Getting Moving Quotes: The Moving APT Difference
Rest assured you won’t have a problem finding moving companies – there are over 7,000 to choose from – but you may find it difficult to get an accurate one that gives you a true sense of what to expect as you pack and move your belongings.
It’s recommended that you get no less than three quotes, and most people want more than that.
Moving APT makes it easy to find and compare companies that are licensed, insured and ready to handle cross-country moves, local moves or moves that involve you crossing an ocean.
We make the process simple and painless; submit the details of your move, receive a free moving quote from quality moving companies, then choose!
What Types of Moving Quotes Are Available?
Moving companies are required, by law, to provide any potential customer with a written cost estimate, even if you’re only moving to the house next door.
Moving quotes come in three different forms and it’s important that you understand the differences between them in order to choose the one that is right for your upcoming relocation.
- Binding Moving Quotes
Think of a binding estimate as a flat rate. If a company tells you they can move all of your things for $600, that is the price you’re going to pay and it doesn’t matter how many hours it takes and how many moving professionals are working on the job.
The price given by the moving company must be honored as long as nothing changes during the move. If the inventory sheet matches perfectly with the items that were moved, your final price should be exactly what was quoted to you.
- Non-Binding Moving Quotes
Wouldn’t it be great if you could get flat rates all the time? Unfortunately, the majority of moving quotes you’ll encounter are typically non-binding.
A non-binding quote is simply the moving company offering you their best guess of how much the move will cost, but the final price you’ll pay is based on your shipment’s weight and any services provided (disassembling, packing, etc.).
Though the final price you pay may be much higher than the estimate you receive, you are only required to pay 110% of the written estimate when you receive your items. The remaining charges will be billed to you later.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to non-binding moving quotes is that there is only so much more a company can legally charge you in addition to the quote you are provided. Each state has different limits on those additional charges and it’s important you research them before signing anything.
- Binding-Not-to-Exceed Moving Quotes
This kind of estimate is very similar to a binding quote except in one way; if your shipment weighs less than the estimate, you pay less than that price.
The Difference is in the Details
In order to get the most accurate quote, a thorough in-home estimate with the moving estimator is a must. If the size of the job changes often, movers have the right to void your estimate and charge you for the full time it takes to complete your move.
If you forget to show the estimator items in your attic or crawl space, the moving company can legally add that additional time it takes them to move those things and charge you for it.
The best way to avoid estimates that are drastically different from your final cost is to start planning early. Get companies over to your home and be detailed and upfront about what items are being moved, what will need special care and what you’re unsure of.
A good company will make you feel comfortable about anything you want to do and be upfront and detailed about their pricing.
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What Influences the Price of Your Moving Quote?
With so many things to take care of, the last thing you need is the unwelcome surprise of added money being owed after your belongings have been delivered.
Knowing the different aspects of a move that companies take into consideration when creating an accurate moving quote helps you avoid scams and get the most bang for your buck, so to speak.
1. Size & Weight of Your Belongings
This is one of the main factors movers use to make a quote. In general the more items you are moving, the more expensive the move will be because it takes a longer amount of time to load and unload larger households. Large moves also require a bigger truck.
It’s important to discuss large items such as pianos and pool tables with your moving company in advance. Every company may not even be able to handle these kinds of items. When listed on the inventory, specialty items should be clearly labeled with a note of whether or not there is an extra charge associated with moving them
Especially true of cross-country moves and long-distance moving in general, the mileage between your origin and final destination will affect the moving quote. You have to pay for the driver’s time transporting your things and for gas. The greater the distance you are moving, the more expensive the estimate will be.
3. Pick-Up & Drop-Off Accessibility
Moving companies may add an additional charge to your quote if accessibility to your property is difficult. For instance if the moving truck cannot get to your residence because of a narrow road, they may have to get a smaller truck to gain access – this leads to a shuttle fee.
Other accessibility issues include:
- Stairs: If there are multiple staircases and no elevator, they must carry your things up and down which adds to time and labor.
- Narrow hallways and doors: If large items, like furniture, cannot fit through the door, movers may have to disassemble them or use hoisting services that include removing them through the windows to get them into the truck.
- Long walking distances: Boxes, appliances and furniture must be carried a long way from your front door to the truck, a fee may be added. Moving quotes usually specify the maximum distance their movers will carry your belongings before you’re charged this fee. If you don’t see it listed anywhere, ask that they specify the distance in writing.
This is one factor many first-time movers don’t know about or consider, but it’s crucial to getting an accurate moving quote.
This is the second most common reason moving quotes increase in price. If your home is not ready to be moved into or you must stay in temporary housing while looking for a permanent address, an additional fee must be paid to use the moving company’s warehouse.
