Binding and Non-Binding Moving Estimate; Their Differences

This blog explores the crucial differences between binding and non-binding contracts when hiring a moving company, offering an in-depth understanding to help readers make informed decisions about which type of contract best suits their moving needs.

Binding and Non-Binding Moving Estimate; Their Differences

For many families, moving marks the start of a new chapter in life. It marks the beginning of a new life in a new area full of new people, places, and experiences.

But let’s face it. Moving is stressful. You have to pack up everything you own, pray it doesn’t get damaged, and unload it again. On top of that, you have to go through extensive research to find a moving company that fits you. Once you’ve thoroughly researched companies and found one you like, it’s time to move forward with the hiring process.

One of the first steps in beginning the hiring process with a moving company is deciding whether you want to sign a binding or non-binding contract.

We’ll help you understand the key differences between binding and non-binding contracts and what the best option is for your move. By the end, you’ll have an in-depth understanding of each contract, how they work, and which one you should sign when hiring your moving company.

But first, let’s outline why an estimate is a key step in the process of hiring a moving company.

The Importance of an Estimate

To sum things up, your written estimate will outline all of your expenses involved in the moving process such as transportation costs, storage costs, and liability coverage.

Your estimate will include all charges expected to incur on your moving day, leaving no gray area for additional fees or charges.

When agreeing to the written estimate, there are a few key points to look out for that may indicate finding another moving company. 

  • Blank or Incomplete Estimate: If you see that part of your estimate is missing or blank, DO NOT sign it. This could indicate a scam, so if your estimate isn’t completed, it’s wise to search for another moving company. 
  • Unexpected Changes: Your estimate can be changed at any moment, but requires a signature on both the company and your end. If your moving company changes the document without informing you, it’s best to look elsewhere. 

Once you’ve verified your estimate is from a reputable company, you’ll need to determine whether you’ll be signing a binding or non-binding contract.

Binding Contracts

A binding contract gives an absolute price for the entire scope of work. There are a few key rules to remember when signing a binding contract to guarantee your experience with the moving company goes well.

Keep an eye out for these four rules with binding contracts.

  1. The moving company cannot add or subtract any charges after signing the contract.
  2. Any additional services required on the day of the move will be included in a separate bill outside of the contract.
  3. The moving company must clarify in the contract that it’s binding.
  4. As the mover, you can refuse service if any additional charges are added to your move outside of the contract.

Binding contracts are usually the preferred method for movers, as they outline a specific agreement and price, making the moving process simple and easy. 

They limit risk and provide the mover with a realistic understanding of what to expect with both the price and the service. 

Finally, with binding contracts, it’s important to remember that if your shipment cost ends up being less than what the contract lists, you still have to pay the entire amount in the contract.

Non - Binding Contracts

Non-binding contracts, on the other hand, will provide you with an outline of the price for moving contracts. Your moving company will determine the weight and workload of the move and then give you a price estimate of the service. 

The downside is that you won’t receive a definite price from your moving company. They do this by weighing the moving truck before the move and once all of your belongings are inside. They calculate the difference in weight and determine a price based on that.

There are a few important things to note when signing a non-binding contract with your moving company. 

  1. Your moving company must provide an accurate estimate given the weight difference for your move.
  2. The moving company is responsible for informing you of the non-binding contract in writing before you sign. 
  3. The moving company is also responsible for clarifying that all charges fall under the non-binding contract.
  4. As with binding contracts, never sign an uncompleted or blank contract.

If you’re looking to save money on your move, signing a non-binding contract is recommended.

However, guarantee you have an accurate understanding of the weight of your move before the contract is signed because sometimes your move’s total can exceed the estimate. 

Final Decisions

Determining which type of contract you sign with your moving company is a vital step to the moving process. By doing so, you’ll be one step closer to starting a new chapter in your life!

When making your decision it’s important to consider what you want in return out of the contract. Is saving money important? A non-binding contract might be for you. Are you worried about price changes after the move? A binding contract will guarantee nothing changes.

Both contracts are viable options for your move, and it ultimately comes down to your needs.

Tommy Loutzenheiser

Meet Tommy, a writer from San Diego, California with a passion for interior design and moving! Coming from a family of interior designers from San Diego, he’s been involved in the world of moving and helping to create beautiful homes for the places people move to. He’s also moved over ten times in various states such as California, Washington, and Arizona! Through these moves, he’s worked with a variety of moving companies, and prides himself on knowing what to look for and how to have the safest, smoothest move possible! For the past few years, he’s bringing his talent of copywriting and knowledge of moving together to help people all across the world start new chapters in their lives through moving! When he’s not busy writing, you can find him doing extensive research all to help your moving process.

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