Once you’ve purchased a home, you’ll need to hire a moving company to transport your belongings into your new house. However, hiring movers involves more than finding someone to get your belongings from point A to point B. Use these tips to help you find a reliable company that will move your possessions safely and efficiently.
Determine your moving needs
Everyone’s move will be different, and it is crucial to understand the costs involved in the process. A reputable moving company will determine the scope of your move through an in-person appointment. The estimator should do a thorough walk-through to understand all the items you’re moving, which should include checking all your storage areas, including your attic and your basement. Make sure you understand the estimate you receive and that it is as accurate as possible. It can be helpful to get quotes from multiple companies to make sure you are getting the most value for your move.
You will receive one of three types of estimates:
- A binding estimate is an exact amount for the entire move based on the weight of your belongings, and you will only be responsible for paying that price. This type of estimate can be a good choice as there are no surprise costs. However, binding estimates may be higher than the other options, and you will pay the estimated amount even if your items weigh less than expected.
- A non-binding estimate is also based on weight. However, despite the estimate being as accurate as possible, the final price you pay can vary from the original quote. If your move costs more than expected, you will be required to pay this additional amount. However, in this situation, you will only need to pay the original estimate and an additional 10 percent at the time of delivery, with the remaining balance being billed to you after thirty days.
- A not-to-exceed estimate is an agreement on the maximum amount you will have to pay. You will not need to cover any additional expenses or overages beyond the quote you receive, and the price you pay can only go lower if your items weigh less than expected. This is a popular option for long-distance moves.
Don’t hire on price alone
Everyone wants to save money, but your move may be a time when the lowest price may not be the best. Make use of online reviews or ask friends and family about their experiences if they’ve recently moved. You can ask the moving company for references from people they’ve helped move in recent months. Additionally, you can check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to learn more about the company.
Be aware of extra fees
Moving companies charge several extra fees that you should understand before moving day arrives, so ask your moving company if any of these fees apply. If you live in an apartment or a multistory home, you may receive additional charges if movers need to maneuver up and down stairs and on elevators. Additionally, if you live on a narrow street with limited parking space, you may need to pay a surcharge to move your items from a smaller truck into a moving van. Some companies will charge a fee for disassembling furniture or handling bulky items, such as pool tables or pianos. Finally, if you hire a company to pack all your items into boxes, you will need to pay for time, labor, and packing materials. However, if you plan to pack your items on your own, a moving company cannot cover possible damages unless they have completed the packing.
Consider moving insurance
All moving companies have a requirement to assume liability for the items they transport. However, there are different levels of liability. It is essential to understand what each type of insurance covers before deciding which is suitable for your move.
- Released value coverage is the standard protection your items will receive during a move. However, it only guarantees to cover up to 60 cents per pound of a damaged item regardless of its value. This may be good for a piece of furniture but not for a laptop or tablet.
- Full value protection comes at an additional cost, but it will fully cover your items. You will be able to receive the current market replacement value, a replacement with a similar item, or the item’s repair cost.
- Separate liability insurance is offered by some movers and regulated by state law. This type of insurance pays for the amount purchased minus the basic carrier liability coverage, which is up to 60 cents per pound. It is important to get a copy of your policy and understand how much it covers.
Packing up all your possessions into a truck is only part of the moving day battle.