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What is a Pre-Move Survey?

By Quality Move Management Inc / May 3, 2022

A big part of any home move is a pre-move survey. This will allow your moving specialists to create your accurate moving quote and help you plan ahead for your house move. But what exactly is a pre-move survey and what does it mean in terms of your moving service? QMM answers this and more in our guide to Pre-Move Surveys.

What is a Pre-move Survey?

A pre-move survey is a survey done by your moving service to view the items you will need to move and to estimate a home moving quote. These are sometimes done in-person by a moving professional however they can also be done via a simple video call. The main purpose of a pre-move survey is to view the size and scale of the items you wish to move and to determine whether any specialist moving equipment will be needed. If you are doing a whole-house move, your house move specialist will check each room in your house and note down all of the items you wish to include in your house move.

In-Person Pre-Move Surveys Vs Virtual Pre-Move Surveys

When it comes to your pre-move survey, depending on your moving provider, where you are located and other conditions, you may be offered either an in-person or a virtual pre-move home survey. An in-person survey will give your moving specialists the time to have an in-depth look at your home environment including any narrow doorways or parking requirements as well as to do a visual survey of your household belongings. Whilst a virtual survey may seem as though it would be less thorough, your moving professionals will still have the opportunity to inspect the pieces of furniture and household belongings you wish to move and chart through any elements that could affect your move. Virtual surveys can also save time for both you and the mover and helped ensure that people were still able to have a pre-move survey throughout the pandemic.

What Should be Included in a Pre-Move Survey?

When the moving professional arrives at your home, they will expect to view everything that you need to transport during your home move. The same will apply during a video pre-move survey or virtual pre-move survey. During the call or visit, the size and weight of your items will be calculated as well as any technical needs that may affect your home move, such as moving home with fragile items. This information will then be used to calculate your home move cost and help plan for your home moving requirements. It is important that everything is visible during the survey, if items are added at a later date, this could affect your shipping costs.


Your pre-move survey will also assess things such as accessibility for your home and belongings to see if equipment such as a shuttle will be needed to transport belongings to the moving trailer. If you will be needing any specific services such as packing and unpacking services or in the case of office moves, disassembling and reassembling of desks or other equipment, take this time to talk through your requirements with your moving advisor.

Why is a Pre-Move Survey Important?

Whilst some house moving services allow for self-surveys before moves, this can often mean a greater margin for error with movers arriving on moving day to find additional items that may need special equipment in order to move. A virtual pre-move survey or an in-person pre-move survey, on the other hand, is undertaken by an experienced moving estimator to allow for an accurate quote that takes every element of the move into consideration. Self-surveys can often result in additional costs and delays after the survey as things inevitably get missed during moving self surveys. Pre-move surveys are free with QMM for all local and international moves so you’ll know that your moving quote and plan is accurate and will ensure a smooth house move. 

Do I Really Need a Pre-Move Survey?

The short answer to this is yes. Most reputable moving services will require a pre-move survey in order to provide an accurate moving quote. Without a pre-move survey, you may find yourself landed with hefty price increases as the scope of your move is evaluated and when it comes to moving day it is often too late to realise you need special equipment to help with your house move. It is also too late to realise that there is not enough space to park a large moving van outside of your home.


If you are moving office, pre-move surveys become even more important as your moving specialist will need to work out how to transport things such as computer equipment and often larger-sized items of furniture. Having a pre-move survey, whether you are moving apartments, houses or your business means that every aspect of your move will be planned out comprehensively leaving you to focus on more important things with complete peace of mind. Find out more about the process in our FAQs.

How to Prepare for a Pre-Move Survey

One of the first things you should do before your pre-move survey is to do your own survey of your home belongings. If there are items that you will not be taking with you when you move home, aim to remove these items before the home survey or mark them up explicitly as not being included in the moving quote. This especially applies to larger items such as furniture in your home as if they are included in your home moving estimate, this could make leave you paying more money than you need to for your move.


Next, you should make sure that all of the household items you will want to take with you are visible during the pre-move survey and able to be sized up by the professional mover providing your house moving quote. Place items in convenient places for assessment and ensure any fragile items are able to be inspected. For example, if items are in crawl spaces or your attic, these items will need to be identified along with any items that are usually kept in a shed or outdoor storage space. Be sure to confirm in advance any items that should be marked up as fragile or valuable and need extra care to be taken. If you have any questions about the moving process, now is the time to ask.

Preparing for Your Home Move

Whether you are moving a few streets away or cross-country and beyond, QMM are here to help with all of your moving-related questions and needs. We provide a wide range of local and international moving services for home moves of every size with in-depth pre-move processes to ensure a smooth move from start to finish, no matter what size your move.

Contact QMM to find out more about our moving services now online or by calling 1.866.880.8681 and get started on a home moving quote.
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