If moving all by yourself sounds downright awful, it’s time to hire a moving company. Professional movers will help make the entire process faster, safer and easier – but only if they’re top-notch! Hiring the right movers is crucial to making sure you have a happy move instead of a horrible one.

moving truckHere is a six-point checklist for hiring a great moving company:

1. Look beyond the hourly rate.

When choosing a moving company, it may be tempting to pick the one with the lowest hourly rate. Resist the urge! If a mover is charging less than the competition, they’re probably going to cut corners wherever they can, which means your furniture could wind up sporting a new scratch or two.

2. Do your homework.

Before you call a company, go online to see if you can dig up any dirt – or at least read positive reviews. Check the moving company’s complaint history, as well as their standing with the Better Business Bureau.

3. Ask for credentials.

Whether you’re moving out of state or just down the road, the moving company should have some type of moving license, period. Always ask to see their proof of insurance and proper licensing. Moving license requirements will vary state by state, but any company that moves across state lines should have a specific Department of Transportation (DOT) number assigned to them. Tip: You can check for a moving company’s license at ProtectMyMove.gov.

4. Get several estimates.

Once you’ve narrowed the search down to a few companies, ask for a written estimate from each. This estimate should be based on an actual inspection of the stuff you want to move. If a business isn’t willing to send a person to your home to do an estimate, cross them off the list! Movers that only offer to give quotes over the phone can often underestimate the total and may try to charge you for the difference.

5. Avoid hidden fees.

Make sure the movers are aware of everything that needs to be moved to avoid any added charges. The cost of your moving fee may increase if any big furniture gets added at the last-minute, so make sure the movers have an itemized list before they show up. Also, if the moving truck has trouble finding parking by your place, they can charge for the extra distance, so plan ahead!

6. Ask questions about the contract.

Take a few minutes and read the moving contract carefully before you sign. It should detail specific rates, liability, delivery dates and claims protection. If you see something that looks suspicious, trust your instincts and ask about it. Once you’ve signed, keep your copy of the contract until the move is complete, and you’ve fully unpacked.

Information provided by BrightNest.com.

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