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A Guide To Home Removal Surveys

Zenyx Griffiths

Written by Reviewed by Dave Sayce

15th Mar 2017 (Last updated on 18th Aug 2021) 8 minute read

The purpose of a home removal survey is for the removals team to inspect your property and the items that require moving so they can provide you with an accurate quotation. A representative of the company will assess the contents of your home, including everything from the bedrooms, office, loft and shed.

During the survey, you should guide your representative around your house, letting them know what does or does not need to be taken. Also, you must provide them with access to all relevant areas, even inside cupboards and other hidden areas so that you can receive the most accurate quotation. You should also highlight any items that need special care or packing such as paintings, antiques or sentimental objects.

Compare My Move works with a number of property and finance experts to create insightful guides that will help you through every step of the moving process. In this article, we will discuss what happens during a home removal survey, how long they typically last and what questions you should be prepared to ask.

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This article will cover the following:
  1. What Happens During a Home Removals Survey?
  2. How Long Does a Home Removals Survey Take?
  3. Questions the Removal Company May Ask You
  4. Questions to Ask the Removal Company
  5. Discussing Additional Services
  6. What is a Video Home Removals Survey?
  7. How to Prepare for a Moving Survey
  8. Save on Your Removals Today

What Happens During a Home Removals Survey?

Once the removals survey has been arranged, a representative from the moving company will arrive at your home to inspect the items that need to be moved. They will need to visit every area and room within the property to provide an accurate quote. From the bedrooms and loft to the garden shed, you should provide them with safe access to as many areas as possible.

You will be required to point out any items that are staying in the home or that you're selling before the move. This will prevent them from adding unnecessary costs to your final quotation. You should also highlight whether you require additional services during the home removal survey, such as packing services, storage or the dismantling of furniture.

When they are inspecting the house and its contents, don't forget to point out which items will be classed as 'fragile' or items that will need specialist care. These could include paintings, antiques or sentimental ornaments. If you are thinking about purchasing additional furniture before the move, you should also highlight this as the removal team will need to prepare for the added space required in the removal van.

At the end of your removals survey, the representative may not immediately provide you with a quote as they sometimes return to the office to calculate the quotation. Whether or not you receive an instant answer will all depend on the removal company and the number of items being inspected.

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How Long Does a Home Removals Survey Take?

The time it takes to carry out a home removal survey will largely depend on the size of your property. On average, an assessment can last around 30 minutes. As providing a quotation is a free service, and you may be busy during the day, some representatives may want to limit the time it takes to provide you with a quote. This means that they usually keep the survey as short as possible.

Questions the Removal Company May Ask You

The removal company representative will likely ask about accessibility as this is a major consideration for any house move. The questions about accessibility will be regarding several factors including, parking, limited access areas, obstacles and whether there are any lifts or stairs.

The removal company will also ask about your budget. You don’t have to give an exact answer as some unreliable companies may use your budget to influence their quotation. Instead, explain to your representative which aspects of your move are the most important to you, such as help with packing or any furniture that needs dismantling as these services may increase the budget.

They will also ask you about the number of rooms in your property, including the loft, cellar and garden (if applicable). They will need a good idea of the general layout of the property and will require a quick walkthrough. Finally, they will also ask whether they should be aware of any special requirements, such as pets or if you're moving with elderly relatives. This will help them cater to your specific requirements and plan accordingly.

Questions to Ask the Removal Company

It’s recommended to ask as many questions as you can to get a good idea of the company and what will be happening on your moving day. Here at Compare My Move, we recommend that you specifically ask about the company’s insurance and how you’ll be covered during the relocation. It would also be wise to ask about other services they offer as, if they offer packing services, they can take that into account during the survey also.

You may want to ask the removal company questions about timescales and how they plan to organise the move so that you and the property can be prepared in time. For a list of other useful questions to ask your removal company, you can read our guide here where we state what will be most beneficial for you to ask and why.

