Moving can be one big headache. You need to pack your entire life into cardboard boxes, trust complete strangers to handle your belongings, and put everything back together again a few days later. Worst of all, it costs a lot of money. With so much to do, it’s tempting to turn to the Internet and just choose the first company that you see. But if you do, you may end up running into problems like paying more than the original estimate or valuable belongings disappearing into thin air. Why make things more difficult than it should be? Here are 7 easy things you can do to make the big move go as smoothly as possible.
Get a proper estimate
The most important aspect in moving is the estimate. With that in mind, you want to make sure that you contact moving companies that have offices in your area so that you can ask for an on-site estimate. Why not get an estimate over the phone? Two reasons. One, the price you pay should be based on the amount of labor it takes to move your belongings. Movers wouldn’t know how much stuff you have unless they physically come to your house and inspect all your belongings, right? Two, a written estimate is more binding than one that was conveyed over a phone. The written estimate can be used as evidence if anything goes wrong, so make sure that the following are included in the paperwork: company letterhead, exact number of boxes and other belongings, costs for supplies, additional costs encountered during the transport such as tolls, signature of mover, and the basic contact information for the company.
Once you’ve collected a few estimates, it’s time to compare. Remember that the lowest estimate is not always the best choice. If you think it’s too good to be true, trust your instincts because that company may be trying to scam you. If any of the terms have changed (for example, you made the ridiculous decision to place a grand piano in the living room), alert the company and have them send a revised written estimate.
When you’ve finally decided on a moving company, make sure that you are not signing any incomplete paperwork. The company may add ridiculous terms and fees to the estimate later on without notifying you of the changes.
Provide accurate information
One reason that moving companies add additional costs to the final price is because of unexpected bumps along the process. I mean, who wants to be told last minute that they have to carry the queen size bed frame up four flights of stairs? To avoid the drama, trace the steps that will be taken from your current home to your new home. List every possible barrier that may cause extra trouble for the movers and give that list to the movers when obtaining an estimate. Not sure what sort of obstacles to look out for? If moving to or from a building, are there elevators available? If the building only has stairs, what floor are the rooms on? Does the furniture fit through the doorways? Just imagine how your belongings will be moved and take note of anything that the movers might want to know beforehand.
Let’s just say you get wrongly accused of a crime. Would you want to leave your fate in the hands of someone who didn’t even go to law school? Same thing goes for moving. You wouldn’t want to hand all your belongings to someone who doesn’t have the proper qualifications. So when getting an estimate, ask for the license number and insurance policy number of the company. Perform a quick background check on the internet to confirm that the license number is valid and the insurance policy is in effect. While you’re at it, check that the information provided by the company matches the information that you find on the internet. Did they provide you with the correct telephone number? What about the local address? If a company is giving out multiple phone numbers or you find that the provided address points to a worn-down warehouse on Google maps, you should probably move on to a different company.
Ask for payment methods
Nobody likes paying taxes and some dishonest people will do anything to avoid paying more or to avoid the prying eyes of the government. If the company insists that you make the payment in cash up front, there is a good chance that they are doing some shady business. Make sure to confirm the payment methods when asking for an estimate.
Check their tools
If the movers are loading your furniture into a rental truck, you might as well kiss goodbye to saving money and maybe even to your valuables. A reputable company will have their own fleet of trucks with the company logo permanently imprinted on the sides of the trucks. The best way to avoid the big surprise on move-in day is to visit the local office and inspect their trucks.
Have an inventory list
The majority of complaints in moving come from lost or damaged goods. To avoid any lawsuits over liability issues (and not to mention the heartbroken feeling of losing your valuables), pack and seal the cardboard boxes yourself. This prevents movers from swiping a few things from your boxes. On move-in day, have the mover write up and sign off an inventory list of everything you want moved. Make sure to keep the list so that you can check off each item as the movers move everything into your new home.
Know who is doing what
So you signed the paperwork to have a big, well-established company to help you move your belongings. But what’s this? A shady rental truck showed up in front of your home on the day of the move? Believe it or not, even well-known companies turn to sub-contracting and unfortunately, they sometimes make the mistake of hiring shady movers as well. So confirm with the company as to who will be in charge of moving your belongings.
Now that you know what to do, you can finally start the process of moving out of your current home. Haven’t decided on a new place? Check out NuProp for an extensive list of newly launched properties. Once you’ve found the perfect home, use this list to help you save money and avoid scams on your big move-in day!
Images: fastfriendsmovingcompany.com, blog.rent.com, realtor.com