Choosing a reputable moving service is a high priority when it comes to the security of your belongings and your moving mental health. Taking the time to thoroughly research services in your area can save a bunch of hassle and limit surprises.
1. Get Referrals
Searching the internet is a great starting point to locate moving services in your area, but don’t forget the value of asking friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers if they recommend a moving company. If you’re working with a real estate agent, ask for a referral!
2. Quote Several Companies, IN-PERSON!
Don’t get stuck with the first online quote that comes through. Ask at least three different companies to give you an in-person estimate. No one can truly estimate your move without seeing your stuff first, so take the time to arrange visits where you can walk them through the entirety of your belongings as well as ask questions about their processes and handling of your items. This also helps to eliminate the possibility of a price increase since they have seen what you are moving ahead of time.
3. Know The Red Flags
When meeting with movers during the estimate process, do they seem professional, caring, and thorough? If they show up late, seem unsure of their capabilities, or can’t answer questions, it’s a red flag. Watch out for any attempts to cut corners and be sure to seek clarification on anything mentioned you may not fully understand. Also, most reputable moving companies don’t require payment upfront. If they seem hungry to get the money, just know it’s a red flag. Are they working out of a rental van? A professional company will have its own branded equipment used to serve you in your move.
4. Make Sure They Are Licensed and Insured
The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issues a U.S. DOT number to licensed interstate movers. If you’re moving out of state, verify the moving company’s license through the FMCSA’s protectyourmove.gov site and request the company’s U.S. DOT number; you’ll need it in the event you need to file a claim against the company later. If you’re staying in-state, check with your local consumer affairs agency. You can find a list of local agencies through the FMCSA’s contacts database. While we all hope moving goes smoothly, you want your bases covered in case an accident happens!
5. Check for Professional Accreditation
With the Better Business Bureau, you can research a moving company’s track record online for free. Stick with a moving company that is BBB accredited or at least have a good rating. You can also visit Moving.org to search for a moving company accredited by the American Moving and Storage Association.
6. Verify the Address
Got a business card from the moving company? Pull up their website or search online to ensure the address matches and is a commercial location. Any personal or residential addresses are a red flag!