Your offer was accepted and now you’re moving into your new home! After the excitement wears off, the reality hits: you’re really moving. This means you need to pack up everything you own; often entrusting all of your possessions to a moving company. Wondering how choose a good, trustworthy moving company? Don't just ask "Siri". or go to "Google Search" to pick the first name that shows up! That could be a costly mistake.
Remember to proceed with caution, because you really don’t know who’s out there & it can be definitely be daunting – you’ll see dozens of potential options that may or may not be worth your while.
Before you become overwhelmed and decide it’s easier to do it yourself, you should take the time to do some additional research
• Save Money October thru April
• Many moving companies offer discounts between October thru April. That's great news if you are planning a Fall or Winter move! So, if you’re buying and or 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 or hire a moving company to do the packing for you.
• Interview 2 to 3 moving companies to find the best option for your needs.
• Get a reference from your Realtor or a friend who moved recently. Ask them how the moving experience went; find out if there was any breakage or missing items.
Areas 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 an hourly rate.
• Long-distance costs. These are calculated on the total weight of your shipment and the distance traveled.
• Packing. These costs are not included in a basic moving bid. Ask for the price up front to avoid any confusion. If you opt to have the company do the packing, they will inventory your stuff and describe any existing damage. Ask for a copy of the inventory form.
• Payment. Find out what type of payment the company takes. Using a credit card is recommended if it’s available.
• Reputation. Check with the Better Business Bureau and your local department of consumer affairs to find out if any complaints have been registered against the company.
• Storage. These costs are also separate from the moving costs, and loading and unloading from storage is also extra. Have the price spelled out in advance.
• Written bids. Remember that the bid is just an estimate and plan accordingly. Be sure to get estimates from at least three companies. Get the estimate in writing.
Questions to Ask a 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?
Confirm the arrangements with the moving company a couple of days before your move.