Did you know that the average American will move approximately 10 times during his or her lifetime? Choosing the right local movers can be the difference between chaos and a stress-free move. Usually, it’s because we need more space, got a new job, or are downsizing. Whatever the reason for your move take comfort knowing you’re not alone. Millions of other Americans are taking on the challenge of moving this summer too. Many consider moving to be one of life’s most stressful and least fun events, especially the actual process of getting all your stuff from point A to point B.
Once you’ve made the big decision to pull up stakes and then figure out all those important details such as where you will work, where you will live, and where the kids will go to school, choosing the right local movers may just be an afterthought. But don’t skimp on this last detail. Why? While the right LA movers can make for a smooth move, choosing the wrong movers Los Angeles can make your relocation a nightmare. How can you make sure that this — or worse — won’t happen to you during your move? Here are some tips from our best local movers. We want to make sure you know how to pick the right LA movers for you. To help you do so, we have prepared a helpful list of thoughts and insights that you might want to consider when choosing professional packers and movers.
The best professional local movers are not so hard to find. They have a strong social media presence and helpful websites. They have a multitude of positive reviews across several online platforms. Many realty websites also have helpful tips on selecting the best local movers. But perhaps the most important way to find the best LA movers is the simplest: word of mouth. So, the first thing you should do is to ask for a recommendation from someone who has moved before. Ask friends, coworkers, and local real estate agents. Look in the phone book for local movers Los Angeles that have offices near your home.
You are going to want to get an in-person estimate of how much your move will cost. Don’t rely on any estimate that comes from someone who hasn’t looked in every one of your closets. Don’t assume that big-name companies are best. Do not get estimates through websites that offer to “find you the best local movers.” Find the packers and movers yourself and avoid the numerous scams associated with some of these sites. And don’t use household-goods brokerage services that find a moving company for you―they are not regulated by the laws that LA movers must follow.
Local movers must be licensed, bonded, and insured
All moving companies are required by law to be licensed, bonded, and insured. These certifications allow you to rest assured that you are working with legitimate and professional local movers. This information will likely be displayed on the company’s website. If you don’t see a note about being licensed, bonded, and insured, just call them and request a proof. On the other hand, make sure you check government and independent sources — not just the local movers’ website — to verify licenses and references.
While the local movers may boldly claim on its website to have the right credentials, that may not be the case. You can find instances of packers and movers using the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and AMSA logo, but they aren’t members.
Get more than few estimates
Get at least three written in-home estimates. Be suspicious if an estimate is unusually low or if the local movers provide an estimate over the phone or online without sending a representative to scope out the job. It may be a sign of a scam. While nonbinding estimates are legal (as long as they’re given free), as the U.S. Department of Transportation moving guide warns, you should expect the final cost to be more than the estimate. For moves within the same state, rules about estimates vary: Some states require that movers give a written and signed binding estimate; others forbid them to.
Either way, estimates for these local movers are based on the amount of time the move will take. The estimate may be a combined document that, when signed by you and the local movers representative, serves as your order for service and bill of lading, too. These, along with the inventory list created when your goods are loaded, are the basic documents any mover should provide you with. Make sure you see the words “written binding estimate” up top, as well as the mover’s signature with a date at the bottom.
For an in-state move, for which you can’t get a binding estimate, you should still get a written estimate that sets out the hourly rates and any additional costs you may incur (for supplies, tolls, driving time to and from the mover’s facilities). If you’re not sure about anything in the estimate, call and ask. And have the LA movers send you a revised written estimate if necessary―don’t just take someone’s word for anything.
Get everything in writing
You should get estimates from more than one LA movers, and make sure those estimates include everything in your home you want to be moved. That includes things in the attic, garage, backyard, shed, crawl space, basement, underneath and behind furniture, and inside every closet and piece of storage furniture. If you point to several things during the estimating process and say, “That will be gone before the move,” and they are not, your cost will be higher. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, recommends that the estimate is in writing and clearly describes all the charges. Do not accept verbal estimates. Along with a binding estimate, the FMCSA recommends that you get these additional documents from the local movers on moving day:
- Bill of lading — a receipt for your belongings and a contract between you and the packers and movers. Do not sign it if there’s anything in there you don’t understand.
