For most customers of moving companies, answering and asking educated, detailed questions via email or over the phone about the weight, how many, and the kinds of household items/boxes is plenty of information for a reputable mover. They should be able to provide an accurate estimate for picking up and moving your treasured belongings. However, some clients may want to have a representative of the moving company actually come out to conduct an in-home moving assessment of all the items they will want to move.
Our cousin was going to use a “mom and pop” mover. She said that upon arrival in her apartment, the mover took one look around and stated that he and his grandson would not be able to handle her move with his equipment and little van. Good thing she had him come out to survey her things. Initially he did think he could do the move because my cousin claimed she only had “a few boxes” over the phone. In retrospect, she should have disclosed all her furniture pieces up-front. As a result, she went with a BBB moving company that was more than qualified to handle all of her items. They did come out to her home to conduct an in home assessment before the final estimate too, after she insisted. Lesson learned.
Remember, after your initial quote, the call is a good basic screening process for the company. You should ask questions like how long they’ve been in business, whether they’re a member of the American Moving and Storage Association, whether they use their own equipment, references, etc. Ask as many questions as you need, in order to feel comfortable and assured. Once you’ve limited your search to 2-3 moving companies, call their references, look at their ratings with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and check for positive or negative reviews. Keep in mind, this process is much much easier by only dealing with prescreened professional movers. (like the ones you speak with after utilizing our form to obtain free moving quotes )
If you request it, most reputable movers will come directly to your home to do an inspection of your belongings before finalizing the estimate on paper. This will provide you with the most accurate estimate because they can get a visual on what they have to move, and the hazards involved. ( like the amount of steps) All of this will put the number and weight of your boxes in context for them.
Listing every single item that you intend to move is extremely important during the in-home moving assessment. Items you intend the movers to move that you miss will cost you money. Having a representative from the moving company by your side will give you piece of mind and you will be able to tell whether or not this company will be a good fit for you.
Warning: Be extremely careful of ridiculously low estimates. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true. Check out this informative video about moving scams.
Remember again, disclose everything you intend to move so there are no surprises at the end! Thorough communication with your movers is most critical prior to the start of the actual move.
Here is a helpful guide to help you negotiate moving quotes.