Moving can be exciting when you start afresh in a new place, meet new people, and explore a new city. But moving can be an overwhelming experience for most of us. Selecting the right moving company can be a tough job. According to the Better Business Bureau, most complaints about moving companies were about lost or damaged property and included charging for unworked hours and not honoring estimates. Moving day is already stressful without having your stuff arrive broken or with a surprise bill. With so many reputable moving companies, deciding which one to entrust your belongings to can take time. Here are some pointers to help you choose the best moving company for your needs to make the process go smoothly.

1. Get Referrals

Word-of-mouth is a potent tool. A personal recommendation from someone you trust can save you a lot of time researching. Getting referrals from friends and family who have used professional movers in the past is one of the best ways to find a quality moving company. They can point you in the right direction. Inquire about their experience with the company and other aspects, such as the quality of service and dependability. You must remember that a person’s recommendations are based on personal experiences. Therefore, if you get advice from your friends or family, you must try it as there is a high probability that you’ll also have a good experience.

Ask the agent for a referral if you’re working with a real estate agent. Suppose you don’t know anyone reliable who has used a moving company before; in that case, you can look for reviews online. Look for customer reviews on reputable sites to get an idea of the experiences others had with a residential moving company and determine whether they are right for you.

2.Hire a Local Mover

Keep local movers in mind when looking for a moving company in Maryland. Local movers will be more familiar with the area and have more experience with the roads and traffic patterns. This can help with smooth relocation. Local moving companies are cheaper than national/international movers. Moving can be expensive, so finding a reliable moving local mover with competitive rates is a great way to save money.

Once you have narrowed down on a company, check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Reliable companies are listed with the BBB, so check if they are accredited and have a good rating. 

3. Get Estimates

After you’ve shortlisted a few moving companies, it’s time to get an estimate. Get a written estimate that includes the cost of labor, supplies, and any additional services you may need. It be’sst to get at least three in-person estimates before committing. This ensures that you have enough options to consider.

You should ask for a breakdown in the estimate to know what you are paying for. This will help compare the costs of different moving companies and help you make an informed decision.

4. Make Sure the Mover Is Licensed and Insured

One of the criteria for picking a moving company is to make sure that the company is licensed and insured. Look for a company registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and bearing a carrier number. The FMCSA provides information on the company’s safety record and the number of complaints lodged against it. Also, ensure that the packing and moving company has liability and cargo insurance, covering any damages or losses during the move.

If moving between states, a mover should also have a number issued by the Department of Transportation. It is a license that helps to identify commercial vehicles for transporting passengers or hauling cargo interstate. Look for the DOT number on their documents and website. 

Apart from these, you must also ensure that all the drivers are correctly licensed. Your cargo and driver run the risk of getting held up midway if the driver operates without a proper license.

5. Read Reviews and Complaints.

With so much information available, now, do an internet search for the company name and use terms like ‘Complaints’ and ‘reviews’ to see what feedback customers have given them. Check The Better Business Bureau’s site, which carries reviews of more than 20,000 moving companies. Check what letter grade has been awarded to the company and look for any complaints, reviews, or government actions. You can also look up the company’s complaint history on the Department of Transportation’s website using the mover search tool.

6. Verify the Address

Before you sign on the dotted line, ensure the company address is not just a PO Box. This is to ascertain that the company is legitimate and not a scam. Another way to check the company is by requesting an in-home estimate rather than an online quote. This will allow you to discuss with them firsthand if you have any concerns and give you an accurate estimate. An in-home assessment will provide you with a precise and reliable estimate of the cost of moving and will avoid any unexpected fees at the last minute.

7. Be Wary of Large Deposit Requirements.

Most movers only require payment once your belongings are delivered. Before the move, some moving companies ask for a large deposit. This is a red flag that you should look out for. As a practice, you should only pay 10-20% of the estimated move cost in advance. Charge any deposits or other payments on a credit card, so you can dispute the charge if something goes wrong. If a mover holds your belongings hostage to force you to pay, contact the police, who will assist you. If you have any problem with the mover and want to take it up, you can lodge a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. For interstate issues, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. If the moving company is a member, file a complaint with the American Moving and Storage Association.

Key Points

Moving can be stressful, but it does not have to be stressful. Taking the time to research and compare different moving companies will ensure a smooth transition. Check to see if the company you’ve decided to go ahead with is reputable, licensed, insured, has the necessary equipment, and charges reasonable prices. This will help ensure you get the best service and value for your money. Happy Moving!

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