How to Hire Quality Movers
According to American Community Survey (ACS) data, 13% of people move homes every year in the US, and many face challenges when it comes to hiring movers. Although there are hundreds of moving companies out there, some of them are unreliable and unprofessional. To avoid possible scams, you need to know what questions to ask and what to look out for before you hire a moving company.
Finding the right moving company can be quite a challenge, but not if you’re well-informed. This blog post will help you determine what questions to ask while also providing you with some expert tips on how to hire quality movers.
Why should you hire movers?
Before you start packing your stuff for the move, you might consider going the DIY route. This may involve loading everything in your SUV, or taking help from your closest friends or relatives. There are several factors to consider when you choose between hiring a moving company or handling everything yourself. These factors include your budget, the distance you need to move, and any health or physical limitations that might prevent you from moving everything yourself.
Although managing the move yourself can be cheaper in the short term, it comes with a lot of stress and headaches. Moreover, it would take you much longer to move everything on your own. On the other hand, professional movers take the hassle out of moving your home, and you can leave the heavy lifting to the professionals.
Apart from this, the movers are also bound by a contract, which makes them responsible for handling everything professionally. It also helps ensure that all your belongings reach the new home undamaged and on time. But making sure that you only hire quality movers to manage the process can help you save time and minimize risks.
Unfortunately, not all moving companies offer the same quality of services, which is why it is important to ensure that you don’t fall into the hands of the wrong company.
What questions should you ask movers?
Even if you have done careful research and received quotes from three to five different moving companies, you still can’t be sure that your moving process will go smoothly. Before you lock in a mover, there are some questions to ask that will help you ascertain whether a particular mover is the right one for you. Getting answers will also help you quell the uncertainty or determine whether the movers are credible.
Here are some of the questions you should ask potential movers:
Finding out whether the movers are reliable or reputable
- How long have you been in the moving business?
- Are there any complaints or lawsuits against you?
- What did you do to rectify the issues or problems customers faced?
- Do you have references?
- Which licenses or certifications do you have?
- Do you have liability insurance or coverage?
Getting an accurate estimate
- Can you give me a quote or estimate that is legally binding?
- Are there any changes to the quote I don’t know about?
- Do I need to pay for any additional moving supplies? If yes, how much?
- Is there a cancellation policy?
Figuring out the logistics
- How can I get in touch with the truck driver?
- How can I get in touch with the moving company during the move?
- Do you have a third-party mover for specialty items, like a piano, pool table, jacuzzi, or grandfather clock? If yes, how can I get in touch with them?
- What payment methods do you accept?
- What will be the duration of the move?
- If something gets damaged or broken during the movie, who is responsible, and how do I file a claim?
You might think asking all these questions might irk professional movers. However, that’s what it takes for you to find the right moving company. One that will not only provide you with the best quote but also commits to delivering your stuff on time and in pristine condition. Plus, truly professional movers will expect you to ask thoughtful questions before hiring them.
8 Tips for hiring a quality moving company
Here are some of the best tips to help you find the right moving company to manage your move to a new home.
1. Create a moving inventory
First and foremost, you need to hire professional movers who make it a point to take inventory of every belonging you may need to move. Not only should they note down the name of each item, but also measure and weigh them, noting everything down meticulously. Professional movers have estimators who take a closer look at all your belongings, whether tiny or massive. They will even dive deep into your storage spaces to find out everything you have, including the attic, basement, garage, closet, etc.
By having a complete and comprehensive moving inventory, the company will be able to draw up an accurate and fair quote. The price of the moving services largely depends on the volume of your belongings as that determines the amount of space it takes up in the truck(s). Therefore, a moving inventory is the best way to ensure you get a reasonable estimate.
2. Walkthrough with the estimator
Make sure the estimator takes a proper walkthrough of your home. Instead of telling them to visit while you’re not personally at home, or sitting in another room while they walk through, you should show them exactly which of your belongings will be moved to the new home. If there is a ton of stuff that you are planning to donate or give away, not being present during the estimator’s visit would lead them to include everything in the moving inventory, thus bringing up the cost.
Therefore, you should make sure your estimator has an idea of all the belongings that will be moved to your new home so that you can get packed and moving as soon as possible.
