How to Understand a Moving Estimate

Written by: Mike D on August, 24 2017

Moving. We've all done it. The boxes, the packing, the forgetting to buy extra rolls of tape just as you finish boxing the fine china; it's enough to make any of us throw up our hands in despair. Don't become the stressed out moving cliché. Instead, choose to use a professional moving service that will turn moving into a fun adventure. Whether you want your movers to pack all of your items or simply pack the truck, you will need to first answer the question, "how much will it cost me to move?"

Understanding The Three Types Of Moving Estimates
"How much will my move cost," is a seemingly simple question with a slightly more complex answer. The cost of long distance moves is typically based on the weight of the items being moved, and with local moves it’s based on an hourly rate. As you begin to shop around for moving quotes, it is important that you accurately assess the number and type of items that will be packed onto the moving truck. Once you have made a list of your items, you will be ready to contact a moving company for a moving estimate. For a long distance move, most moving companies will use one of three types of moving estimates: non-binding, binding, or not-to-exceed estimates. These estimates should be carefully considered, so that you can more accurately determine how expensive your impending move will be.

  1. Non-Binding Estimates. -- A non-binding moving estimate is based on the actual weight of your items, instead of the speculated weight. If a moving company gives you a non-binding moving estimate, then you will only have to pay the cost provided by the mover at the time of delivery. With this in mind, many people prefer a non-binding estimate because the final cost can often be lower than the original estimate. However, keep in mind that your household items may weigh more than you initially anticipated, which means that you might end up paying more come moving day. But don’t worry too much, because by law, professional movers cannot charge you more than 10 percent above the price of your original moving estimate.
  2. Binding Estimates. -- As the name suggests, a binding estimate typically states that you will be obligated to pay the initial estimate, regardless of the actual weight of your household items. Movers will be able to change the binding estimate if you need additional services at the time of the move. Given the possible restrictions on a binding estimate, it is important that you have an accurate understanding of the weight of your household items before you ask a mover for a binding estimate.
  3. Not-To-Exceed Estimates. -- The not-to-exceed estimate will include a guaranteed pricing as well as price protection. Typically, you will be quoted one price that is based on the estimated weight of your household items; this price will represent the largest sum that you will have to pay. At the time of your move, your household items will be weighed and you will be able to pay the lesser of the two amounts.

Whether you receive a non-binding, binding, or not-to-exceed estimate, it is important that you carefully consider the cost of your move before you select your professional moving company. Finally, it is important that you read all of the fine print on a moving estimate to ensure that you and your chosen moving company avoid any miscommunication. Simply ask your moving professional to provide you with a clear estimate that will allow you to properly budget for your upcoming local or out of state move. To begin budgeting for your upcoming move, we invite you to receive free moving quotes today.

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