If you’re looking to relocate within the Northern Virginia region, it’s wise to choose local Northern Virginia movers. Even within that geographic range, however, your choices can feel a bit overwhelming. With that in mind, here are the top eight mistakes you want to avoid whenever you’re looking for reputable Northern Virginia moving companies.
Looking for Northern Virginia Movers? Here Are the Major Mistakes to Avoid
1. Not Getting an In-Home Moving Estimate…or Not Getting Enough
Moving estimates are a vital step in the moving process, and not getting one is an easy way to get overcharged or to work with a less-than-qualified moving company.
Remember the rule of three. In the world of moving, that means you want to get at least three in-home estimates. Typically a moving company will perform this on-site estimate for free, so you shouldn’t be out anything but your time.
Other In-Home Moving Estimate Mistakes
- Not showing the movers absolutely everything they are meant to move. If the movers don’t see everything during an in-home estimate, they have no way of providing the most accurate estimate possible.
- Not asking questions if you’re confused. If you don’t understand something a mover says, ask for clarification! If you’re shy about this, you could end up misunderstanding something important about pricing, insurance, or what’s expected of you during the moving process.
2. Not Getting a Contract with Your Northern Virginia Moving Company
Working with Fairfax movers or any other Northern Virginia moving outfit follows the same rules as any business transaction. That means getting a clear, mutually agreed upon contract is essential. This protects all parties and makes expectations clear and explicit.
3. Not Shopping Around for Moving Companies in Northern Virginia
If you were looking for a big-ticket item, you wouldn’t jump at the first business you came across that offered it. You’d do your research, comparing prices, reviews, and services offered. Moving is no exception.
Remember, don’t be too quick to sign the lowest price you can find. This could be an indication of inexperienced workers, and you might end up paying more than you thought through damaged or lost items or a move that simply takes longer (resulting in more billable hours).
4. Giving a Large Down Payment to Reserve Service with the Local Movers
Every moving company is a little bit different, but in general you shouldn’t have to part with a large, nonrefundable down payment. Booking far ahead is certainly advised because reputable movers do tend to fill up quickly, but paying that nonrefundable deposit before any work has been done is not generally considered standard practice in the moving industry.
You’re more likely to come up against a deposit in peak season (summer, for example), but it should still be refundable with adequate notice of cancellation.
5. Moving During the Busiest Season
You aren’t always going to have control over when you have to move. However, if you can manipulate your move date, avoid peak season (generally about May to October). An off-season move can be cheaper, and reputable and experienced Northern Virginia moving companies will be less likely to be fully booked outside these busy months.
6. Not Working with a Company Affiliated with and Approved by the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA)
The AMSA’s seal of approval (like any singular thing) doesn’t guarantee quality or a problem-free move, but it’s a very positive sign if that company is a member in good standing.
7. Working with a Moving Broker Rather Than an Actual Moving Company
Moving brokers are essentially middlemen. They put you in contact with the actual moving company and take a fee for that service. Is there anything wrong with brokers in theory? No. But there are some potential issues.
- You aren’t in contact with the actual people who will be performing your move. That means you don’t know how honest, trustworthy, or experienced the movers themselves will be.
- With so many online resources, you can do your own research and find your own moving companies. You don’t need to rely on and pay a broker to go through that process for you.
8. Not Choosing a Full-Service Moving Company
Full-service moving companies are one-stop shops. You can use any or all of their services. That includes packing, moving, storage, and more. The benefit of full-service companies has to do with the unpredictable nature of moving. You might not think you need a moving storage company, but if plans change, it’s nice to know you have that option for short-term storage.
For more information about pitfalls and mistakes to avoid in the moving process and other helpful moving tips, please feel free to contact a representative of All Star Movers, a Fairfax moving company with over thirty years in the industry.