09 Sep In-Home Moving Estimates: Why They’re Necessary
In-Home Moving Estimates: Why They’re Necessary
In-home moving estimates outline the moving services you will need and itemizes your belongings. When moving across town or out of state, this process can be used to prepare for your move and make sure it goes as smoothly as possible.
In order to create an accurate estimate, movers take measurements of your furniture so they know what size truck they will need, how much packing materials are needed, and if any special equipment needs to be brought in. Without an in-home moving estimate, this would all be an estimation instead of an actual quote.
The moving company then determines how many hours it should take them to complete the move based on these factors and prices the move accordingly.
Moving estimates are necessary because they allow customers a chance to budget properly for their relocation expenses before committing to a moving company. This also, obviously, allows those moving to stay within budget versus having costly surprise expenses.
Why do in-home moving estimates and the moving cost calculator vary so much between moving companies?
This is a loaded question. The first thing we need to look at is whether the estimates you have received came from moving companies of equal caliber. There can be a great disparity in the service level and integrity of moving companies.
Did all 5 of your estimates come from an internet company done online? Perhaps an over-the-phone estimate? Or, did they come from an in-home estimate? If there is a large difference between estimates, then chances are they were not all done in the same fashion.
If you are comparing estimates from multiple moving companies (i.e. internet vs. phone vs. in-home estimate), it’s like comparing apples to oranges.
Can I get moving estimates online?
Internet-based companies rely on the information that you enter into an online form. The majority of their estimate is going to be based on an average weight per room as well as other questions. If you’re not prepared for the move– this would be a headache of a way to get an estimate.
For example, do you have a pool table? How many cabinets in your kitchen? How many people live in your home? You must take into consideration, each online company has different questions.
If you happen to answer slightly differently, you are, naturally, going to get varying estimates. It is very difficult to accurately estimate the contents and requirements for an interstate move, or any move for that matter, by filling out a simple form online. Opt for in-home moving estimates, ran by true moving professionals.
Is a phone-based moving estimate accurate?
Phone-based moving estimates will be processed very much like an internet-based estimate would- guessing averages and ballpark numbers. Again, the questions they ask you are designed to guess how much weight you might have per room. If your answers vary a little from company to company or each company’s weight tables are different, you are going to get very different estimates. This unreliability is solved by taking the time to meet and conduct an in-home moving estimate!
Why is an in-home estimate the best choice when moving?
An in-home estimate is the most accurate way to estimate the cost of moving. A trained professional, often a “Certified Moving Consultant,” will come to your home, sit down with you, and ask a series of questions.
By the end of the estimate, they will understand what you’re looking for as well as your needs for your move. They will tour your home with you, looking at every room, closet, cabinet, & drawer (inside and out) of the home.
When they are done they will have a comprehensive list of everything that you need moved and packed. This is why it’s not only the best method, but the most accurate as well. No surprises or hidden fees!
How should I get an in-house moving estimate from a moving company?
The best thing you can do is get three estimates from major name brand moving companies. Make sure they all provide in-home moving estimates. Once you have done this, you will see that it is much easier to compare companies and save money.
If you follow this advice, you should not see more than a 10% difference between the companies’ final estimates. It’s always possible to have large discrepancies even with in-home estimates. The nice thing is you have an actual person that you’ve met to call with questions. This will give you the clearest path to making the most informed decision when moving all of your household goods.
It’s also important to know the different types of estimates moving companies can provide. There are three types of moving estimate options available when moving, non-binding, binding, and not-to-exceed estimates.
First, the binding estimate.
A binding estimate is an estimate obligating you to pay the price you and your preferred moving company agree to before your goods are loaded onto the truck. The weight of the shipment has no effect on your price. Regardless of the weight going up or down, you pay the same price.
However, it should be noted that if you add items and/or additional services, your moving company has every right to revise their estimate before your shipment is loaded. Price certainty is the main advantage of a binding estimate.
Second, the non-binding estimate.
A non-binding estimate is an estimate in its truest form. You will be obligated to pay for ACTUAL weight and services. This means the price can go up or down based on the services requested, the weight of the shipment, and the general accuracy of the estimate. When choosing a non-binding estimate, opting for in-home moving estimates is the right choice.
If your price goes up, you only have to pay up to 110% of the estimated cost at the time of delivery. On the occasion that there is a remaining balance, in addition to the 110%, then you will be billed that amount and be expected to pay within 30 days.
The third and final estimate option is the not-to-exceed estimate.
This estimate type has become increasingly popular over the years and is offered by a majority of moving companies across the nation. The not-to-exceed estimate is the best of both worlds to a certain degree. You will be charged either the binding price or actual cost, based on whichever price is lower.
These are the three types of moving estimates available to customers when moving with any national van lines. One important note to remember is to always get your final price in writing from your preferred moving company. The last thing anyone wants on moving day is additional stress surprises.
How to budget for moving costs.
It is essential to carefully budget any move. Typically speaking, most moves have many hidden expenses that can blindside individuals at various stages of the moving process.
This is where a detailed timeline and a written plan can come in handy. Consider all aspects of the move well in advance and plan accordingly. Creating a simple moving budget is a smart strategy for even the most experienced movers.
You can factor in all sorts of variables you want to be quoted for:
- Truck rentals for a DIY move
- Long-distance movers versus local moving companies pricing
- Professional movers at an hourly rate with moving experience or a long-distance move with full-service movers
- Packing services
- Full value protection or minimal coverage
The overall price the moving companies offer in their quote can vary greatly depending on all of the above considerations and more. From cleaning expenses to transportation expenses and even packing expenses, jotting everything down in great detail is well worth the effort. There are several things to consider when moving but, the good news is, there are plenty of resources assisting you in the process. We rely on in-home moving estimates to provide Ralph’s customers with the most accurate quotes.
Look to the experienced professionals at Ralph’s Moving & Storage to help guide you through allotting proper budgets and estimating costs.