Difference between binding and non-binding estimate

A moving estimate is something that you will want to acquire before any relocation. This is a document that will project the costs associated with your move. If you are about to go into the relocating process, go ahead and get some moving quotes Denver, to start things off. Once you make several calls and, perhaps, even have some movers come to your house to do an estimate, you will have several different proposals. The estimates that you may get will either be binding, binding-not-to-exceed, or non-binding ones. You will want to know the difference between binding and non-binding estimate before you agree to anything. And that difference is what you will learn to recognize once you read this article.

What is the difference between binding and non-binding estimates?

Basically speaking, a binding estimate is a contract between you and your mover that “binds” you to the terms within. That means that any price on that document is final and that you will not be expected to pay any additional amount at no point in time. Things to get a bit more complicated than that, but that is the gist of it. If you get a binding estimate from Homegrown Moving and Storage Company Colorado, that is the amount you will pay and no more than that.

A non-binding estimate is, for all intents and purposes, worthless in a legal sense. It will only serve as a frame of reference for the binding estimate. Why would you want such an estimate then? Well, the reason is that acquiring this estimate is really fast. You can get a frame of reference with one fast phone call. But know it for what it is. A frame of reference. Nothing else. Basically, the more stuff you have to transport, the larger the difference between a non-binding and a binding estimate will be. If you are moving out of a studio apartment and have only a few things to transport, these estimates will be almost as accurate as binding ones.

Types and differences between binding and non-binding estimates

And it even gets a bit more complicated than that. There are three main types of moving estimates:

  • Binding estimate
  • Binding not-to-exceed
  • Non-binding estimate
There are three types of moving estimates – Binding estimate, binding not-t0-exceed, and non-binding estimate.

Binding estimate

As mentioned previously, the binding estimate is a contract that states how much you will be paying for your relocation. The company will not be able to tack in any other charges at any point in the move, without informing the customer.

In reality, this means that if nothing extraordinary happens, this is the price that you will pay.

The estimate must be delivered to the customer in writing. You will be able to review all that is in the estimate before you choose to sign anything. There will be time to properly review it and see that it is according to your wishes and needs.

Finally, the estimate itself is only valid for the items previously agreed on. If there are new items to transport, the moving company can refuse service and create a new binding estimate that includes the extra items.

The binding estimate must be delivered to the customer in writing.

Also, if for any reason the shipment has fewer items than previously discussed, the cost will remain the same. This is one of the major drawbacks of the binding estimates. Some moving companies acknowledge this fact and offer a better version of the estimate:

Binding not-to-exceed

This estimate follows all the rules of the binding estimate but with one important difference. If the total weight of the shipment, for any reason whatsoever, turns out to be less than initially projected, you will be charged for the actual weight. That is, your bill will be lower. This is extremely important when there are difficulties in actually determining the total weight of your shipment.

These estimates are rare but they are really the best option. Not all companies will offer this kind of estimate. There are no inherent disadvantages in choosing this option, there are only benefits. If your local moving company is offering you a binding-not-to-exceed estimate, they are doing you a favor.

However, don’t fall into a trap that only companies that are offering these estimates are worth your time and money. Most of the time, they will be able to accurately assess the total weight and the binding estimates will be right on point.

Non-binding estimate

In situations where weighing your items is impossible to do before the moving day, you may get a non-binding estimate. This will serve as an approximation of your total moving costs but is anything but final. You may even get really low non-binding estimates but the charges on an actual day may get really high.

The benefit of this type of estimate is that you can get it over the phone, you can get it for free, and there are no attachments. Just be mindful of lowballed estimates and you will be fine. These estimates are ideal for people that are moving lightly, or on short notice.

If you want to go with a non-binding estimate, make sure that the company that is going to be relocating you is reliable and trustworthy. Anything other than that and you are inviting trouble in your home.

You can get a non-binding estimate over the phone and for free.

A professional moving company will explain the difference

Finally, if you still have any doubts about these estimates, you can ask your movers about them. You can also get a free estimate from your professional moving company. Every single professional moving company will be able to explain to you the differences and what they mean to you and your relocation.

However, make sure that you are actually listening to what they are saying. They need to sound confident, professional, and knowledgeable. There is no room for insecurities, maybe’s, and perhaps’s. If they are “on the up and up” they will know exactly what to tell you, no stops nor anything. In fact, you might actually ask them about this anyway, just to gauge their reaction and how they speak to you.

The more information you have, the better. Happy relocating!

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