What should your moving estimate include? If this is your first move, and you're not sure what to expect from an estimate, take a look at everything you need to know about this type of quote.
What Is An Estimate?
An estimate for a move is similar to other quotes you may get for home improvements. It is a breakdown of the costs you will need to pay for a specific service or a set of services. Like an estimate for HVAC repair or a plumbing system upgrade, the moving quote also provides you with dollar amounts for labor and equipment necessary for a professional contractor to complete the job.
What Is In the Estimate?
The estimate should include a list of each service the moving contractor will provide. Services vary by mover and will depend on what you need from this job. If you only need a basic move (lifting, carrying, and transportation), you will have a shorter or smaller estimate. But if you need a full-service move that includes materials, prep steps, packing, organizing, and unpacking, you will have a longer or more complex quote.
Along with the transportation and labor charges for your move, the estimate may also include a fuel surcharge and contractual obligations for both the mover (your contractor) and the customer (you). These obligations will spell out the details of the move. You should expect to see information such as the date and time of the move, the estimated number of hours, the estimated weight of your belongings, the estimated number of items, travel time, methods of payment, and a payment due date.
Are All Moving Estimates the Same?
Simply stated, no. More specifically, the estimate depends on the method of calculation the mover chooses to use. There are three primary types of estimates movers rely on. These are the binding, non-binding, and binding not to exceed estimates. Think of the binding as a flat fee that you lock in at the time of the quote. If the move-day weight of your haul is greater than estimated, you won't pay more. But you also won't pay less if your belongings don't weigh as much as the mover expected.
A non-binding estimate is exactly what the name implies. The mover is not obligated to charge the price of the quote if your to-move items weigh more than originally estimated. If this type of estimate makes you nervous, ask about a binding not to exceed quote. The binding not to exceed estimate caps the price you will pay and can help you to stay within your moving budget.
How Much Does A Move Cost?
Local moves average $1,250 in the U.S., according to Moving.com. But this doesn't mean you will pay this exact amount. You may have a higher or lower estimate, depending on the services you need, the distance of the move, the weight of your items, and the mover's charge preferences.