Once you’ve purchased a home, you’ll need to hire a moving company to transport your belongings into your new house. Hiring movers is more than just finding someone to move your stuff from one place to the next. These tips will help you locate a reliable company to move your belongings safely and efficiently.

Determine your moving needs

Every move is unique, so it is important to know the costs involved. An in-person appointment with a reputable moving company will help you determine the extent of your move. An estimater should conduct a walk-through of your home to assess the contents and check all storage areas. It is important to understand and verify the estimate that you are given. To get the best value for your move, it is a good idea to get estimates from several companies.

You will be provided with one of the following estimates:

  • A binding estimate is an exact amount for the entire move based on the weight of your belongings, and you will only be responsible for paying that price. This estimate is usually a good option as it doesn’t include any surprises. Although binding estimates are more expensive than other options, you will still be charged the estimated amount, even if the items are lighter than expected.
  • A non-binding estimate is also based on weight. The final price you pay may differ from the initial quote, even though the estimate is as accurate as possible. You will need to pay an additional amount if your move is more expensive than you expected. However, in this situation, you will only need to pay the original estimate and an additional 10 percent at the time of delivery, with the remaining balance being billed to you after thirty days.
  • A not-to-exceed estimate is an agreement on the maximum amount you will have to pay. The price you pay will not exceed the estimate you receive. You won’t be required to pay any extra expenses or overages. Items that weigh less than the estimated weight can result in a lower price. This is a popular choice for long-distance moving.

Don’t hire on price alone

Everyone wants to save money. However, your move might be an opportunity for you to get the best price. If you’ve moved recently, check out online reviews and ask your friends and family for their opinions. Ask the moving company to provide references from those they have helped move in the past months. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), to find out more information about the company.

Be aware of extra fees

Moving firms charge additional fees. Before moving day arrives, make sure to ask your company about any such fees. You may be charged additional fees if the movers have to move your items up and down stairs or on elevators if you live in an apartment. If you live in a narrow area with limited parking, you might need to pay an additional fee to transport your belongings from a smaller truck to a larger van. Some companies charge extra for handling heavy items such as pianos or pool tables, or disassembling furniture. You will also need to pay for labor and materials if you hire someone to pack your items. If you pack your belongings yourself, the moving company will not be liable for any damages.

Consider moving insurance

All moving companies must assume responsibility for items they transport. There are many levels of liability. Before you decide which type of insurance is right for you, it is important to fully understand the coverages.

  • Released value coverage is the standard protection your items will receive during a move. However, it only guarantees to cover up to 60 cents per pound of a damaged item regardless of its value. This is good for furniture, but not for laptops or tablets.
  • Full value protection comes at an additional cost, but it will fully cover your items. You can get the current market value or a replacement item with the same item or the item’s cost of repair.
  • Separate liability insurance is offered by some movers and regulated by state law. This type of insurance pays for the amount purchased minus the basic carrier liability coverage, which is up to 60 cents per pound. It is important that you have a copy of the policy to understand what it covers.

Packing all your belongings into a truck and moving is just one part of the moving day. Check out this blog to assemble a survival kit to help make your first few days in your new home a success.