Moving into a new place is a very daunting task. Be it commercial or residential, the burden is too much to handle, especially when you can only use a few hands. This is why moving companies are there to help you in every step of the way.
On the contrary, choosing a professional moving service can also be very overwhelming. Of course, you will have to choose a reliable one that will take good care of your stuff while giving you a fair price. There are a lot of choices when you have to hire a moving company.If you don’t know how to find a professional moving service, it will surely give you a big deal of problems.
So, to understand the things that you need to know or do before hiring a moving company, here are some of the things that you should consider:
1. Gather Your Options
There are a lot of ways on how you can pick your options when finding the right moving company for you. You can ask your neighbors, friends, colleagues, etc. Also, find a reputable real estate agent who can give you estimates on the cost of your move. It is imperative that the assessment will come from a real person who will check your house and other related things. Never allow some company to give you estimates without even going there.
Some websites might also offer their service to find a mover for you, but those will not be helpful at all times. You should find your professional moving service. In this way, you can avoid scams which are associated with this kind of websites and services.
You shouldn’t also rely on the name of the company. Big names do not mean anything in this matter. No moving company is one-solution-fits-all. Therefore, the right professional moving service is just out there ready to be discovered by you.
2. Background Check the Candidates.
You can check their homepages on the internet. You can ask the people who previously hired one of those companies. Check the website of American Moving and Storage Association which is moving.org. You can also call or email them (703-683-7410, [email protected]). This organization will help you to know if a particular moving company is their member or not. With that, you will know if they abide by the published tariffs and arbitration program of the organization.
On the other hand, there can also be other companies which are not a member of this organization but are still considered a good catch. You just have to carefully examine their credibility first before hiring them.
You may also check some sites that promote consumer-advocacy. These sites have blacklisted the companies which have a history of many customer complaints. So, if a moving company is on that list, cross it out immediately. It is probably a prospective headache for you if you accidentally hire that one.
3. Narrow Down Your List
You will inevitably cross out some of the first options you had. Three to four companies is the most likely number. This way, you can focus more on them to continue a more deep digging about their reliability. You can now talk to these companies or get a free quote. It is also much better if you can request an in-home estimate so that they can consider everything including the weight of your belongings, the distance, time consumption, and other costs of the move.
4. Show Them Everything
When the estimator comes, show him/her everything that will be included in the move. This is very crucial as some foreman might decide to increase the fee or challenge the original estimate if he sees that you have more stuff than what was estimated. When this happens, you cannot allow them to do so. A professional moving service will not raise the amount that you should pay for the estimate. However, the foreman is also not obliged to move the stuff that is not included in the estimate.
Make should also ensure that the estimator considers other factors that might complicate the move to the next location. Will there be stairs, escalators, or elevator? Is there a part of the way where the truck cannot pass? Both you and the estimator should consider all these possibilities. You should also not forget to ask questions to the representative or estimator of the company. Get as much relevant information as you can to have a clearer idea about the company.
5. Understand the Estimate
The estimate must be signed by the company’s representative and by you as their client. This will serve as a document for the order of service and the bills that you should pay. This should include the inventory list along with the essential documents that you should get.
The estimate should be clear and precise. It should state the fees for the distance to your new location, the time consumed, the weight of the load, the kinds of services that will be done, any additional charges and when they are applicable, etc. If you don’t understand something in the estimate, never hesitate to ask and call the estimator. If there is an error in the estimate, you should ask for a written, revised estimate. A professional moving service will be quick to act in this kind of situation.
6. Compare the Estimates
The pricing will be a major factor when comparing the estimates. When comparing the estimates, beware of the ridiculously low priced moving service. Ask the company if there will be additional charges other than what is stated in the estimate.
As for the higher bids, ask them about the fees that have increased the price. Search for the current standard rate for the cost of moving. Try to compare the estimate to that rate. If there is something fishy in the estimate, don’t stop asking until you know everything about it. If they can’t answer your questions, cross that out from your list.
Don’t hesitate to negotiate to get the best rate for your move. Remember that a professional moving service provider is open for those kinds of situation because they understand that there are other competitors in the market.
7. License and Insurance
Don’t take their word when you are asking about their license to operate. Do your research about it. Look for the website of the authority that deals with moving matters. Check their website or try to email or call them. Ask the company you are going to hire if they are registered or licensed.
You can call FMCSA (202-366-9805) to ask about the licensing of the company, and for the insurance, you can call this number: 202-385-2423. This part sums up pretty much everything because evidently, a professional moving service should have a license to operate in the first place.