It’s no wonder that moving is such a stressful endeavor when considering all you have to do before, during, and after moving day. For most people, moving is an experience they would avoid if they could, but life often hands us situations in which a change in scenery is required.
There are many things you can do to alleviate the stress of moving, and choosing an affordable moving company is one of them. In this article, we outline the steps to finding the best moving company for you.
You may be overwhelmed browsing the internet looking for the perfect moving company. So, begin by asking friends, relatives, and co-workers who they’ve used before and who they recommend. If you’re working with a real estate agent, you can ask them for their recommendation.
Research Multiple Companies
Don’t go with the first company that gives you an estimate. Many experts say to ask at least three companies to provide you with the expected moving costs and reasons why you should go with them. Also, be wary of companies that give estimates without coming to your house. No company can give you an accurate estimate until they see how much stuff there is to move.
Ask for a Walkthrough
As mentioned above, avoid moving companies that give you an estimate without performing a thorough walkthrough of your house and your belongings. Also, before the walkthrough, it’s wise to go through your home and get rid of items you no longer want or need so you can lower your moving expenses.
Don’t Pay a Deposit
Most reputable moving companies won’t ask for a cash deposit before you move, and most only take payment upon delivery. If you pay a large up-front deposit or prepay, you don’t have any control over your belongings and no guarantee they’ll arrive on time. Some companies are also known to hold your belongings hostage until you pay more money to have them released. If you must pay a deposit or upfront, put the money on a credit card to contest the charges if you feel you’ve been wronged.
Hire a Local Moving Company
Hiring a local moving company helps you avoid doing business with an unscrupulous company that is only out for your money. When hiring a local mover, go to the company’s office to get to know the people and check their equipment.
Verify the Mover’s Credentials
If you’re moving between states, the moving company you use must have a number issued by the Department of Transportation. This number identifies commercial vehicles that transport passengers and cargo. If you’re hiring a licensed mover (and you should), they must provide the DOT number, and the company must have a carrier number from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. If you have the number, you can check it to make sure the company is legit.
When moving within the state, the regulations and requirements moving companies must have differences from state to state. Some states require a federal DOT number while others don’t. Also, some states don’t have any regulations for their moving companies, so you must be diligent about researching the company you hire.
Check out The Bad Reviews
When looking for a reputable moving company, it’s wise to check out both the positive and negative reviews. Find out what grievances other people have with the company you’re considering and check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any registered complaints.
Check the Company’s History
Just like hiring a plumber or electrician, it’s best to hire a company that’s been in business for a long time. If the moving company you’re thinking of hiring has only been in business for a few weeks, you’re taking a risk with your money and belongings.
Ask About Extra Services
For the best moving experience, ask the company you’re hiring about any extra services they perform that might benefit you. Specifically, ask if they have the expertise to move items like gun safes, pool tables, hot tubs, pianos, etc. Also, ask if they offer storage service or estate cleanouts if you need them.
Check out the Moving Equipment
Depending on the stuff you need to be moved, you may need heavy or special equipment to facilitate that. Some national companies can pool resources from other franchisees to help with a complicated moving job. If you have an item that requires a crane or industrial forklift, ask the company if they have access to those machines.
Finding the right moving company can be a challenge, which is why you should begin searching as early in the process as possible. By talking to several companies, asking friends, and checking reviews, you should be able to pin down the right company for a stress-free move.