How To Prepare For Your In-Home Estimate

By now you've probably heard that it's a good idea to have at least two in-home estimates before booking a moving company. The American Moving and Storage Association recommends that you schedule up to 3 estimates in order to compare prices and find the moving company that best fits your needs. With a survey professional about to walk through your front door, take a few minutes to prepare with these steps:

Step 1: Take Inventory.

Make a mental list of all the belongings you plan to take with you to your new home as you guide your survey professional around your home. This will speed up the estimate process, and help you and the moving company stay on the same page. If you're undecided on certain items, it is best to include them - the inventory list can always be updated later. 

Step 2: Label items that you won't be taking with you. 

This will also speed up the estimate process, and ensure that your estimates are as accurate as possible. No need to get fancy - sticky notes or brightly colored tape will do the trick! 

Step 3: Prepare your questions.

Create a list of questions to ask each moving company during the survey. You will need these answers to help make your final decision. To get started, here are 15 questions to ask a moving company before you choose one.

Here are some examples:

  • Are packing services included?
  • How is the price calculated? 
  • Should I expect any unexpected costs? 
  • Is the estimated price binding or guaranteed? 

Step 4: Plan for the day.

Make sure that at least one decision maker in your household can be present for the appointment. If a decision maker absolutely cannot be there, make sure that whoever is there knows the ins and outs of your inventory, questions to ask, and any hidden spaces to show the moving company (i.e. garages, attics, storage spaces). Also, make sure to have a caretaker set up for children, pets or other potential interruptions during your appointment.

Step 5: Don't stress!

While it's important to be prepared (not to mention it will make your life easier), it's just an estimate. You can always decide to have another estimate at a later date or with a different company. 

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