Getting settled into your new home can be a transformative experience. Starting fresh in a new space is like hitting the reset button on your life, sparking fresh energy, new ideas and a buzz of excitement.
But the process of moving? Not so much.
Packing up everything in your old home, transporting it to your new home and unpacking it all is a daunting task. Many homeowners opt to alleviate some of the headache by hiring moving companies to deal with most of the logistics and heavy lifting. But hiring a third party can be fraught with potential problems such as delays, overcharging and loss.
If you’re getting ready to hire a moving company, here’s what you need to know to find one that is reliable.
Ask for recommendations
Start by asking friends, family, co-workers and local real estate agents for recommendations. You’ll find out quickly which companies are worth looking into and which ones you should avoid.
Research each company
The next step is to do some preliminary research on each company you are considering. Do an online search for reviews and contact the Better Business Bureau to find out if any complaints have been registered about them.
Arrange for an in-home estimate
Ask each company to come to your home and give you an estimate. While they are there, make sure to show them everything that needs to be moved as well as any stairs they will need to deal with and how far away from your home they can park their truck. Ask the company for a written estimate with a guaranteed cap. In addition, ask if they use subcontractors or if they will be conducting the move themselves. Get all their contact information, any other names they may conduct business under and their state and federal license numbers. If any company won’t come to your home or give you any of this information, take them out of the running.
Now that you’ve collected your estimates, compare them. Any bids that come in low should be treated with caution. If several are in the same range, you can contact each to see if they will negotiate.
Research more thoroughly
You’ve got your list narrowed down at this point – now is the time to research each company in more detail. Are they active in your community? Have they won any awards? Do they have any specialties, such as moving valuable antiques or working in a high-rise? In addition, check to make sure they have the license and insurance they need for your state.
Choose your mover
At this point, you’ve thoroughly researched each prospective company, had them come to your home and have gotten a written estimate. Based on your communications with them, now is the time to choose which company to work with. Once you’ve chosen your company and secured their services, be sure to give them directions to your new home, and get a contact phone number for them for the day of the move.
While moving is a complex process that can be potentially stressful, taking the time to adequately vet potential moving companies will go a long way towards giving you peace of mind when the time comes to relocate.