Companies that offer relocation and moving services abound and most offer free moving prices or quotes, but selecting the right mover from all the available possibilities can be a challenge.
Before contacting a moving company it is a good idea to decide just what is to be moved and what will be given away, sold or discarded. Know in advance just what relocation and moving services you want the mover to perform before taking the next step of contacting the companies being considered for the work. Never accept a phone estimate and do not hire a company which offers one.

Ask for an estimate and if possible arrange for a company representative to check your home before getting an estimate in writing. Companies that provide relocation and moving services are not required to provide estimates, but most will do so if asked. Make sure you find out how long the estimate will be honored and ask if the estimate is binding or non-binding. A binding estimate will clearly describe the shipment and what relocation and moving services are to be provided, and you will not be required to pay any more than the amount of the estimate unless it is discovered that more services are necessary. The agreement must be in writing, and if payment is not received on delivery, the shipment can be placed in storage until payment, including storage fees, is received. A company may charge for a binding estimate

A non-binding estimate is not a bid or contract and does not commit the mover to the stated amount. The cost of the move is actually determined by the moving company’s published tariffs, which they are legally required to follow, so the amount of the estimate may not affect the total cost. Under a non-binding estimate, the mover cannot charge more than 10% over the amount of the estimate.

Make sure the moving company knows of any unusual conditions which could affect the amount of time and effort necessary for loading or unloading, such as parking situations, or difficulty of access, including stairs or elevators, as such conditions can raise the costs of the move. If possible arrange for parking less than 75 feet from the door; longer distances could mean additional charges. Inquire as to any extra costs in the event of an unforeseen difficulty such as a parking problem or an extra flight of stairs.

The Better Business Bureau is an excellent source of information for determining the reliability of a company offering relocation and moving services, and word-of-mouth recommendations are also helpful. All movers are required to be licensed and the Department of Transportation license number can be checked; references should be requested as well. Be aware of the liability policies of the mover regarding the different amounts of liability, what amount is provided, and the procedure to follow in entering a claim. For interstate moves the Federal Highway Administration regulations protect movers, and information about rights and responsibilities can be obtained in a pamphlet available from the moving company.