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How to Research and Compare Local Moving Companies

When it comes to selecting a professional moving company for your next move, it’s always a good idea to do your research. Often, you can find a lot of information on national providers but then have a little more difficulty digging up the info that you need to know to choose among your local moving companies. A highly rated national moving company might not necessarily offer the best service or prices in your specific area, and likewise, you may find that you get a better deal opting for a big name instead of a smaller company. And while we can’t tell you what your most preferable option is, we can tell you how to do the legwork to find out.

 Below, we’ll go over how to research and compare local moving companies so that you can hire the team that will give you the most value at the best price.

  1. Know What You’re Looking For

    Most of us have a few distinct guidelines that we need to cover when we hire movers, particularly when it comes to moving truck size and the location that assistance is needed. Figure out what your non-negotiables are early on so that you don’t waste any of your time researching local moving companies that aren’t going to be able to meet your needs. Most companies will share information about their transportation area and capacity right on their websites, so you should be able to save yourself a lot of effort by ensuring that companies check off those key boxes before dedicating any more time to the task.

    Helpful hint: Not sure what size moving truck you need? As a general rule of thumb, small moving trucks (10 to 12 feet) are good for studio and one bedroom apartments, medium moving trucks (14 to 17 feet) are good for one and two bedroom homes and apartments, and large moving trucks (20 to 26 feet) are good for three bedroom homes and larger. Learn more by reading our article on how to figure out what size truck you should get.

  2. Compile a List of Options

    With those high-level needs in mind, start your search and put together an initial list of local moving companies that might be good for the job. Use our free online directory to quickly pull up all a list of reputable movers in your area. You’ll be able to specify your basic needs even further by choosing your move type—i.e. full service, auto transport, office moves, and more.

  3. Look at Reviews

    Now is when things get a little bit tougher, since once you have your list you’ll need to get to work on your comparisons. Reviews are a great place to start, since the best indicator of what you can expect with local moving companies is almost always the experiences of people who have used them in the past. Fortunately, we make it easy to find reliable commentary, with a list of reviews easily accessibly right from the directory (you can find the link under each company’s logo).

    In addition to reading through reviews on our site, check out reviews through other reliable sources like Google and Facebook. Pay attention to what people are saying in terms of availability, ease of scheduling, pricing, and quality of service. If a company doesn’t meet your needs and expectations based on the reviews that you find, remove them from your list of potential hires.

  4. Get Quotes

    Obviously budget is a major factor to keep in mind when you’re researching and comparing local moving companies, which is why we recommend getting quotes from at least three different movers. Prices can vary widely, even among companies serving the same areas. And since pricing for each move is largely dependent on how much stuff you have, when you’re moving, and how much labor your move will require, you are always going to be better off reaching out for a quote directly instead of trying to parse together cost information from what’s available on a company’s website.

    Use our moving company directory’s “Get Quote” feature to easily connect with local moving companies and let them know what you’re looking for so you can get as accurate of a cost estimate as possible. You’ll be asked to provide a general moving inventory, so have a clear idea of what you’ll be moving—especially large items like furniture and appliances—so that each company can offer you a quote.

    Keep in mind that while cost is key, it shouldn’t necessarily be the sole deciding factor when choosing among local moving companies. Pay attention to pricing structure (hourly versus by the job), as well as what else is included in the quoted estimate (does the quote include moving blankets? Packing services?). With all of that information in mind you’ll be able to narrow your list down even further into local moving companies that offer you not just the best price but the best value.

    Note that quotes are just estimates and are not necessarily the exact price that you’ll pay come moving day. They should provide a general baseline however that you can go off of when selecting your most cost effective option. Also, check to see if any of your local moving companies are offering promotions, or if they have a discount that might apply to you—many offer deals for veterans, seniors, and other specific groups of people.

  5. Book Your Service

    Hopefully after completing the steps above you have the name of a company that you want to schedule your move with. In that case, it’s time to check their availability and book your service. If you have a few companies that fit the bill, contact all of them to check availability and mention that you’re still deciding on your best fit—one company may lower their prices for you in order to get an edge on their competitors.

    Booking service with a moving company is easy, and can often be done online. Let the company know if you have any flexibility with your moving date, since some dates and times are cheaper than others and they may be able to offer you an even better rate if you’re open to a range of available slots.

Additional Tips for Choosing Local Moving Companies

Ask around for referrals. Reach out to trusted friends and family members to inquire about their own experiences with moving companies in your area. It’s possible that someone you know had a negative experience with a highly rated company, or vice versa.

Always check for license and insurance. Never hire a moving company that doesn’t offer proof of license and insurance, and visit fmcsa.dot.gov to make sure that a company has a valid U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) number.

Be wary of red flags. If something stands out to you as sketchy when researching and comparing moving companies, then trust your gut and cross that name off the list. Potential red flags include companies that ask for deposits before moving day and companies that rent instead of own their moving vehicles.

Following the steps and advice above helps ensure that you hire a moving company that won’t just get the job done for a reasonable price but will get the job done right. Check out our additional moving articles for everything else that you need to know to facilitate a move that goes as seamlessly as possible.

Published Wednesday, January 22, 2020 6:47 PM by CENTURY 21 Gold Real Estate

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