One of the most frustrating things to deal with can be moving a home. Between packing and unpacking your belongings, to finding a moving company to actually transport those belongings, it is understandable why it induces so much stress. It truly can be an overwhelming experience. This is why it is so important to find the best company available to help facilitate a move.
Regardless of whether it is merely a move in town to a move out of state, there are certain general guidelines that a homeowner should always follow. These help to ensure that the company hired to make the move provides honest and safe transportation of your possessions. The following are some helpful tips that will help to make a move a little less daunting.
Hire a Local Moving Company
It is always a great idea to go with a company that is located in the area you are moving from. If you live in Salt Lake City, Utah you should look for an SLC moving company, or if you are in Central Florida go with a company in Tampa or Orlando. Local options allow you to check the business out in person and avoid having to go with a possibly shady company that might only conduct business via the internet.
Checking out the moving company also can help put to rest any concerns about the way your property will be handled during the moving process. Going to the store in person allows you to check out their standard procedures.
Get 3 or 4 Estimates
A homeowner should always have a representative of the moving company come to the home to look at what all is being moved. It is a bad sign when a company is willing to give an estimate. At best, it is careless. At worst, it can lead to billing problems during the move when there may not be time to go with a different option.
Estimates also can be beneficial because some companies will be willing to beat another company’s offer. However, a suspiciously lowball offer should cause a little concern about a company, and they may need to be investigated further.
It is vital to make a list of everything that is being packed and moved. This will not only help with ensuring the security of the belongings that are being moved, but it also can prevent any theft of your possessions. It also helps to take photographs of any delicate items in order to document their conditions before the move. That way, you have records in case of any damage that might happen during the move.
Verify a Company’s Credentials
Businesses that perform interstate moves should have a Department of Transportation number. For local moves, the rules may differ between municipalities so be sure to find out what is needed. In all cases, make sure the company is licensed and carries the correct insurance.
The American Moving and Storage Association has a list of businesses that have had background checks performed and conform to the association’s standards. It can also help to check with the Better Business Bureau to see the rating a company has.
Listen to Recommendations and Read Reviews
It is always beneficial to hear about other people’s experiences with a potential moving company. This way, you can find out if there is the possibility of unexpected fees being incurred or if the movers handled someone’s furniture with care when it had been requested.
Beware of Large Deposits and Extra Fees
Reputable moving companies usually won’t require payment up front, and if they do, it shouldn’t be more than 10% of the total estimated cost. Be on the lookout for businesses that nickel and dime you with fees for packing materials or fuel costs. Although some small extra fees can occur at times, they are rare. The expected cost should be itemized in the contract. Any payment up front should always be paid with a credit card to protect you from fraudulent activities.
Moving is a big deal to undertake and can overwhelm even the most organized people. Following these basic guidelines will ensure that the companies that are vying for your business will leave you satisfied with the job they do.