Hiring a Moving Company or DIY.
Hiring a moving company or DIY “ Do It Yourself”?
If you are considering hiring a moving company or DIY, here are a few tips to pay attention too.
On life’s stress scale, moving is listed right up there with divorce and death in the family. At best, it’s time-consuming, dirty and sweaty work. At worst, it can make you seriously consider giving up all your worldly possessions and joining a religious order.
You could hire a professional moving company to do the job, but you’re afraid that will either bust your budget or end in disaster. This is not necessarily true. Unless you’re simply transporting a few boxes to a neighborhood self storage unit, hiring a professional to do your moving can be a real bargain, saving you time, money, angst, and lost friendships – if you know how to choose the right moving company. We are sharing some pointers.
How much will this move cost?
You’re going to need an estimate – several of them, actually. Before you start gathering those, it helps to understand how movers arrive at their pricing. “Estimates are based on the size of your home, the amount of goods being moved, and how far you are moving.” There are two basic estimate types: binding and non-binding.
- A binding estimate is a legal document. The issuer and you are bound to agree by its terms once it’s signed. It can’t be changed unless you request something that wasn’t stipulated in the original estimate, like forgetting to mention you live on the fifth floor of a building with no elevator and limited parking.
- A non-binding estimate will get you in the ball park as to final price, but the mover can legally adjust the final price up to (but not exceeding) 10 percent. If you opt for this, be sure to grill the mover about extra charges and hidden fees before you sign on the dotted line.
How many estimates will you need?
- Is one moving company estimate enough? Are five too many? We offers this advice, “Just like any other professional service, get estimates from at least three services before you make your choice.”
- It is also recommended not to accept the price you’re quoted. You can negotiate, especially if you’re willing to move during non-peak times when you’ll have more bargaining power.
- If one of your three estimates comes in radically low compared to the others, be wary. It’s a red flag that could indicate a fly-by-night company that will pad your bill on the back end, a sign that you’re movers aren’t using a professional crew or that they’re subcontracting to another, less-than-professional company.
- Once you’re happy with an estimate, get it in writing.
Where to start looking.
When you’re shopping for a moving company, the Internet is a wonderful resource that can help you save tons of time and buckets of money – most of the time
It’s also scam-central where anybody with basic skills and a pick-up truck can set up a website and claim to be a professional moving company. All State Insurance advises that doing your research is key to not making a choice you’ll regret. Personal referrals from trusted friends and family members are always a good indication of quality. However, if you come up short in that department, All State suggests you “check with your realtor or a moving trade organization to find local moving companies with a solid reputation and years of experience.”
- You can also check websites that provide feedback from real customers (such as Angie’s List). Your local Better Business Bureau is another good resource. So is your local mini storage facility. Westore Mini Storage stores, for example, are always a good local source for finding reputable moving companies.
- For interstate moves, we recommend that you “make sure the mover is licensed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (you can double-check a mover’s license at protectyourmove.gov).”
- By the way, if you’ll need storage on the other end of a long move, you can find storage units in your new area by searching the zip code online.
Do it yourself or hire a pro?
- Saving your back, time and money, you’ll be happy you paid for a professional moving company to assist with transporting anything more than a couple of boxes. With the tips provided here, you have the tools you need to hire a professional with confidence.