How to Choose the Right Moving Company
Moving isn’t easy – and it definitely isn’t cheap. The average cost of moving to a new place within the same state totals $2,300, and the average cost of moving to a new state is nearly double that amount at $4,300. If you’re spending thousands of dollars to move, you need to make sure you’re paying for quality movers who won’t cause damage to your belongings. You need movers you can trust. That’s why it’s so critical that you choose the right moving company. You need to make sure you’re investing your money in the right movers, movers who won’t cause problems and headaches.
Fortunately, finding a quality moving company is as simple as starting your search.
Here’s how you can search for and find the right moving company.
Ask Around for Referrals
You should start your search for a moving company by asking your friends, family, and others in your life for referrals. Everyone moves at some point – so why not ask about the companies those close to you used? Your friends and family can give you real insight into whether or not certain moving companies are worth their costs.
Asking for referrals is a great way to get insight into different moving companies. It can also give you personal reviews of companies you might find online. If you trust your friends, family, and others, their personal referrals can help you get some company names to start your search with.
Additionally, you can also ask your real estate agent, if you’re working with one. Real estate agents often have referrals or information about local moving companies.
Read Reviews Online
In addition to learning about moving companies from people in your life, it’s also a good idea to do online research. Search for moving companies – and then make sure to read the reviews.
Online reviews can help you determine whether a moving company is legitimate or not. These reviews also help you assess whether or not other customers have had good experiences. To read reviews, you can search for moving companies in your area. Most moving companies post testimonials right on their websites, but you should also read reviews on other sites to ensure you’re getting a full, unbiased opinion.
You can also read reviews on the websites of organizations like the Better Business Bureau. These websites, which are designed to help customers determine if a company has good practices, is reliable, and is trustworthy, can help you narrow down your options.
Check Companies’ Licenses and Insurance
Once you’ve selected a few top moving companies, you should verify each company’s credentials, licenses, and insurance. Each moving company is required to meet certain license, credential, certificate, or other qualifications in order to operate locally or nationally.
For example, in order to handle moves between states, moving companies must have a license issued by the Department of Transportation (DOT). That license identifies their commercial vehicles that transport passengers or cargo from state to state. You can look for this DOT number on the moving company’s website – moving companies must provide it to customers.
Movers should also have a carrier number from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. You can look for this on companies’ websites. Or, you can ask about it when you reach out to each company.
If you’re moving to a new location within the same state, check to see if the moving companies you’re considering meet local or regional licensing requirements. These vary from state to state, but many states require movers to be registered and licenses with the DOT. You can also check for certification through the American Moving & Storage Association, which requires all movers to undergo a background check and holds them to the association’s standards.
Get Estimates from Multiple Movers
After you’ve confirmed that the moving companies you’re considering are properly licensed, certified, or insured, it’s time to get an estimate. Each moving company charges different rates. An estimate is the only way to determine how much your move will cost.
You should get estimates from at least three different moving companies. Make sure these estimates are done in person, in your current home. That way, the movers can assess how much you’ll be moving, the truck space you’ll need, and how many movers are necessary.
Don’t trust a moving company that offers an estimate over the phone or internet. That estimate can be wrong, and you could wind up paying significantly more than you were quoted. Online or phone estimates can also be a sign of a scam. You need the estimates to come from in-person visits to your home.
Once the estimates are complete, ask if your mover will give you a written binding estimate or a binding not-to-exceed estimate. While a non-binding estimate is perfectly legal, the DOT warns that customers should “expect the final cost to be more than the estimate.” To ensure your costs don’t increase during your move, a binding estimate or binding not-to-exceed estimate can lock in your costs so you know exactly what to expect.
Start Your Search for Local Moving Companies Online
If you’re ready to begin searching for a reputable, trustworthy moving company, it’s best to start searching online. You can search for local moving companies that will handle your move with ease. And you can use the tips mentioned here when you narrow down your search to a few select moving companies.
Make your search easier by comparing what each moving company offers. Compare their costs along with any other services they offer, like packing or moving supplies. Determine which companies offer the most value – or the lowest prices. Then, you’ll be prepared to make an informed decision and choose the best company for your move.