There’s no denying it; moving can be a hassle. Packing up your life is stressful enough without the added stress of picking a moving company.
With so many options and prices out there, it can be overwhelming come decision making time. We made things a little easier for you, simply follow these simple steps and your moving experience can be a lot smoother.
Here are six keys when it comes to evaluating a moving company.
6. Research & Recommendations
Ask friends, coworkers, and local real estate agents for recommendations. Everyone has moved at some point in their lives, so they’ll know who did a good job and who didn’t. Check out what moving companies are close to you using a service like Yelp or Google.
Don’t assume going with a name you recognize is best, some family-run operations can be more affordable and provide outstanding service. You want to go with a company you trust – so be sure you do your research and ask around before picking a moving company.
5. Get Multiple Estimates
Call a few different companies for an in-home estimate. Ask the companies if they will give you a written binding estimate or a binding not-to-exceed estimate if you’re moving to another state – these estimates will ensure you’re not spending more than you should.
If you’re moving within the state, most of the time the estimate should be based on the weight of your things, the distance, and the amount of time it’ll take.
The company should provide you with the estimate, the inventory list of your things, and any other basic paperwork any moving company would give to you before a move. The important words to look out for are “written binding estimate” at the top of the page, and the moving company must sign this with a date at the bottom of the page.
For a move that is happening within a state, your documents should include the type and quantity of your goods, the distance from your old home to your new one, when your things will be picked up and delivered, supplies they’re providing, and any additional services.
3. Compare Bids
After you’ve gotten all of the estimates and looked over all the documents, compare the bids. Watch out for companies that come in much lower than others, and companies that come out much higher should have a reason behind the extra costs.
If you have multiple reasonable-sounding bids from companies you trust, try to negotiate to get the best possible rate. Moving companies will likely be flexible – they know there’s lots of competition out there.
2. License & Insurance
Make sure the moving company has the license and insurance needed to move you legally. Go to safersys.org, the website of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and enter the company’s USDOT number and click on “Search”.
If you have an accurate USDOT number, you’ll be shown a screen with lots of information on the company.
1. Select a Mover
Feel good about your choice when you finally decide on a mover.
Confirm the dates and details of your move, and make sure you get all the necessary paperwork. On moving day, get a written copy of the mover’s inventory list, provide the movers with specific directions for getting to your new home, and get a phone number where you can reach the movers throughout the move, just in case.