How to Choose a Residential Moving Company
If you’re moving away from Miami Beach, or just moving to a different local neighborhood, trying to do it yourself is more trouble than it’s worth. Loading up boxes and moving heavy furniture is a hassle, and hiring residential movers is well worth the cost. But the Miami area is home to numerous companies that provide residential moving services, so how do you choose? These tips can help you pick a reputable professional moving company for your upcoming move.
Start ahead of time.
Residential moving companies are usually booked well in advance, so you’ll need to make arrangements before the date of your move.
Get recommendations from other people.
There’s a reason why word of mouth is considered one of the best forms of marketing: companies have to genuinely earn it. The best place to find out more about local moving companies is to ask around. Family members, friends, neighbors, and real estate agents can recommend a company with a good reputation.
Do an initial screening and background check.
Movingscams.com is a consumer advocacy site that blacklists companies that have large numbers of consumer complaints (not just one or two bad reviews). Ripoff Report and the Better Business Bureau are also good places to look up companies. If you’re not sure about a moving company, you can also call or email the American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA) to see if the company is a member. AMSA membership is completely voluntary for moving companies, but members must abide by the organization’s standards.
Call more than one company for an in-home estimate.
Moving companies offer nonbinding estimates for their services. They’ll look through your home and let you know approximately what you can expect to pay for your move. You may end up paying slightly more than the estimate you get, but it gives you a good idea of what your approximate costs will be. If you’re moving to another state, residential moving companies are allowed to charge money for a binding estimate. Binding estimates are final, and the company cannot charge more on top of it. However, many companies will give binding estimates for free anyway. If you’re moving within the same state, state rules about charging for estimates can vary.
In Florida, estimates from moving companies must follow legal guidelines put forth in Florida Statute 507.5. This includes an itemized breakdown, description, and cost total for loading, transportation, unloading, and any other additional services.
Show the estimators everything you want moved.
If you want your estimate to be as accurate as possible, you need to show the estimators everything, including what’s in garages, basements, and attics. If moving day comes and you have more stuff than the moving company originally thought, they can challenge the estimate and charge more. They will also need to look at aspects of your home that might complicate the moving process, like spiral staircases, elevators, or an unusually long distance from the front door to the curb.
Be wary of unusually low bids.
It’s fine to look for the best possible deal, but it’s suspicious if a residential moving company’s bid is much lower than the others. Estimates in Florida must be itemized, so if you’re not sure about something, you can call them and ask. It’s possible that it’s some kind of moving scam.
Once you’ve selected a company, double check that they’re licensed and insured.
You can do this by going to safersys.org, a website owned by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). You can find the company by entering their US Department of Transportation number. This will show you detailed information like the number of trucks and drivers, whether they’ve failed any inspections or been involved any any collisions, their safety rating, and their insurance information.
Residential Moving in Miami Beach
At Orange Movers, we provide residential moving services for homeowners and renters in Miami Beach. To find out more, call us any time, or fill out our online contact form to get in touch with one of our helpful representatives.