Moving to a new location is a life-changing moment. It can be exciting, especially if that move means a better life, like buying a house for your family. But it can also be stressful, especially if it’s a long-distance move.
You have to organize your belongings, ensure your family is comfortable, and plan how you’re going to adjust to the new place. Moving involves planning, packing, and transporting your belongings, and that’s challenging. But you can relieve yourself from the entire burden by hiring movers.
However, choosing a moving company is not easy either. If you hire the wrong mover, you’ll have to deal with damages, delays, and overcharging. You have to choose the right mover if you want some peace of mind. To avoid all the hustle, here is how to hire the right moving company.
Ask for Referrals
The best way to hire a moving company is to ask for referrals from friends and family. There are many places you can ask for a moving company, including your realtor. Your family and friends can also suggest a company they’ve worked with before and even warn you against those you should never hire.
Happy customers are always ready to recommend a company they’ve worked with. The good thing about referrals is that they’re always genuine. If you can’t get referrals, social media is another good place to check for reviews in moving companies. You’ll quickly find customers talking about their experiences with a particular moving company.
The American Moving and Storage Association is also an excellent place to source for recommended movers. Ask any mover for their references and try to talk to one or two of their customers. If your mover is unwilling to give you their references, take that as a red flag.
Verify the Company Credentials
No mover will admit to you that they’re not licensed or they don’t have business insurance. It’s upon you to verify that the information they’re giving you is credible. If they’re licensed, they’ll probably have the Department of Transportation (DOT) number on their website. This license identifies all commercial vehicles that transport passengers and haul cargo in interstate commerce.
The mover should also have a carrier number offered by the Federal Motor and Carrier Safety and Administration. Check both the numbers to verify that your chosen company is legit.
The American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA) is the national trade association for the American moving industry. It's even better if you can find AMSA certified long distance movers. AMSA members offer an extra level of credentials that can provide peace of mind during your move.
Get a Thorough Estimate from Your Mover
A good mover will first take an inventory of your belongings before giving you a quote. An inventory helps the company determine the weight and bulk of your belongings to try coming up with an as accurate estimate as possible. They check your drawers, cupboards, bookcases, and garages. They’ll give you an estimate based on the weight and the size of the truck the items will occupy.
The inventory is either done in person or through a virtual survey. They’ll also consider whether you’re moving locally or on a long-distance when giving you the estimate. Consult with your mover if you don’t understand anything in the estimate and ensure everything is as straightforward as possible.
Avoid Companies with Large Deposit Requirements
It’s not wrong for a moving company to ask for a percentage of the total payment before starting the work. What’s wrong is them asking for an outrageous deposit or even the entire amount. Anything above 20 percent of the total cost of moving should be a red flag.
Some moving companies don’t even require a down payment before moving your belongings. Reputable companies will need you to pay upon delivery of your items.
If you’re going to make a down payment, make sure you use your credit card. This way, you can get the chance to contest the charge if anything goes wrong. Credit cards provide you with a wonderful way of protecting yourself from fraudulent activities. If you make the mistake of making a sizeable down payment, you’ll lose control or when you’ll see your belongings.
Beware of Extra Charges
Some movers will charge you extra if you live in a two-story building. If they have to climb up to the 10th floor when moving you out or moving you in your new house, you’ll have to pay extra. Also, if you move to a remote area, your moving company cost will go up.
Also, the best time to buy a house and move might be the off-peak season when prices are lower. You’ll have to negotiate such costs beforehand, so you don’t end up with surprises. Ask your mover for all the additional fees you’ll need to pay, so you prepare yourself.
You can also choose to forego additional fees such as the packing fees. However, this also means taking risks as the mover will not be responsible for any damages. If you prefer that your mover packs for you, you’ll pay additional fees for the packing materials and the labor. It’s always a good idea to choose movers that also provide packing and unpacking services.
Keep Your Eyes Open for Red Flags
Not all moving companies out there are legit since some are just after your money. Some reputable companies won’t ask you for cash deposits, while others tend to ask for a lot. If they seem too hungry for your money, you should continue shopping around.
You can also differentiate professionals from unprofessional movers based on how they do their estimates. Others even guess the amount before seeing or asking about your belongings. Some will come late to your place to do the estimates and end up inconveniencing you. Also, if a mover doesn’t have its moving van, continue shopping for better ones.
Another red flag to watch out for is a long-distance moving company without a license or an insurance cover. If you’re moving to Atlanta or any other state, find out if they require their movers to acquire licensing. Even if they’re not licensed, ensure they at least have insurance so they can assume liability for your belongings.
Finally, watch out for moving companies that offer blank contracts. Make sure you get your estimates and all the extra fees in writing. Read the contract and only move ahead if you’re satisfied.
Compare Several Quotes before Hiring
Even if you get the best referral for a company, don’t settle for their quote before checking what others have to offer. Who knows, you might even get free packing if you hire the next company. Getting multiple quotes from different companies will give you a chance to compare quotes and only choose the best.
However, your choice should depend not only on the price but also on the above factors. You must understand that professional movers differ significantly in prices, reliability, and quality of their services. Factor in what the company is going to offer you apart from just their rates.
Moving is a strenuous process, but not when you get to work with a reliable company. Choosing a professional moving company eases the burden and ensures you have peace of mind. So, whether you’re moving locally or considering moving from state to state, a good company will ensure everything happens smoothly.
If you can’t get a reliable moving company, SimpleShowing can recommend one. We help you find a good house and help you move quickly and settle in your new home without any problems.