Are you thinking about moving to a new home? If you are, then there are plenty of things you will have to consider along the way. First, you need to consider how to break the news to your family. Remember, especially if you have kids, you need to break this news right away. Keeping it to yourself will only take away precious time from the adjustment period. But that's not where this process ends.
Now that your family knows about the plans to move, you need to think about how you are going to get to where you need to go. There are lots of people who move themselves these days, but that process can be long and difficult. The worst part is, for all of the work put into it, they aren't really saving that much money over hiring professional moving companies to do the same thing. But hiring movers can be difficult to, unless you know what to ask before you hire them.
To that end, here are three very important questions that you should ask any mover before you agree to hire their services for your move.1. Are you licensed? Bonded? Insured?
In a world where moving and the relocation industry is not very regulated, it is important that you hire a mover who is licensed, bonded, and insured. Federal law requires that all movers who transport household goods be insured for liability to an extent, but some companies get away without even that. For this reason, make sure you are hiring a company who is up to date on all of their licenses and who offers the insurance liability as mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
You can visit the SAFER system in order to verify any license numbers that movers give you when you contact them, so don't let anyone tell you that such things are unverifiable. Some scam companies might try to tell you they don't need a license number, or that they can't give it out. If you run into one of these companies, stay as far away from them as you possibly can.2. What are you going to charge me?
Asking a mover what they are going to charge for their services is important so that you know how much to budget for the moving services you need. At the same time, you need to approach this question carefully. Getting basic moving quotes online or over the phone is a good way to start searching for a moving company, but it is not how to go about hiring a moving company. Moving quotes that you get over the phone, or online, are not binding. And while the movers might give you what looks like a really good quote, if you don't follow through and get a binding estimate, you might be in trouble.
To avoid problems, always get a binding estimate that will provide a cap for how much the movers charge you for their services. While they can still charge you ten percent more than the quote, the amount they charge is capped there and cannot be raised further. Scam companies often offer really low quotes and then hold your goods ransom if you don't pay a super high, raised cost. Avoid this problem by getting binding estimates.3. What about insurance? Contact information? Tracking?
The rest of your move is in the details. There will be need for insurance no matter what you are moving, so ask the company about their valuation coverage. Don't forget to get contact information for when your goods are in transit to your new home and you want to know what's going on, and always ask about tracking as most carriers now have GPS service offered as a part of the moving package. If you have other questions, now is a good time to address them as well. While moving is problematic at times, making sure that you have the answers you are seeking can make things that much easier for you and your family during this event in your life.
Alyssa Sullivan, the author of this article, is a Moving Companies Agent with many years of relocation experience. When she isn't at work helping consumers make moving easier, she enjoys resting with her cat and a great book.