You finally found a place that you love and feels like home. And before you jump into packing, the first step you need to do is to find a reliable and affordable moving company. It is one of the most important aspects when relocating from one place to another.
The market for moving companies is packed with thousands of movers and packers. Some are reliable and offer high-quality service. But in reality, the percentage of these trustworthy companies is small. Thus, you should be very mindful when picking the right company.
Hiring a moving company is not something to take carelessly. There are hundreds of shady companies or individuals whose main aim is to scam you. They might indeed be in the moving business, but the absence of decent licensing may put your careful planning and your assets at risk. Hence, here are simple steps on how to choose a moving company for risk and hassle-free move to another city, town, or state.
Ask for recommendations
Relatives, friends, coworkers, and local real estate agents are some of the best and trustworthy sources when it comes to choosing a moving company. They can provide reliable feedback on the company they have used. Don’t just assume that companies you have found online that seem experienced are the best, or that third-party entities who are kind enough to offer you a company are a good source.
Get onsite assessments
Choose three to five companies to visit your home and give you a precise estimate of the costs. Local and interstate calculations are different. The first is based on how much time the move will take, while the second on the weight of the items and the distance. The majority of moving companies do offer a free quote.
Once they come, show the estimator everything that needs to be moved, be it in the basement, attic, closet, backyard, garage, etc.
Ask about restraining quotes
To minimize costs, ask the company if they offer “not-to-exceed” expenses, meaning the cost of the move and any additional calculations that might appear during the moving process.
Ask about their operations and history
Find out as much information as possible from the estimator about their operations. Preferably, the company should have at least 10 years of experience. Make sure to ask about packing services, cancellation policies, and if they have experience with your type of move. The latter is important as the mover should be able to handle various challenges during the process such as stairs, parking restrictions, elevators, etc.
Check company credentials online
Research the company online and read customer reviews and testimonials. Rule of thumb here is do not trust company that shows only 5 star reviews, it means these reviews are fabricated, and obviously, do not trust companies that have very low ratings either.
Make sure the company is certified
Individual state laws regulate local moving companies, while the U.S. Department of Transportation manages the interstate movers. Choose the company that has a liability coverage
It is vital to have your belongings covered if any problem arises during the moving process. Every professional company should be able to offer such coverage and show their insurance policy.
Ask for references
If you want to be 100% sure to trust the company, ask for the references to double-check. The previous clients can provide objective and most accurate feedback on the company.
Follow these steps to protect yourself from scams
As mentioned above, some companies are after your money. Therefore, to protect yourself from such fraud, you need to know how to identify such movers who don’t intend to provide the service they promise. Here is the list of red flags to watch out when deciding on a moving company:
• Make sure that the moving company does have an actual, physical office rather than a virtual one.
• Any decent moving company should always have a branded truck with its logo noticeably printed on it.
• The contract must have several pages and must include an inventory list, and all fields filled out before you can sign it.
• Don’t pay cash as by doing so there is no clear proof that the purchase took place.
• Several good moving companies will most likely offer coverage and insurance to protect your expenses and belongings during the move.
• In case of damage or loss, the moving company must have an easy-to-use and immediately available claims policy.
If you follow these steps, you should feel assured about which moving company to choose. And once you make formal agreements for the move, make sure to get a signed form for the service and a bill of shipment.