Tips for Choosing a Moving Company
In all of the excitement of choosing the details for your new home, it’s easy to forget about the most essential (if somewhat boring) part: hiring the moving company that will bring all of your belongings to the new home. Forgetting this important step could be a big mistake, especially if you’ll be moving during peak season.
Our tips can help you choose the moving company that’s right for you.
Start Your Search Early
The most important thing that you can do is to start searching for a moving company early. You want to do this at least two months ahead of your moving date, though you may even want to get started three or four months in advance if you’re planning a summer move. You may not yet know your exact moving date, but you can at least get quotes from the companies.
Make a list by asking friends and family who they’ve used or through searching on the internet. Then call those companies to learn more about their services and to get a quote.
Check a Company’s Longevity and Credentials
You want a company that’s been in business a long time, not just a “man with a van”. Ideally, the company should have been in business for several years. They should be licensed and insured. An unscrupulous company might change its name in order to escape a bad reputation, so you need to look out for that too.
Decide Whether You Want the Company to Pack
Many moving companies also offer a packing service. Their workers will come to your home and pack all of your belongings into boxes. Full-service movers will supply everything your move requires, like furniture blankets and additional padding. The service costs more, but some people like the convenience.
Wanting a packing service may limit your options, and it could also be a little harder to secure a date. That’s another reason to start early.
Get Written, In-Person Quotes
Be wary of any moving company that tries to give you a quote on the phone. There’s no way for this to be accurate. After all, you could be either a packrat or a minimalist. Clearly, the amount of time it would take to move these two different types of people would be different, even in the same size of a house.
You need the movers to come see how many things you have to give you a reliable estimate. In-person estimates also account for things like multi-storey homes, narrow stairways, or oversized items that might make the move more difficult for the workers.
Ask About Additional Charges
Quotes are great, but they sometimes don’t tell the whole story. You don’t want to be surprised by extra charges on the day of your move. Some of the charges to ask about are:
- Insurance in case anything is damaged
- Furniture disassembly
- Flights of stairs (in case your new home has stairs but the old one didn’t)
- Packing supplies
- Storage (if your new home isn’t ready yet)
- Specialty fees (e.g. moving a piano or appliances)
Furthermore, you should also ask about how much they’ll charge you if the timing of the move goes over their estimate. For instance, the quote they gave you may have been based on estimating that the total job would take four hours. What happens if it takes six?
Compare Apples to Apples
Make sure you get quotes from a few different companies. When you look at those quotes, though, ensure you’re looking at everything that the quotes cover. A lower quote might be estimating a shorter move. If it takes longer, you’ll have to pay more. You won’t be getting the good deal that you think you’re getting.
You should also check how much insurance each quote includes and any other “extras” that the company might provide.
Read Online Reviews
Make sure to check out the online reviews of any company. It’s better to see ones where customers left actual feedback rather than a simple star rating. While it’s always smart to remember that people are more likely to leave a negative review if they’ve had a bad experience, you should pay attention to what people are saying. If the company seems to have a track record of breaking things or arriving late, you probably want to go with another company.
Moving is stressful, but with a good company to help you move your things, you’ll have an easier time. The best way to select a moving company is to take your time when doing the research and find a company that matches your needs.
Photo credits: depositphotos.com
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