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What is a binding estimate and why does it matter?

You can calculate your own binding estimate.

Have you ever wanted to know what are your moving costs before the move? Well, there is a way you can get this information! Ask your movers for a binding estimate of your relocation price and you’ll get a good idea of how much funds you’ll need to prepare for your move!

Getting a moving estimate is easy! Most moving companies offer estimates for free, and you should definitely take them up on that offer. Knowing how much your move will cost can help you have a better relocation. It also means less stress over the finances before your moving day. Asking your movers for an estimate is also one of the best long distance moving tips. If you’re moving far away, your move can cost a lot! Hearing the estimates of your costs will help you decide which moving company and which services you’ll hire.

What is a moving estimate?

A moving estimate is a moving company’s assessment of your potential moving costs. There are many ways you can get an estimate of your costs. Depending on the way you get your estimate you’ll have a better idea about your relocation price. Getting your cost assessment online can be quick and easy but the actual estimate of the prices might be off. Same goes for getting your estimate over the phone. It’s hard for your movers to know exactly where everything is, how much time it will take and how much it will cost. So, the best way to get a reliable estimate is to invite the movers over. They’ll come to your place, check everything out and then give you the most reliable assessment of the moving costs. And only in this case can you get a chance to really negotiate with your movers about the moving price.

A person signing their moving contract.
An estimate that’s binding will appear in your contract with the moving company.

Types of estimates

You can get various degrees of accuracy on your moving costs estimate.

  • rough estimate – the most basic kind of assessment. For the movers to get this number they’ll need only your starting location and the location of your new home. You can also include the approximate weight of your belongings if you want to get a more reliable appraisal of your potential costs.
  • non-binding estimate – this estimate is a bit more accurate than the rough one. However, the fact that it’s non-binding means that it’s just for reference. Your moving company can increase it or decrease it as they need it.
  • binding estimate – this is the most serious assessment of your costs. It means that your moving costs won’t change if the weight of your items is higher or lower than the moving company estimated. What this means for you is that you’ll get the final price for your move which won’t change. Since this is such an important task for the company, they may charge you extra for it.

Why should you get a binding estimate of your moving costs?

You’re probably wondering: “If this service costs extra, why do I need to get it?”. And, in a certain way, you’d be right. You can always wait and see how much your movers will charge you once the relocation is finished. However, there are certain advantages to getting to know your moving costs early. In addition to this, sometimes you can learn a lot about your movers just by asking for an estimate.

Plan better

First of all, if you have a binding estimate, you’ll have a better chance to prepare your moving budget. Knowing in advance how much money you’ll need to spend is very good when you’re planning your moving expenses. So, once you have enough money to cover your moving expenses, you won’t need to save anymore! You could put those funds to better use. You could plan to furnish your new home, invest in your car or even go on a holiday. All in all, when you know your expenses in advance, it’s easy to plan your move accordingly!

Someone writing their own plan.
You’ll get a chance to plan better when you ask for a binding assessment.

Find the best moving company

Next, asking for an estimate can reveal a lot of information about your moving company. Some of them will offer you insane prices, while others will give you prices so ow you won’t believe it! Try to find the balance if you want to find a moving company perfectly suited to your needs. In addition to this, you’ll get a chance to negotiate with your movers. Then, you’ll be able to choose the best possible solution for you.

Red flags

Finally, asking for an estimate can warn you of shady activities on your movers part. Asking for a binding estimate is one of the best ways to discover fraudulent movers. Since this assessment is contractual, your moving company will have to provide a lot of paperwork to back it up. Also, you’ll get a chance to hear their proposed price. This number should be neither too high or too low! Scamming moving companies tend to avoid estimating your moving price for real. They’ll either offer to give you a verbal assessment (because it’s cheaper) or they’ll give you a very low written one (to reel you in). So, if you see feel something’s fishy with your moving estimate, ask your movers about their USDOT number. Every legal moving company should have one, and you can check if it’s valid on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website.

A scam you can end if you ask for a binding estimate.
Use your binding estimate to reveal fraudulent movers.

All in all, a binding estimate offers a lot of advantages when you’re moving. This is especially good if you’re moving over long distances. With this type of relocation, unforeseen expenses tend to pile up. So, it’s better to get an estimate that’s binding than to risk paying a lot more money in the end.