While settling into a new home can seem exciting, it also brings its own set of concerns. On top of getting familiar with the area and making sure your home purchase goes smoothly, you also have to get ready for the move itself.
Oftentimes, home buyers have never hired a moving company, or if they have, they haven’t gone through the process in a while. Our mantra is that while there is a lot that goes into the homeownership journey, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. We bring that same mentality to moving.
We will highlight what to look for in a moving company, common tips you should consider, and red flags to be on the lookout for. All of these will set you up for a stress-free move, allowing you to focus on the exciting part, which is enjoying your new space.
Check Out Online Reviews for Multiple Moving Companies
You’ve heard before that the best form of advertisement is word-of-mouth. People trust past clients’ experiences, as they have seen first-hand what can be expected from a company.
Just as you’d search online to find reviews about a new product you plan to purchase or repair person you plan to hire, bring that same due diligence to selecting a mover. You should consider:
- How many reviews they have. If they don’t have many online reviews, this could mean they’re new and haven’t had time to develop and build a strong reputation.
- What the majority of the reviews say. From time to time, and for a variety of reasons, a business-client relationship doesn’t develop as either party anticipates. In the moving industry, it can be expected perhaps more than in other industries that some clients will be displeased with the service. Those should not, however, make up a large percentage of their reviews.
- The company’s response. If there are negative reviews, does the company reach out and seek to start a dialogue to fix the issue? If they do, that could be a sign of a one-off customer issue.
GET MULTIPLE ESTIMATES
Be the smart shopper! Don’t settle for the first quote you get. Even if the company seems great and you’re leaning towards hiring them, take the time to get a couple more quotes. A good rule of thumb is to obtain three estimates.
Obtaining multiple quotes ensures you don’t jump on an offer too quickly before seeing what else is available in the marketplace. It also signals to the company that you are a competitive shopper, and they’ll need to earn your business. Additionally, it’s a safeguard to make sure there isn’t an aspect you’ve left out as other movers evaluate your move and offer their potentially unique services.
CONFIRM THE BILLING AND PAYMENT PROCESS
After receiving your quote, there should be no ambiguity about the cost structure of your move. Your mover should have laid out their services and what the costs will be. If you still have questions about how you will be billed, make sure to get those cleared up before entering into an agreement.
A deposit may be necessary, but reputable movers will not ask for large, advanced deposits or require you to pay in cash. Your final payment should be arranged for after your move is finished, and paying with a credit card can help protect you against fraudulent activity.
VERIFY THE MOVER’S LICENSES AND INSURANCE
Your belongings are precious cargo. Before you entrust them to someone else, double-check their credentials. It’s important that they are licensed and insured to protect your personal belongings, along with any furniture, fixtures, and appliances they may be moving for you.
If you’re moving out of your current state, your interstate mover should be licensed through the Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. You can verify their license on the FMCSA Protect Your Move website and request their US DOT number.
If you’re moving within the same state, you can check with your local consumer affairs agency. The FMCSA provides a database of local agencies too.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is also a trusted resource to lookup a moving company and check their rating, which is based on official complaints filed with the agency.
Getting your move planned and completed is an important step in buying a home. All the other pieces can be in place, but this is a major one that can cause you some headache if you don’t find a trusted moving company. Our team is here to help with your finance journey and beyond, so don’t hesitate to get advice from our experts about moving as well.