Hiring a Moving Company 101
Hiring a moving company can be a great decision, especially if you’re relocating out of state or have a ton of stuff. Professional movers help reduce stress and ensure your belongings will arrive safely.
However, you should be careful when paying for their assistance. You want to be sure you get a trustworthy company and stay within your moving budget. Here are some important tips for finding a good moving company:
Ask for Suggestions
Talk to friends and family members who have moved recently to ask about their experience. While star ratings online can be helpful, nothing is more telling about a company’s practices than the actual experience of hiring them.
Your coworkers and landlord are another great resource. Only you know how much stuff you own, so mover-finding services that provide an estimate can be inaccurate. Personal recommendations are your greatest ally.
Research Moving Companies
Now that you have a list of recommended movers, you can hop online, pick up the phone and get moving. Conduct as much research as possible. Companies should be licensed and have insurance.
Getting estimates is an important part of the research process. Use the Rent.com Moving Center to get free quotes from trusted companies. Make sure you get at least three estimates before you make a decision.
When professional movers come to your apartment to assess your belongings, show them everything. If you have to move more than you showed them, you could end up paying for it. The movers may even contest the original estimate on the grounds that you’ve added things. Show the movers every storage spot, from closets to crawl spaces.
You may also have to share insights about your building. For example, does your landlord require you to move furniture through the back door? Where can the movers park? The more information you give them up front, the more accurate their estimate.
The top of the official out-of-state estimate should say “written binding estimate” and it must be accompanied by the mover’s signature and date. If you don’t see those things, don’t agree to use the mover. The document should also describe your belongings and the nature of the service. Note that you can’t get a binding estimate for an in-state move, which means prices could change later.
Look at all the estimates side by side to compare price and service. For the most part, the prices should be similar. If one is way out in left field, it could be a red flag. Learn the ins and outs of each moving company’s rules (like what happens if something breaks) before you commit.