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Discussing Additional Services

During your home moving survey, the representative may ask whether you would like any additional services alongside the removal. These are optional and are there to make your move a little bit easier. Some extra services may include:

  • packing services
  • providing packing materials
  • dismantling and reassembling furniture.
  • storage options

The removals team will be highly trained and so can help with the packing process. You can rest assured that they’ll protect your items and ensure they’re completely secure during transit. Packing can be a tedious task, so a professional helping hand can be a great addition. However, before committing to the agreement, make sure you know exactly what's included in your removal costs.

During the home survey, you should also enquire about white glove removal services if you have particularly awkward or fragile items to move.

    What is a Video Home Removals Survey?

    Video home removal surveys are a modern version of the home removal survey. They tap into recognised and established application technologies that are tailored to the purpose of helping movers get a quick and accurate quote for their removal. By using your smartphone, tablet or laptop you’re able to contact your removal company who will then survey your home via the camera and quickly provide an accurate quote on how much your move will cost. This is all without having a surveyor physically come out and visit your home, making the whole process a lot quicker, easier and potentially less costly.

    When arranging a video home removals survey you will need to:

    1. Download The App - You’ll need to either download the app onto your phone or tablet or access the link via your computer. This can easily be done through the Apple App Store for iPhone or iPad users or the Google Play Store for Android users.

    2. Schedule the Survey - Once you have downloaded and logged into the app, you’ll immediately be able to start talking to your adviser. You can then either start the survey or schedule it at a time that better suits you.

    3. Undertake The Survey - The survey will be completed by using the camera on your device. Your adviser will be available to speak to you and watch as you move from room to room, capturing each item that needs to be considered for the quote. The adviser will likely give running advice as you go through, telling you what to capture and the speed at which you should move. They will also help you move systematically throughout the house, ensuring they get all the information they need.

    4. Answer Questions - Once the survey is done, the adviser may ask you additional questions. For example, if they did not ask at the beginning of the session, they may ask about accessibility to your home, move timings and whether any additional services, such as storage, will be required.

    5. Await Your Quote - The removals company will go through the footage and all the information you’ve provided. They will get back to you with an accurate quote within 24 to 48 hours or possibly longer depending on the size of the move and how busy they are.

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    How to Prepare for a Moving Survey

    Your representative will carry out most of the work, but there are ways in which you can help to begin your moving house checklist. We suggest that before a home removal survey you:

    • Write down the questions you intend to ask the representative.
    • Declutter the property.
    • Clear away any mess to create easy access to each room.
    • Count the number of boxes to be moved.
    • Label any fragile or valuable items.

    You should count the number of rooms in your home, work out a rough idea of how many boxes will need transporting and indicate which items require specialist care. If there are any areas of the property that are blocked or inaccessible, it would be wise to clear a path before the removal team arrive so that they can conduct a more thorough inspection. You can include your requirements when requesting a removal quote.

    Another way to prepare for a home removal survey is to clean and declutter your property. The fewer items you have to move, the fewer boxes need to be moved. This will then result in a shorter survey and can even save you money as the removals team won’t have as big a job to complete.

      Save on Your Removals Today

      We hope this guide has been useful to you and that you’re now aware of what a home removal survey is and why it’s important. The next step should be to contact an experienced removal company to book a removal survey whilst you begin packing.

      To save you both time and money, don’t forget to use Compare My Move’s free service to compare removal quotes today. All you have to do is fill out our quick and simple form and you’ll be connected with up to 6 trusted removal companies within your local area.

      Zenyx Griffiths

      Before Compare My Move, Zenyx once wrote lifestyle and entertainment articles for the online magazine, Society19 as well as news articles for Ffotogallery.

      Dave Sayce

      Reviewed by Dave Sayce

      Co-Founder and Director, Compare My Move

      Dave Sayce is the co-founder and director of Compare My Move and has over 10 years of experience in the house removals industry.