If you are unable to receive your items at the time you and the movers have agreed upon, and your items are stored for a long time, you are responsible for the warehouse handling costs. You’ll also be charged for any time the movers are waiting around for you at your home when they arrive to pick up any times for storage.
You never know what will happen, so it’s a good idea to ask movers about storage rates before including this service in your quote.
Local, interstate and cross-country moving companies are all getting paid for their time. Asking them to pack or unpack your items is going to take more time and cost you more money.
You can choose to have movers pack everything in your home or a partial service where only specified items are packed. These usually include specialty items like artwork that must be crated in order to safely make it to their final destination.
Some companies charge per hour, others per item – you’ll have to pay for boxes, bubble wrap, and any other packing supplies either way. This is a premium option that is very upfront.
You can save money by packing your own things, but if mobility or stress is an issue, this service may be worth the price.
6. Time of Year You Move
When you move during the busiest time of the year – summer – expect to pay more. The same is true for first/last day of the month and national holidays.
If possible avoid peak moving periods, move in autumn on a Wednesday, instead.
Cross-Country Moving Prices
Depending on your way of getting across the country to your new home, costs can vary. After choosing your desired moving method, you can make an estimation.
Do It Yourself
You are one brave cookie! Moving your things yourself means you are packing, loading, driving and unloading your things. This may include renting a truck or paying (i.e. bribing) friends and family to pitch in.
You really only have to worry about renting the truck and paying for fuel. Other costs to keep in mind include lodging – a break is definitely necessary – and food. You’ll also have to factor in the cost of not going to work and the stress of having to do everything on your own.
Professional Moving Service
If you have a large move or are too busy to move your things, a professional cross-country moving company is a great option.
Professional movies come to your home and inspect the items you’re moving and provide you an estimate based on the weight and distance of your shipment. Two or three bedroom apartments cost about $1.60 per mile and four and five bedroom homes cost about $3.30 per mile. You’ll get basic insurance in case your items are damaged and less stress.
Doing it yourself may seem like a good idea, until you see professional movers in action and a family relaxing, having time to process the move and think of how their new place is going to be decorated.
Moving APT knows how peace of mind is really worth the cost of professional movers to complete a long-distance move smoothly, efficiently and with less anxiety about your things.
The last option involves you hiring a container service to give you a container that you fill up with your things. They then pick it up and drop it off at an agreed upon time.
This cost depends on distance and size – as well as a lot of trust on your part.
Local Moving Prices
Don’t be fooled by the short distance of local or intrastate moving. It’s not as expensive as moving to another state, but it comes with its own stresses and challenges.
Local moves are usually considered those that are within the state but sometimes a distance of 50 miles or less is used as the measure. Moves that are considered local will have moving quotes that are based on time. You’ll get a fixed dollar amount per hour. This hourly rate is going to include the number of movers you need, packing services, additional fees from stairs and assembly and any add-ons.
You can opt for a flat rate option that estimates the amount of time the move takes and includes the price of added on services. In most people’s experience, the flat rate is typically higher than the hourly rate.
Do Your Homework
You can choose to use a national moving company or a local one for short-distance moves. If you choose to use a local moving company, there are a few things to look out for.
Liability & Valuation Coverage
Every state and every moving company within a state can have different coverage options so ask the moving company for a written explanation of your liability choices. Full value protection is a more comprehensive form of protection for your belongings. Don’t sign any agreement until you fully understand and discuss all of your options with the company of your choice.
When you’re looking at local moving companies, it’s important to beware of scams as they are not regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). They are state regulated with their own set of certification and licensing requirements. It’s recommended that you learn about your state’s individual regulations before hiring a local moving company.
The Better Business Bureau is also a good place to check out an intrastate moving company. Search for any complains that have been filed recently and if they are associated with the American Moving & Storage Association or a larger van line.
Moving Quotes: A Final Look
A moving quote is your first look into the overall suitability of a moving company and the best way to set the right set of expectations for your budget.
Moving quotes will be as accurate and reliable as the company you choose to trust your belongings and move to. There’s no moving company that has a bad reputation by mistake or due to several misunderstandings. Any quote you receive should be open for discussion until you are comfortable enough to sign the agreement.
Moving APT knows from experience that a good company earns the trust and business of customers through honesty, service and authenticity. They say what they can and can’t do upfront and those are the only kind of moving companies we ever work with. We also partner to with companies to offer you the best discounted rates and any other offers that can reduce the cost of your move, no matter how far you’re going and how many items you’re moving.
No matter who you choose to move your things, the important lesson is to find a company that believes in good work and helping you start a new journey as much as you do. Fair quotes from a reputable company never feel like a waste of money.
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