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How to Choose The Best Moving Company in 3 Easy Steps
Congratulations! You’re almost moved into your new home in North Carolina. You’ve sealed the deal and can’t wait to get started on this new journey. Now you’re probably wondering how you’re going to handle the next hurdle, moving.
Taking the right steps and doing a little research can save you money and headaches. We know how stressful moving can be, so we’ve made it easier for you.
We’ve outlined 3 easy steps that can help you determine which moving company is the right choice for you.
1. Movers (Carrier Company) vs. Brokers
The first step to finding a moving company that can fit your needs is understanding their differences. Moving companies are divided into two categories, carriers and brokers.
A moving broker is a company that will arrange for the transportation of your belongings by hiring carriers to provide the moving service. Like a middleman, brokers will handle billings and payment and receive part of the cut but will never come into contact with your possessions.
When hiring a broker it’s important you ask them to provide a full estimate that amounts for the entire move. Be wary of large initial deposits, and make sure they are registered to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration as they are required to do so. Since brokers act like agents that facilitate a carrier company to assist you during the move, they are generally not held responsible if there is damage to your property or belongings.
A carrier company, by contrast, is accountable for whatever happens to your belongings. Carriers are the expert movers that handle the entire process from providing an estimate, to scheduling the move, and sending you a bill. In some cases, they will send a professional to assess your property so the company can provide an accurate quote. Carrier companies are usually certified under a state association and are regulated by the state.
If you’re just getting started, ConsumersAdvocate.org has provided thorough research that can help you determine the best moving companies in the market as of 2019.
2. Take a look at their reputation and experience
Companies that provide interstate moves are required to be licensed by the Department of Transportation. You can verify their validity at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), their website allows you to view the company’s driving and safety records as well as filed complaints.
Intrastate moves are not managed by the FMCSA, so each state will have different regulations or code of ethics for your local mover. Verify if your local moving company is a certified member of a local organization.
For instance, all members of North Carolina’s Movers Association hold a certificate of exemption from the NC Utilities Commission and are authorized to do moves within the state of North Carolina. As part of the association, they’ve also signed a code of ethics.
You’re almost there! You’ve done your research and chosen a moving company that’s reliable and provides the services you need. Every individual has a unique moving situation with a different set of needs, that means the cost of your move may vary depending on distance and weight of the cargo.
According to this calculator, the average cost of a local move for a 2-3 bedroom household is $1,250 or more, while a long distance move can range anywhere up to $4,890 (per distance of 1,000 miles). Be sure to discuss extra fees with movers that may come with special services such as packaging or assembly of items.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recommends you contact the company and require your mover to prepare a written estimate for your entire move. If the company is registered with the FMCSA, they are required to oblige. This will safeguard you from any scams or last-minute inflated prices or hidden fees.
After determining the price, researching your moving company, and preparing for the move, you’ve set a date. Be present to answer questions and give directions to movers if needed until their finished and remember to keep a bill of charges paid, claims, and check of items delivered.
The FMCSA has a useful checklist that may help you during this process on your moving day.
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