Moving is an extremely stressful thing. The best way to ensure that things go smoothly is to hire the best local Charleston moving company. But with so many to choose from, how do you know which will help to reduce your stress level and make sure your valuables are safe? There are some signs to look for that indicate that a moving company can handle the job. Of course, money is going to be a factor, but it shouldn’t be the only one. If you hire due to expense only, you will probably end up getting what you pay for! So consider these other factors too!
What Type of Moving Services do you Need?
Before you begin to look for a moving company, make sure you know exactly what you need. Not all movers can handle different types of moving needs. And extra services can really start to add up. The best way to limit your budget is to know what you need ahead of time. To be prepared:
Make a list of the items you need to transport and group them into three different categories:
- Valuables that go in a box
- Things that won’t fit into a box, but are light enough for one person to carry
- Valuables that will probably require more than one person or will need special equipment
If you have any things that require special equipment to move, then you will need a company that has the appropriate tools and the expertise to transport heavy objects. Things like a piano, pool table, hot tub, or gun safe will require special care.
It takes about two weeks or more to completely pack a three or four-bedroom residence. If you don’t have the time, you might want to consider hiring someone who offers packing services. And if your new home is not yet ready to move in, find a company that can store your belongings until you are ready.
Google Search Local Charleston Moving Companies
After you know what you need, start researching companies using Google. But don’t just choose the first company that appears. Take the time to look through several. And also go through the reviews online. Be careful when trusting the validity of the reviews. Make sure they are credible and not just paid advertisements.
Contact and Ask the Right Questions
Before you follow through to contact a moving company, have a list of questions that you want to be answered. Don’t just assume that the information on the website is correct, get confirmation! Good things to inquire about are written estimates and their DOT number if it is not listed on the website itself. Talking directly with a representative will also give you an idea of who you will be dealing with. If you notice any red flags in your correspondence, move along. And make sure to ask if the company has any other names that they conduct business under.
Research Trusted Reviews
Go the extra step to read reviews from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), services like Angie’s List and Google. If a company has a five-star review, proceed with caution. It might mean that they have artificially escalated their rating.
Make Sure the Company Hasn’t Switched Names
Try to avoid any local moving company that has recently switched its name. There are some shady practices that moving companies can engage in to put distance between themselves and their poor reputation like renaming. The BBB helps to track companies who have claims and poor reviews, but switching names usually can’t be tracked. The best way to ensure that a moving company hasn’t altered its name is to check with the Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. They will have the licensing information that you need to ensure that a switch has not been made.
Avoid Surprise Fees
Make sure to let your estimator know about any extremely narrow halls or staircases where you are moving to. If the moving company is unaware of them, they will likely add a fee that can be pretty hefty. So it is best to be completely honest, and also to let them know of any additional hurdles they might face when moving.
Have a Full Moving Inventory
An estimate is imperative to know what the cost of moving is going to be. But you also need to have a full inventory of your items. The cost of your home will be dependent on the inventory. And you will also need to have it in detail when the move is finished.
The Moving Estimate
Make sure that you are available and walk through with the estimator. Also, be diligent by asking questions. Ask yourself things like “Are they going through the entire home and not skipping rooms?" and “Are they looking in closets?" The only way for an estimator to give you a fair rundown of costs is if they get everything into the estimate. Otherwise, you might have sticker shock when all is said and done because they didn’t properly document your things in the original estimate.
Make Sure There Aren’t Any Hidden Fees
“Guaranteed Estimate” means nothing, look for a binding estimate so that you have peace of mind to know that the price is really the price.
Moving is not only stressful; it can be really expensive. Obviously, you have to be guided by price. But it should not be the only factor you use to find the best local Charleston Moving company. Make sure to ask the right questions, do the research, and get an estimate that is binding, so there aren’t any hidden surprises. At Home and Office Movers, we have the necessary equipment, experience, and honesty to make your move go as stress-free and smooth as possible. Contact us today to estimate what you move will cost.