3. Don’t pay a large deposit
When it comes to deposits, always look out for movers that demand a large sum of money before they even develop a moving inventory. You can almost always consider it a red flag if a moving company asks you for a huge deposit upfront. Even if you find a moving company that asks you for a substantial deposit, but has the best quote, request to pay a smaller deposit and the balance upon completion.
If you pay the moving company in advance or pay a large deposit, they will have total control over your entire belongings, as well as your money. Therefore, they may not be as motivated to deliver the stuff on time, no matter how many times you call them. Moreover, if you are entrapped by a fraudulent moving company, you can kiss all your belongings or money goodbye.
4. Don’t work with ‘does business as’ companies
Some moving companies conduct their business and offer moving services under various names, which is another red flag. Companies do this when they start getting lots of complaints or bad reviews on the internet. Instead of improving the quality of their services, they resort to cheap tactics like changing their name and continuing like it’s business as usual.
If you search for quality movers online, do check whether they go by any other name, or the same address or contact number pops up with multiple names. Additionally, if you call up a particular business, they should answer with the name you find during your search. The best moving companies operate with only one name. You can find this out by calling them, checking their address, and searching for other key details available on the internet.
5. Always get references for movers
One of the best ways to look for quality moving companies is to ask your family and friends. Chances are that at least one or two of them have moved homes in the past 6-8 months. And if they had luck in finding the right movers, you have a reference ready at hand. If that isn’t the case, you can get a list of reliable moving companies with glowing reviews from organizations, such as the American Moving and Storage Association.
Ask potential movers to provide you with references of at least three recent customers they have worked with. Preferably those who have availed of their moving services in the past three months. Then, you can get in touch with those customers and find out if the company is reliable or not.
6. Ask about packing options and prices
Moving companies often allow you to either pack things yourself or get their movers to do it for you. While it may be tempting to save time and have their employees pack your stuff as well, it comes at a price. You will have to pay extra for packing materials such as boxes, tape, bubble wrap, and even labor.
Instead of opting for value-added services, you can actually save a significant amount of money by packing your belongings on your own. You can easily get the packing accessories mentioned above for a reasonable price.
However, a professional moving service will give you a choice and will usually have a flat rate for the packing service. If you choose to pack everything yourself, bear in mind that the moving company won’t be responsible in case something gets damaged.
7. Share as many details as you can
When you are negotiating moving costs, make sure that you are absolutely clear with them about which floor you currently live on, as well as the floor your new home is located on. Additionally, they need to know whether there is an elevator present in both buildings or not. And if yes, whether those elevators can be used for moving heavy furniture or even lighter stuff.
If you start the moving process without letting the movers know all the intricate details, you will have to be prepared for them to charge you extra after the move. Mention any and all accessibility details in advance to prevent a hassle on the day of your move or surprise charges.
8. Never sign a blank moving contract
Moving companies that are out to scam you, will put a ridiculously low quote to rope you in. Then, they will place a blank moving contract in front of you to sign. Don’t ever make the mistake of signing it, because you never know the kinds of terms and conditions that they may add to it later.
Additionally, you should always read the contract thoroughly, and make sure it contains the entire moving inventory. For instance, if you have an antique clock that isn’t listed in the contract, the driver or moving professionals may sneak it away without any legal liability. Since it isn’t included in the contract, you won’t be able to file a claim for it as well.
What is the average cost for a moving company?
On average, the moving cost can be around $1,250 if you are moving to a home in a closer location or within the same city. However, you can expect to pay an average of $4,890 for a long-distance move.
What does the moving cost include?
The moving cost factors in the weight and size of the belongings, the distance from the origin to the destination, the amount of labor required, the cost of packing (if you have opted for it), coverage amounts, moving timeline, and season.
When is it most expensive to move?
Most moves take place during the summer months, i.e. between May and September. Also, weekends are more expensive than weekdays.
Ready for your move?
There’s something extremely comforting about knowing that professional movers are managing your move from start to finish. Although it can be difficult to give control over to somebody else, hiring quality movers frees you up to take care of other tasks on your to-do list. Once you are ready for the move, check out our moving tips and checklists to make the whole process a breeze!