You have just purchased or are renting your new home. Now begins the tough part, preparing for the move. Moving can be stressful and there is a lot planning that is needed. Are you going to do the move yourself or are you going to hire movers?

If you choose to hire movers, here are some tips for choosing the best moving company. Make sure to do your homework before just randomly picking one off Google. In 2015, the BBB received over 8,500 complaints about moving companies. These complaints were from lost or damaged property, being charged more than hours that were worked, arriving late, and not honoring prior estimates. Follow these guidelines below and you will be able to resolve some of the stress of moving.

 

1. Get Referrals

Ten years ago, you would flip through the phone book and be able to find a moving company. The internet has made this much easier. You could ask friends if they used anybody recently, or if they know anyone that has moved. Word of mouth is always a great referral. You can go online and find moving companies and see all their reviews from other customers. Base your decision on these reviews. If you are working with a real estate agent, ask them if they know of great moving companies.

2. Get Multiple Estimates

Do not settle for the first estimate that you get. This estimate can be high or low. Did the company thoroughly ask you questions on what you will need on moving day. We suggest that you get at least three estimates from different companies. Make sure to let each company know what you will need them to do. Some companies are there just to put your packed moving boxes in the truck, transport, and unload. If you need them to help you pack, then this is usually another fee to be added to the estimate. Also ask to see if you can purchase moving boxes through them or if you will need to go online to buy your moving boxes and supplies.

3. Trust Your Gut and Watch out for Red Flags

Watch out for red flags. One of the biggest red flags you can watch out for is if they ask for a cash deposit before you move. Most companies will ask for a credit card to put on file in case you cancel and will charge you a cancellation fee, because they could have filled that spot with another customer. Another red flag is if the moving company shows up in a rented van. Any professional moving company will own their own vehicles. There are some exceptions to this rule, such as the company just opened, or a vehicle has broken down. Most of the time moving companies will not schedule a move if they do not have the appropriate vehicle. When the movers arrive, they seem to be money hungry and want the money up front. This is one of the biggest red flags. We have heard horror stories of companies taking the money at the beginning and pack the truck, just to charge you more once you get to your destination to unload the truck.

4. Licensed and Insured

Make sure that the moving company you choose is licensed and insured. If you are moving out of state, you can verify the company’s license with the FMCSA’s protectyourmove.gov website. You will also want to request the company’s U.S. DOT number, keep this on file in case you need to file a claim against the company. When staying in state, you can check with your local consumer affairs agency. If you do not know how to check through this method, you can find a list of the local agencies with the FMCA’s contacts database.

5. Better Business Bureau

Almost all companies no matter what type they are all have a Better Business Bureau profile. Go to the BBB website and search for the company that you have in question. Stick with companies that are accredited by the Better Business Bureau. If the company is not list, why not look at the companies that are listed and continue your research with them.

6. Do they have Professional Accreditation?

Some not all moving companies have accreditation from the American Moving and Storage Association. This is not at the top of the list to look for due to most in state movers do not have this accreditation. The ProMover logo is usually given to interstate companies since they will be travelling with your move. If you want to find a company on this list, you can visit Moving.org.

7. Verify the Companies Address

On their website, do they have a location for their business? Or did you receive a business card and is an address listed? Commercial and Residential moving companies all have a base of operations. Google search the company and see where the address is listed. Is it in an industrial or commercial area, or does it go to someone’s home? Be careful with any addresses that are connected to a residential home. This can through up red flags and a lot of times this company is not insured nor accredited.