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How to Hire a Mover- 7 Tips

How to Hire a Mover- 7 Tips

People will tell you that selling your house is the most stressful thing youtips for hiring a mover can do, but right up there is the actual move itself.  How do you hire the right moving company?

Let’s face it, they’re going to be transporting your household goods - clothes, furniture, art- in that big moving van.  As you see it drive away, you can do more than just hope to see it again at your new address.

It begins with hiring a good mover… not the cheapest, but a professional, licensed experienced mover with a good track record.

Here are 7 tips to help you hire a moving professional.

1.Ask for recommendations from friends and local Facebook sites like  Gotta Guy in South Florida.

2. Do some preliminary investigative work online, call the Better Business Bureau, etc.

3. Interview at least 3 companies, and have their Estimators out so that you can ask them questions, and they can see what you have to move.

What to ask them * see below

Their full company name, address, website address, and email.

Ask for names and addresses of references

Get their USDOT (US Department of Transportation) license number as well as their Motor Carrier License Numbers

Ask them if there are charges for additional items not covered that you need to be aware of.


You should receive a USDOT booklet that informs you of your full rights.  If your move is intrastate, then their moves are regulated by the state’s department of transportation.

What you need to tell them-

Show them everything that you will be moving.

In several of our moves, the company has had to bring out a crew to build crates for a mounted turkey (in flight). If they aren’t aware of these special items, it could delay the move as well as add charges that you weren’t prepared for.

If you are moving a boat, for example, they will need to know.

Our bass boat was moved inside the moving van and had a special structure built around it so that boxes, etc could also be loaded.

Let them know of special considerations at your new home…. stairs, an unusually long and winding route to the building for example or even a street where it will be difficult for the van to maneuver or turn around.  Many condominium associations, for example,  will not allow moving trucks after a certain hour in the day.


4. Find out what kind of insurance the company offers.  What I Read your contracthave found is that the company does not cover what they don’t pack.  For example, if you pack your china and crystal yourself, it may not be covered for breakage by the moving company.

Ask your own insurance company what, if anything, it will cover in your move. Some will cover your personal belongings while they are in transit.

5. Read, know and keep your contract or bill of lading.

You know how you sometimes skim a contract.  Well now is not the time to do that.  Make sure you understand what is and is not covered.  

Make sure it has your correct addresses (where you are now, and where you’re going) and contact information.

Make sure you understand how payment is accepted, when it is due, and what the move date is.

If you have a question, ask it.  If your gut says something is wrong, trust it.

6. Before you sign off on the pick up and delivery day, make sure! You could incur extra charges, for rescheduling or storage, for example, if you have to reschedule.


7. Ask who will be packing your household goods.

Some companies have their own crews whose responsibility is packing up houses.  

Ask who will load and unload the van. In our moves, the Driver hired a local crew to load while he supervised.  And, hired a crew to off-load  at the final destination.


*I asked Janelle Dowley, owner of  TWO MEN AND A TRUCK-PALM BEACH,  what questions a consumer should ask when hiring a moving company.  These are primarily for a local move but are still applicable for most any household move.

Ask if….

They are licensed by the State and/or County as well as the U.S. Dept. of Transportation

Accredited by Better Business Bureau

Will you receive a detailed written estimate ( or just a general price quote)

Does the company use day labor or independent contractors or their own employees

Do they do background checks and random drug testing

Is pricing done by weight (which final bill  is determined after the truck is loaded) or by time(what are the increments 15 mins or half hour)

Any additional charges like pads, stretchwrap, dollies, gas, tax ( some places have a fuel charge of 10% and it’s based on the total charge not just drive)

If you need boxes and supplies how are they charged- can you return any unused supplies.


Here are some additional sites for you to check:

Better Business Bureau

American Moving and Storage Association (

Rip-Off Report  (


Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (


Don’t find yourself in the position of having your household goods held hostage. Do your homework before you hire a mover.  Don’t pick strictly by who charges less.



This post was written at the request of Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Realtor (503)755-2905 my very good ActiveRain friend.  



 Kathy Streib 

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Comment balloon 35 commentsKathy Streib • August 30 2015 03:45PM


Good morning, Kathy -- what a comprehensive post about a critical part of the home sale process.  

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 almost 5 years ago

Good morning Kathy.  When we sold our home last year we used two Men and a Truck.  We were very pleased with the professional way they handled our move the storage.  I would recommend them to anyone.

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) almost 5 years ago

Good morning, Kathy Streib most homeowners don't know where to start or who to call for their move.....this is a good guide for all sellers.... my moves were all local and I timed them so I could give away my present furniture and buy house, new furniture....that saves dealing with moving companies....

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) almost 5 years ago

Kathy - We just had a presentation about this with a networking group and I think moving gets overshadowed by all the work to get to closing.  There are so many things mentioned here that can not be overlooked when moving your entire life.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) almost 5 years ago

Kathy: An excellent primer to assist consumers who are gearing up for a move. Knowing who to call helps tremendously. 

Posted by Anita Clark, Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA (Coldwell Banker Access Realty ~ 478.960.8055) almost 5 years ago

Thanks Kathy.  This is such a great list to have for any one about to hire movers.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) almost 5 years ago

This is some great advice.  I've heard a lot of horror stories about movers...and I'm not just talking about broken items.  I've had a few with stolen and hijacked stuff.  You really have to be careful.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) almost 5 years ago

This is such excellent advice BARFF.  Great you let people know how to do their due diligence when it comes to hiring movers.  I've used the same movers the last  four moves......they are wonderful!

