Hiring a moving company is an important job. Whether you’re staying in the neighborhood or starting a new chapter in a completely new locale, the mover you hire has a lot of responsibility. This is a company – and crew – that you’ll trust with all of your belongings, after all.

Of course, we’re not telling you all of this to add to the pressure. For many people, moving is overwhelming enough without considering the importance of making the right decision. The truth is, though, that hiring a great moving company will help take the pressure off. You’ll be able to relax, knowing everything is taken care of.

So how do you find the best mover for you? There are a few things to consider when you begin your search.

Let’s Ask Around

If your first stop is a Google search, you’ll likely find a seemingly endless list of movers to choose from. It’s very challenging to start narrowing your list and zero in on the best mover near you.

Instead, the best place to start when looking for a moving company is to ask for referrals. Chances are, your family, friends, or colleagues have used a moving company for their move. Ask around and receive firsthand experience from those you know and trust.

After you have a few recommendations, you can check sites like Google Maps or Yelp to read more reviews. Check what people say about their experience with the companies on your list. Keep an eye out for common complaints such as surprise fees or poor communication.

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Compare Quotes

Once you’ve narrowed it down a bit, compare quotes from your shortlist of movers. We recommend following the rule of threes and checking the price of three different moving companies. You may end up hiring your first choice mover, but at least you’ll make an informed decision and understand the market a bit better first.

Be Alert to Red Flags

When talking to your moving companies, stay alert to red flags. If you find the company hard to communicate with or inconsistent in their information, that’s a red flag. If they ask you for a deposit or payment up front, that’s a big red flag. A reputable company won’t ask you to pay before completing your move.

The best moving company for you should be responsive and reachable but not desperate for your business. If they seem too eager, you may wonder why. Check to be sure they can answer all of your questions and ask you enough questions to truly understand what you need so they can provide you with an accurate quote

A professional moving company should have its website and its trucks. If your moving company shows up in a rented truck, they are likely not a legitimate moving company.

Check for License and Insurance

Don’t ever hand over all of your possessions to a company that isn’t licensed and insured. Check the company’s credentials and request full disclosure of their license and insurance information.

If you’re moving out of state, verify the moving company’s license and request their US DOT number. These pieces of information should be available to you and are a compulsory legal part of doing business for interstate movers.

Check with your local consumer affairs office if you’re staying in your home state. No matter where you’re moving, you’ll need all of this information in the (hopefully unlikely) event that you need to file a claim against them.

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Review Their Track Record

You can quickly and easily check a moving company’s track record with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The BBB receives complaints about movers and maintains complete reports. By checking with them, you’ll get a bigger picture of what it’s like to work with the mover. We recommend sticking with moving companies accredited with the BBB or are in good standing in their records. If they aren’t listed, consider continuing your search.

Verify the Details

There are a couple of simple ways to verify a company’s professional status. Ask for a business card and check that their physical address is included. Pull up the moving company’s website – a professional mover will have their site. Look up their listed address to ensure it’s a valid and professional location. If the address listed on their card or website is residential, consider this information when considering allowing them to move your things.