You’ve found the house. You’ve got the loan. You’ve signed the papers. You picked up the keys. Now – it’s time to find a mover!

Well actually, you’ve already been spending time figuring out how to get your personal belongings from Point A (old home) to Point B (new home) – because it’s not a decision that’s made overnight. And goodness knows that packing and preparing doesn’t happen overnight, either.

Plus, if you’re moving long distance, you need to worry about timing, maybe pets, your travel, delivery dates – wow. This is a HUGE project, isn’t it? That’s one of the reasons that it’s so important to spend some quality time finding your solution to who/how/when to get it all done.

Your first step once the house is chosen and the mortgage is in process? Finding a mover. We thought we’d lend some helpful advice on how to make that choice. Here are some things to think about during the process.

1. Where to Start?
Ask friends and family for referrals. You’re more likely to get unbiased, honest assessments this way. And if somebody you know recently used a mover, ask about his or her experience. A happy customer is a good indicator of a company with sound business practices.

2. Check with Your REALTOR®.
Think about it – real estate agents are in the business of helping people acquire “Point B” – so the odds are, they know plenty of people and even moving companies who have made it either a pleasure or a nightmare for the customer. Ask the agent who helped you buy your new home – and check with any other real estate agents you may know for recommendations (or at least tips on who to avoid!).

3. Do Your Own Online Research.
While it’s true that not all online reviews can be 100% trusted for reliability, by reading in-depth reviews of companies that are on your short-list – you can get a good feel for whether these are real experiences being shared, or customers who have an axe to grind (or if they’re just generic cut-and-paste reviews that may have been bought by the company). Also consider the number of reviews that you see – which can indicate a company that’s been around for a while – or one that’s just started up recently. (If reputation is what you’re seeking, the longer the better.)

Check for ratings – from outside agencies (Nevada Transportation Authority, U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) – even the Better Business Bureau) to see if there are consumer complaints logged or any past or pending actions against the company you’re interested in.

4. Verify Credentials.
Another check with the FMCSA can indicate if licensing and carrier numbers are current, as well as safety and fitness records. Check with the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) to ensure licensing and insurance, too.

5. Ask Questions About Their Policies.
Financial: Request a written estimate – and pay attention to how thorough they are in looking at all your belongings (each room, every closet, garage, etc.) – to make sure they’re giving you an accurate estimate. (By now, you’ve probably heard about movers who “underestimate” and hold people’s belongings hostage until they pay thousands of dollars more for the additional moving and space (a very good reason to read their contract closely before signing, too). Do they have a price guarantee? Do they require a large deposit? (That’s a red flag.) What are their credit and debit card policies? Refund policy? These are all things you’ll want to know during and after the process.

Services: Be very clear about understanding what is (and is not) included with their service. Packing AND unpacking? Taking furniture apart AND putting it back together? Appliance hook-ups? What if there are stairs? Do they insure? What is their warehousing policy? What is the timetable for the move? Do they provide an inventory? How to file a damage report?

Naturally, these questions are just the start. And if you’re doing an in-town move, you may be lucky enough to get a great referral from a friend with a fabulous experience – and it’s all easy peasy! But longer distance moves require a bit more due diligence on your part to make sure when it’s all said and done, you’re happy with both the experience and the condition of your belongings.

Changing your home location involves a lot more than just finding the home you love. It involves making sure you get the best mortgage, all the legalities are met — and that part about asking your REALTOR® for advice about movers? We can help you with that, too. One more reason an experienced real estate professional should be the first stop on your list when looking for a new home.

New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with all of their Las Vegas real estate needs. Whether your preference is for property management, a newly built home from a local builder, or a resale property in just the right location, a New Home Resource Realtor® is here to provide the service you’re looking for. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or visit Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, Kathy Paterniti and Heidi Colón are all here to help!