Most people dread the idea of moving home. Even if you are heading for your dream destination there’s always going to be a ton of paperwork, sorting, packing, cleaning and general stress to deal with before you get there and have to go through the entire process again – in reverse. Adding in the out of state move factor means there’s even more to think and worry about.
One of the best ways out can make this process as smooth and as least anxiety-inducing as possible is to source and hire a reliable moving company. Experts who have a great reputation in this field will make everything so much more pleasant, so don’t feel tempted to simply go online and book with the first interstate moving company you happen across.
Sure, you may get lucky, but the odds are much more in your favor should you take a little time to find a respected, reputable, and reliable moving company to manage your move out of state; and with this detailed guide you shouldn’t find it difficult to do.
Always hire local if you can
Ask all of your contacts in the same state as your first home– which could include family, friends, work colleagues, neighbors – for personal recommendations and names of reliable long distance moving companies. A second, though perhaps not as reliable option is to ask around on local community websites, and social media platform neighborhood groups for the same kind of suggestions.
It’s also worth looking at respected online comparison and review sites for information on several out of state movers in one place.
Local moving companies who offer interstate moving services are a good choice largely because you can check they are actually real people, with a physical office, and a reputation which they will work hard to maintain. [Regardless of your final choice you should always avoid movers who only exist online. They have no roots, and can disappear as easily as they set themselves up in the first place.]
Estimates are key – always get several
Bearing in mind that an estimate is not the same as a quote, you should still be able to use it as a good comparison guide, just make sure to get an idea of what it does actually include. Aim to collect at least three estimates, and don’t feel you need to tell one or more of the companies quoting what their competition has suggested so they are not influenced in any way.
Estimates which are done without the person actually seeing your property (directly, or at least by video link) should not be taken too seriously. They could be scammers, or simply naive. It’s almost impossible for a customer to get a realistic estimate on how much their long distance move will cost from someone who hasn’t seen what exactly is to be moved. Be careful of estimates which are ridiculously low too. This could easily be a bait and switch scheme, set up to reel a cash-poor customer in before holding their goods hostage until the final bill, which has acquired lots of mysterious new charges, is settled. These things do happen, sadly.
Check out the company
When you have a potential moving company in mind you need to check out a few things about them. For example, are they licensed to actually manage interstate house moves? In 33 states, to offer this service legally they must apply for, and be granted, a special number from the Department of Transportation. Qualified moving companies will happily display this number on their website and advertising materials, along with a ‘carrier number’ relating to truck safety, issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Other official places to research the background and general reviews of a moving company include using the Moving Company Directory review entries – sortable by moving company name.
Clue up on reviews and complaints
Make a point of looking around online for what people are saying about your shortlisted moving companies. You don’t need to be too concerned about the occasional negative review, after all, it’s difficult to please everybody all of the time, but do look out for any issues which seem to be mentioned consistently in comments.
Look at official sites like the non-profit BBB [Better Business Bureau] too, checking to see if any reports have been made against them. The BBB may also have assigned the company a grade, and to be accredited by the BBB is a very good sign.
Don’t part with lots of cash upfront
Be extremely wary of a moving company which asks for a larger than average deposit. 20% of the quoted estimate should be the absolute maximum you ever hand over beforehand, and only do that if you are sure the company check out as legitimate.(And remember to get a receipt which states exactly what the money paid in advance is for).
Using a credit card for both a deposit and the final balance offers you much more protection should things go wrong, than paying other methods might.
Look for a company with a professional approach
Alongside things such as a genuine physical office address, look or signs of professionalism like an up to date website with well presented and relevant information on it, staff who handle calls and drop-bys in a standard business manner, uniformed staff where appropriate, clearly marked removal trucks with the company data on them, and a clearly displayed licence to operate displayed in their office as well as on their website.
Moving may not be the most relaxing thing you ever do, but it should be just the start of a new journey in life, and hopefully one which promises to be exciting and rewarding. You deserve for your interstate move to go smoothly, and with some preparation and research you have every chance of finding a great interstate mover to make it happen.