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    What is a binding estimate?

    Relocating your home may seem simple at first. You just need to move from place A to place B, right? Well, as it turns out, there are many factors and little details included in this thing we call the moving process. Starting from the very beginning, you have to make decisions, such as choosing your ideal moving company. Even minor things like picking the right packing boxes have to be decided. When you add the cost of moving into the whole story, it can get very overwhelming. That’s why your trusty movers Ontario are here – to help you understand the small (but important!) details regarding your relocation. This time, we will be talking about a binding estimate and explaining what it means.

    A moving truck - you need to calculate your moving costs and know what you pay before you move.
    Know the final cost of the move before you pack up the moving truck!

    There are various types of moving estimates

    Let’s start from the basics. When you hire a professional moving company to help you relocate, they will ask for a few things. For example, they will need to know the date of your move, the location, how many things are you bringing, are any of them fragile or not, etc. These are only the basics they need to cover. Of course, before you choose the movers, you want to make sure they suit all your moving needs, one of them being their price. Everybody wants to save as much money as possible, but sometimes it’s worth paying a bit more to keep your belongings safe during transport. Not all movers are reliable, and their prices will vary. One thing they all have in common is the estimates.  This is their proposed cost of your relocation. There are three main types of moving estimates:

    • A non-binding estimate
    • A binding estimate
    • A not-to-exceed estimate

    What is a non-binding moving estimate?

    This type is the most common one among moving companies. Simply, a non-binding estimate is the movers’ projected cost of your relocation, which would be based on your inventory and the services you wanted from them. A company can tell you their anticipated cost in order to help you plan your budget for the move and pick the right movers. It is not the final or the guaranteed price, but a rough projection. If you’re on a tight budget and wish to save a little money on your move, this would be your best choice of a moving estimate. If it turns out that the final cost of your move is less than what you got in the beginning – your movers will lower the price accordingly. When you end up putting some of your belongings in storage units Ontario, you don’t have to worry about being charged for their transport!

    What about a binding estimate?

    For a long-distance move, this may also be an option you can get from your movers. Although the previously mentioned type of estimate is more common, there are pros to a binding estimate as well. What is it? Well, if you’ve read the previous explanation, you might even guess, since this is a complete opposite. A binding estimate is a price quoted before the move. It is based on your inventory and the services you required, but this time, it is fixed in place. If you end up moving fewer things, your total cost will not lower, but if you move more than agreed, it will not raise either. The good side of this is that you know exactly what you will pay in the end. So, when calculating the total cost of your relocation, you know that there won’t be any extra costs to the price.

    The rules of a binding estimate

    In order to make things as clear and simple as possible, there are rules both the moving company and yourself have to respect. First of all, when you read the proposed estimate, it has to accurately describe the shipment and list all the services you have asked of a moving company. They must write it out and give it to you before the move.

    Your binding estimate has to be written out in detail.
    Go over everything listed in the binding estimate beforehand and add services before it is finalized.

    For example, when the moving process begins, you realize you need additional services. The movers will charge you extra for those if they weren’t in the proposed estimate. Some of them may be long carry charges, shuttle service or things similar to those. Calculate your moving costs and go over your budget carefully, to avoid paying extra.

    When do you pay for your moving services?

    In most cases, you pay the movers on delivery day. You can usually pay in cash, check, or money order. However, sometimes your mover will let you pay earlier, but it is all up to them. In the case where you can’t pay for your moving services on the day of delivery, your belongings will end up in a storage unit.

    You can pay your binding estimate with a check.
    You will pay your movers on delivery day and you can also pay in checks.

    They will remain there until you can pay the binding estimate, and you are paying for all storage charges. A binding estimate may be tricky because sometimes you will have to pay more than what your relocation would actually cost. Whether you moved less inventory or made other changes which would reduce the cost, with this estimate, it will not change. Often, it is worth paying the extra dollar just to have the guaranteed price. 

    The best possible option of all

    The third type of moving estimates is a binding not-to-exceed estimate. Not all moving companies provide it, but it is the best of both worlds. Here’s what happens in this scenario: you realize you have more stuff to move than you originally thought. Not a problem! You still pay the agreed price and there will be no additional cost. However, look at this. If you end up transferring less than what you told your movers, your price will be lowered! With a binding not-to-exceed estimate, you will never pay a higher price. In fact, it can only go lower than it was at the beginning!