Yes, my company's name is Mad Cow Web, but that's not what we're talking about today. Today, we're focusing on the big move.
To be honest, I haven't found a home to purchase or rent yet, but I am starting to think about the move and all the associated "moving pieces" that go along with it. I have only used movers once in my life. If you recall that article, it was a simply amazing experience. We packed some smaller stuff in our two vehicles and the movers took care of everything else. It was sublime.
If you're going to spoil yourself with movers, there's a few questions you should get answered before sending over your deposit. The primary one is whether there is anything they do not move or anything that costs extra. If your home includes a grand piano and some massive furniture, you're going to want to highlight those items up front. It would be less than ideal to have those items stuck in your old home because of poor planning.
This handily leads us to estimates. In-person estimates are always going to be best. While not always feasible or offered, the in-person estimate can eliminate most surprises (including that piano). The movers will be able to more accurately review your home, driveway, low branches, and any other variable that you simply can't always catch with a phone call. Just like with most professions, since they have done this for a number of years they will know, far better than you and I, what to look for.
We live in a litigious society so the company will most assuredly carry liability coverage. It's actually a federal law that they do. But don't rest on your laurels just yet. That coverage is the absolute basic. Any moving company worth its salt will offer you a higher level of coverage that will be more closely set to the actual value of your items.
I encourage you to review those policies closely and see if you think it is worth the cost. Losing all of your posessions to a car accident or some other unforeseen tragedy is really not what you need in this fairly stressful time.
While we're talking about coverage, it's a great idea to ensure that the folks handling all of your worldly possessions are also covered. Again, those higher quality companies will have worker's compensation programs in place that cover their employees. If they don't and someone is injured during the move or, worse yet, in your home, that liability may fall back on you. As with most of these points, it's always best to do a little homework.
We are living in the "gig" economy. I read an article recently about remote workers taking on second jobs without telling their primary employer in order to theoretically double their income. Outsourcing is very common and is something you should be aware of when it comes to your moving company. Do they handle the move with their own trucks and employees or do they outsource the work?
At the end of the day, you just want your stuff moved safely and on time. What you don't want to have to deal with is some third party company that lost your stuff and the company you hired is of no help. I think the old "hire local" adage is pertinent here.
One of the easier ways to reduce costs is to pack your belongings yourself. At the end of the day you are paying for the moving team's time, so if you can reduce that you can (often) save money. Make sure you discuss the details of this with the movers.
They may very well have restrictions on the type of boxes you can use and the type of packing materials used in those boxes. This can also impact the liability and insurance policies since the movers are not packing things, they may not have the same liability as if they had.
Lastly is the cost.
"We all enjoy getting a good deal so I encourage my buyers and sellers to ask about discounts and promotions before committing to a moving company," Badger Realty agent Eileen Difeo said. "The estimate is crucial as is asking about any add-on fees or charges."
Difeo is right. Check up front about any sort of distance or "awful driveway" fees. As we noted back up in the beginning, you want to learn about any and all fees up front. You may be surprised, but at least you'll be surprised ahead of time.