How To Find A Reliable Moving Company
Let’s face it, moving is not easy. There’s a lot to do, and one of the most important is finding a reputable moving company. There is a lot of planning, organization, getting moving supplies, packing, cleaning, staging, and getting your house ready for professional real estate photography and showings. But if you are organized, this doesn’t have to be a stressful process. Reputable and experienced moving companies are highly trained and ready to help you with your move. Most likely, you will find it difficult to relocate without the assistance of a professional mover.
Hiring a Moving Company
Once you have decided to use a professional moving company and not do it yourself, your move will be much less of an ordeal. There are many moving companies, but how do you know which ones are trustworthy and not a scam? It is an important decision. You will want to make sure they have the right amount of experience, all the necessary licenses and insurance, and that they provide an affordable price.
How to Find a Reputable Moving Company
The first task is to try to get recommendations. Ask friends, neighbors, relatives, or your real estate agent who they recommend. Relying on online websites is not always the best choice, as many moving companies do not even have a physical location. Instead, base your decision on the mover’s reputation, online reviews, e.g., Google, Yelp, or Trustpilot, and check the Better Business Bureau records. Take your time and do appropriate research before hiring a mover. The research that you do will help you decide to go with a particular moving company.
Next, start calling several moving companies, asking questions, and getting a quote. Make sure you hire a company with a physical location, business address, actual phone number, and take the time to visit the business location. Also, make sure they have the appropriate license and are insured. Every licensed moving company has a USDOT number. Make sure that number is a valid one. You can find that information on the United States Department of Transportation website. Also, ask the company to provide you with proof of insurance and make sure that it covers your possessions.
Should I pay a Moving Company a Deposit?
Yes, but it should not be a considerable deposit. The usual deposit should be around 10-20% of the estimated price. Never pay the total amount in advance. The balance is paid when the move is completed, and your household items are in the new location. Make sure you get the moving estimate in writing.
How Are Moving Costs Calculated?
Moving costs are usually based on the size or volume of the move, and the distance traveled. However, some moving companies charge by the hour or weight of the items to be moved. Different moving companies have other pricing policies. Ensure you get that information when you first speak with the moving specialist.
If the moving company only provides estimates online or over the phone, thank them and move on to the next one on your list.
Most reliable movers will be happy to go to your home and give you an on-site estimate. That would be a good time to ask questions regarding the various items to be moved. Also, see if any additional or hidden fees might be added to the bill. This should all be discussed before you sign anything and covered in your initial consultation.
What Areas Does a Moving Company Operate?
Moving companies operate in specific areas. It’s essential to make sure that the mover works in your State. Working with a mover who operates outside your State can be difficult. Choose a moving company that operates in your area. Make sure they have a local address and visit their physical location.
In no case should you ever sign an incomplete or blank moving contract. Some of the items in a moving contract include pricing, fees, pick-up, delivery dates, each party’s responsibility, and specific services to be rendered. Read your agreement thoroughly and look for extra charges that could be added. If you need assistance, contact an attorney to review it.
Each State has its own rules regarding moving, so you should know your rights and responsibilities before moving forward. This website has additional information regarding your rights and responsibilities: American Moving & Storage Association.
Types of Moving Contracts
Non-binding Estimate: This is the projected cost of the move. It is not an actual contract or a guaranteed price. If the movie ends up costing less than the estimate, you will pay less than the stated price. If your move ends up costing more than the estimate, you will be responsible for the additional cost. The moving company cannot charge you more than 10% above the estimate.
A binding Not-to-Exceed Estimate: This means that you will not have to pay more than the original estimate.
A Binding Estimate: This is a guaranteed price for the entire movie, which would include any additional services unless you request additional services.
How to Protect Yourself From Moving Scams:
There are many, many moving companies. Most provide reliable and high-quality moving services. Unfortunately, some movers provide low-quality services. Protecting yourself from moving scams It’s essential to be aware of the warning signs of these scams.
Lack of a Physical Location
If a mover does not have an actual address listed on its website, watch out! It’s easy to make a website in just a few hours. Make sure you visit the location and have your moving consultation in person.
Lack of Written Estimate
Make sure you are provided with an estimate after an on-site evaluation is conducted. Estimates can also be provided by phone, but it is not good. It is usually OK to do this online for small local moves, such as a one or two-bedroom apartment, and these estimates can work. If, however, your move is significant and some distance away, you must get a written estimate after an on-site consultation. On-site estimates are free.
Unrealistically Low Estimates
‘If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is’ applies here. Low-ball quotes are common, and it’s tempting, but surprise, surprise, and in the end, you can end up paying a lot more.
Most legitimate moving companies will never ask you to pay large deposits or the total amount upfront. Professional movers usually only require a small deposit of 10-20%. The balance is due after the job is completed.
Lack of Company-Branded Trucks
Reliable and professional moving companies usually have their own branded vehicles. However, beware of companies that use rented trucks. Now, all of their trucks may be in use, and they need to rent a truck for your job. But most of the time, moving companies should have branded equipment, including employee-branded uniforms.
Start your moving adventure by hiring a reputable moving company, and watch out for the warning signs listed above. Get organized and prepare well in advance. The moving experience does not have to be a stressful one. If you have a real estate listing agent, you can always consult with them regarding hiring a mover. That’s part of their job. So, take a deep breath and get to work!