Moving to a new home can be an overwhelming task, and the process can easily become stressful if you don’t have help.
That’s where moving companies come in, but not all of them are created equal. Choosing the wrong one can lead to broken valuables, delayed arrival times, or even worse.
Whether you’re moving from Miami to South America or just across town, taking the time to hire the right moving company will make a world of difference.
So, before you hire just anyone, here are a few things that you should definitely consider.
Table of Contents:
- I. What Should I Look for in a Professional Moving Company?
- 1. Reputation
- 2. Licensing and Insurance
- 3. Cost of the Move
- 4. Experience and Expertise
- 5. Services Offered
- 6. Get It in Writing
- 7. Ask Them to Do a Moving Inventory
- 8. Ask for a Walk-Through
- 9. Remember – a Reputable Mover Won’t Ask for a Huge Deposit
- 10. Watch Out for Movers Who’ve Had a Name Switch
- 11. Don’t Accept a “Guaranteed” Quote
- 12. Understand Moving Insurance and Valuation
- II. What to Ask When Getting a Moving Quote?
- III. What Should I Do Before the Movers Come?
- Final Thoughts
I. What Should I Look for in a Professional Moving Company?
Ah, the joys of moving. Packing up all your belongings, dragging heavy boxes around, and then realizing you forgot to hire a moving company can be a stressful experience.
But before you frantically start Googling “moving companies near me,” take a step back and consider these important factors before making a decision. Trust us, your bank account and sanity will thank you.
One of the best ways to gauge the reliability and quality of a moving company is to read reviews from previous customers. Check sites like Yelp or Google for unbiased feedback, and ask friends or family members for recommendations.
You can also check with the Better Business Bureau to see if the company has any complaints filed against them. Of course, you should take these with a grain of salt – especially if it’s a large business that has been around a while, there’s a good chance you’ll find at least a few negative reviews.
However, if the company has a generally positive online presence, responds quickly to inquiries, and has high ratings – then you can feel confident in its abilities.
2. Licensing and Insurance
You wouldn’t trust an unlicensed dentist to work on your teeth, so why would you trust an unlicensed moving company to handle your valuables?
Before hiring a moving company, ask to see proof of their licensing and insurance. This will give you peace of mind knowing that your belongings are in good hands and that you’re protected in case of any accidents or damages.
Licensed and insured moving companies are more likely to care about their reputation and carry out the services they’ve provided successfully, ensuring that your moving process runs smoothly.
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3. Cost of the Move
Moving can be an expensive venture, so it’s important to know how much you’re willing to spend before you start shopping around for a moving company.
Don’t just settle for the first one that pops up on Google – compare prices, services, and reviews before making your final decision. Keep in mind that cheaper isn’t always better, especially if the company has poor reviews or a bad reputation.
Make sure to understand the services included in the pricing and what additional charges may incur, for example, fuel and surcharges for heavy or bulky items.
4. Experience and Expertise
Moving requires coordination, planning, and expertise.
Before hiring a moving company, you should inquire about their experience in the industry and the number of moves they perform annually. It’s ideal if the moving company has a keen understanding of the whole process and delivers on time, successfully.
An experienced moving company will have a better understanding of what is required for a seamless move and can provide unique solutions in case of unexpected challenges during the moving process.
5. Services Offered
Not all moving companies provide the same services, so make sure to ask about what’s included in their package.
Here are some questions you can ask:
- a) Do they provide packing materials?
- b) Will they disassemble and reassemble furniture?
- c) Do they offer storage solutions?
- d) Will they transport fragile items?
- e) Do they have sufficient personnel for loading and unloading?
- f) Do they have a truck large enough to accommodate your belongings?
Knowing the range of services offered by the moving company you choose will ensure you make the right decision.
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6. Get It in Writing
Once you’ve chosen a moving company, make sure to get a written contract that outlines all the details of your move.
This should include the date and time of your move, the services you’ve agreed to, the price, and any other important information. This will protect both you and the moving company from any misunderstandings or disputes that may arise.
7. Ask Them to Do a Moving Inventory
Before hiring a moving company, ask them to do a moving inventory of all your household items to be moved. This is important because it will give you an idea of the total weight and volume of your items and help determine the cost of the move. Make sure the company representative visits your home to conduct the inventory and get an accurate estimate.
8. Ask for a Walk-Through
To get an accurate estimate, it’s important to have the moving company representative perform a walk-through of your home. This will enable them to determine the number and size of the items to be moved, as well as any special handling requirements.
Again, it’s so important to get a written estimate of the costs involved in the move to avoid any surprise charges later on.
9. Remember – a Reputable Mover Won’t Ask for a Huge Deposit
A trustworthy moving company will not ask for a large deposit before the move. It’s possible that some companies might require a small deposit to hold your moving date, but the amount should be reasonable.
