Buying and/or selling a house is a stressful process with dozens of different steps. And at the end of all the showings, paperwork, repairs, and negotiations, you get the distinct privilege of moving all of your stuff. Though some people choose to move on their own, we suggest letting someone else do the heavy lifting.
The Case for Hiring a Moving Company
While you can always pay your buddies in pizza and beer, you’ll get a lot more value out of hiring a moving company that does this for a living. Here are some of the pros of working with a reputable company:
Saves time. Packing up all of your personal belongings takes a lot of time. So does moving them into the next house. Doing it on your own could command several days of work. A moving company will do it all in several hours.
Expertise.A professional moving company knows precisely how to pack, transport, and move items so that they don’t break. This is invaluable expertise that you can’t replicate on your own.
Greater accountability. Moving companies come with insurance and they assume responsibility for broken items and/or damage to the home. This lessens the chances that you have problems.
Less effort. Why throw your back out or carry massive dressers up several flights of stairs when you can pay someone else to do it? In fact, this is one of the primary reasons to hire someone else.
Lower stress. At the end of the day, hiring a moving company lowers your overall stress level and provides significant peace of mind. That’s invaluable!
Obviously you’ll have to pay for these benefits, but you’d be surprised to learn just how affordable a moving company can be. It all depends on the size of the move and how far you’re going, but it’s almost always worth the cost.
6 Tips to Help You Choose the Right One
In most towns, you’ll have more than half a dozen well-known moving companies to choose from. How are you supposed to compare them and choose the right one? Here are a few pointers:
Begin by gathering referrals from as many people as you can. You don’t have to take every referral to heart, but look for trends. If you hear about the same moving company over and over again, it’s good idea to add them to your short list.
Asking friends and neighbors for referrals is great, but you’ll find that you get more insight when you talk with people who are close to the industry. Real estate agents are typically very helpful.
Read Online Reviews
Once you have a list of three to five moving companies, go online and begin your research.
- Google the name of the company and see what pops up.
- Go to industry websites and companies that post ratings and reviews.
- Check out the company’s social media page and mentions.
- Ask for feedback on your own social media pages.
The key with online research is to take everything with a grain of salt. You can typically toss out the terrible reviews and the glowing ones – both are susceptible to manipulation. The truth tends to fall somewhere in the middle.
Use the Rule of Threes
The Rule of Threes states that you should never settle for the very first estimate you receive from someone. Instead, take the time to get three quotes from three different companies.
Three is the perfect number because it helps you get a feel for the market. One quote might come in extremely high and another may come in on the low side, but you’ll almost always find a fair price somewhere in the middle. Anything above three quotes is too many. You’ll feel paralyzed by the options.
There’s nothing wrong with trusting people and taking them at their word, but make sure you verify any claims a moving company makes. This is especially important when it comes to a moving company being licensed and insured.
If you’re moving out of state, know that the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issues U.S. DOT numbers to licensed interstate movers. You’re free to ask a company for their number so that you can independently verify it online.
If you’re moving in state, your local consumer affairs agency should have more information on the status of the company in question.
Be Wary of These Red Flags
When researching moving companies, there are some red flags that should make you think twice before making a final decision. Word to the wise:
- Be wary of any company that’s relatively unknown and/or doesn’t have many reviews, ratings, or referrals from local homeowners.
- It’s odd for a moving company to ask for anything more than 20 percent down on your moving costs. (Many won’t require any payment until your items are safely delivered.)
- Be sure to ask about the final cost prior to signing anything. They should give you a firm price. Inquire about any extra fees or add-ons and get this information in writing.
Consider how you feel when you interact with the moving company. Do they go out of their way to make you feel important and cared for, or does it seem like they’re just trying to make a quick sale? Trust your gut.
Read the Fine Print
Moving companies take on a lot of risk, so they typically include a bunch of fine print in their contract with clients. There’s nothing technically wrong with this, but make sure you read what’s included. Once you sign the dotted line, you’re agreeing to everything (even if you haven’t read it). Don’t be misinformed!
Buy and Sell With Green Residential
Whether you’re buying or selling a house, Green Residential is here to help. With more than three decades of experience in the local Houston market, we understand the ins and outs of representing families on both sides. For more information on how we can help you, please reach out!