Moving Company Checklist in Arizona

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Real Estate

How to Hire a Moving Company in Arizona

It is an exciting yet stressful time to pack up and move! After the excitement dies down, the stress hits you: you’re moving. That means packing up everything that you own and trusting all of your worldly possessions to a moving company. You may ask, how do you select a moving company? Open Google or social media, put on a blindfold and throw a dart? Are you going to trust a stranger's opinion or an ad? Take a moment and think about proceeding with caution. Don't just throw up your hands in despair and decide it’s just easier to do it yourself, take the time to do some research. Better yet, check out some helpful insights!

The end of the month and the summertime are the busiest time for moving companies according to The American Moving and Storage Association. It is best to book more than 6 weeks in advance in order to secure a reservation and compare pricing. Many companies will offer discounts between October and April, according to the AMSA. Also, review where you are moving to check their busy season.

You have a couple of options when it comes to packing your belongings. You’ll need to decide whether you want to do the actual packing yourself and only use a moving company for the actual moving, or if you want to trust them to do the packing for you. It is best to interview moving companies and I have prepared a checklist for you.

Your first step is to consult your real estate agent to make a moving plan based on your listing timeline. If you are planning to move regardless of the sale, review any staging advice or touch ups needed to keep your home looking it's best. Secondly, you may want to reach out to a friend who has moved recently. Ask how their experience was and if they encountered any issues.

Interview checklist: 

  • Licensing and bonding. The Interstate Commerce Commission offers a pamphlet called “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move.” Call your local ICC office for a copy if you’re moving out of state.
  • Ask about Local moving costs. These are usually calculated by adding the hours the truck is used multiplied an hourly rate.
  • If you are traveling out of town, ask for Long-distance costs. These are calculated on the total weight of your shipment and the distance traveled.
  • Content Packing. These costs are not included in a basic moving bid. Ask for the price up front to avoid any confusion. If you opt to have the company do the packing, they will inventory your stuff and describe any existing damage. Ask for a copy of the inventory form.
  • Types of Payment. Most movers only accept money orders or certified checks. Find out in advance, because movers will not unload until you pay them. Tipping the driver is optional.
  • Company Reputation. Check out the Better Business Bureau website and the Arizona department of consumer affairs website to find out if any complaints have been registered against the company. Ask for and actually contact references. Ask for an ICC performance report, which movers are required to file annually. Since moving companies prepare their own reports, however, be aware that unless there are gross misstatements, the reports go unchallenged. Find out if the company is a member of the International Association of Movers , which requires members to meet certain standards.
  • Storage Costs. These costs are also separate from the moving costs, and loading and unloading from storage is also extra. Have the price put in writing in advance.
  • Ensure that you have written bids. Remember that the bid is a ballpark estimate and plan accordingly. When talking to references, ask how close their bid was to the final cost. Be sure to get estimates from at least three companies. Once a qualified estimator has gone over all your belongings, get the estimate in writing. You can ask for a binding estimate for an extra charge.

Questions to ask:

  • Are you registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration? Do you charge by the pound or by the hour?
  • How much insurance do you carry and what does it cover?
  • Are there any items you charge extra to move, such as fragile keepsakes, pianos, pool tables and the like?
  • Are you bonded?
  • Do you track your shipments, and can I find out the location of my belongings during the move?

Once you’ve hired a mover, there’s still more work to be completed.

  • Make a checklist for yourself and others in the family of things to do every week for eight weeks prior to the move. Stay as organized as possible.
  • Check with the moving company about how many movers are assigned to you. It is preferable to assign three movers to you—two to load and unload and one to guard the truck to prevent theft.
  • Contact your insurance agent about your liability insurance. Does your current homeowner’s policy cover your possessions during a move? Moving companies’ basic insurance coverage usually allows a set amount per pound per item, and it’s usually not enough, so find out how much the company carries and then buy extra insurance if necessary. Remember that most companies don’t accept liability for breakage of any items you pack yourself.
  • Confirm the arrangements with the moving company a couple of days before your move.

Feeling overwhelmed? A plan of action is always important, and the AZ Real Experts have the experience and knowledge to assist you in that plan! Reach out anytime for advice or a consultation about your next move.