The benefits of a binding moving estimate

Moving guides - January 30, 2019

There are a lot of complicated legal terms you will encounter when moving, especially if you’re moving for the first time. No wonder most people think moving is very stressful and complicated! The most important terms you’ll have to research are the differences between various moving estimates. There are three different types of moving estimates you’ll have to worry about. Understanding the differences between a binding moving estimate, a binding-not-to-exceed moving estimate, and a non-binding moving estimate is crucial to selecting the best one for you. And rest assured, there are pros and cons to every side. But knowing is half the battle!

A white man writing something in a purple notebook. He's wearing a suit and watch. He's right handed. It's important not to sign what you haven't read, and to get everything in writing.
Get your binding moving estimate in writing!

What is a binding moving estimate?

In laymen’s terms, a binding moving estimate comes with a set price tag. The movers give their estimate based on the weight of your belongings, and you agree. You sign, and that’s what you end up paying, even if your actual belongings end up weighing less! However, if your belongings end up weighing more, you still pay only the agreed upon price. That means the movers can’t crank up the price – a favored tactic of fraudulent movers. However, that also means you’re out of luck if the given estimate was high-balling the cost. So, really, a binding estimate is your best bet to protect yourself against untrustworthy types. It’s a good way to filter movers out when you’re searching for affordable movers in Brooklyn.

  • Contrast to popular belief, a non-binding one doesn’t mean that you’re not obligated to pay, just that the set amount you’re obligated to pay isn’t set in stone.
  • A binding moving estimate isn’t a way for you to cheat the system. If you think you can subtly shove more items than originally agreed upon onto the truck, you’re out of luck. Your mover isn’t under the obligation to honor their contract if you try to pull a fast one! The movers can either honor the original agreement if they feel like it, re-negotiate on the spot, or convert the contract into a non-binding moving estimate.
  • Are you still worried about your mover overcharging you? Well, then simply get a free moving estimate from several different sources and compare!
  • However, your movers should make an in-house estimate, as that is the best way to determine what your move should cost.
A man looking at a laptop with a sense of soul-sucking despair; yet understanding what he's signing is the only way to make sure he's not signing something terrible.
You shouldn’t sign anything you don’t understand – yes, that means doing research!

What’s in your binding moving estimate?

Your estimate should contain several things in order to be legitimate. It’s an important document – as such, you should keep it in the folder with your important moving documents. You do have one, right? So, your moving estimate should be very detailed about what it is, exactly, that you’re paying for. Otherwise, how can anyone prove that every part of the contract has – or more importantly, hasn’t – been fulfilled? It’s in everyone’s best interest for the estimate to be thorough. As an important side note – if you request service after you get the binding moving estimate, the bill for the service will be added on top of the estimated bill.

It’s important to note that you should save your estimate and contract, especially if you’re moving for work, as you can use it to score a sweet tax deduction this tax filing season. It can be a surprising boost to your budget! Talk to your place of employment about this if anything is unclear. If you’re moving for work, a binding moving estimate, especially given well in advance, can help you plan for tax season. If you’re in a situation where you want to rely on a specific amount of tax deduction for your long-term plans, a binding estimate is definitely the way to go.

People looking at a binding moving estimate contract.
You’ll avoid many a headache if you just organize everything properly and neatly.

Why should you get a binding moving estimate?

The number one reason is to shield yourself against unsavory movers, yes, but there are many more. You won’t have to worry about any fluctuation in charges! This is a perfect solution for people who would face budgeting issues if the price ends up being more than expected. So, maybe you’re in such a place that moving on a shoestring budget is unavoidable. There’s no shame in cutting moving expense costs. But, you don’t have to get shoved into debt over moving! So, if you can’t budget for some differences in pricing, a binding moving estimate is for you.

Plus, a binding moving estimate gives you a set goal to reach when it comes to funding. Do you have to save money for your move? Most people do, as it’s rare to be able to produce move-your-house money on a whim. It would go far easier if you knew you had to save $2000, than if you knew the number was anywhere from $1700 to $2500. Sure, it would be excellent if you end up under budget, but what if you end up over budget and find yourself without the money to pay for it?

Is there a situation where a binding moving estimate is always preferable?

Plus, a binding moving estimate is the best possible estimate for long distance movers Brooklyn. After all, there are a lot of factors that can influence a long distance move, that no one can predict, unlike a short distance move. It makes sense that a non-binding estimate would work best for a short distance move, where traffic and weather conditions and elevators can really ruin or make a mover’s day, but that would mean too much of a range for a long distance move. You can’t predict every possible turn of events, much less build a price for every single one of them!

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