- Order for service — a document that authorizes the carrier to transport your household items from one location to another.
- Inventory list — a receipt showing each item and its condition before the move.
Be assured you’re insured
While your local movers are liable for your belongings as they’re being handled and transported by the company’s employees, there are different levels of liability or valuation. You need to understand the level that will apply for your move. In-state local movers are subject to state insurance requirements, so make sure you ask about coverage when using a local carrier. Don’t ever sign anything that contains language about “releasing” or “discharging” your packers and movers from liability. If you have accumulated a lifetime of household valuables such as high-end artwork, clothing, kitchenware, and bedroom furniture, then fork over the big bucks for Full Value Protection Insurance.
Otherwise, your LA movers assume liability for no more than 60 cents per pound per item. While it’s unlikely there will be a disaster, unexpected things can happen; like the time our friends watched helplessly as their fully loaded moving truck rolled down the driveway, crashed into a tree, and then promptly burst into flames.
Read reviews and complaints
In today’s age, businesses have an online presence, and they continuously strive to improve it. Before hiring local movers, read their reviews on Google, Yelp, and BBB, etc. See what other customers are saying about the local movers by searching the web with the company name and such terms as “complaints” and “reviews.” Find out whether the company has a report with the Better Business Bureau, which has reviews of more than 20,000 moving-related companies. Look at the letter grade the BBB has assigned the packers and movers and read about any complaints, reviews, and government actions.
If you come across considerable consistent positive reviews over a good period of time that gives you good reason to believe they will take good care with your move as well. Reputable local movers should also have a user-friendly and informative website.
Be wary of large deposit requirements
A moving company shouldn’t require a deposit of more than 20 percent of the estimated cost of the move, and many won’t require any payment until your belongings are delivered. Put any deposits or other payments on a credit card, so you can contest the charge if there’s wrongdoing. If local movers hold your possessions hostage to force you to pay more, try contacting the police, who may be willing to help.
If you have a problem with LA movers, file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and, for an interstate move, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. If the local movers are
member of the American Moving & Storage Association, file a complaint with that organization as well.
Ask a lot of questions
Once you get all the licenses and paperwork checked and in order, local movers say your job still isn’t done. Make sure the movers Los Angeles provides answers to the following questions.
- How long have the local movers been in the moving business?
- Does the company do background checks on the packers and movers who do the moving?
- Does the company hire day labor or temp help?
- Will the company transfer the property to another company or crew during the move?
- Do the local movers Los Angeles guarantee delivery on the date you want (or need)?
- Do the local movers have a dispute settlement program?
The bottom line is that you need to be comfortable with all the answers you get from the packers and movers and trust the company. After all, they will be going through your personal things and be part of your life for a couple of days. Moving is a stressful time, and the local movers should be calm and make it easier for you.
So, you’ve done your research. You’ve confirmed that your local movers are licensed, bonded, and insured. You have looked through their website, social media, and online reviews. And you know what moving-related services they offer such as packing and storage. But what’s next? How do you actually select the best local movers Los Angeles to help with your relocation? The next step is to carefully scrutinize the information they have provided to you. Does their estimate look accurate compared to the list of inventory items that you submitted to them? Local movers should be transparent about all of their costs.
Make sure that their estimate includes moving supplies such as blankets and shrink wrap. Also, be sure that their travel time is noted. You don’t want any surprises on your final bill! Finally, call and speak with the Customer Service Representatives at your moving company. They should be happy and helpful. If their Office Team isn’t willing to go above and beyond to make you comfortable in the days or weeks leading up to your move day, chances are the local movers that arrive to perform the move will fall below your expectations.
Moving to a new house or office is indeed a stressful job, but hiring professional local movers can take away the worries. However, it can be challenging to choose the right packers and movers owing to the vast availability of options. You may come across many moving services by looking for local movers Los Angeles. But the actual job is to determine whether or not the local movers are reliable. To summarize go ahead and book with a company if the moving estimate fits your budget and LA movers were referred by friends or family and/or have great reviews and can be verified as the licensed movers Los Angeles then you can feel confident in hiring them for your move. Get your free moving quote today!