So you’ve decided to move — maybe for a new job, early retirement, or you just want the opportunity to live in another region. Whatever the reason, relocating is a complex and sometimes stressful process. While getting your friends and family to help you move saves some money, hiring professional movers makes everything a bit easier.
With so many moving companies to choose from, finding the best one seems a bit daunting. With a stress free relocation in mind, here are a few tips on how to choose a moving company.
Research both National and Local Movers
Before deciding on a moving company it makes sense to research the best firms in the business. If you are only relocating within your metro area or state, take a look at local firms, checking any reviews you find on the Web. For moving across the country, a reputable company with a national presence makes the most sense. Once again, pay close attention to each company’s online reviews; read them thoroughly, instead of merely glancing at their overall ratings.
Get Referrals from your Friends and Family
In addition to your own research, seek out advice from your friends and family. Ask for recommendations about any moving companies they’ve used in the past. Pay close attention to any stories about damaged or lost items, disregarding estimates, or other untrustworthy behavior. The Better Business Bureau regularly gets thousands of reports on moving companies each year, so trusted referrals are a necessary part of making your move go smoothly.
Narrow down your List of Companies
After your research is completed and you’ve considered the details of your referrals, narrow down your list of moving companies to around three or four. When it comes time to get in-person estimates, too many companies makes that aspect of your decision too time consuming. Additionally, you don’t want to spend valuable packing time on the phone seeing which firms are willing to provide an in-house estimate.
Get In-House Estimates from Three to Four Movers
The in-house estimate is the most important aspect of your decision on a moving company. A mover unwilling to provide an in-person assessment is a red flag, and should disqualify them from your consideration. At least three or four movers should provide a good cross-section and allow you to make an informed final decision.
It is important to show the person giving the estimate everything you need to move. An accurate estimate helps to avoid any disagreements once the move is completed. Be sure to disclose any information about your new residence; if there are extra floors or difficult areas to navigate carrying heavy furniture, it may affect the final estimate amount.
Pay close attention to the demeanor and professionalism of the estimator(s). This provides you with extra clues on the quality of the moving company they represent. Consider this to be essentially a job interview for the moving company, so ask many meaningful questions to gain insight into their capabilities and skill set.
Be sure the estimator arrives in a company vehicle and is wearing a uniform representing his firm. This helps you stay away from any fly by night scam artists. Additionally, never agree to pay a cash deposit before the move, as this is another indicator of a less than reputable organization.
The Last Steps before making your Final Decision
Once you have estimates in hand, and before you make your final decision, check each company’s rating with the Better Business Bureau. As mentioned earlier, the BBB receives thousands of complaints each year on movers, so this extra verification is smart.
Also, make sure each mover is properly insured and licensed. This is especially important if you are moving out of state. The U.S. Government provides a convenient website that allows you to verify each company’s Department of Transportation license issued to interstate movers. If a dispute arises after the move, this information facilitates the claim process.
Choose your Moving Company
When all of these steps are complete, you truly know how to choose a moving company. Now it is time to make an enlightened decision and prepare for moving day — which probably includes packing, packing, and more packing. Take a deep breath knowing a reputable company is treating your valuable items with care and professionalism.
At the time, make it a point to check out these other helpful moving tips, so your entire relocation is a breeze, no matter how far your move is. Soon you will be relaxing comfortable in your new residence!