Practical Tips for Choosing a Reliable Moving Company

Kiran Singh

Are you excited about the relocation to a new home? Although homeowners are thrilled with the idea of starting a new life in another place, perhaps even another state or continent, most of them are nervous about the big day.

Relocation is an anxiety-ridden journey for the largest part of individuals, overwhelmed by the infinite number of tasks that need to be completed till the move. Anyhow, finding the right moving company to assist you with the journey definitely reduces the burden off your shoulders. As long as the mover is reliable, you’ll experience no trouble in having your belongings transported safely and quickly to the intended location.

The following tips will help you make the best choice of moving company, specializing in in-state, interstate, and international moves.

Practical Tips for Choosing a Reliable Moving Company

Decide on the type of movers

Although moving companies in general help homeowners relocate from their existing address to their new homes, some of them specialize in organizing particular kinds of moves. For instance, certain companies focus solely on local moves, whereas others provide interstate moving services.

Some movers specialize in the relocation of fragile and luxurious objects, which are of great importance to individuals having a pricey piano or high-value artwork to transport to their new residences. Also, the largest part of movers offers a wide range of services, not just transportation. Such companies are suitable for homeowners requiring packing and unpacking assistance due to a lack of time.

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Find candidates

Once you’ve decided on a type of moving company, it’s time to start your quest for potential movers. Apart from conducting a Google search for candidates, getting recommendations from close friends, relatives, and co-workers is also worth the shot. In case some people you know have recently moved house, make sure to turn to them for recommendations. The first-hand experience is invaluable when choosing candidates, especially if the moves took place not so long ago.

After compiling a decent list of prospective movers, doing a background check on each company is considered obligatory. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) webpage is of tremendous assistance to everyone looking for movers, as it provides the trustworthy information to consumers, related to the reputation of community businesses. Only by entering the name of the moving company on this site, the BBB will inform you whether the mover has a history of complaints. Click here for a better understanding of the role of the BBB.

The BBB isn’t the only organization worth checking when looking for professional movers. For example, individuals are recommended to get in touch with the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA), either by phone or e-mail. Companies, which are members of this association are considered more reliable due to adhering to the tariffs determined by the organization. Becoming a member of AMSA is voluntary, which speaks volumes about the professionalism of movers.

After checking the accreditations of candidates, gain insight into their experience and adherence to licensing requirements. Although new movers try appealing to customers with lower rates, these are riskier to hire because of the insufficient experience. Conversely, experienced companies charge higher tariffs owing to their established reputation.

Moreover, the websites of moving companies are supposed to contain useful information about licensing and insurance. In order for a company to specialize in interstate moves, it has to obtain a special license from the Department of Transportation. Otherwise, it shouldn’t be allowed to perform relocations from one state to another.

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Ask for in-person estimates

In order to find out the approximate cost of your relocation, make sure you request estimates from all shortlisted candidates. Never trust a company that provides quotes over the phone or email without having a clue of the real size and quantity of your belongings. No estimator is capable of predicting the tariff without having a detailed look at the size and number of items of clients.

After arranging the visit of an estimator, make sure he/she takes notice of all the belongings you plan to have transported to your new home. Chances are these items are scattered everywhere around the house, not just in the closets. Therefore, take the estimator on a tour of the house for him/her to see the items stashed in your basement, attic, garage, and backyard. It’s of absolute importance for this professional to see all the stuff in order not to make changes to the estimate on the day of the relocation.

In addition, the estimator should be informed about any home conditions making the relocation more demanding. For example, individuals living in a house with numerous flights of stairs need to inform moving companies about the number of stairs their workers will have to climb and descend in order for them to bring the right equipment. The same goes for residents of apartment buildings where the elevator isn’t functional for a while. Movers need to know about the presence of elevators and stairs so as to select the right choice of equipment.

In the event of interstate or intercontinental moves, homeowners are advised to request a binding estimate. These quotes state the exact sum of money you’ll pay for hiring the moving services of a provider regardless of the additional costs incurred in the process.

Binding estimates are a guarantee you won’t pay a single cent more than the amount stated in the document. Some movers offer binding quotes free of charge, while others charge for them. Conversely, non-binding estimates should be taken with a grain of salt, as the cost of services always differs from the one stated in the quote.

The quotes for interstate and overseas moves are based on two crucial factors, the weight of your belongings and the distance to the final destination. The longer the distance, the higher the tariff. When it comes to the state moves, states vary in their estimate requirements. For example, California obliges movers to provide clients with a binding quote, while Illinois exempts these companies from such a responsibility. Check out the following link, https://www.thespruce.com/binding-estimate-hiring-movers-2435985, for a better understating of the binding estimate when moving.

After movers are done calculating the quote, you are advised to review the document in order to see whether it’s compatible with the oral agreement. This document should include the exact number of items about to be shipped, the distance between locations, the pickup and delivery date, as well as the choice of extra services like packing, unpacking; disassembly and reassembly of furniture, hoisting, shuttle services, etc.

Additionally, the quote is supposed to include the type of insurance clients are provided with. Most individuals decide to use the standard insurance included in the package, which usually covers no more than sixty cents per kilogram of weight. Nevertheless, some clients pay for extra insurance on certain items, which are either of high price or incredibly fragile to survive the trip without getting damaged.

Beware of red flags

Every person looking for moving services should beware of red flags while screening candidates and reviewing quotes. Low bids are an obvious red flag, indicating the inexperience of movers or an attempt to scam customers. Therefore, make sure you discard any quote whose cost is substantially lower in comparison with the others.

Another red flag is coming across movers renting moving vans and trucks, instead of having their own. It’s of great importance for homeowners to hire a company owning the necessary means of transport and equipment. Otherwise, the rental of moving vans and trucks might result in unexpected delays or higher cost of services.

When hiring professional movers, homeowners should beware of large deposits. No moving company should request a down payment exceeding twenty per cent of the overall cost of service. In fact, the majority of movers require no deposit but charge for their services once the relocation is completed.

Nevertheless, there is nothing wrong with movers’ policies requiring down payment on the part of clients as long as it’s lower than twenty per cent. When paying the deposit, always use a credit card to make the money transfer instead of paying with cash. By using a credit card, you’ll have proof of making the down payment, which isn’t the case with cash payments.

Moreover, the moving company you hire should have a single business name, not multiple names. The mover should have a valid address and phone number, which you can check by calling the number and visiting their office in person. Stay away from businesses where no one picks up the phone in spite of calling their numbers a myriad of times.

In addition, look for the licensing numbers of businesses in order to check their history of complaints. In the event of being tricked by a mover, you are encouraged to file a complaint with the BBB and the American Moving & Storage Association. Companies overcharging clients for their services should pay hefty fines for not adhering to the conditions included in the estimate.

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Final thoughts

Only a trustworthy mover will make your relocation experience stress-free.

Hire the best one!

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