How to Hire a Mover- 7 Tips

Home Stager with Room Service Home Staging

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.  




Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate 10/24/2015 02:42 AM
  2. Roy Kelley 09/10/2015 07:00 PM
  3. Joyce Marsh 09/11/2015 10:34 PM
Home Selling
Florida Palm Beach County
The Lounge at Active Rain
Addicted to Active Rain
Bartender, Make it a Double
moving tips

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

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.

Aug 31, 2015 12:45 AM #16
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

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

Aug 31, 2015 01:11 AM #17
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

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 

Aug 31, 2015 02:19 AM #18
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

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 

Aug 31, 2015 02:20 AM #19
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

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

Aug 31, 2015 02:34 AM #20
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

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.

Aug 31, 2015 02:34 AM #21
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

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 


Aug 31, 2015 02:44 AM #22
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

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 

Aug 31, 2015 02:47 AM #23
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

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 


Aug 31, 2015 02:51 AM #24
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

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.

Aug 31, 2015 05:41 AM #25
Robert Bob Gilbert
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties - Katy, TX
Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert

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

Aug 31, 2015 05:42 AM #26
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


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

Aug 31, 2015 06:47 AM #27
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

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

Aug 31, 2015 08:54 AM #28
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

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.

Aug 31, 2015 11:56 AM #29
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC


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

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Aug 31, 2015 11:57 AM #30
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

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.

Aug 31, 2015 01:21 PM #31
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

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

Aug 31, 2015 03:41 PM #32
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

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 ...


Sep 01, 2015 06:44 AM #33
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

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

Sep 02, 2015 11:43 AM #34
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

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? 

Sep 03, 2015 02:12 PM #35
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Kathy Streib

Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224
Have a question about Home Staging?
Spam prevention

Additional Information