What Is a Binding Moving Estimate?

Want a moving quote that you can depend on?

Binding moving estimates are essentially contracts that lay out the price for moving services. A person with a binding moving estimate knows exactly how much their move will cost, or at least what the precise terms of their move are.

In this article, we’ll discuss the different kinds of binding moving estimates and how to get them.

How to Get a Binding Moving Estimate

You should start planning your move by getting moving quotes.  However, these are just the first step.  They usually come with many uncertain terms, and often a moving company will reserve the right to change the rate.

Getting a binding moving quote eliminates this uncertainty.  When you and your company put the terms of service and pricing into writing and then sign it, you two create a final agreement. You can then use this agreement to estimate precisely what your move will cost.

To get a binding estimate, tell your moving company that you want a written agreement, and make sure all necessary terms are in there.  Check our article about what to include in a moving contract for ideas.  Here’s a rundown of the different types of binding moving agreements available:

Open Binding Moving Estimates

Open estimates establish the terms of the service in great detail, but they leave open the final price.

So, let’s say you’ll be charged by the hour. An open binding agreement could establish that you’ll pay $100 an hour.  What you’ll actually pay depends wholly on how many hours are put in, whether 10 or 40. That will be determined after the move, but you can guesstimate how many it will take to come up with a price.

Capped Binding Moving Estimates

Capped binding estimates are the ideal for people moving. They establish the terms of the move and place a maximum price on the service.

So, let’s say you’ll be charged by the hour. A capped binding estimate could establish that you’ll pay $100 an hour up to a max of $4,000. That way you know you won’t have to pay more than $4,000.

Minimum Binding Moving Estimates

Minimum binding estimates are just the opposite from capped estimates. They establish a minimum price that you will pay, no matter what.

So, again, let’s say you’ll be charged by the hour. A minimum binding estimate could establish that you’ll pay $100 an hour, but that you’ll pay at least $2,500.

Flat-Rate Binding Moving Estimates

Flat rate agreements establish a single price for the entire move, no matter how long, hard or sweaty it is. One side will always get the better deal of a flat rate, but you won’t know until after services are provided. Learn about whether to get a flat rate for your move.


If your move requires services that you did not disclose to the moving company, such as extra items or difficult-to-maneuver stairs, your moving company might have grounds to void the contract and charge you more. MAKE SURE YOU MOVING COMPANY KNOWS OF WHAT YOU NEED TO MOVE AND OF ANY DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES, and put them in the agreement.



Hourly Rate Moving Contract

Flat Rate Moving Contract


What to Ask a Moving Company

Calculate the Cost of Moving

Make a Moving Budget

Why You Should Get Free Moving Quotes

Terms to Include in Moving Contract

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