The huge rise in house prices in the UK has benefited the Banks, Building Societies and Estate Agents. The average house price in England and Wales is now at a staggering £175,401, up nearly 17% from April to June compared with the year earlier. (Figures from HM Land Registry). However Removal Companies have not significantly increased their prices in this property boom and their costs still remain approximately the same as they did in 2002. The average 3 bedroom house to move locally three years ago would have cost anywhere between £400 and £800 pounds, today this figure is the roughly the same.
Buying your new property is an expensive business without a doubt, with every penny counting there is often not a lot left for the removal itself. You may think that by saving on the removal you can spend more money on the furnishing or DIY of your new house but remember getting the wrong and cheapest removal company may cost you money in the long run. If the removal company you choose isn't a good one, at best you may just end up with delays but at worst you could end up with all of the things you have collected and cherished over the years being ruined. Remember when you move do not just consider monthly mortgage payment. You will need to budget into your costs valuation fees, estate agent fees, legal fees, stamp duty (where applicable) and last but not least Removals.
|Most common question asked - Why are Removal Companies so expensive? |
We hear this statement so often. Overall this is an unfair expression and you must look at the broader picture. Remember we also often hear the phrase "I moved everything myself last time, never again!".
The price of moving is made up of many components and there is no such thing as the average move. Be very wary of the websites that have started to appear with a price for the average house move, you will either be paying too much from the beginning, or there will be extra hidden costs. Because of the logistics of moving house a removal crew can only usually manage one move a day. Two porters and a driver are the usual combination and this can be anything from an 8-16 hour day depending on distance traveling i.e. delays with traffic jams. Their wages have to be paid, let's say £5 per hour and £7 for the driver. So that is already anything between £136 and £272. You then have to take into account the vehicle costs which can be thousands of pounds plus running costs and on top of this there is fuel. A decent sized removal vehicle will only manage 8-12 mpg which works out 50-60p per mile. You also have to take into account maintenance, tax, insurance premiums, initial cost of the vehicles used. The office staff, boxes, equipment used transit blankets for example, estimators visit and all the training the porters have had before they arrive to move you. Maybe this is a lot of money if you think you are able to do it yourself, but in general, a DIY move is only really suitable for small 1 bedroom houses or flats.
|Reasons why you should keep money aside to hire a professional mover. |
1) Completion Times.
The major mistake people make when moving themselves is the completion time. This is the point at which the solicitors confirm the money has ended up in the right accounts and that the keys are handed over for your new property. You legally can not unload your belongings until you have the keys, this can be as late as 4 o clock on a Friday at the end of the month which is the busiest time to move. If you do it yourself and have more to move than a 1 bedroom house or flat and more than likely hired a luton van, there is ussually one main problem you will face. Unless you have had training in packing a van or just have no items of furniture, you will probably only manage to fit in to the van a quarter of your belongings into the van. The simple answer is to do more than one trip, fine if you are renting a property and not part of a chain but not an option if you have to hand the keys over at an exact time. Remember you may have a van loaded with your belongings but not be able to unload until you have the keys for your new property. You therefore would not be able to do several loads.
Worse scenario is half of your furniture is in your old property and half ready to be moved into your new, meanwhile the other people have received the keys to your old property to find it still half full of your belongings. Do they start to unloaded, do they wait an incur overtime charges from their removal company. It isn't a nice welcome to your new house and adds more stress to the already stressful situation.
Another scenario, is that the people moving into your house receive the keys some time around 4 o clock, you haven't hired a company and have instead decided to do it yourself. The people moving into your old home will not be in the best frame of mind to find the removal men they have hired for the day cannot start to unload teir belongongs because their new home isn't yet empty. Everyone gets a little fraught unnecessarily and the poor removal men/women cannot go home until the work is finished. A removal company may charge extra per hour for any overtime and you may be asked by your purchaser to pay this fee. If you do not vacate the property on your completion time, technically you are trespassing if you go back to your old house.
Imagine working in an office where the computers go down at 12.00, a tecnical failure and not your fault. You are then asked to wait around until 4.00 to be told the problem is solved but you cannot go home until 8.00 as you didn't do any work in the afternoon. This is how the removal company crew feels when the failure or delay of the transfer of funds takes until 4 o'clock to go through. They cannot go home until you are moved in even in they have made arrangements for that evening and will be still working long after the banks, building societies, estate agents and solicitors have all gone home. Of course if you already have the keys and no one is moving into your property then maybe you can afford to move your belongings in stages and not use a removal company, it will take longer and work out to be around the same costs but you can pack, load and clean all at once.
2) Professional Service
You may think that removal porters pick up boxes and carry them to the van and that is it. Not so; a removal porter has to understand how to fit all your belongings into the vehicle safely and without anything getting squashed or damaged. They have to be able to fill all the gaps that appear in the van while loading and remember what there is in the house each time they are in the van. They also have to understand the health and safety issues in what they are doing both in the house and outside, as quite commonly removal porters can be injured or killed at work.
They will be able to dismantle furniture and untangle the wiring behind your HIFI. Some may even tune in your TV's, un-plumb washers even though this will not be covered in their insurance. However they also have to work to very strict deadlines, insurance and health and safety guidelines, so please bear this in mind if you are meant to complete between a certain time.
4) Stress Free
A good removal company should take away some of the stress of moving. They will be able to guide you through the moving process and help with unexpected problems e.g. getting a sofa down the stairs or moving an awkward piece of furniture through a doorfarme. They should also be diplomatic with explanations if they are unable to do something for legal reasons, and should be able to calm most situations down. They will undoubtedly make you laugh and smile through out the day as this is the key to a successful move. Remember a lot of removal companies are family run businesses; if you are not happy with something, then you should tell them as they rely of positive feedback and recommendations.
|Regarding our Moving Form. |
Q : Why do I have to fill out so much information on your moving quote form?
A: We ask quite a lot of information from you when you fill in our quote forms, this is because a few simple things can result in a variation in price. For example we ask if the vehicle can park anywhere near to the property. An extra 10 metres walk can add an extra mile onto each porter's day. (Would you walk an extra mile if you didn't have to especially if you are already walking miles?) Stairs to the property are always a killer not only do they add distance to the carry but it isn't easy walking either.
We also ask strange questions like how many people live in the property and how many bedrooms. This is because a spare bedroom has significantly less in it than an occupied bedroom. All our other questions are fairly self explanatory but are aimed at you receiving an accurate quote for your removal.
Q: So it's Free, do you then get a commission off the quote?
A: All we do is forward on your details to removal companies so they can work out a price to move you, this saves you time as you do not have to ring up each company and explain the same thing over and over again. We DO NOT take a cut from the quote; this is strictly between you and the removal companies.
Q: Should I ask a company to visit as well?
A: If a company does ask to come out and visit your property to clarify what you have to move, then we do highly recommend this. It will not only allow you to receive a more accurate price but you can also get a feel for the company. Remember you are going to invite these people into you lives for a whole day and entrust them with your price possessions. If you don't feel comfortable with them they will not be able to keep you smiling all the way through what is one of the most stressful periods in you life.
And lastly Estate agents are paid on a percentage of the property value and as a consequence have seen quite an increase in net income. These percentage costs will also vary considerable depending on where abouts you are in the country. In research carried out by Helpiammoving.com we asked an agent in London why in the North of England the percentage charged is a lot lower. They replied "that their operating cost were greater in London", When pointing out that surely the value of the property is so much greater that the extra costs are covered, they remained silent!