There is little doubt that moving can be expensive. That is why it is important before hiring moving companies that a customer have an accurate idea of what the move will cost so the right financial preparations can be made. Cost quotes provided by movers can help do this; however, it is important for those seeking moving services to choose the proper estimate. Before agreeing to a less expensive, non-binding quote from a moving company, customers should understand the difference between binding and non-binding quotes and which is better.
What Is A Binding Moving Estimate?
A binding estimate from movers is one that provides the total cost to relocate, based upon the quote given by a relocation estimator. This type of quote is generally the most accurate that a customer can get from moving companies because it is an agreement of what the actual costs will be from the time it is written to the time the move occurs.
Estimates given are based upon the pound of what is being moved, the square feet of the truck the items will occupy, or a combination of both; it is how the most accurate price for a relocation is determined. A binding estimate costs a bit more than a non-binding one, as the service is making an agreement that there will be no fee increases and the customer can depend on this documented amount.
It is also important to understand that there are some circumstances when movers can legally break a binding estimate and charge a different price. Such situations could include instances when additional items are being packed and/or loaded than were originally included in the agreement. It could also include when an Interstate company incurs additional or unexpected costs that were not included in the binding estimate. So even though a binding estimate is the most accurate and foolproof quote to request from a moving company, the company still retains the right to change their price under certain conditions.
What Is A Non-Binding Moving Estimate?
A non-binding estimate is a more casual quote that is subject to fluctuation based on a number of things. Any relocation quote given online or over the phone without a representative actually coming to the residence to inspect the items to be packed and loaded is a non-binding estimate. It is impossible to calculate exact weight and dimensions without seeing the items.
So non-binding estimates should only be used as a general idea of what relocation costs could be. In most cases, the actual cost is higher than a non-binding quote, although movers are only legally permitted to charge 110 percent of the quoted amount, not including the additional costs noted above. Although they may seem lower initially, non-binding quotes are often an inaccurate representation of the actual moving costs that are billed to the customer.
Which Is The Better Choice?
When a customers knows the cost of a move, a binding estimate is the most useful. These quotes are more accurate as they are based upon the items that will be relocated and in most cases, will not increase during the move. Binding quotes also allow more accurate comparison of prices and services when selecting a moving company. For these reasons, it is recommended that a customer get a binding estimate from moving companies. If this is not possible and a non-binding quote is given, customers should expect their total invoice to be somewhat higher than the original quote.
Anyone who obtains a relocation quote from a moving company should confirm whether the quote is binding, or non-binding. A binding estimate is more accurate in most cases, with less chance that the final bill from the movers will be higher than expected. In either case, customers should understand how their estimate was generated and what factors could cause moving companies to change any agreed upon amount, whether binding or non-binding!