Getting a free moving quote online is simple, and professional movers only need a few pieces of information before they can start the estimate process. Some of this information includes:
- Where you are moving from
- Where you are moving to
- Roughly, the size of the home you are moving from
- The services you will require during your move
- When the move will take place
With this information, an experienced mover will have a good idea of what to expect come moving day and can provide a useful estimate as a result. However, for a reputable moving service, an online estimate is only the first step.
What should a homeowner do once getting a free moving quote online?
If provided by a trustworthy moving service, a free online moving quote can give homeowners a starting point for comparison. Before hiring a moving company, though, reputable movers and the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) recommend getting a few in-home estimates, too.
There are a few reasons why AMSA recommends this, including:
They’re more accurate
An in-home estimate is always going to be more accurate than an online quote because the moving company sees, in person, what they will need to handle. In general, a three-bedroom, single family home will have more items in it than a two-bedroom apartment, but not always. An in-home estimate accounts for this variability. Also, if there are challenging items to move, like artwork or a pool table, this can also be accounted for during an estimate.
It prepares the moving company
An in-home estimate is useful for consumers, because they have hard numbers to compare. These free quotes are also useful for the moving company, because they can take an inventory of everything that will need to be moved. If there are extremely bulky or heavy items, the moving company can make a note of them and ensure they show up with a properly sized truck and enough manpower.
It’s a chance to ask questions
During an estimate, the moving company’s representative is also there to answer any questions. Reputable movers know this, which is why they use this estimate as a way to open up communication. If there are any concerns with the timeline or with moving particular items, the representative can help resolve them.
It’s also a chance to review paperwork
Reputable movers formalize all of their moving contracts with official paperwork, which includes information on moving fees and other specifics. The client may request a copy of this paperwork to review later so they have a clear idea of how the moving company arrived at their quote.
How many estimates should a homeowner get before hiring a moving company?
The AMSA recommends that homeowners get at least three moving quotes before formalizing an agreement with a moving company. With three estimates in hand, you’ll be able to compare moving services thoroughly. Also, experienced moving professionals may point out things that could slow down or speed up the move, so you can better prepare for moving day.
What factors can change the cost of a free moving quote?
Cargo weight is the number one factor that will influence the cost of your move. The more goods that need to be transported, the more it will cost. Here are some other factors that could affect your estimate:
The longer the movers are at your home, the more it will cost, so anything that can be done to expedite the move will save the client money. Simple things, like ensuring everything is packed and ready to go, can make a big difference. Make sure all boxes are labeled for quick loading and unloading, and if you’re willing to do it, disassemble any furniture that won’t easily fit through the door. This will save precious minutes come moving day.
Fragile or delicate items
Professional movers usually charge a bit more to move things that require special care. This includes things like artwork, musical instruments, decorative fixtures like a chandelier or something prone to damage, like a pool table. These items usually cost more to move because they require additional space and equipment to safely accommodate them.
Some residential properties pose extra challenges for a moving crew, and a moving company may adjust their quote as a result. Some of these obstacles could be tight, difficult-to-navigate spaces, or a property that requires the movers to walk longer distances to get inside the property.
The longer the move, the more it is likely to cost. That’s because long distance moves require additional organization, planning and manpower to execute.
What are the different types of free moving quotes?
There are three kinds of moving quotes, and you’ll want to pay close attention to the quotes you receive because there are major differences between the three. Here’s a closer look at them.
A non-binding estimate is essentially a rough estimate of how much your move will cost. The fees listed on the quote are subject to change on moving day, depending on the actual weight of your belongings. It’s important, then, to take a nonbinding estimate with a grain of salt, because it can spike a bit once everything is weighed. For this reason, non-binding estimates are considered the least favorable for homeowners.
Binding estimates offer much more price certainty, because the number on the estimate is the number you will pay on moving day. That price remains even if the actual weight of your belongings is higher than what is quoted. However, if the actual weight is lower, you’ll still pay what’s on the estimate, but you’ll have cost certainty in return.
A binding not-to-exceed estimate is the best option for homeowners, and you should ask for one with your free moving quote. With a binding not-to-exceed estimate, you will pay either what is on the estimate or the actual weight of your belongings, whichever is lower. In short, you’ll get the best deal no matter what, and since experienced moving companies are generally accurate with their estimates, they are more willing to provide one.
The steps to getting a free moving quote online are simple, and this is a good place to start. Once you have a free moving quote in hand, though, the next step is to bring in a few reputable moving companies and start the estimation process with them in person. This will ensure you get a fair, accurate quote from a fair, professional moving company.