Why Make Relocating More Stressful than It Needs to Be?
It has often been noted that relocating to a new community is the
number 3 stress-producing event in your life. Leaving behind trusted friends and
family, doctors, schools, shops, etc., and moving into a world of unknowns is an
adventure -- but can be scary and full of tension. And choosing the perfect home
in this strange new land is an important step -- as important as choosing a
Realtor who is the most qualified to assist you.
Many Realtors on the web label themselves as "relocation specialists." It is a term
that is very loosely used in the real estate community. Do not be mislead --
anyone can use that term. Always ask what training and qualifications the
Realtor has to qualify him or her for that title. A CRP Realtor, designated by
the Employee Relocation Council, will always identify him- or herself as a
Certified Relocation Professional or as having the CRP designation. So please be
an informed consumer.
Finding a Moving Service
We recommend that you select a carrier five to eight
weeks before you move. When talking with a potential moving company, keep in
mind whether you are moving locally, intrastate (within a single state), or
interstate (from one state to another). The type of move you are planning is
important; it will determine what regulations, licenses, and pricing structures
under which the van line must operate.
Ask friends, your employer, and
co-workers for recommendations, and check with the Better Business Bureau about
the company's standing.
If one or more of your items requires special
handling, like a piano, make sure that the mover has the experience and
equipment to do the job. Find out what they will not move, generally high value
items like coin collections, jewelry, or stocks and bonds. Movers also will not
move dangerous items such as corrosives, explosives and other
Get several written estimates.
The only way to get an accurate estimate is for the mover to come to your home
and see everything you want moved. Be sure to ask if there is a charge for an estimate.
Remember, unless you get a binding estimate, the final cost may be higher than the
original quoted price.
When comparing estimates, remember the cheapest company won't necessarily do the
best job. If one firm's estimate is lower than the others, then find out why. Are
the services and the mover's experience equivalent? Are all the estimates binding?
To keep down the cost, dispose
of unnecessary or hard-to-move items before you get an estimate. Reconsider
taking appliances, motor vehicles (boats, campers, motrocycles, etc.). If you
have wanted a new refrigerator, now may be the time to sell.
sure you understand the moving contract. Write "subject to further inspection
for concealed loss or damage" on the contract when you sign it to protect
yourself in case you find damage while unpacking.
There are three types
of insurance coverage that are industry standards. Be sure to ask movers to
price out all the options so you can make an informed decision. Make sure you
understand claims procedures.
Basic Liability, generally 60 cents per
pound per item, is often included at no additional charge, but does not cover
the full repair or replacement of a damaged article.
(or standard protection), an additional charge, insures your shipment based on
the weight and value of your possessions; however, with this type of insurance,
the mover is only responsible for the determined depreciated value of each
Full Value Replacement provides the most comprehensive coverage
(replacement or full repair) but requires a larger additional fee. Some movers
offer special deductible options that cost less but may leave you paying for
small losses outright.
Ask to see a copy of the mover's ICC (Interstate
Commerce Commission) Annual Performance Report. Interstate movers are required
to provide information about past performance and complaint handling procedures.
They are also required to provide you with a copy of an ICC publication about
your moving rights and responsibilities.
Make an inventory list and label
the contents of all boxes.
When the van arrives at your new location, be
ready to pay the charges so the crew can unload your shipment. Carefully check
your inventory list and mark any discrepancies on the driver's inventory list
before you sign it. Note any damage to the outside of cartons.
items of high value, such as silver or works of art, immediately.
want the movers to unpack for you, be sure to inform them prior to delivery. Ask
if they will dispose of empty cartons, etc.
If you choose to use a moving company, you can save hundreds of dollars by packing
some things yourself; however, the mover probably will not accept liability if
the items you packed are damaged during the move when there is no visible damage
to the exterior of boxes.
Pack heavy items in small boxes.
mirrors, glass-framed pictures and artwork with a protective glass tape and
Label all boxes clearly. Mark breakable items
Pack glassware in a carton specifically designed for that
purpose. Pack plates on their edges, not flat.