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Your International Removals Survey - a guide to your pre-move consultation

Posted by By Bournes International Moves - April 1, 2022

Getting an in home pre-move Survey is a great way to get an accurate and fixed quote for your move, with no hidden surprises. The appointment should be free and no obligation. 

To give you a fixed price quote for your move most international removals companies will want to do a pre-move survey of your home and find out in detail about your individual requirements.


Most of the time this is done by an in-person visit by a company representative, but often if you have a computer or smartphone this can be done using a video survey or an electronic inventory form. Always be sure to check if the quote is fixed price or an estimate if the survey isn't done in person. 


The move consultant (also known as a Surveyor) will want to: 

  • Understand what’s important to you and answer any questions you have. 
  • Explain how an overseas move with their company works, the services they provide and the options for a move plan that might work best for you. 
  • Make a list (inventory) of the furniture and personal effects you'll be moving with you that allows them to calculate the volume of your furniture and personal effects so they know the vehicle or container size, crew and packing materials required for your move which all contribute to your price.
  • Check access to make sure they account for any unique requirements or obstacles. 
  • Advise you on what you can and can't take based on the import rules and regulations of your destination country, as well as on what you might want to consider taking/not taking based on their experience and knowledge. 

Top tips for getting the most out of your international removals home survey:

  • Tell the removals consultant everything - from move dates (if you know them) to access information, things you're concerned about and how you'd like it to work. The more the consultant knows the more accurate the quote will be and the smoother your move experience will be too!
  • Show them everything that needs to be moved - open cupboards and show garages, lofts and outdoor spaces so they can make an accurate evaluation of what resource they need. Don't forget to tell them if you'll be buying anything new before move day.
  • Tell them what you don't want to be moved - to make sure everything goes to the right place and that you don't end up paying for things you don't need to!
  • Point out special care/valuable items - these may need a little extra protection or special handling. 
  • Tell them what help you need - do you want packing or are you happy doing your own? would a handyman save you time dismantling things in advance? 
  • Don't avoid tricky situations! - not all moves are straightforward and it's important the mover can plan for anything tricky. If you had to remove a window to get the sofa in, likely you'll need that going out too.... don't be tempted to hide things like poor access, restricted parking or tricky items to get a lower quote. Additional charges or stress on move day could cost you a lot more!
  • Ask questions - make sure you're comfortable with what the process involves and how they will make it a great move for you. 

Don’t be tempted to have one company do a home visit and then give the information to the others.

We say this for many reasons, including:

  • Estimating volume is a manual calculation and is based on the skills and experience of the surveyor, this means that there can be some fluctuation between companies but by having three surveys if one is significantly different to the others you can quickly spot if someone has made a mistake that might affect your costs or move day issues. 
  • Getting a chance to meet a move consultant is about more than checking the volume and getting a price. Not only can they be really useful in guiding you through the moving process but this person represents the company you will entrust to be in your home and handle your prized possessions. They are a good indication of the service, standards and professionalism you will receive once you’ve booked and so can really help in making your decision if prices are similar.


If you are doing a video or self-survey:

Be careful to show or tell your mover about everything as you'll be responsible for the information you've provided. Any inaccuracies could cause delays or additional costs on move day, for example, if you provide an inaccurate list of items to be moved and the vehicle is too small they may have to make an extra trip or return to the depot to collect additional materials for packing. 


Ready to learn more? Check out our International Removals Guide

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