WHAT TO EXPECT FROM A FULL-SERVICE MOVING COMPANY
Moving is usually stressful and packing up your home can feel overwhelming.
Even if you feel overwhelmed you need to be to do the following when choosing a full-service moving company:
You need to have all your information ready and available.
That means you need to know:
- When you are going to move
- How many miles are you moving
- Will you need an interstate moving company
- Does your new home have stairs or an elevator
- Will you need storage for your household goods
- Do you plan on packing your home yourself
- If you are going to pack yourself have a plan
- Do you have a special item or items you need help packing
A moving company will give you a list of goods they are forbidden to transport.
The goods usually fall into these categories:
- Hazardous Goods
If your household has any of the above goods it is up to you to handle these items.
You need to work with a moving company that you can trust.
You may be able to find a trustworthy, reliable moving company by asking neighbors, real estate agents, co-workers and friends for recommendations.
Choose a full-service moving company that is able to visually inspect your home, find out the location and variables of your new home, eg. if there are stairs or elevators.
If a moving company is not willing to come to your home to provide you with a written estimate then it better for you to call another moving company.
Customer service does matter.
BINDING COST ESTIMATE
When you receive an estimate from a moving company make sure the estimate is a bind cost estimate.
A binding cost estimate means that the price quoted in your moving estimate is the amount you will pay.
If your goods take longer to move or they are heavier than the original estimate you will still pay the binding cost estimate.
You should also obtain three to four estimates.
Know exactly what is included in the price. Does your estimate include packing? Do you need to pay for all packing material? Is the moving company able to transport fragile items such as a large grandfather's clock?
Moving can be expensive, so be prepared. The American Moving and Storage Association, reports the average cost of an interstate move is around $4,300 (move distance of 1,225 miles).
Make sure that the moving company is insured and properly bonded. You can ask the moving company for their insurance and bonding information.
If the moving company provides you with Basic Protection for free when you sign the contract you will not be reimbursed properly for your goods.
Basic Protection pays out at approximately 60 cents per pound, per item. The low payout of Basic Protection makes inquiring about additional insurance important.
The moving company should be able to offer you adequate insurance for your goods or be able to offer you a choice of third-party insurance companies.
If you are moving to another state then you should make sure that moving company has a proper United States Department of Transporation license.
It is the law that 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.
You can check the moving company's USDOT on this U.S. Department of Transportation website.
If you have large items such as a piano, oversized piece of furniture, be sure the moving company has the ability to move these items into your new home.
A moving company should be able to disassemble and reassemble furniture, hoist large items through a balcony or window.
You may feel eager to unpack your new home but time may not be on your side.
Asking if the moving company is able to unpack your boxes is nice to know.
If your new home is not ready yet and you need to move then the moving company should be able to offer you temporary storage for your goods in their warehouse.