PLEASE make sure this is done right. You may not have a big place and your estimate can be done over-the-phone, but please give your representative ALL the possible information. Is your place four-floors up the stairs? Do you have narrow hallways or tight corners? All those details will affect the time of both loading and unloading. Do you want your price to stay unchanged? Are you after the true "BINDING" ESTIMATE? then here is what you do:
Give your sales rep ALL the information on the phone to see if you like the company's prices and policies. Ask for an "average" for your size of the residence and try to "feel" if the company is simply "right for you".
When your moving company is selected right, the next step is really great - you get to watch the work of professional movers. However, there are some important steps you need to take to be ready:
Make sure you have done your part of the contract: If you said "I'm packing all my dishes", don't expect movers to provide you with boxes and paper for that.
Moving is full of options. There are dozens of Moving Companies right around you and they all have "their little difference" in the way they do business. How are they different? what is their "rep"? Then, mainly,... what is YOUR need?
Here are the three BASIC options... just to "scratch the surface":
"DO-IT-YOURSELF" - Obviously if you're all about saving, nobody can do it cheaper than if you do it yourself. No matter if you rent a truck or just a POD, there is ONE IMPORTANT thing to do - count the cost. ALL the cost. Remember, your time cost something too. Then you can call around and see, IS IT really that much cheaper? Is it really worth all the hassle?
"BASIC-SERVICE move" - Let's say you have the time and the "know-how" to pack. Plus you don't really want strangers touching your things anyhow. You just don't want to load and/or drive the truck. Be it up the street, or cross-country, that is still the hardest part of the work. If you go locally, in addition to the hourly cost the questions will be, "How many guys will come to do it?", "What is the list of ALL charges?", "Who and HOW wraps my mirrors?", "Will crew be able to communicate with you in the same language?" If your moving afar, then ask, "what is your delivery window?", "am I paying for storage?", HERE is a good one: "WHO is going to deliver - some hired carrier, or the same company's own crew?" There are hundreds more. Which ones are important for you?
"FULL-SERVICE move" - Okay, what does it really mean? We've known companies that will call their blanket wrapping, loading and unloading "full service..." In our thinking FULL service is defined by that that one word: FULL. That would mean you let a company come to your house JUST the way it is when you're living in it. You would pull up a chair and just "let it happen" right in front of your eyes. ALL INCLUDED. NO QUESTIONS ASKED. Is that what you're thinking? What you need?
So, ask the right questions. Some companies will "custom-built" your move around what you want. Main thing is to get the definitions and then continue on to the next stage!