So, you’ve decided to take the next huge step for you and your family—you are packing up and moving everyone across country to start a new life. No matter why you choose to do it—new job, family issues, better schools—the one thing that is not going to change is that such a move can be extremely stressful and very expensive. Before you hire a long distance moving company, here are some things that you really need to consider and do to protect yourself, your family, and your valuables.
Start with a good set of sources
The Internet is great for finding out information. Unfortunately, a lot of companies spend more time setting up fancy websites than they do providing quality service. We suggest getting information about reputable movers from your real estate agent. Try to find about three prospective companies. Look for firms that have been around at least ten years so you don’t wind up with a fly-by-night agency. Also, beware of brokers. These are individuals who will set up your move, but then subcontract it out to other companies or individuals. These brokers will raise the rates and aren’t that reputable.
Get an estimate
One of the other ways to see if the firm is reputable is to call them up and have them come to your home to do an in-home estimate. If they won’t take the time to do this, then they aren’t the company for you.
Visit their office
Give each company a little visit and check out their offices. Make sure they are legitimate offices and not just a post office box for collecting money. Also, give the moving trucks a once-over to make sure they look to be in good shape. Make sure the trucks have the company’s logo permanently on the side. A lot of disreputable companies will just slap a magnetic sign on the truck five minutes before the move. While you are there, ask one of the agents for potential references that you can contact on your own to find out if they will do the job that you need.
Do some research
The first thing you want to research is whether or not the companies are actually licensed and bonded. Again, check with your real estate agent for the best way to do this as it varies by region. Also, check with the local Better Business Bureau to find out if there have been any complaints. Check on-line with resources such as Yelp and Angie’s List for more reviews and contact the references you got when you visited their offices.
The day of the move
On the day of the move itself, be sure to take care of your movers by picking up bottled water and pizza for them. However, if the company you hired sends someone else to do the job or if the movers show up with blank paperwork, cancel the move immediately and fire the movers. This is a scam and you do not want to trust your belongings to these guys.
The important thing to remember about planning a cross-country move is to be proactive instead of reactive. Take the time to do some research and you will be much happier with the end results of your move.