When you’re preparing for a move, it’s all about making the right choices. There are many important factors to take into consideration while getting ready to move out, and oftentimes, one of those considerations is which professional moving company to hire.
As a rule of thumb, hiring a professional moving company will simplify the entire home moving process. Experienced professionals will take care of the toughest stages of your house move, thus eliminating any strenuous tasks of lifting and carrying heavy household items such as furniture and appliances.
Also, hiring professional movers will minimize any move-related stress for you and your family members by freeing up your time for other important activities throughout moving day – for example, meeting up with your friends for one last time before you move out.
However, picking up a random mover just won’t work as there’s always the risk of coming across bad movers. The thing is, you just have to know what to look for in a moving company so that you never regret your decision to go with the pros. Be mindful that choosing who to trust with your prized possessions is anything but a game.
To help you choose the right mover, here are the top 10 things to look for when hiring a moving company.
#1. TRUSTWORTHY MOVERS: Recommendations from people you trust
Before anything else, the thing to look for in a professional moving company is how much you can trust them. Think about it this way: you’re about to entrust your valuable possessions to complete strangers, so you must make sure the mover you hire is trustworthy enough.
Find a reliable moving company by asking friends, coworkers, and neighbors for possible recommendations. There must be people within your circle of friends and acquaintances who have used the services of a professional mover, so reach out to them and see which mover they would recommend.
Chances are that someone may have had a negative experience with a top-rated moving company – unprofessional attitude, unexpected fees, or even broken or missing household items during the house move. In any case, it’s good to learn from reliable sources the names of moving companies you’d better stay away from.
If somebody you know does recommend you a professional mover, request more information: WHY exactly are they happy with their choice of movers? Ask for specific details that will help YOU make the right choice.
#2. RELIABLE MOVERS: Positive reviews from reliable websites
In addition to any potential recommendations about moving companies from people you know and trust, it’s very important that you also check what other people have said about the movers you may be reviewing at the moment. In other words, visit reliable moving reviews websites where you’ll find reviews and ratings left by former customers of the moving companies in question.
Generally speaking, people tend to leave reviews about their respective movers when they’ve had a really bad experience with them, or a really good one. Either way, reading moving reviews may help you find a reputable moving company – exactly the thing that will make your move easier and more manageable.
And while you should let customer reviews – either positive, neutral or negative – guide you in choosing a top-rated mover, keep in mind that moving company reviews and ratings are fairly subjective. In other words, it’s best that you also rely on other techniques to find a good mover due to the presence of fake reviews as well.
#3. EXPERIENCED MOVERS: Years of experience in the moving business
What to look for in a long distance moving company? Experience. Years of experience.
Practice shows that it’s much easier and safer to trust a professional moving company that’s been in the business for many years. No matter how you look at it, you shouldn’t dismiss experience as one of the most crucial factors when choosing a mover.
Of course, a long history of a company will not necessarily mean great service but the mere fact of staying competitive for years means that the mover must be doing something right. Besides, you do want to hire experienced and resourceful movers who will know how to tackle every possible house moving problem that may come their way.
While shopping for the right professional mover, remember to ask “How long has your company been in business?” so that you can select a moving company that has proven their professionalism and competency over time.
#4. LICENSED MOVERS: Proper license by the U.S. Department of Transportation
Another thing to look for in a long distance moving company is a proper license by the U.S. Department of Transportation. By law, all interstate moving companies must be licensed by the Government in order to operate legally within the country.
When an interstate mover satisfies the set of standards set by the Government, it is issued a USDOT number – the very proof that you’ll be dealing with a legitimate household goods carrier and NOT with a dishonest “rogue” mover that may try to scam you by holding your belongings hostage and demanding more money to release them.
When you’re choosing a long distance moving company for yourself, make sure you’ve checked their USDOT number – either clearly visible on their website or easily verifiable on the website of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Click here to access the electronic record of each registered and licensed interstate moving company, including their USDOT number.
#5. PROFESSIONAL MOVERS: Membership in various professional associations
What you should expect when hiring a moving company is a high level of professionalism from them. The best moving companies in the country are members of various professional associations and organizations, which is an extra proof that you’re dealing with a reputable and reliable mover.
One way to know what you’re hiring a good mover is to check if they are ProMovers – that is, that they are members of the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA). Note that selecting a ProMover as your relocation partner is the guarantee you need that you’ll be hiring a quality mover that won’t try to cheat you in any way.
