You’ve decided to take the leap and find a new home, an exciting and nerve-racking prospect. Now that you’re sure you’ll be moving, you realize it’s time to buckle down and iron out the details of the actual move. As a way to save yourself time and many headaches, hiring local movers may be the best solution.
Companies offering moving services are often equipped with every possible means of moving your belongings safely and effectively to your new home. Searching for a local moving company near you, however, may sound easier than it proves. When you’re knee-deep in the process, keep in mind the following tips for choosing the best moving services for your needs.
Before you even make phone calls to set up appointments, begin the process by finding first-hand referrals or recommendations. Speak with people you know and whose opinion you trust to give you an account of their moving experience and which company they would like to refer to you.
Online recommendations are also a great way to begin the process. Always look for the three-star rating since those individuals usually have a mix of good and bad things to say. Only in this way will the full picture of any company’s service get revealed, and how they treat the customer is critical.
A good rule of thumb is to work with companies that have been in business for some time. Check company credentials such as their address and service areas to make sure they are legitimate.
When you’re discussing the specifics of your move, ask questions about potential equipment needed and if the company has it. Ask questions about who the movers will be the day of and how long they’ve had experience in their job. Find out whether they offer moving and storage service or just one of the other in case you have some delays are your new home.
The unspoken rule to collecting quotes from movers near you is to do it in threes. You are more than welcome to collect more should you not feel satisfied with the first three, but always look for a minimum of three. With a couple of quotes to look through, you’ll get a better picture of the different prices and services offered under each, then choose the best one for your specific move.
Companies that are considered reputable do not ask for a cash deposit upfront, and if they do, it’s not a very large one. The contract signed between you and the company or its representative will be enough to guarantee the day of your move will belong to you, and your promise to pay the amount as soon as the contract dictates.
If you run across a company that expects most of the costs down as a deposit, it’s time to run away as far as possible. Those companies are not reputable and tend not to stand by their services with enough conviction that you may find them even double booked on the day of your move.
A contract that discloses everything involved in your move is a must. It should detail all fees you could potentially incur as a result of the move. Don’t sign a blank contract under any circumstances since you won’t be able to predict the total amount, you’ll end up owing in the long run.
The best contracts result from either a non-binding estimate where any overages are paid within 30 days from the move or a non-binding to exceed estimate, which automatically includes any fees, meaning it’ll be the highest you’ll ever pay. It’s best to stay away from a binding estimate because there is no room for negotiation, which means if the fees don’t apply in the end, you’ll still have to pay them.
It’s important to ask each company what their licensing and insurance status is. Reputable companies will have what is called a U.S. DOT number provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
These DOT numbers are provided to interstate companies, and you can request during the time of your quote. For your safety and security, you can check the number’s status through the FMCSA’s website. If you are not moving out of state, your local consumer affairs agency can verify the company’s licensing and insurance information status.
Work only with companies that have written policies in case things take a turn for the worst. Apart from knowing they are licensed and bonded, read through their policies on cancellations from either party or next steps in case of accidents. Find out how likely the company is to take responsibility for accidents on the road or while their employees are moving around your belongings. Though they might have insurance to help cover the cost, there is nothing worse than having to fight the company to take action in the first place.
Keep in mind, as you’re looking through various companies, you are looking for the best company for you, not the best company in the area. Each company you come across may be best at one service or another and as you’re looking for moving companies in Michigan or any area, focus on what service you need the most.
Make sure each move quote is tailored to your specific needs based on your location, your moving destination, and the amount of belongings coming with you. Get everything in writing based on a quote that suits your needs and your budget to guarantee your moving date and price.
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