It’s a great feeling when you’ve found the property of your dreams. It’s not such a great feeling to start planning how you’ll move your belongings into it.
Hiring movers can help you take some of the stress out of your move, but only if you find the right one. In addition to review and ratings websites, word-of-mouth recommendations are a good way to identify your options. Your MetroTex Realtor is another great resource for learning about reputable movers in your area.
Once you have a few companies in mind, narrow down the competition with these tips.
Three is the magic number
Choosing one company without doing your research could lead to a frustrating experience, but calling a dozen moving companies for estimates can take too much time. Instead, decide on at least three companies you want to learn more about. You’ll get a good sense for average rates and offerings for your area. You may even be able to use their estimates to your advantage later.
Get an in-person assessment
Most people aren’t a good judge of how much stuff they have, and while some companies have online tools that create an estimate using your best guess, you should ask your picks to visit your home and take inventory for an accurate estimate.
During an in-person assessment, you’ll be asked about what you’re planning to take, the moving supplies you need, and about your heavy or fragile items. Your movers will need to know the layout of your new property, too, so don’t forget to tell them about the three flights of stairs or that they’ll have to park on the street.
There are plenty of questions you can ask depending on your situation, but make sure to get answers to these in particular:
- Are you licensed for in- or out-of-state moves? The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles licenses moving companies, which must have an active TxDMV certificate on file to operate legally. Find out if a company is licensed at apps.txdmv.gov/apps/mccs/truckstop.
- What type of insurance do you carry? (They should at least carry workers’ compensation insurance.)
- What insurance coverage do you offer for my belongings? (valuation or replacement coverage)
- Can I pack myself? Will my items be covered if so?
- Is your crew bonded? (protection in case of employee theft, vandalism)
- Are there items you won’t transport? (light bulbs, batteries, gas)
Don’t hold back information
Be upfront about what you need your movers to do, whether it’s packing and unloading, assembling or dissembling items, or heavy lifting. You may think you can get a deal by glossing over details, but you’ll ultimately pay more for your hidden extras, and your movers won’t be pleased.
Negotiate the deal
You’ll receive an estimate from your moving companies based on several factors, such as the distance of the move and the potential gas expense, the weight or square footage that your items will use in the moving van, and labor costs. This is where having more than one estimate will come in handy. Don’t be afraid to tell your top pick if you’ve received a lower estimate that appeals to you, or roughly how much you want to spend. Look for other areas in which you can negotiate, such as free junk-hauling services or reduced rates for extra supplies or a different move date.
Your movers can be a huge help, but only if you put in the effort to choose the right one.
Get more tips about moving, plus advice on buying, selling, and leasing property in Texas at dfwrealestate.com.