Today’s guest column is written by Haley Kieser, a native to Arizona. She loves reading, writing and sharing information with others. In her spare time, you can find her exploring the outdoors, tackling a DIY project, or getting creative. Kieser currently covers the moving industry for You Move Me.

Let’s not beat around the bush. Moving can be a stressful, time-consuming and frustrating experience. The excitement of relocating to your new home can be quickly perturbed by the annoyances of moving day, which is why most homeowners choose to employ a moving company to do the job for them.

Movers are more efficient, faster and typically stronger than the Average Joe. That's why they can help lift the burden (literally) of taking several days to do the job yourself.

Related: Upgrading: 4 Tips for Moving Out of Your Starter Home

However, your personal belongings are important to you, and, as such, it doesn’t do any good to hire a mediocre moving team that might damage your delicate items or break irreplaceable heirlooms. If you’re new to the moving game, here are five important questions to ask any company you’re seeking to employ:

Do you have any references?

No matter what job you’re looking to hire someone for, references are a large part of what secures your trust and comfort in their ability to perform the task effectively. When looking for movers, be sure to ask the company if they can provide references or a link to some reviews of their business, just to be sure they’re legit. Additionally, whether they’re references or reviews, make sure to secure multiple of either to be sure you can trust them.

What specific services do you offer?

Moving companies vary in terms of what they're willing to do for you. There are some companies that might refuse to move large items, such as grand pianos or air hockey tables, and only provide the lifting and packing of smaller items. Before you call up a moving company, be sure to know exactly what items you will need to have moved. If you ask questions, and the response is anything but what you’re looking for, at the very least, you should look around for better options.

Also, you might only want a company to do one or two things for you, such as load up a truck you've rented yourself. Some companies don’t come out to your house for less than an entire moving job, so be specific when it comes to what you're looking for, and don’t be afraid to be picky.

Do you offer in-home estimates?

Knowing what needs to be moved is one thing but understanding the cost of labor to get the job done is another. Finding a company that will come out to your place and give you an estimate is a great way to compare different companies in your area, as well as provide a safeguard against possible price-gouging. Be sure to get everything in writing and secure the departure and arrival dates to avoid any potential hiccups that may hinder your progress along the way. In-home estimates are also a great way to figure out if the company can move a larger item that may be in question.

Will you draw up an inventory of my items?

Apart from the cost of the actual move, this is perhaps the most important question to ask. Moving is not only expensive; it's also the surest way to lose something you can’t replace. The countless stories of a child’s lost teddy bear or a favorite lamp go on and on. Finding a moving company that will create a detailed and organized list of your stuff will ensure that it all arrives safely and securely, and that nothing is lost in the process. Perhaps even more valuable is the time, energy and stress you’ll save yourself by having a team do it for you.

What happens if something is damaged?

You’ve chosen a company you can trust and afford, but what will the company do if they accidentally break something of yours? Be sure to ask what the company’s policy is on this subject. Most offer optional coverage packages to repair or replace items that are damaged or broken, and it would be a smart idea to purchase it. Unfortunately, the more complete the coverage, the more expensive it will be, but in the long run, the smart move is to get the best coverage you can for the items you’re moving and feel the relaxation that comes with not worrying about your stuff.

Nowadays, it's hard to go wrong with a moving company if you simply put in the time to make sure they're a good fit. By taking the time to ask these questions and compare different companies, you’ll feel all the better for having done it. Your new home and new life await, so get your things there in the safest and most effective way possible.

Visit blog.rismedia.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from blog.rismedia.com with permission of the RISMedia.

 

House to House is distributed weekly by the Arkansas REALTORS Association. For more information on homeownership in Arkansas, readers may visit www.ArkansasRealtors.com