RESEARCH & LEARN

# 5 Things to Watch Out for When Estimating Moving Costs

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Mistakes in estimating moving costs can lead to unexpected expenses that make a move significantly more expensive than anticipated. Keys to having the cost of your move be as close to your estimate as possible include correctly estimating the amount of furniture to be moved, knowing the difficulty of packing, accounting for all fees charged by the mover and taking into account the expected tip for the moving team.

Underestimating the Amount to be Moved

Among the most common mistakes in estimating the cost of a move is underestimating how much must be moved. Typically, a moving company will make an initial estimate based on the number of rooms in a home. However, homeowners often forget to include goods in exterior storage, in a basement or in a garage. Not everyone puts the same amount of furniture in a room, and that variance can significantly impact the accuracy of a moving estimate, which will be based on historic averages.

If you are using a professional mover, be sure a representative of the firm visually inspects your home to account for all furniture and goods to be moved.

Underestimating the Amount to be Packed

The cost of a move increases if the movers do all the packing. However, this amount is still often underestimated because the homeowner does not anticipate the amount to be packed. As an example, no two home are alike in the number of small items displayed around the home. If you are a person with a lot of small items such as lamps, books or toys, this greatly increases the amount to be packed. This is especially true for parents of small children who often do not take into account the number of small things that take up little space in a nursery but which all must be packed.

Underestimating the Difficulty in Packing

Because packing is an added expense, many people opt to save money by packing themselves. However, homeowners often forget the challenge of packing extremely fragile items, paintings or bulky items. Often, the mover will not accept responsibility for fragile items that the mover’s team does not pack. This can result in unexpected expenses. However, these expenses can be anticipated by the homeowner making sure the mover is aware of those special items.

Missing Hidden Fees of the Mover

Even a well-estimated move can be a surprise with unexpected fees from the movers. This does not mean the mover is dishonest. As an example, you typically pay for moving supplies such as boxes and tap. If you are not ready to move when the team arrives, some movers charge for the idle time the team must spend waiting on you. If you are moving to a high floor on a walk-up building but neglected to inform the mover, there could be added fees for the extra work. Finally, some movers will charge to disconnect electronic devices that they expected you to have ready for boxing.

Accounting for all Costs of a Do-It-Yourself Move

If you opt to move yourself, the expense is more than a truck and gas. Keep in mind you will have to eat in transit. There may be overnight stays for you and your family required. Plus there can be parking expenses if you are moving in a city.