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Moving Estimates: Gathering & Comparing
Moving one of those unavoidable things we all have to deal with at least once during our lifetime. No matter what our situation, at some point or other we will be faced with the prospect of moving from one place to another, and just like any major change, it will cause a certain amount of stress. It is therefore in ones best interests to plan our move properly to minimize the stress. One of the crucial steps to finding a moving service is gathering and comparing estimates, this will help you get a good idea what the moving services will cost you.
Moving estimates may be attained online or by having a company representative visit your home and making a physical verification of your moving needs. Phone estimates are not very good and though online moving estimates are better, even they are not accurate. The best way for a moving service to be able calculate an exact estimate is to come to your home and see how much you want to move, as well as some other factors involved.
When gathering estimates, first determine the kind of services you are going to require. Gather estimates from multiple companies and make a comparison of the various services on offer and then select according to your need.
Types of Estimates
Generally there are two types of estimates you will encounter – binding estimates and non-binding estimates. For binding estimates you are charged a fee whereas non binding estimates are available free of cost.
Your mover is required by the FMCSA to prepare a written estimate on every shipment transported for you. The estimate must include all of charges, including transportation, accessories, and advance charges. The mover is allowed to amend the estimate of charges before loading your belongings but not afterwards.
- A Binding Estimate is a contractual agreement made by you and the mover; both of you are bound by the charges on this estimate. With a binding estimate, you do not have to pay any more than the estimated amount at delivery. However if you have asked for additional services other than those included in the estimate then you will be required to pay for them at the time of delivery of your goods.
- A Non-Binding Estimate is what your mover believes the total cost will be for the move, based upon the estimated weight of the shipment and the services requested by you. A non-binding estimate is not binding on your mover. It is your responsibility to pay up to 110% of the non binding estimate at time of the delivery. If the cost turns out higher than 110% then you have up to 30 days to pay the balance amount.
What Goes Into Account when Determining an Estimate?
When giving moving estimates the movers take into account a few things. One is the weight of the shipment. They then take into account the distance your items need to be moved. They also take into account other factors like accessibility of your home by trucks. This is because if your home is not accessible easily by trucks and they have to be kept at a distance from your home then there will be considerable labor involved in lugging your items from your home to the truck. Movers also take into account things like availability of an elevator in the home or the presence of flights of stairs that need to be negotiated. Obviously lugging furniture across flights of stairs owing to absence of elevators is more cumbersome and hence the final estimates will be higher.
Estimates are also dependent on the type of services you opt for – whether you want full moving services that include packing, loading, unloading, unpacking and transportation. Or whether you want to manage packing by yourself and leave the rest to the mover.
Having your vehicle moved will cost extra as well.
Make sure you get moving estimates from a minimum of three moving companies before selecting the moving company that is right for you. Estimates are a great way to determine the cost of moving beforehand so one may plan one’s finances accurately. It is in your best interests to obtain and compare them thoroughly.