Finding the right moving company in Chester Springs isn’t easy. That’s true if you’re relocating to Chester County with a long-distance move, or even if you just bought a new house in Chester Springs—it’s still hard to choose.
Long-distance moves definitely add another dimension to the search.
The internet is great for finding googling simple questions—or, ya know, reading a Chester County real estate blog ::wink!::—but it’s not always a good place to find a moving company.
In fact, moving pros say that the best movers are those who are referred by others.
“Nearly all of the victims that contact us found their moving company on the Internet,” cautions the experts at MovingScam.com (did you know that website existed?? I didn’t).
“Moving Fraud” is a thing now?
To avoid becoming a victim of moving fraud, keep the following tips in mind:
- If the company won’t send someone to your home for an onsite inspection, forget about them.
- Find a moving company that has at least a 10-year history in the business.
- Avoid hiring a moving broker. This is a company that will sub-contract your job to another.
- Don’t hire a company whose rep fails to give you a “Your Rights and Responsibilities when you Move” pamphlet. It’s required by law if you’re moving from one state to another.
- Never pay a deposit up front.
- Don’t pay for the move until you’ve checked all of your belongings.
Once you’ve rounded up several movers who sound good, get the following information:
1. Ask for the company’s US DOT number
Believe it or not, there are hundreds of moving companies who lack something as basic as a license to transport belongings from one state to another. Those that are licensed will show up online, at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website.
Enter the company’s DOT number at the website and you can learn if its license and insurance coverages are current, the company’s size, safety record and crash information.
If your move will be within your current state, contact the state office which oversees moving companies. You can find a list of these at the FMCSA website.
2. How much will the company cover?
Get very clear on the valuation coverage the company offers. This represents the amount the company will pay if your belongings are lost or damaged while in its care.
Interstate movers are required to offer two types of valuation coverage, Full Value Protection and Released Value Protection.
It’s important to understand the difference between the two and you’ll find an explanation on the FMCSA’s website.
Check your homeowners insurance policy to determine if your household items are protected under it during a move.
If not, you may want to look into purchasing third-party liability insurance, especially if you’ll be moving high-value items.
3. Ask for an itemized list of all fees.
Insist on receiving a breakdown of all of the moving company’s charges, including surcharges for taking apart furniture, packing and unpacking and other miscellaneous charges.
If there are any charges you don’t understand, insist on a full explanation.
Don’t sign the contract until you understand everything in it, you’ve ensured the price is what you agreed to, the pickup and delivery dates are clearly listed, there are no blank spots and the representative has signed it.
The National Association of REALTORS suggests choosing from among the movers who are certified by the American Moving and Storage Association.
Bonus: ask your friends.
There really is no better way to find good help than by speaking to the Chester Springs moving company’s past clients…especially if those past clients are already your friends or family.
Ask around on Facebook to see which companies are recommended by your circle. Then ask for personal experiences. Find the good ones, and pick up the phone!