Signing a contract without the knowledge of the fine print is bad practice. You’ll usually pay more without getting the right service you need for your move. The list of the disadvantages of entering a contract with blinders is long. However, this article will open your eyes to the possibilities if you practice patience and take the time to talk to several movers and request a moving estimate.
One of the primary reasons you should insist on getting a moving estimate from your prospective moving company is to check the quote against your budget. Local and long-distance moving services differ in charges. Other factors affecting the quote are the size of the move, your location, and the season. If you need to pick up something out of the way, it can also add up to the cost, so tell your mover before he gives you a quote.
Discuss moving quotes with your moving company. Getting a moving estimate will clear up everything between you and your mover. Understanding how movers calculate the cost of your move also smoothens any issue you might have with the price your mover gave you. While you must secure your end of the contract, your movers will also appreciate it if you are honest in your declaration regarding the move.
Getting a moving estimate also helps you understand the terms in your quote. Technical terms like the bill of lading, cube sheet, flight charge, and valuation are unfamiliar to everyone. However, if you get a moving quote, you’ll see these terms and clarify what you don’t understand with the contract.
Professional movers will also give you valuable tips on how to save time and money, recommend the best time to move, or connect with another moving company to unpack your belongings in your new house.
You can judge the professionalism of your prospective movers if you meet them for the moving estimate. It allows you to double-check on your mover without them knowing. A mover who gives the quote over the phone is a red flag because this is a non-binding estimate, and companies don’t have the responsibility to honor such a quote. Another red flag is a company posing as a mover when a broker.
By inviting the prospective buyer to inspect the moving estimate, you can also judge how they work as a professional concerning their timeliness, courtesy, and efficiency.
Your lack of expertise may result in an inaccurate estimation of the dimensions and weight of your belongings. If you and the mover rely on this information alone, you’ll get a wrong estimate which may cause issues during the moving day itself.
To get a proper quote, your mover needs to conduct an onsite inventory of your house. If you have high-value items like a piano or antiques, the person doing the inventory can properly assess the move. For example, moving a gun and ammunition requires special equipment (a gun safe) to keep the weapon stored away safely during the entire move. If you don’t get a moving estimate, this information may not be available to you.
An ocular inspection also gives the mover a better idea of what moving equipment to prepare, like ramps and dollies or wrapping materials for fragile belongings. Also, the mover can map out the loading process to evenly distribute the load of the moving truck.
Movers should also know if your place has structural issues such as narrow doors, sharp corners, or rickety stairs so they can plan how to haul your belongings.
During the visit, you can also talk to your mover regarding their services that may give you a better value for your money. For example, if the move is in 2 months, but you haven’t finished packing your things, your mover may offer services for packing and hauling. Since you don’t have a better grasp of the whole moving process, you may spend more on going over what you will normally need, especially for the number of crew, size of truck needed, and the equipment needed for the move.
Once your prospective mover has finished their inventory of your house, they can recommend the best insurance coverage for your move. Full-value protection is adequate for most local moves. The cost may differ among movers but requires them to replace or repair an item damaged during the move. For interstate moves, most companies recommend getting third-party insurance to give an extra layer of protection to your belongings. However, you should be ready to shoulder the extra cost.
Before you hire a moving company, be sure to have checked several other contenders. Do not sign any incomplete quote or contract. If the mover insists, cancel the transaction and file a report regarding safety violations with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).