Using a moving company for the first time can be a bit intimidating because of two major reasons: 1) you have no idea how to find a good moving company, and 2) you simply don’t know what to expect from relocation professionals.
As a result, you start to worry that you may not be able to find a good mover in the end, or worse – you may “succeed” in securing a less-than-reputable moving company (dishonest or rogue movers) that may cheat you.
If you’re about to move long distance to another part of the country (moving to another state, for example), if you own a number of specialty items that require professional packing and moving services, or if you just know that your friends won’t have the time (or desire!) to help you pack and lift your heavy items, then you’re definitely going to need to know how to find top-rated movers for your residential move.
Find below the 10 steps to finding good movers, or even better – the steps to finding the best movers out there.
The best movers: reputable, reliable, affordable
Before we give you more details about how to find the best moving company for your upcoming moving adventure, let’s say a few words about what makes a professional mover good, and what’s the main difference between the good and the best moving companies.
The best moving companies in the business will:
- be professional moving companies with years of relocation experience;
- have an excellent (online) reputation among their base of former and current customers;
- offer reliable moving services that will serve your needs and fit your family budget;
- offer to visit your home in person so that they can evaluate the approximate number, size, and weight of the household items you intend to move to another home;
- issue you with an accurate moving cost estimate in writing after the visual in-home inspection is over;
- offer affordable rates compared to their competitors on a local and even national level;
- offer a wide range of additional moving services to complete the job quickly, safely and professionally;
- have well-trained staff that will have good knowledge of the home moving process and will be skillful at packing and using various moving equipment;
- have professionals who know what it takes to ensure an outstanding level of safety throughout the entire house move;
- explain in detail what you should expect from the home moving process and will answer all your questions in a clear and satisfactory fashion;
- act in a professional way, including being polite and well-mannered with their clients, as well as respectful of and careful when handling their household items.
As you can easily guess, the major difference between good movers and the best movers is that the better a moving company is, the more of these requirements it will fulfill. Luckily, there are those top-rated moving companies that meet all or almost all of the above-mentioned criteria for relocation excellence.
Be prepared: What are the red flags of moving fraud?
How to find good movers: 10 steps
There’s one question you will need to answer very early in your home moving preparation: how to find a moving company that will satisfy more of the above quality-service points. So, to have a predominantly smooth and stress-free residential move, here are the steps to finding good movers and then hire their quality relocation services.
- Step 1. Ask friends for recommendations. This initial step may save you loads of time and nerves when looking for reliable movers. Ask friends, family members, neighbors and colleagues if they can recommend a good mover they may have used recently. The best recommendations usually come from people you can trust.
- Step 2. Request price estimation. If nobody you know can recommend you good movers, then it’s time for you to find them. Fill in a quick moving quote to get in touch with pre-screened moving companies that serve your relocation route and can accommodate your move on the desired move-out date.
- Step 3. Insist on having a home survey. Your next step is to ask the companies for individual cost estimation after an on-site inspection of your home. Do not agree to have your moving cost estimated over the phone or via e-mail – the only way to guarantee a precise quote is to have moving experts at your home.
- Step 4. Read moving reviews. Most of the times you won’t know anything about the moving companies that have contacted you. Change that by visiting reputable movers reviews websites and reading how other people have rated the services of the movers you’re currently reviewing. Customer reviews will usually give you a good idea of which mover to go with.
- Step 5. Check movers’ reputation. In addition to reading moving reviews, visit the website of the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) to check the reputation of the moving companies you’re considering as potential partners. A quick check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) will also inform you if any of the companies have complaints lodged against them.
- Step 6. Check movers’ legal status. How to find a trustworthy moving company? Interstate movers must have valid USDOT numbers as proof of their trustworthiness. USDOT numbers are issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation, so check the Department’s website to make sure you’ll end up finding a reliable moving company.
- Step 7. Compare movers’ quotes. It’s time to compare the actual price quotes you have received from best-rated cross-country moving companies. The quoted price will influence your decision but you should also pay close attention to the offered extra services and their respective rates. Be suspicious towards quotes that are uncharacteristically lower than the rest.
- 8. Ask movers the hard questions. Sometimes it can be really difficult to decide which mover to hire, especially if you happen to receive a few equally attractive relocation offers in terms of price and conditions. Get in touch with those movers and ask them any questions that may be troubling you. Hopefully, their answers will help you reach an informed decision in the end.
- Step 9. Ask movers for a price reduction. Still not sure how to find the best movers? As you may have noticed, the term “the best” can mean different things in different situations. In your particular relocation case, the best moving companies will be ones that will be willing to offer you a discount in order to keep you as a customer.
- Step 10. Trust your instincts. Do not underestimate the power of your instincts – sometimes you may need to trust your gut feeling in order to pick a moving company that is just right for you.