know the additional services required and getting an idea of how much does it cost to move.

Whether you are hiring the best local moverlong-distance mover, or an international moving company, it can get expensive. Obtaining a moving quote or many is one of the first steps in the relocation process. Not only do you receive an estimated moving cost, but checking the entire moving process in advance with the professional movers provides you a better sense of things to expect when you are indeed packing and moving your goods.

What you need to do to obtain the right moving quote: you must know how to obtain an accurate estimate for your move. Meeting the wrong moving company can land you a deal that will end up with more cost than just money.

In this guide, we will give tips on ways to obtain an accurate moving estimate, prevent fraud, and things to look for.

What is the Actual Meaning of an Accurate Moving Quote?

You can see that moving quotes differ, and knowing this may have changed your original thought on the subject. When searching for an accurate quote for your move, you are likely thinking of receiving a price that will remain the same. This is why we suggest you avoid working with companies that provide binding relocation estimates altogether. Aside from the tendency of them charging unpleasant hidden fees on customers, they are also a perfect way for dishonest companies to scam you.

Read How to Avoid Moving Scams or Frauds

Sticking to this idea, a non-binding moving estimate might not be the perfect option for you as well. It is no wonder many people choose the binding-not-to-exceed moving estimate as their favorite. At least, you get your money’s worth or less.

Tips to get the Most Accurate Relocation Estimate

So, how can you prevent unpleasant financial surprises during a move? How can you be certain that you know the exact cost of your move so that you can better plan your budget accordingly?

Obtaining an accurate moving estimate needs some time and effort from you, but it is very much worth it.

Below is how to get a realistic and actual estimation of the relocation costs:

1. Ensure you are working with a Licensed and Insured Moving Company

These rogue movers offer dishonest low moving quotes to draw more customers and get rid of the competition. Immediately they’ve gotten the job, however, they continue to add more charges for alleged extra services or unexpected situations, so that the overall cost increases a lot and the customers are forced to pay a lot more than their expectation.

To prevent fraud like that, you need to research the moving companies you consider hiring and ensure they are reliable professionals – perfectly licensed, completely insured, and bonded, with a history of quality customer service and a proven record of efficiency, safety, and quality. You can be certain that such reputable moving companies will provide you an accurate moving estimate.

Fill out a free online relocation quote to contact many reputable moving companies near you and get a better idea of the amount your move will cost. Screen down your option to 4 or 5 reliable movers that seem to offer a great deal for your situations and gather more information about them – verify their USDOT numbers, check their websites, read customer reviews online and check the ratings of the companies from the Better Business Bureau website.

2. Know the Things you are Moving

A huge mistake people make is to call a moving company before they are certain of what they are relocating. Before you begin to compare movers, you should make an inventory list of items you are moving, so you avoid surprises. Moving estimates are based on the weight or volume so if you later have more items on your pick-up date, your overall cost will increase. Take your time to screen down the items you want to move and what you want to dispose of. Taking inventory is the best way to achieve this.

Read How To Make A Home Inventory During Moving

3. Choose between Professional Packing and Self-Packing

Before you contact a moving company to get an estimate, you should find out whether you will pack yourself or not. Self-packing is a brilliant way to reduce cost, but it also takes much work. You can buy packing supplies straight from our website, or visit any nearest Home Depot. Remember that if you need packing supplies on the pickup day, you will have to pay for them. So, before you decide to pack yourself, make sure you can do the entire job involved. Read this write-up on the median cost of hiring a moving company.

4. Talk about the Additional Services and choose if you will do the Work Yourself

Talk to the estimators about all the things that will be done in getting ready for loading your belongings onto the moving truck (packing, disassembly of furniture, and so on) and choose what you will need help with. Request for packing and unpacking estimate, including the cost of each extra service, so that you can find out if using the professional services of your moving company will be financially reasonable or get your items ready for moving yourself.

Ensure every additional service that will be handled by the movers – hoisting, crating, shuttle services, and so on is clearly stated in the relocation estimate, alongside its corresponding rate.

5. Request Online Moving Estimate

You can receive an online moving estimate or via the phone from many moving companies. But, don’t go for the cheapest movers because it can lead to scams. In addition, don’t o for the costliest option. Pick out the average relocation costs. This type of moving estimate will be a better idea, not an accurate relocation estimate. But, you will at least know how much you can expect to prepare for your move.

6. Ask for an In-Home Estimate

Online estimates or estimates via the phone can provide you the right insight into your moving costs, but can never be precise – the moving company needs to inspect your home and the things you want to move to find out:

  • The weight of your goods and the essential additional services (in case you are moving cross country); or
  • The time moving your goods will take, including the number of movers that will be required (in case you are moving locally)

The moving company must see directly the quantity and type of belongings you are moving, including other barriers in your home (like stairs) that might increase the estimate. Only then will your movers be able to provide a realistic moving estimate and tell you your exact moving cost.

