In most states a “local move” or “intrastate move” is based on time so if you get your quote over the phone there is certain information that your local moving estimator should gather. A visual “onsite” estimate is usually more accurate but for small moves like studio or one bedroom apartments a local quote can be given over the phone and still be good. There are generally 3 areas that should be covered to insure the proper information is conveyed to the move estimator. Those areas include how much do you have to move, what are the logistics of your origin and destination, and how far and what type of drive is it from your origin to your destination. This is assuming you don’t need your boxes packed for you. If you do, an onsite estimate is a better idea.
The first area to cover is how much do you have to move? You need to determine what’s in each room (not just how many rooms you have) so it’s best to go from room to room while on the phone with the local move estimator listing the furniture (and boxes) you have. Each room is different so the more detail the better (even the smaller items matter). Any local estimator worth his or her salt will also ask questions prompting you like is there any artwork? Are there any lamps? (what style, what size, etc). Calculating your number of boxes can be difficult for a novice but the estimator should, again, ask questions, like how many linear feet of closet rod do you have (for wardrobe boxes), how many, and what length shelves of books do you have? (For book boxes) how many cabinets do you have in your kitchen? How full are they? Of what? (for dish packs and large cartons). These questions can help figure out the most difficult part of your local or intrastate moving quote. Once you complete what’s in your apartment (or condo) your local moving estimator should check with you to see if you have any storage either in the building (or off site) or any garage or outdoor items like patio furniture, bikes, grills, or sports equipment. It doesn’t matter whether you think something “isn’t much” or “isn’t a big deal”, the more precise you can be with your list of goods to be moved; the more accurate the local move estimator will be on his or her moving quote.
The second part of the local moving phone estimate equation is the logistics of your origin (where you live now), your destination (where you are moving to), and any restrictions that need to be followed related to the move. Your local move estimator should find out what floor you live on, whether it’s an elevator or walk up (and the number of flights or stairs that are involved). All these factors can affect your quote so be as detailed (and truthful) as possible, misinformation can only hurt you in the end. Other questions should be is there a dock or loading area in the building? how far is it from the building to the truck parking (known as the push by movers) what is the distance from your unit to the elevator, etc? It sounds nitpicky but the logistical aspects of your move (on both sides) can make a difference of 25% to 35% in the time it can take to move out or move in. Other areas of interest include are there time restrictions? If you live in an elevator building, do you have to make an elevator reservation? and is it exclusive use? Are there height restrictions for the truck to get into the dock? Do you have closing times? The more information you give the better chance you have to get an accurate phone quote. This is often the most over looked part of the local phone estimate process.
The third part of the local phone estimate is the distance and type of drive it is from your origin to your destination. The local move estimator needs to get addresses (or at least neighborhoods) and the mileage between the two points to determine the time it will take a moving truck to get from point A to point B. For instance, ten miles in a rural setting goes much faster than ten miles in a tight urban area. Remember, in all traffic conditions a moving truck takes longer than a car to travel the same distance.
Once the local phone estimator retrieves all this information, he or she should be able to give you a quote including pricing (and how it’s determined), approximate length of time of your move, moving truck size, and approximate cost of materials, etc. Also, if you can get 3 estimates you can compare and validate the quote you go with. Like with any other part of the moving process, the more knowledge you have and your moving company has, the better decision you will usually make, and the more prepared your moving company will be to do you move. Remember, you should always get the moving quote in writing after getting a phone estimate to insure there is no confusion.