It’s official – soon you’re going to have to move to a new home. As a result, you keep asking yourself one specific question over and over again: should you hire a moving company?
You think you’re facing the ultimate house moving dilemma – hiring movers vs. doing it yourself – when, in fact, you realize that you already know what you need to do. And you will do it, of course, but you just seem unsure how to approach the delicate matter of hiring professional movers to take care of your household move.
The next 10 tips for hiring a moving company will guide you through the somewhat confusing process of securing the services of a professional mover. You will get to know not only what to consider when hiring a moving company, but also how to hire good movers to tackle the details of your relocation project.
A good piece of advice at the right moment can make all the difference in the world, don’t you agree?
1. Know the reasons to hire a moving company
Before you decide to use the services of a professional moving company, you need to be confident that your decision is the right one. You don’t want to be troubled by any recurring doubts that you may have tried to move on your own.
Is hiring movers worth it?
- Moving long distance. You can probably pull off a local move by enlisting the valuable help of your friends. Moving across town or moving to a neighboring city gives you a fighting chance to prove your relocation skills. Not when you’re moving hundreds or thousands of miles across the country though – the move-related risk is too great to be even assessed properly.
- Pressed for time. Only the pros can handle a last minute move or a home move without sufficient time for standard organization. Unlike you, professional movers have been trained to work around the clock with enviable speed and efficiency.
- Specialty items. The moving-yourself-vs-hiring-movers conundrum becomes very easy to solve when you happen to own a number of special items such as a piano, pieces of antique furniture, a pool table, a grandfathers clock, and so on. When was the last time you moved a hot tub on your own?
Once you’re familiar with the good reasons to hire professional moving services, let’s say a few words about the price of hiring movers.
2. Learn the typical cost of hiring movers
It’s important to know what to expect when hiring a moving company, especially the expectations from a financial point of view. Well, you know your upcoming house move will be expensive, but you have no idea how expensive it will be. You don’t even dare to guess the final relocation bill for fear of giving yourself false hopes.
The only thing about the cost of hiring movers that is worth remembering is that the moving price is estimated using the case-by-case principle – that is, nobody can tell you exactly how much your move will cost, not even experienced professional movers unless the pros visit your home in person and do an in-home cost estimation. And even then, you will only get an estimate of the moving price.
Still, it’s critical that you prepare mentally for the upcoming financial blow. Click here now to view average moving costs both for local moves and long distance moves out of 1-, 2- or 3-bedroom homes. Learn what major factors affect the relocation cost and what you can do to cut those moving costs to save money on your move.
Read also: How much does it cost to hire movers?
3. Get multiple moving quotes
There are a number of important things to know when hiring movers, and one of them is the truth that receiving only one moving quote from one single mover won’t really bring you any benefits in the long run. How are you supposed to get the best deal price-wise when you are unable to compare various cost estimates and pick the one that fits your budget?
The ultimate advice for hiring movers is to get multiple quotes from various local or long distance moving companies so that you expand your relocation options. Have professionals compete for you moving job just because professionals moving services can differ substantially in terms of quality, reliability, and of course – rates.
Often considered to be one of the biggest mistakes when moving house, accepting the very first offer that comes your way is something you should think three times before you do it. Careful comparison analysis of both movers and their price estimates is the best way to hire the best moving company for you and your family.
Use our free cost estimator to get contacted by professional movers and receive multiple moving cost estimates.
4. Request in-home surveys
If you’ve never had to hire a moving company until now, you may actually find the entire price estimation process rather baffling. And due to your apparent inexperience, you may decide that the right way to get cost estimates from the pros is either on the phone or via e-mail.
Our checklist for hiring movers continues with a warning: do not accept movers quotes unless they are issued after personal in-home surveys performed in your own home.
Since you probably don’t have much home moving experience, you won’t be able to describe to the movers the approximate dimensions and weight of all the items you intend to take with you to the new apartment or house. As a result, the moving costs estimates you receive won’t be accurate.
Ask moving companies to send representatives to your home for visual inspections. If they refuse to do it, then you should definitely refuse to use their services. Keep in mind that the best moving companies in the country today will insist on visiting customers’ homes in order to issue precise moving estimates.
Good to know: Top 10 things people forget to do when moving home
5. Compare the moving cost estimates
You may think that once you end up having several moving cost estimates (issued after in-home surveys, of course), the easiest part for you will be to select the winning bid. Well, it’s not always that easy.
The top tips for hiring the best moving company will advise you to refrain from looking only at the prices that have been quoted in the estimates. Sure, it can be hard to turn down a low-cost offer, practically lower than the rest of the quotes. However, your decision which mover to choose as your partner has to be based on more factors than just the price on the bottom line.
When comparing the movers estimates you’ve received, pay close attention to:
- Final price. It’ll probably be the first thing you notice anyway.
