As any homeowner or apartment dweller knows, moving can be expensive. While a number of factors influence the price, a quote for moving can help determine how much you need to budget for your move. A good quote for moving can help you avoid a price shock, and it’s important to get the most accurate one possible from your selected moving company.

While the size and weight of your belongings are two of the biggest components that determine moving costs, there are other things to consider as well. These additional considerations include the time of year and location. Getting your move done in the off-season, if possible, will likely save you money. Similarly, moving during the summer can result in higher pricing due to increased demand.

In order to receive a quote for moving, you will need to have your belongings surveyed by a professional representative from the moving company. Typically, this survey is done in your home. Some companies offer an online survey, which can be helpful if you are short on time. However, most movers will prefer to do a survey in-person to provide the most accurate and precise estimate for your move.

During the survey, the mover will confirm with you an inventory list of all of the items that are being moved. This is sometimes called a cube sheet or table of measurements, and it should be as complete as possible. This will serve as a guide for the movers and will help them give you an accurate, binding quote for moving.

There are three types of quotes that movers will provide you with: non-binding, binding and binding-not-to-exceed. A non-binding moving estimate is just that – a ballpark figure that could change on the day of your move, depending on your shipment’s weight and services needed. You will be required to pay 110% of the non-binding estimate in order to receive your belongings, though federal law only requires you to pay for what is actually shipped versus the estimated weight.

Binding and binding-not-to-exceed moving quotes are the safest options to have in place. This guarantees that the moving company will not exceed the price of the binding on-site estimate, no matter what unexpected obstacles may arise during your move. Typically, these are the most common types of estimates for long distance or interstate moves where the cost is determined by weight.

Other factors that can cause a significant difference in the final moving cost are charges for stairs, hoisting and elevators, and packing services. Stairs can be challenging for movers to navigate, especially when carrying heavy items. Hoisting is often required for oversized or bulky furniture, and can require extra manpower and equipment. Packing services can also add a significant amount to the overall moving costs, especially when it comes to wrapping and boxing delicate items.

In general, it is best to get a quote for moving from several different moving companies. This will give you a sense of how competitive prices are and allow you to spot potential red flags, such as an extremely low or high quote.

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