Relocating can be an overwhelmingly complex process filled with mentally and physically draining tasks. Hiring professional movers streamlines the process with expert handling, secure packing, and safe transportation. For the smoothest relocation, avoid these six mistakes when hiring a moving company.
1. Not Communicating Your Moving Needs
Communication is key when it comes to moving. If you don’t state your specific requirements and expectations to the moving company, you may end up with an unsatisfactory service. Miscommunication might also lead to unexpected costs.
Use these tips to communicate clearly with the moving company:
- Inform your mover about any items you possess that require special handling or packaging, such as antiques or fragile items.
- Provide an accurate timeline, including your preferred moving dates and necessary deadlines, to help the moving company schedule their services efficiently.
- Communicate the exact location and accessibility of your current and new residences, which will impact the logistics and cost of the move.
Factors That Affect Accessibility
The accessibility of your current and new residences refers to conditions and features that could affect the moving process. These features can include things like stairs, elevators, narrow passageways, or even the distance from the parking area to your front door.
For example, if you’re moving to an apartment on the twentieth floor of a building without an elevator, that’s a vital detail the movers need to know. The same goes for a house with a long, steep driveway or a narrow street that won’t accommodate a large moving truck. All these factors can affect the complexity, the time required, and the cost of your move.
2. Choosing a Mover That Lowballs
When a moving company offers a quote significantly lower than others, that could be a sign of poor service or hidden costs. It’s vital to remember that quality service comes at a cost. A company offering prices well below the market standard may be cutting corners, which could jeopardize the safety and security of your belongings.
A valuable moving service balances cost, quality, and reliability. While the price is an important factor, it shouldn’t overshadow other considerations like the mover’s reputation, service quality, and commitment to client satisfaction. For quality service, hire a moving company that’s transparent about their fees and has a proven track record of delivering items safely and on time.
Tips for Finding a Reputable Company
You can gauge the reputation of a moving company by checking online reviews and ratings on platforms like Google Reviews, Yelp, and Better Business Bureau. You can also ask for references or testimonials from previous clients. Additionally, consider asking friends, family, or colleagues for their personal experiences or recommendations.
Signs of an Unreliable Moving Company
Unreliable moving companies often lack proper licensing and insurance, which are crucial for the protection of your belongings during transit. Another red flag is a lack of clear communication, including vague contracts, undisclosed fees, or failure to address your queries promptly and professionally. If the moving company’s website lacks essential information, such as a physical address, contact information, or license details, or doesn’t have any customer reviews, it may be a scam.
3. Not Asking Important Questions
Asking important questions is crucial to understanding the moving company’s services, policies, and procedures to ensure a smooth and efficient moving experience.
Here are a few essential questions for your mover:
- What license and insurance do you have? This question verifies their legitimacy and ensures the protection of your belongings.
- How much experience do you have? Asking this can provide insight into how well the moving company can handle your move.
- Do you provide a binding quote or a nonbinding estimate? The answer will determine if the price can change after the move.
- What are possible additional fees? Asking about additional fees, such as those for packing materials or overtime, will help you create an accurate budget.
4. Not Checking the Company’s Credentials
Always verify the moving company’s credentials before hiring. This includes checking their licenses and insurance to ensure that they’re operating legally and can cover the cost of any potential damages.
You can verify a moving company’s license number by looking it up on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) website. As for insurance, ask the company to provide a copy of their Certificate of Insurance, which should detail their coverage and liability for any potential damages.
Details on Licensing Requirements
Licensing requirements for moving companies can vary significantly from state to state, each having its specific guidelines and regulations that movers must adhere to. Some states demand extensive documentation and compliance with strict standards, while others may have more lenient rules.
Reputable movers in Houston register with the FMCSA and have a US Department of Transportation (DOT) number. They also have licenses from the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, the TxDMV. Commercial motor vehicle operators have a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
5. Hiring Movers at the Last Moment
Hiring movers at the last minute is one of the biggest mistakes to avoid. Procrastination can lead to unnecessary stress and complications. Last-minute hiring often limits your options, forcing you to settle for less reputable or more expensive services. Furthermore, desirable moving dates can get full quickly, especially on weekends and at the end of the month, leaving you with inconvenient choices.
Rushing through the hiring process can lead to overlooking critical details like the mover’s credentials, insurance, and terms of service. This could result in hiring a company that doesn’t meet your moving needs. Therefore, it’s crucial to start the hiring process well in advance to ensure a smooth and efficient move.
If you’re moving within the state, consider booking a moving company around 4 to 8 weeks before your preferred moving date. For interstate or cross-country moves, which are often more complex and require more coordination, consider initiating the process even earlier—around 8 to 12 weeks in advance.
6. Not Asking for Extra Help When Needed
Some moving companies offer additional services, such as packing and storage, which can significantly alleviate the stress of moving. Moving professionals can pack some or all your items securely and efficiently, saving time, eliminating stress, and keeping your belongings protected.
If you’re heading to a new place but can’t move all your belongings right away, consider using the mover’s temporary storage solutions. This is also a convenient service if you need to declutter your residence before staging it for sale.
Hiring a moving company can significantly ease the stress and challenges associated with relocating. Communicating your needs and questions clearly, verifying the company’s credentials and reputation, and signing up for the right services will give you the best experience. Follow these steps to protect your belongings and have peace of mind.