Pro Tip

If possible, plan all the moving estimates for the same day. In-home moving estimates are around 1 hour, so you can complete three or four estimates in a day (ensure you leave 2 hours between the schedules to have more time to create notes and check the offers you receive). This will make sure the entire discussions and the entire impressions you received from the moving agents will be new in your mind and it will be very easy to make a comparison of the offers and make a perfect decision.

7. Give the Important Information to the Estimators

To obtain an accurate moving estimate, you need to tell the company of the entire belongings that will be transported, any special care requirements you may have, and any barriers that you are aware of:

Give clear and complete information to the movers:

  • Shoe all the things you plan to move to the representatives of your moving company, not just the large appliances or furniture, but all types of small belongings and personal items too. Don’t forget the items in basements, attics, and garages and the items of cabinets and closets – if any item get omitted in the estimate, the overall cost will be more than you expected;
  • Make sure you are clear and specific when performing the walkthrough – allow the estimator to know what you are moving to your new space. Use simple English in expressions and leave no space for confusion and misinterpretation;
  • Make a list of the belongings you have for your move before the estimators arrive at your home. Immediately the survey is done, request for a copy of the shipment from every company and make a comparison of it to your own to ensure nothing has been left out and everything is perfect. It is an ideal move to create a list of belongings not to be transported, too – some movers even ask that you stay away from claims that are unclear and fraudulent.
  • Ensure the presence of all your household members who can say what gets moved and what stays behind o the moving day. In case that is not possible, talk about the matter in advance and compile a final list of the items that will be transported to your new home together, so that no item is added after making the moving estimates.

8. Ask all Relevant Questions

Immediately you received a written estimate, read it thoroughly and carefully, and find out about any issues of concern like the reason behind those higher charges when compared to other moving estimates to what you should expect if you need to adjust the moving schedule. Also, take the opportunity to ask the agents different kinds of questions regarding their company and find out as much information as you can.

A lot of movers will offer the same prices for your relocation, but it will be the small details, such as transparency, attitude, way of resolving disputes, attitude, and so on) that will help your decision in the right one for you.

9. Ask if There are any Hidden Fees

The formal moving quote sometimes doesn’t have ‘extras’ the movers plan to charge for, like moving oddly-shaped or heavy belongings, extra packing supplies, driver fees, tolls, and so on.

Find out how long the moving quote is valid for a moving quote can change depending on many factors, like the time of year and week, how free the company is at the moment, and so on. Make sure you ask the company if the quote they’ve provided has an expiration date.

10. Know the Difference between a Binding and Nonbinding Estimate

A binding moving estimate is a written contract that reveals the overall cost of the move depending on the weight/cubic feet of your items and the services required. However, if on the day of your move it seems like you have more belongings to transport than initially agreed upon, the moving company does not have to carry out the estimate. ProtectYourMove.gov mentioned that moving companies are required by law to deliver your shipments for no more than 10% more than the price of a nonbinding moving estimate.

What Calculates into the Cost of your Move?

For you to understand whether you are receiving an accurate moving quote, you need to know the things that should be covered. The cost of your long-distance move would include:

  • Travel fees: Remember, these can quickly increase in cost when moving to a new state. The fees consider things like fuel costs, including labor costs for the number of times it takes to haul your shipments
  • Size of your moves: If you plan to relocate so many items, get ready to pay for them A big move will not only take much time but also will have a great weight of shipment involved.
  • Packing services: While it is easy and advisable for a long-distance move, packing service is expensive. Expect it to cost a few hundred dollars or more
  • Extra services: If you are adding extra services, ensure you add their prices as well. Anything from moving specialty items, disassembly and reassembly of furniture, as well as moving materials brought by moving companies cost more.
  • Storage facilities: You may not know, but when you move is similarly important as how you move. That means the actual date of your move can affect the price significantly. Weekend relocation or a peak season move can cost much more than moving on a weekday, less-demand moving season.
  • Liability and valuation coverage: Since you are using a professional moving company, you will possibly need to buy some kind of liability coverage. Most movers offer several levels of coverage. Remember, however, that you can buy extra moving insurance from a third-party company.

Read Top Moving Insurance Companies of 2021’s

Conclusion

Now that you know how to obtain an accurate moving estimate when needed and where needed, you can plan your moving budget and control it. Money is a huge factor during a move. So, you can reduce some of the costs, if necessary. Hiring a good and reputable mover is the solution to getting the best relocation service and the best moving price for the service.

Get estimated moving quote now!

Thomas Curry

Thomas has a degree in literature from Stanford University and a profession in Mass Communication. Thomas is a member of the Moving Feedback research team, an expert in writing educative articles to help readers make the right buying decisions. He is well versed in moving industry matters to give the best advice on moving needs.

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