Partnering with a reputable moving company can ensure that your transition from your current house to your new home goes smoothly without property damage, delays, or potential injuries. However, the success of your move often depends heavily on your choice of moving company. One of the factors that can help you determine which moving company will provide you with the services you need is a thorough estimate. While your mover may be able to offer a passable estimate without action on your part, using the six best practices outlined in your blog can make your estimate as clear, accurate, and comprehensive as possible.
You know your situation better than anyone else. If possible, make yourself and any other adults in your household available to the moving company representative. While you may not all need to meet with the estimator all at once, your individual insight can ensure that no details are missed in the initial quote.
Consider your estimate an opportunity to vet and get to know your prospective moving company. Pay attention to how the representative conducts his or herself and how well the information you’re given is outlined to inform your final decision on a mover.
Book an In-Home Consultation
You can get moving estimates remotely. Generally, these estimates rely on home size based on the number of rooms to provide you with an approximate number. However, consider an online or phone estimate a preliminary step and not your final quote.
Remote estimates can be skewed if you own significantly more or less stuff than the average homeowner, have storage in a shed or garage, or have a home with uncommon room square footage.
Schedule an in-home estimate so that an experienced mover can evaluate the specifics of your needs and provide suggestions tailored to your timeline, belongings, and home. If possible, book your appointment at least one month before your moving date.
Bring Up Your Questions
As we mentioned in section one, an estimate consultation is the opportunity to open a dialogue with your potential mover. Before the scheduled visit, write down a list of questions you want to ask. If you meet with representatives from several moving companies, pose the same questions to each professional so you can compare directly.
Your in-home estimate visit is the time to ask about insurance offers through the company, storage options, discounts or moving packages, payment options, and move management during the process.
When your estimator leaves, you should feel confident that he or she understands your situation and that the moving company can provide you with the guidance and services necessary during your relocation.
Create an Inventory
During your moving preparation, you will likely compile a partial or full inventory of your belongings to keep track of items as you pack them. If possible, complete the majority of this inventory before your estimate.
This inventory list can provide helpful supplemental information to the observations your estimator makes in person. For example, your inventory can give your movers a better idea of how many items will need specialty packing materials and handling.
Discuss Specific Circumstances and Services
In addition to your general questions, use your in-home estimate appointment to discuss the specific details of your move. Even small details can potentially affect your final estimate. For example, many local moving costs are calculated by the hour while most long-distance moving costs are calculated according to weight.
Circumstances you should discuss with your moving company representative include:
- Availability of packing and unpacking services
- Exact travel distance
- How many movers you can expect
- Moving date and how it may affect labor availability
- Moving truck parking requirements
- Potential fees for flights of stairs and other difficult areas
- Which, if any, packing materials you must provide
Your mover may also have additional questions to help him or her better understand your needs.
Review Written Estimate Before Signing
After your scheduled walkthrough, the estimator will provide you with a written estimate of your moving costs. This report should include all of the details you have discussed, including every service you wish to take advantage of, such as storage.
Check if the estimate is non-binding, binding, or binding not to exceed. The price in a non-binding estimate may not be anywhere close to your final costs. With a binding estimate, you will pay the exact amount quoted, regardless of actual expenses.
Use these guidelines to optimize the estimate process and start your upcoming move off on the right foot. In addition to these general guidelines, ask your prospective movers if they have any recommendations to streamline or improve your in-home moving estimate.
For expert moving help you can rely on from your initial estimate until your last box is unpacked, trust the team at Bekins. We can make your moving process simple.