Moving doesn't have to be a stressful experience.
You're moving! Let's face it; whether you're moving across the street or across the country, it can be one of life's more stressful events. Before you surround yourself with cardboard boxes and packing tape, use these tips to find and hire a reliable moving company in your area.
- Stay Local
Use someone in your local community. Ask your real estate agent, family, or friends who they trust for moving projects. They will point you in the right direction.
The majority of moving scams are found online so stay local by searching businesses in your hometown. You can search online but remember, by staying local, it is easier to verify that they are a legitimate business.
- Read Reviews
In the moving industry, reputation is everything. You're going to tell everyone how great the movers were and that word of mouth is what keeps their business going.
Further, check out the reviews posted for several moving companies that you are researching. In doing so, you will help ensure that you get a great company for a good value.
- Visit the BBB
Visit the Better Business Bureau and check for any complaints or reports against the moving company. Look for customer complaints and business reports, and even check their Department of Transportation license. Simply ask your moving company for their DOT Number.
You can then search the database to investigate their record. Make sure the company is insured. Check their insurance number. Visit the moving companies beforehand to see what their operations are like.
- Get Estimates
Get at least three estimates from three different companies that have passed your initial screening tests. Try to ask for a not-to-exceed binding estimate. This means a cap will be placed on the maximum amount they can charge you for the move.
When the moving company comes to your home, show them your belongings. Further, let them see your home's layout and what challenges they may face with stairs or other obstacles in moving items out of your home. Estimates should be free and always conducted in person. Phone estimates are bad.
- Check the Paperwork
Just like selling your home comes with paperwork, so should a good moving company provide you with several documents. They should give you a bill of lading, which is a legal document that serves as a receipt of the shipment of goods.
Further, an inventory list should include all of the items they are moving for you. The most important document is the estimate itself which should be a written binding estimate which is dated and signed by the moving company.
You Are Ready to Move
You have checked potential companies thoroughly and should feel good about your choice. You have done your homework. Now choose the best one. A smooth transition awaits.