Be wary of any moving company that asks for a large deposit upfront, as they might not have your best interests in mind.
10. Watch Out for Movers Who’ve Had a Name Switch
Another important thing to consider before hiring a moving company is to investigate their history and reputation.
Check if the company has had a name switch, as this might be an indication of a bad reputation or past issues (a way of getting around the Better Business Bureau). Do some research online and read reviews from past customers to get an idea of their services.
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11. Don’t Accept a “Guaranteed” Quote
While it might be tempting to accept a “guaranteed” quote for your move, take note of the fact that it could end up costing you more than you expect. You might think you’re getting the better deal because your price is locked in, but it could end up being a sneaky maneuver that will cost you more money in the long haul.
A guaranteed quote means that the moving company guarantees how much your move will cost beforehand.
However, if you end up having additional items to move, they might add on additional costs that could increase what you pay. Therefore, it’s always best to opt for a non-guaranteed estimate.
There are a few different types of estimates available.
There are three types of moving quotes: non-binding, non-binding to exceed, and binding estimates.
A non-binding estimate can fluctuate based on the final weight of your items, while non-binding to exceed and binding estimates provide more certainty.
12. Understand Moving Insurance and Valuation
It’s also important to understand moving insurance and valuation options. Moving companies are required to provide basic coverage, but it might not be enough to cover the full value of your items.
Consider purchasing additional coverage or working with your homeowner’s insurance provider to ensure your belongings are properly protected.
II. What to Ask When Getting a Moving Quote?
Once you’ve found the ideal moving company, it’s time to get a quote. Most moving companies are happy to offer free estimates and will give you a quote on how much they expect your move to cost.
Here are a few things to buckle down before you sign any paperwork:
1. What Services Are Included in the Quote?
Be super clear on which specific services the moving company is providing in their quote.
Make sure to ask if packing, loading, and unloading of your belongings are included in the quote. If the quote includes storage costs, ask how long you can store your items and if there are any additional fees for long-term storage.
2. What Kind of Insurance is Included in the Quote?
Never make the mistake of hiring a moving company without checking their insurance and liability policies. Ask the company what kind of liability coverage they offer in case of damage or loss during the move.
The standard amount is usually $0.60 per pound of item, but some moving companies offer full-value coverage that replaces or repairs any lost or damaged items.
3. Are There Any Additional Fees?
Hidden costs can be the bane of any move. It’s essential to ask the moving company if there are any additional fees or charges that are not included in the quote.
These fees may include things like fuel charges, stair fees, long carry fees, and additional stops in transit.
4. Is the Quote Binding or Non-Binding?
Make sure to ask if the moving company offers a binding or non-binding estimate. A binding estimate means that the price they quote you is the final price and cannot be changed.
A non-binding estimate means that the price quoted is an estimate and can change depending on the weight of your belongings or additional services needed.
5. How Do I Pay?
Finally, make sure you can pay the moving company in a way that fits your needs. Ask about the payment options available and if there are any discounts for paying upfront or in cash versus check or card.
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III. What Should I Do Before the Movers Come?
Moving can be stressful, and there’s so much to do before the day of the move. You have to find the right moving company, sort through your belongings, pack, and ensure that everything is taken care of before the movers arrive. But what should you do before the movers come?
Here are a few tips to consider if you’ve hired a moving company.
1. Declutter and Donate
The first thing you should do before the movers come is to declutter your home and donate or sell the items you no longer need. This will save you money on the moving costs and help you start fresh in your new home.
Go through your belongings, decide what you really need, and then donate or sell everything else.
2. Label and Organize
Make sure your belongings are labeled and organized before the movers arrive. This will make the packing process quicker and easier for the movers, which will save you money. Label each box according to its contents and the room it belongs in. This will help the movers know where to place each box in your new home, making the unpacking process much more manageable.
3. Disconnect Appliances
Ensure that all your appliances are disconnected and ready to be moved. This includes your refrigerator, washing machine, dryer, and oven. Make sure to read the appliance manual beforehand to see if there are any specific instructions you should follow.
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4. Pack Your Essentials Separately
Pack a bag of essentials separately. It should include items like toiletries, prescription medicine, a change of clothes, and other essential items you’ll need over the next few days. Keep this bag with you, so you have access to these items easily.
5. Confirm and Follow Up with the Moving Company
Make sure you confirm with the moving company about the details of your move, such as the time and date, the cost, and what items they will be moving. This ensures that there are no surprises on the day of the move.
Hiring a moving company can significantly reduce the stress of moving.
However, choosing the wrong one can make the process painful and an all-around disaster. By considering all of the factors described above, you can make an informed decision that guarantees a smooth and efficient move.
Remember, moving is a stressful undertaking, so it’s important that you take the time to select a moving company that alleviates your worries, prioritizes customer satisfaction – and gets the job done right.
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