If Hiring a Mover... PDF Print E-mail

If Hiring a Mover...

Typically, a good start in finding out who the best movers are in your area would be to begin asking friends about their experiences with the movers they have used. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau or other consumer organizations in your local area, or visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.  Also, look for moving companies who are members of the AMSA Certified Mover Program (American Moving & Storage Association).
Do your homework before you hire a moving service.   Some movers will estimate low to get your business – only to tack on additional charges at the end. Here are other things to remember:


A 'binding' vs. 'non-binding' estimate Under federal rules, moving companies can give you two different types of estimates. Be sure you know if you are getting a ‘non-binding’ or ‘binding’ estimate before signing anything.

The moving company cannot require payment of more than 10 percent above the original estimate upon delivery. Any additional charges will be due 30 days after delivery, based on an invoice from the moving company that transported your items.  Keep in mind that estimates are not always accurate; actual charges may exceed the estimate. Make sure all conditions, charges, and the final amount is written in the estimate/contract, as well as what additional charges may be assessed and on what basis.  

Binding estimate If the estimate is ‘binding’, A binding estimate specifies in advance the precise cost of the move, based on the services requested. If additional services were required, such as additional packing or unpacking, or a “shuttle” to or from a location that could not be reached with a full-size van, those payments will be due 30 days after delivery.


Decisions, decisions...

Guidelines to help when deciding on which moving company to hire... 

-You should seek estimates from at least three different movers. You should not disclose any information to the different movers about their competitors, as it may affect the accuracy of their estimates. 

-Will the movers pack for you?  What items won’t they move? 

-Read all documents the moving company gives you. 

-Get everything in writing.

-Never agree to pay cash.  (Red flag!)  Use a credit card company that will reimburse you in case of a fraudulent transaction.

-Inform the moving company of how many stairs are at your new home. 

-Movers are limited by law regarding what they can give you for lost or damaged goods.  To cover potential damage, check existing homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy.

-Ask about expected gratuities and write it into the contract.  

-Ask about expected gratuities and write it into the contract. 

-Have the contract include a guarantee of how many hours the job will take. Allowing an overrun of no more than 10%. 

Once you’ve hired a moving company...

-You have the right to be present each time your shipment is weighed. Be sure that the billable weight of your household goods does not include the weight of the vehicle.  Get a certified weight ticket for your records.

-Watch loading and unloading and examine all items carefully before signing a receipt.  Is it all there?  Is there any damage caused from the move?  Document before signing a receipt. 

-Don’t make final payment until all contractual obligations are met and you're satisfied that you have been charged for the correct weight and service. Be careful when you are asked to sign documents once your property has been delivered.  

-Unless you purchase additional insurance, be aware that most company insurance policies base reimbursement on the weight of your goods. If a box of expensive crystals or antique china is broken in a move, you will be offered a reimbursement based on how many pounds those items weighed, not on their value.  

-Wait until your move has concluded to file a complaint. Movers must offer a dispute settlement program as an alternative means of settling loss or damage claims (though details vary per mover - ask about this). You may request complaint information about movers from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration under the Freedom of Information Act. You may be assessed a fee to obtain this information.

For more information and referrals please AMSA’s website.  

IMPORTANT:  Don’t use a mover to transport confidential information, such as credit card statements, bank statements, blank checks, canceled checks, and valuables, such as cash, jewelry or other valuables. Transport these items yourself.




The Northern Fairfield County Association of Realtors® (NFCAR) offers this information strictly as a guide to assist in the task of residential moving.  Under no terms may NFCAR, its Board of Directors, staff, nor membership may be held responsible nor liable for any inaccuracies, complications, or problems associated with your move, contracts, or transactions.     







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