How to Hire a Moving Company

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The Glover-Smith Group has found the PERFECT home for you...Now it's time to move!

That means boxing up everything you own and often entrusting all your worldly possessions to a moving company. Yikes!

So how do you select a moving company? Open the yellow pages, put on a blindfold and throw a dart? Not so fast!  It pays to proceed with caution. But before you throw up your hands in despair and decide it’s just easier to do it yourself, take the time to do some research.

The American Moving and Storage Association says that the end of the month and summertime are the busiest times for moving companies, so you’ll need to book at the very least six weeks in advance. Even better, try to time your move between October and April, during which time AMSA says many companies offer discounts.

You’ll need to decide whether you want to do the actual packing yourself and only use a moving company for the actual moving, or if you want to trust them to do the packing for you. Below is a checklist that will help you interview moving companies to find the best fit for you and your treasures.

First, try to get a reference from a friend who has moved recently. Ask if the moving experience went smoothly, if there was any breakage or missing items. If you can’t get a personal reference, ask your Glover-Smith Group agent. Our team has had a myriad of experiences with different moving companies.  We are always happy to help!

Below are a few things you'll need to investigate:

Licensing and bonding. Always ask if the company is licensed and bonded.  This can be important if there are any damages to your items. Local moving costs. Ask for a quote AHEAD OF TIME.  You don't want to be surprised when your movers show up at your new home and hand you an unanticipated invoice. Long-distance costs. These are typically calculated on the total weight of your shipment and the distance traveled. Ask for a quote and a delivery date in writing.

Packing. These costs are not included in a basic moving bid. Ask for the price up front to avoid any confusion. If you opt to have the company do the packing, they will inventory your household and describe any existing damage. Ask for a copy of the inventory form.

Payment. Find out in advance what type of payments are accepted because movers typically will not unload until you pay them. Tipping the driver is optional.

Reputation. Check the Better Business Bureau to find out if any complaints have been registered against the company. Also, ask for and actually contact references. 

Storage. These costs are also separate from the moving costs, and loading and unloading from storage is also extra. Have the price spelled out in advance.

Written bids. Remember that the bid is a ballpark estimate and plan accordingly. When talking to references, ask how close their bid was to the final cost. It's always a good idea to get bids from more than one company. Once a qualified estimator has gone over all your belongings, get the estimate in writing. 

Talk to your insurance agent about liability. Does your current homeowner’s policy cover your possessions during a move? Moving companies’ basic insurance coverage usually allows a set amount per pound per item, and it’s usually not enough, so find out how much the company carries and then buy extra insurance if necessary. Remember that most companies don’t accept liability for breakage of any items you pack yourself.