Posted by Roger D. Mucci, Lets shake things up at your home today! (Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092) almost 5 years ago

Perfect my favorite moving company covers these. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Donald Urschalitz, P.A. Realtor ABR RSPS North Palm Beach County (Lubeck Realty Group) almost 5 years ago

A good subject not talked about enough...thank you

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) almost 5 years ago

Picking the right company is so important as this is where i have head horror stories when you hire the wrong one. 

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) almost 5 years ago

Good morning Kathy. This is an excellent and thorough post about how to get the mover into place. Great job.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) almost 5 years ago

Oh Kathy, you just made my life so much easierwith this post! I sure hope that it gets featured, this is of vital importance to so many of our clients. Thank you my dear friend, this is exactly what we all need and the research you did was incredible! Loved it!!! 

Posted by Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate, "Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905 (John L Scott Market Center) almost 5 years ago

Oh Kathy Streib This is a scary subject, even if you don't have a turkey in flight to move. All movers break things. Their insurance is probably the number one question to ask.

Bill Roberts

Posted by Bill Roberts, "Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner (Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate) almost 5 years ago

Kathy, I wish I had this post a couple of weeks ago. I would have sent it to my sister-in-law. Great information!

Posted by Janice Ankrett, Staging Professional (Janice Ankrett Home Staging) almost 5 years ago

Funny picture Kathy. Can't impress enough the importance of reading & knowing the terms of your contract. Not always a horror story but it can alleviate a lot of the mystery after the fact.

Posted by Kevin J. May, Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida (Florida Supreme Realty) almost 5 years ago

These are great tips!  I have heard so many horror stories about movers and I know some of them to stay away from, haha.

Posted by Brian England, MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ (Arizona Focus Realty) almost 5 years ago

Michael- I was lucky because our major moves were corporate which is a lot easier. Michael Jacobs 

James- I'll have to tell my friend that.  Our friends moved last year and I don't even remember the name of the company but they did a terrible job. James Dray 

BarbaraT- What I tell my clients is that most moving companies will charge by the weight.  So, if you think you won't need or want it in your new house, it's best to get rid of it now!  Barbara Todaro 

Grant- I agree with you.  We focus on getting the home sold but moving takes as much preparation.  Grant Schneider 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) almost 5 years ago

Anita- precisely, and it's always good to speak with several movers.  You just may learn something! Anita Clark 

Gabe- for my first move, I had no idea what I was doing. Gabe Sanders 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) almost 5 years ago

Kath, definitely much more to the selection than the cheapest price. Enjoy your day! 

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) almost 5 years ago

Kathy - this is excellent advice. When we were moving, I did most of this intuitively and it was shocking to find out that some companies were not licensed interstate, or their insurance had lapsed and so on... Scary; definitely worth the research time.

Posted by Olga Simoncelli, CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management (Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate) almost 5 years ago

Debbie- you are so right.  We've had very few broken items in our moves but our friend had so many items broken it was ridiculous. Debbie Gartner 

BARFF- there you go!!! You found the right team!  I'd bet that you were on top of what they were doing too!  Roger D. Mucci 

Donald- once you find a reputable mover stick with them! Donald Urschalitz 

Richie- you are very welcome! Richie Alan Naggar 

Scott- we hired locally when we moved from our apartment.  They tried to give us the "we'll have to charge you more because of how far your apt is from the van."   We told them adios, we'd rather move the stuff ourselves.  They dropped the charge and moved us. Scott Godzyk 


Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) almost 5 years ago

Sheila- thank you.  Although, I'd bet you have plenty of good notes from your own move. Sheila Anderson 

Gayle- just for you!  I hope your move is a smooth one! Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Realtor (503)755-2905 

Bill- yes, and even then you need to read everything carefully.  Oddly enough, the crate for the turkey kept getting bigger with each move!! Bill Roberts 

Janice- well, I hope that her move went smoothly. Janice Ankrett 

Kevin- as in most things in life, you need to know what you're signing!  Kevin J. May 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) almost 5 years ago

Brian- Thankfully, the moving companies are governed by state and national associations but you still have to check to see that they follow them. Brian England 

Wayne- I agree.  You have to invest in the protection of your goods! Wayne Martin 

Olga- there are many moving companies out there and you have to do your homework. Olga Simoncelli 


Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) almost 5 years ago

Hi Kathy - This is great advice. It has been my experience that there is wide variation in moving company practices and quality, and upfront research can go a long way toward avoiding unnecessary expense and unpleasant outcomes.

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) almost 5 years ago

Kathy, This is a very comprehensive post about choosing a mover and I will book mark this for future reference. 

Posted by Robert Bob Gilbert, Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties) almost 5 years ago


What a great post, something we all should bookmark, if we are planning a move in the near future.  A

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) almost 5 years ago

Great outline...too many people look at JUST the price !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) almost 5 years ago

Moving is one of the worst tasks that a family or individual will ever face.  Making sure you hire professionals for the job can make it so much better.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) almost 5 years ago


Your 7 moving tips are right on point . . . . Great post.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) almost 5 years ago

Kathy Streib excellent tips for many! I know many of my clients move locally only - however one who moved to TX had many issues.

With all this information and links I think now I am 'empowered' to help my clients.

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) almost 5 years ago

Kathy as usual you are spot on, when we were ready to move a little over a year ago we used the same seven point strategy and it was a successful move, Endre

Posted by Endre Barath, Jr., Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) almost 5 years ago

Great tips and suggestions for those about to embark on moving, Kathy Streib.  A little preliminary info and work go a long way to insuring a successful, safe move ...


Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) almost 5 years ago

Excellent advice for hiring movers Kathy!  It's important to do your homework!

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) almost 5 years ago

Kathy, I'm talking with the potential movers tomorrow at 10:30am. Wanted to know what's better, independent contractors or day laborers? Any thoughts? 

Posted by Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate, "Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905 (John L Scott Market Center) almost 5 years ago

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