You just received a call from your Realtor with great news! Your offer was accepted and you are probably over the moon at this point thinking about what new furniture you are going to buy for that great big dining room, the last thing you are thinking about is what things I should be looking for when I look for a moving company to move all my precious household goods.
These days everyone is trying to make a quick buck! So it is very important to look very carefully and to ask the right questions. Now if you are on a very tight budget you might want to just go route of hiring your friends… And when I say hire your friends, I don’t mean buy them pizza as form of payment.
I am writing this not only because I want customers to be aware and informed but because I work for a moving company here in Portland OR Portland Movers Company LLC, I see first hand the end result of when a customer found an affordable moving company but on the day of the move, they decided it was their day off.
Moving is a hard task, from packing all the valuable goods to making sure you pack them properly. Then you have to move your valuable goods to your new home without breaking them.
It’s may sound easier than you think. In-town moves are an easier task but when we are talking about moving you from California to New York now that’s when it gets tricky, but that’s another topic I will write about on another day. Today we will go over things you should know and what you should look for when hiring a moving company, but before you hire that company, we will also go over what you should be asking to know you have picked the right company for you.
1) Are they licensed and Insured? If yes how long have they been in business?
Before I would even pick up the phone, I do my cyber research. For example I live in Portland OR, I would visit my local department of transportation website for their list of authorized movers in the state of Oregon ( ODOT), If I call any company I will be given an answer I want to hear.
Now if you have already narrowed down to couple moving companies, which means it will not be a hard task to finish. I first would go to www.BBB.org, www.movingscam.com, Look for past customer complaints in the past and how it was resolved if it was? Verify that the reviews on their website are true reviews. Also verify the company License and Insurance is in good standing. Customers have the right to review this information prior to booking any move.
2) Moving Rates – If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
Please be sure to read the fine line, ask questions! And a cheap customer almost always gets hurt at the end. I am a penny pincher as well, I understand everyone is trying to save a buck, but when you have a company that says they will move your 1800 sq house for $200.00, I am sorry to break it to you but that is called a scam. Each moving company that is truly a licensed moving company abide by their local department of transportation regulations, Here in Portland Oregon, it’s called ODOT.
Each state has their rule on pricing regulations for moving companies, example for SE Portland OMSA Tariff 200. So review the moving company pricing on their website, ask about any other fees and most importantly have things documented. If you did not have an in home estimate, ask them to email or mail you an overview of your agreement.
If you file a claim with your mover for a damaged item, the mover has 120 days to compensate you, If an item is damaged, movers are only liable for 60 cents per pound (about 10% of its value) on interstate moves, and usually less for intrastate. Your homeowners insurance will cover complete loss situations. But if you are concerned about items damaged in transit, you can either pay additional to have the mover be 100% liable, or you can purchase third party relocation insurance.
Interstate movers are entitled to collect payment at the time of delivery before unloading the truck. Non-binding, interstate moves must be released to you upon payment of 110% of your non-binding estimate, and the mover will invoice you for the rest in 30 days if you decide that works for you.
5) What kind of reputation does the moving company have?
If they care about the community, most likely they will care about you and your move. They want to continue doing business in your town a long, long time. And, they aren’t just into one night stands but really want a committed relationship with your community and you, your friends and your family.
6) Your contract | Binding vs non-binding
A binding estimate is a written agreement made in advance with the moving company. It means that the price quoted in the estimate is the total amount that you will have to pay, even if the shipment weighs more or less than the estimated amount. Know whether your estimate is binding or non-binding. It guarantees the total cost of the move based on quantities and services shown on the original estimate.
Non-binding means non-binding, a non-binding estimate is not binding (or set in stone), and indicates that your final charges will be based upon the actual weight of shipment and services provided. A non-binding estimate is what the moving company believes the total cost of the move will be based upon the estimated weight and services required.
I know, this is something everyone cringes when they hear PAYMENT…. ahhh but look at the brighter side… at this point your move is most likely done ( depending on some moving companies that may require a deposit upfront ) . Be sure to ask what kind of payment they accept? Cash, Credit Card, Doughnuts? But on a serious note it is important to have payment ready. Just like you wanted the movers on time and prepared for your move, the movers want to be paid for a job well done.
Spending the time and researching for the right moving company will pay off at the end. Asking the right questions will ensure that you will find the perfect moving company for you. Finding a good moving company is the key to any move and will make it a less stressful move so you can enjoy your new home or office.