Congratulations! You’ve got your new home, and now you're moving! After all the excitement wears down, the reality hits that you’re actually moving. This means packing up everything you own and trusting your worldly possessions to a moving company. So, how do you know which one is a good, trustworthy moving company. Getting online and picking the first name that shows up can be like playing darts with a blindfold on.
Always proceed with caution
You don’t know who’s out there, and it can be daunting in the search. There’s dozens of potential options that may or may not be worth your while. But, before you get overwhelmed, take the time to do some additional research before making your decision.
According to the American Moving & Storage Association, the end of the month and the summertime are the busiest times for moving companies. If you plan on moving during this time, be sure to book your slot six weeks in advance. This assures that you’ll have a place in line for that company.
Another thing to consider is from October through April, many companies offer discounts. So, if you’re buying and selling your home in the “off season”, it can pay off when it comes to moving expenses!
You’ll need to decide whether you want to do the packing yourself and have the moving company do the move only, or if you want to trust them to do the packing for you. There are some tips to finding the right moving company for you.
Our friends and family are our greatest resources when it comes to services. Why not pick their brains on their most recent moving experience. Who did they use? Were they careful with their items? Find out if there was anything broken or missing. If you can’t get a recommendation from them, ask your real estate agent, and get ready to interview some companies.
Here’s some areas that would be beneficial to research;
• Licensing and Bonding: The Interstate Commerce Commission offers a pamphlet called “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move”. Call your local ICC office for a copy if you’re moving out of state.
• Local Moving Costs: These are usually calculated by adding the hours the truck is used multiplied by an hourly rate.
• Long-Distance Costs: These are calculated on the total weight of your shipment and the distance travelled.
• Packing: These costs aren’t included in a basic moving bid. Ask for the price up front so there’s no confusion later down the line. If you opt to have the company do the packing, they will inventory your possessions and describe any existing damage. Ask for a copy of that inventory form.
• Payment: Find out what type of payment the company takes. Using a credit card is preferred if it’s available.
• Reputation: Always check the Better Business Bureau and your local department of consumer affairs to find out if any complaints have been registered to the company you’re considering.
• Storage: These are also separate from the moving costs. Loading and unloading from storage is also extra. Be sure to have the price spelled out in advance.
• Written Bids: Remember that a bid is only an estimate, so plan accordingly. Be sure to get estimates from at least three companies, and be sure to get the estimates in writing.
Questions to Ask the Moving Company
• Are you certified by the ICC?
• Do you charge by the pound or by the hour?
• How much insurance do you carry?
• Are there any items you charge extra to move?
• Are you bonded?
• Can I call to find out the location of my things during the move?
Once you’ve hired a mover, there’s still some more work to be done. Make a checklist of things to do prior to the move to stay as organized as possible.
Talk to your insurance agent about liability. Does your current homeowner’s policy cover your possessions during the moving process? Moving companies’ basic insurance coverage usually allows a set amount per pound per item, and it’s usually not enough, so find out how much the company carries, and be sure to buy extra insurance if necessary. Confirm the arrangements with the moving company a couple of days before your move.