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Moving Tips

Tips & Trends

From Rory S. Coakley on some of the latest real estate news and happenings.

Moving is at the top of the list of stressful things that people do. But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you choose the right mover, it can (and should) be a pleasant experience! There are hundreds of movers out there, and these days someone with access to the internet, a cell phone, and a rented truck can represent themselves as one. With Spring and Summer right around the corner, houses are going to sell and people are going to move. There are certain things you can do to choose the right mover, avoid those unscrupulous ones, and ensure that your moving experience will be positive.

Some part of your decision to use a particular mover is subjective. The estimator or moving consultant represents his or her company. It’s reasonable to base part of your decision on their appearance, knowledge, and professionalism. You should also do your homework before making a decision: check out your potential movers through their own websites, through various social media sites, through impartial websites that rate movers or, even better, through referrals from friends, neighbors, or your real estate agent.

Your budget should also be a consideration. It’s probably as true for movers as it is for anything – you usually get what you pay for. So price should be a part of the decision, but should be balanced along with the quality and reputation of the mover and the services they have included in the estimate.

Here are some tips to avoid mover scams:

  • Get at least 3 written estimates from reputable companies.
  • Avoid internet movers or any mover that is unwilling to come to your home to do a visual survey.
  • Do your due diligence – check your movers out before you select one.
  • Avoid interstate estimates based on cubic footage – by weight is best because it can be verified.
  • Don’t necessarily choose the mover with the cheapest price.
  • Compare your estimates line by line – make sure every estimate is based on similar weights, crew size, and hours; and includes the same services.
  • Avoid movers who demand a large deposit or cash to hold your dates. A nominal fee – 10% or less is customary.
  • Read all the literature given to you at the time of the survey – especially the brochure “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move,” which is published by the Federal Government.

Almost everyone wants to move in the late spring and summer, because their kids are out of school during this period of time. Consequently, movers are extremely busy during the months of June, July, and August. Below are a few helpful hints for a good move this summer:

  • Avoid moving during peak periods (the last 10 days of any summer month), if possible.
  • There’s no such thing as a bad question. If the moving consultant is not willing to answer any of yours, this should raise a flag.
  • Don’t necessarily select the cheapest mover.
  • Compare the tangibles as well as the intangibles.
  • Ask if the moving company uses their own full-time, trained employees or if use casual labor.
  • Choose to take the valuation coverage (full value replacement), not the $.60/lb/article option.
  • Visit the mover’s facilities if you have time. The way a warehouse is kept says a lot about a moving company.
  • Take care of your crews (tips, food, drink) – be welcoming and friendly.

And for Interstate moves:

  • Make sure you get “Your rights and responsibilities” and read it! – be an consumer!
  • Make sure your mover has interstate rights and has an ICC number.
  • Understand the concept of delivery spreads and get yours in writing.
  • Make sure you have a way to reach your driver and be reached by him!
  • Make sure you get a copy of the inventory, and use it at delivery.
  • Make note of any issues (lost, damaged items) on the driver’s paperwork immediately if noticed. File for any claims ASAP.

After the move is done:

  • If you’re happy – let people know – write a letter praising good service. Refer your mover and your moving consultant to your friends.
  • Please take the time to respond to mover surveys – it’s how we get better!

Source: Rory Crawford at JK Moving Services

If you would like to suggest a topic for comment in one of our future emailers, please let me know. You can always reach me at or by phone 301-340-8700. I look forward to hearing from you!

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