shutterstock_172365995When you’re making a move, choosing a competent and reliable moving services company is one of the most important decisions you face. Pick the right one to get your household belongings from point A to B and you eliminate a big stressor from the process; choose the wrong one and your relocation can become a nightmare. Here are some great tips to help you choose the best moving services your budget allows.

License, Please

Any mover you choose should be licensed. License requirements differ depending on whether or not you are moving out of state. Moving services that transport your possessions across state lines must be licensed with the federal government and have a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) number. To see if your mover meets state and federal requirements, check the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website. For in-state moves, contact your state’s moving association.

National or Local?

Experts recommend that for in-state moves you stick with a local or regional business for your move. If problems arise during your move, it’s often easier to get them quickly resolved. For interstate moves, a national moving company is probably your best bet. In either case, good research into any moving services you’re considering will avert problems and losses.

Ask for Estimates

Get estimates from at least three moving services and make sure the estimates they submit include everything in your home:

  • Each room, inventoried
  • Attic and garage
  • Yard and shed
  • Crawl space and basement
  • Closet contents

Do not accept verbal estimates! The FMCSA recommends the estimates be in writing, binding, and clearly spell out all the charges. It also suggests you get these additional documents come moving day:

  • Order for service. This document authorizes a carrier to transport your household contents from one location to another.
  • Bill of lading. This is the contract between you and the mover and is a receipt for your belongings. Make sure you completely understand it before signing.
  • Inventory list. This receipt lists each items and indicates its condition prior to the move.

Ask Questions

Legitimate moving services know you need to feel they are trustworthy. Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions:

  • How long have you been in business?
  • Is your company insured?
  • Do you hire temp or day labor help?
  • Does your company perform background checks on the movers?
  • Do you use subcontractors, or transfer my belongings to another company or crew?
  • Do you guarantee delivery on a certain date?
  • Does your moving service have a dispute settlement program?

Pay careful attention to the answers and choose a moving services provider who remains calm and professional during the interview process.

Finally, read online reviews. It’s the rare company that doesn’t have at least a few unhappy customers, so what is key is how the moving service dealt with a complaint and if the customer was satisfied with the result. Everyone dreams of a smooth and stress-free moving day and following these steps will ensure that dream comes true for you.