Moving is a daunting task for most families. After all, the physical process of moving your belongings from one location to another is a big job, and doing it right takes precise planning and execution. If you’re considering a professional moving company, you will want to do a little homework ahead of time. While there are plenty of home moving services out there, not all movers are created equally. By taking the time to shop around and do some research, you can find a mover that makes the process of relocating as stress-free, easy, and affordable as possible.
1. Find Recommendations
Family, friends, coworkers, and even neighbors will likely have recommendations for you. Find out which moving companies they’ve used, their experience working with the mover, and whether they’d recommend them again. If people you know don’t have suggestions, check with your local Better Business Bureau for a professional moving company with positive ratings in addition to being accredited by the BBB. Whatever you do, don’t use online services that locate movers for you or brokers who have relationships with numerous moving services, as these companies aren’t regulated by the laws professional movers must follow.
2. Get Estimates
Avoid movers that only provide you with an estimate over the phone. A reputable moving company will come to your home and estimate the cost in-person. This person will carefully review the type and amount of personal belongings-from clothing to dishes to furniture-to give you an accurate estimate.
It’s always a good idea to get estimates from two or three different moving companies to compare costs. Keep in mind, however, that price shouldn’t be the only determining factor. Expertise and quality service are just as important. You will be able to get an indication of the professionalism of the mover during the estimate process.
3. Review Services
Some movers include wrapping and protecting furniture as well as packing your belongings as part of their service, while others do not. Get a complete list of services that are offered with your estimate in writing. These services should be listed on the estimate itself, and you should be presented with a document that shows additional services and fees you may encounter.
Ask the moving company how many employees will be present and how long the process will take. In addition, find out how they hire their employees. Are they temporary workers? Do they screen their movers? Are background and criminal checks conducted? Keep in mind that these individuals will be in your home and handling your personal property, so you want to be sure you’re working with people you can trust.
4. Check for the Proper Paperwork
A professional moving company will have all of the proper paperwork and be ready to present it to you if you ask. The first and most important document a mover should have is its US DOT number-a unique license that is issued by the United States Department of Transportation. Search the US DOT’s website to make sure the license number is valid, and verify that the mover has insurance.
5. Know the Warning Signs
You can often spot a bad home moving company just by knowing what to look for. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there are a few red flags that every homeowner should keep an eye out for before hiring a mover:
• The company only provides over-the-phone estimates.
• The estimates are based on the cubic feet of your home or truck-not the weight.
• The mover requires an upfront deposit before moving has occurred.
• You’re not furnished a “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move” document, which is required under federal law.
• The moving company doesn’t own its own trucks.
Remember that movers should have the proper licensing, bonding, and insurance, in addition to performing extensive background checks on employees before allowing them into your home. By following these guidelines and doing a little legwork, you can help ensure you only work with the highest quality movers. movers tulsa ok