So What's It Going to Cost?

Getting the most accurate estimate depends upon the mover having the most accurate information possible. Most movers will be glad to visit a site to give a walk-through estimate; be sure to show the mover every single thing that is to be moved, including items in storage in attics, basements, closets, or under beds. If a storage unit will also need to be emptied, provide the dimensions and an inventory of the space during your estimate. Also, fully outline the amount of packing services your move will require. 

A binding estimate offers a set price covering only the goods and services listed on the estimate. The homeowner is bound to pay the set price, even if the weight of the shipment is more or less than the estimated amount. If additional services are requested, the moving agency may revise the original estimate. Non-binding estimates are approximate; the final costs are determined after the shipment is weighed. The initial price will usually be lower than a binding estimate, but with a non-binding estimate, there is no guarantee that the final cost will not be more than you were quoted.

It's important to compare services and prices, so get written estimates from at least a few companies. Also, it is best to discuss payment arrangements with the moving company well in advance. Most movers do not accept personal checks, and though many now accept credit cards, do not assume that they accept all major cards.