BBB-accreditation is also what to look for when hiring movers. The mission of the Better Business Bureau is to set and maintain high standards for trust between consumers (like yourself) and businesses (a moving company). Keep in mind that picking a BBB-accredited mover will give you the peace of mind that your valuable household items will be in good hands from start to finish.
#6. HONEST MOVERS: Transparent rates and professional attitude
Another thing to look for in a moving company is honesty when it comes to transparent moving rates with no hidden charges and fees.
When you get in touch with several professional movers, the first thing you need to do is request in-home surveys from those companies. Remember that on-site inspections from moving experts are a must-do stage of the home moving process because that way you will get a moving cost estimate that will reflect more accurately the final price you’ll pay after the move.
Also, in-home surveys will help movers identify potential difficulties or problems on moving day itself. As a result, they will be more prepared for the challenges on the day of the move and will give you a more precise quote that will include additional charges and fees.
Stay away from moving companies that refuse to visit your home and insist on giving you estimates over the phone or via e-mail. Ultimately, you need a mover that will act professionally and issue you with a price estimate after careful inspection of your home and the items you’re moving to the new residence.
#7. AFFORDABLE MOVERS: Reasonably-priced moving services
According to the American Moving and Storage Association, the average cost of an interstate move is around $4,300 (move distance of 1,225 miles). Knowing this fact, it’s hardly surprising that the move price often turns out to be the deciding factor when selecting a moving company.
Moving house is an expensive affair, so most people tend to be looking for cheap movers, and you should be too. However, it’s important to remember that the affordable moving company you select should still offer high-quality services – otherwise, the money you may manage to “save” by hiring cheap movers will probably not be enough to cover possible damage to your belongings or likely property damage to the home.
When looking for an affordable mover, what you’re really looking for is that good balance between cost and quality. Get 3-4 in-home cost estimates and compare them carefully in order to pick the moving company that offers that best price + the best conditions.
When reviewing those movers’ quotes, pay special attention to the extra services offered and their respective rates. Is packing included in the price? What about the cost of all packing materials?
#8. INSURED MOVERS: Extra coverage for your valuables items
The moving company you hire for your move should be able to offer you adequate coverage for your valuable belongings simply because anything can happen during a house move. Proper insurance will give you the peace of mind that your prized possessions will be handled more carefully while your movers will be liable for repairing a damaged item or replacing a missing one.
Note that you will get Basic Protection for free as soon as you sign your moving contract. However, note also that that protection is more than basic – at 60 cents per pound per item it is practically non-existent. So, make sure you speak with your moving company for appropriate coverage, especially if you plan to move valuable items such as antique furniture, a grandfather clock, a piano, pieces of artwork, and so on.
What should you look for in a moving company? First of all, a good moving company must be properly bonded and insured, and secondly, they must be able to offer you the most adequate moving insurance in your particular case. In most cases, you can purchase additional insurance through your long distance mover or from a third-party insurance company.
#9. CUSTOMIZED SERVICES: Moving services customized to fit your move
When hiring a moving company, one of the things to look for in your mover is whether or not they can offer you specialized moving services to respond adequately to your specific requirements and needs as a shipper of household goods.
The best moving companies in the country offer customized relocation solutions to their customers in conjunction with their standard moving services such as packing, loading, transportation, unloading, and unpacking.
So, choose a full-service professional mover that will give you the specialized moving assistance you may need:
- Disassembly and re-assembly of furniture. When your furniture pieces are too big to fit safely through the doors and hallways of your residence.
- Crating. Extremely delicate or expensive items can be placed safely in custom wooden crates to eliminate any chance of damage during the move.
- Hoisting (rigging). Large and heavy items (like a piano, for example) may need to be taken out of your home through a window or a balcony with the help of a specialized rigging system.
- Warehouse storage. Your new home may not be ready to receive your household item yet. In that case, your full-service moving company should be able to offer you temporary storage for your stuff at their warehouse facility.
#10. CUSTOMER SUPPORT: Great customer support in case of problems or disputes
Last but not least, you’ll want to hire a moving company that offers good customer support. You may think that you’ll only be dealing with your mover until the move is over, and hopefully, that’ll be the case.
However, in case of any disputes over the sum to be paid, problems with delayed delivery or even damaged or missing items, you’re going to have to rely on your mover’s customer to support to resolve any issues during or after the move.
Ask your movers about their dispute settlement program – their policy of resolving complaints or claims lodged against them. How do they handle disputes by dissatisfied customers? The top-rated moving companies in the country are known to offer great customer support and to resolve issues or handle complaints in a professional manner. And that’s exactly what you’re looking for in a professional moving company, right?