Online Moving Quotes And The Importance Of A Pre-Move Assessment

As we are becoming ever more computer centric, the internet has become the easiest method to access and acquire information. Relocating is no exception to this and it has become more common for individuals to request online moving quotes and book their move based on this estimate. However, it pays to consider what goes into providing an accurate quotation. To ensure a truly stress and hassle free relocation, pre-move surveys are essential accompaniments to online moving quotes

What is a Pre-move assessment?

After completing your online moving quote a Move Consultant will offer a pre-move assessment in order to accurately assess your requirements and provide you with a firm quotation. A pre-move survey is the first step towards obtaining accurate quotations (not estimates) and acts as the link between clients and the relocation company. It initiates the planning process and builds on the foundations of a great relocation. It serves to provide you with an overview of the entire relocation process.

There a four standard types of a pre-move survey:


1. Self-survey
The client will complete a ‘tick sheet’ to provide an inventory listing and estimate the volume of effects. This is often the most inaccurate method of assessment as the client will have to guestimate the number of cartons and volume of furniture.

2. Online survey
The client will complete an online inventory form which will then be submitted through to the removal company. This allows for a slightly more accurate method of estimating as the removal company determines the volume and packing requirements.

3. Telephone survey
The client will speak with a Move Coordinator over the phone. Once again this will provide the moving company with only a rough estimate of the volume of effects.

4. In-home survey
The client will meet at home in person with a Move Consultant from the removal company. This is the most accurate method of surveying and is usually the only way to obtain a firm quotation from a professional removals company.

All of the above options should be offered free of charge by most removal companies. However, to obtain the most accurate quotation an in-home physical survey is highly recommended. Although it can be tempting to save time and obtain a number of online quotations it is crucial to obtain a precise estimate of volume. Once you have decided to move, and have chosen to use a professional moving company to handle the packing and moving, a pre-move survey is required to initiate the process.

The following questions may be asked during the pre-move survey:


  • Date of relocation

  • Address where effects are to be uplifted from – is there a secondary address (i.e. storage unit) that additional items will need to be collected from?

  • Packing requirements – are there any items of high value, pianos, antiques, works of art etc.?

  • Are there any bulky / heavy items that require specialist equipment?

  • Delivery address – is the access okay? Will any stair / long carry required? Will a shuttle vehicle be required to perform delivery?

  • For international relocations – what method of transport is required? Sea or airfreight? For airfreight the weight of the effects will need to be established

  • Are there any items that are not being included in the removal?

  • Are there items that are going which are off site or yet to be delivered?

  • Are there special requirements such as pet relocation or vehicle transportation?

  • Is there any furniture which requires complex dismantling and reassembly?

  • For relocations from/ to an apartment is a service lift available?

  • For domestic relocations are there plants or is a ‘live’ freezer included?

Will storage at origin or destination be required? In order to obtain a fixed quotation the above issues must to taken into consideration by the Move Consultant as they will affect the quotation. They also allow you to budget accordingly and ensure that there are no surprises at destination.

Make sure you provide the Move Consultant with as much information about your move as possible; any questions asked by the Consultant should be correctly answered in detail. He or she will discuss your move with you and what services you can expect from the moving company. The pre-move survey is the ideal time to assess the professionalism and experience of the Move Consultant (who is a representation of the moving company). You should feel comfortable with your Move Consultant and build a rapport, and in the process learn more about the moving company’s reputation, qualifications, associations and experience. The pre-move survey plays a vital role in building an understanding between the moving company and you, as the client.

Just as no two moves are alike, the parameters of a pre-move survey will also vary. However, there are common tasks undertaken during a survey: assessing the quantity and volume of effects to be moved, discussing the packing requirements, the transit schedule and any special requirements.

Once the pre-move survey has been completed you can expect to receive a written quotation (outlining services included and excluded) along with a detailed survey inventory from the moving company. It is important to review this inventory listing to ensure no items have been forgotten.

If you would like New Zealand Van Lines to arrange a no-obligation free pre-move survey for your relocation please contact us on 0800 362 236.

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