- Additional services. Accessorial services and their rates should be the deal-maker or the deal-breaker for you.
- Movers’ reputation. Reputation cannot be ignored when choosing and hiring professional movers. Read on to learn the importance of reading customer reviews and consumer ratings about cross country moving companies.
6. Know the red flags when hiring movers
Unfortunately, not all professional moving companies out there are honest businesses, and some so-called rogue movers may try to cheat you. If you’ve used our moving cost calculator to get in touch with the pros, then you have nothing to worry about because all moving companies are legitimate, licensed, and upstanding.
Nevertheless, it’s always a good idea to be on the lookout when hiring packers and movers so that you can stay away from possible deceitful attempts at moving fraud.
- Refusal of in-home cost estimation. Do not accept price estimates over the phone or via email because they will not be accurate. Instead, request on-site surveys. If a mover refuses to visit your home in person, then that mover is not good enough for you.
- Low-ball estimates. The most common moving scam is a low-ball estimate – you get a quote that is way lower than the rest. In fact, the price is so low that it does look too good to be true. Dishonest movers use this tactic to secure more moving jobs, and then they increase the prices considerably once they have your household items in their possession.
Must-read: Smart ways to avoid moving scam
7. Do a more thorough research on the movers
The best advice on how to hire movers cannot possibly overlook the essential aspect of researching the moving companies before you can pick the right one for you. The proper moment of doing so is when you are in the middle of comparing the moving cost estimates – a quick check on the candidate movers will help you make an informed decision in the end.
- U.S. Department of Transportation. All Interstate moving companies must be properly licensed by the Department of Transportation (USDOT) in order to operate legally within the country. Proof of such licensed and legal status is the issuance of a USDOT number to each professional mover that has met specific governmental requirements. Click here to check if the movers you’re reviewing have such USDOT numbers.
- American Moving and Storage Organization (AMSA). Click here to confirm that the movers that have bid for your relocation job are AMSA members (Pro Movers) – the definite evidence that you’re dealing with good moving companies.
- Better Business Bureau (BBB). Click here to check the Better Business Bureau membership, reputation and even complaint history (if any) of the movers you’re researching. BBB accreditation is a critical sign that your home move will be a smooth one.
Good to know: How to find cheap movers
8. Get familiar with moving insurance
Another thing to know when hiring a moving company is whether you will need proper moving insurance or not. Understanding insurance is significant because it will provide additional protection for your valuable household items.
- Released Value Protection. If you don’t any expensive or valuable items, then you may choose to go with the default moving insurance that is activated as soon as you sign your moving contract. That basic protection for your goods is practically non-existent because it only guarantees 60 cents per pound per article in case of damage to your stuff regardless of their actual value. Although Released Value Protection comes for free, you should definitely consider purchasing real moving insurance.
- Full Value Protection. Speak with your movers about purchasing Full Value Protection for added peace of mind for your items, either through them or directly from a third party. With proper insurance, your movers will be extra careful when handling your items, and if something bad happens to your belongings on the road, then you should be compensated with that item’s full cash value.
Useful info: Complete guide to moving to another state
9. Ask movers to reduce their price
One of the very best pieces of advice for hiring movers you can get is to try and negotiate a better deal with your movers. That’s right – nothing is set in stone so you can only win by having your negotiation skills work for you.
If you do like a moving company better than the rest but their price seems a bit high for you, you should contact them and be straight with them: you will use their moving services provided that they lower their price a bit. Don’t forget to mention that you have other good offers from competitive moving companies.
Also, don’t forget to ask your movers for current promotional offers or first-time discounts. The chances are that they may have a discount package you can use if you meet specific requirements. Spending a bit of time online in search of discount coupons is never a bad idea either.
Even if you get a firm no as an answer, that doesn’t mean you can’t try again in a day or two. Things change fast, and you may get to speak with another moving company representative this time. Remember: there’s nothing to lose here, so it’s worth a try.
Be thrifty: 13 ways to save money when moving
10. Know what to ask when hiring movers
Even if you’ve followed all the above tips for hiring professional movers, you may still remain largely undecided about which mover to go with. It’s often hard to know for sure because of the similar quotes, additional services and relocation conditions you’re likely to get for you move. So, what to do then?
One proven tactical move is to ask the candidate movers a few fundamental questions and then to choose the one that has given the most satisfactory answers. You may be surprised how many moving companies can easily fail this last test of yours.
So, what to ask when hiring movers? Just make sure you ask the right questions:
- How long has your company been in business?
- What kind of insurance do you offer?
- Do you have the required moving equipment to complete the job?
- Will you show me recommendations and provide references?
- What type of deposits do you require?
- What is your cancellation policy?
- What do you do to prevent property damage?
- How do you treat specialty items?
- What will happen if any of my items get broken or missing?
- How do you handle disputes and complaints?