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7 Questions to Ask the Moving Company

October 18, 2010

P R O P E R T Y   S E A R C H

R E S T I V O – H E C H T M A N    T E A M

moving company

Wondering which moving company to use?  I am a local Miami Realtor.  I suggest you start by asking your Realtor for moving company recommendations. He/she should have several to suggest.  Because most people (friends/family) have had some experience moving,  you may want to check with people  familiar with the area you’re moving to, for their suggestions as well(colleagues/neighbors).   Word of mouth is often a great source of information… especially in real estate.

The internet can be a good starting point for research.   And most moving companies have websites, which will give you a fairly decent idea online as to which areas they cover, what their policies are, and what their ballpark costs are likely to be.  

I suggest you interview several moving companies by phone.


*Check credentials. While local moving companies that work within a given state (without crossing state lines)  may not have an FMCSA or USDOT number, most moving companies that travel across state lines,  will be registered, and you can check on them.  

*Take a peak at  MovingScam.com (and get feedback from others who have used particular movers in the past).

Questions to ask the moving company: 

1) Rates? –   Moving costs are usually based on weight  and distance (on long distance moves).   Nearby local moves can be hourly  instead.  Ask  the mover as to any additional costs or fees  … and if there are any, find out when they apply.  Additional costs can include:  fuel surcharges,   ‘flight charges’  for  hauling  heavy items up stairs, and extra costs for  packing or unpacking awkward/bulky items.

2) Insurance? –  Moving companies will provide insurance to cover damage or loss (and you may want to inquire as to whether that includes water damage, especially if you are relocating to South Florida, and moving during the rainy season).  Normally there are additional costs to you for whatever insurance you opt for, and normally those costs are based on weight.  Additional insurance can be provided specifically to cover antiques and collectibles.  You might want to check your home-owners insurance policy … because they may well already cover, or may well offer additional insurance to cover your move.

3) Packing? –   Find out how your belongings will be labeled, wrapped… how the sofas, appliances and furniture will be padded or shrink-wrapped or protected.

4) Estimate in Writing? – Moving companies are required to provide you with a written estimate, and,  for that estimate to be binding, you and the mover (both) must sign and date that estimate. 

5) Delivery Date?–  A word to the wise …  GET YOUR DELIVERY DATE IN WRITING!  Having only a ‘window’ of time for delivery can play havoc with your plans.  We’ve seen moving companies be as vague as to give as much as seven day window for delivery.  Make sure you will have closed on the house you are buying, and that you will have access to the property by the date specified for the movers to arrive and unpack.  Delays on your part can add substantial storage and transfer fees to the transaction. 

6) Subcontractors? –  Some of the larger moving companies “farm out”  to local subcontractors … which is fine … as long as you do some research  ahead of time, and know who they are using, and whether or not they are reliable. 

7) Damages/Claims?  – Double check to see whether your moving company has any outstanding or unresolved claims or complaints against them.   And find out ahead of time what their policies  are for filing claims – should there be any loss or damage.

By checking references, asking for referrals, doing some research (and getting everything in writing!)  you will avoid many a headache. 

Anytime you are ready to contemplate moving,  please call us.  Buying or selling property in Miami?   We can help.  Relocating elsewhere?  We are happy to recommend other top Real Estate Agents to you, whether you are transferring across country or internationally.  The Restivo Team 305-793-1365 or 305-632-0164.  Buying… Selling…We look forward to helping you with your real estate needs.  Thank you  for following our real estate blog,  MiamiRealEstateCafe.com

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