6 Questions to Ask Before Hiring Your Movers

By Brad Malow
Brad Malow
Brad Malow
Brad Malow has been a licensed real estate agent in New York City for 9 years. In 2007, he joined Rutenberg Realty where he currently has a transaction portfolio exceeding $25 million in the sales arena as well as many mid and high-end rentals.
April 7, 2014 Updated: April 7, 2014

The spring market is in full force and that means moving time for many buyers, sellers, and renters too. So pack up your belongings, get rid of those items you haven’t used for years, and most important, save yourself some backache and hire the right movers! 

I turned to two industry experts—David Donen from Oz Moving and Dana Bitton from Arthur Werner to provide us with some helpful questions to ask in choosing the right moving company. 

1) Licenses

“Before hiring a moving company, you should be aware that there are agencies that regulate the moving industry,” said Donen.

For local moves, that agency is the Department of Transportation of the particular state where the move is taking place. If your move is crossing state lines, be sure the mover you are using is adhering to the correct regulations required. 

Thus, Donen suggests asking, “Are you licensed to perform the type of move I require?” Donen noted that you can ask the mover for their DOT number and call the appropriate DOT to make sure it is a registered and insured moving company.

2) Brokers

“Am I speaking with the company I will be using or are you a broker aiding in connecting me to movers?” 

“Due to the Internet today,” Bitton explained, “it’s important to ask if the people you are talking to are the actual moving company.” 

Brokers often handle deals where they hand off the job to another company. Simply be aware and don’t be afraid to ask.

3) References

“May I have a couple references?” 

When asking for references, make sure that it is an objective entity such as the Department of Transportation, Better Business Bureau, Department of Consumer Affairs, and so on. 

Bitton points out to remember that in providing you with other references, most companies will surely provide only happy customers. Feel free to reach out to friends, colleagues and trusted real estate agents for referrals as well.

4) In Writing

“What is included in my move?” Get this information before you secure your movers. “Make sure to have it in writing, in clear language, and check for small print!” Great advice from Donen. 

He also notes that moving companies rarely include full coverage insurance in their quote. 

There is basic insurance coverage that is based on the weight of the shipment and covers very little but is required by law, usually any additional insurance will have to be purchased separately,” he said.

5) Company Size 

“What is the size of your moving company and how many moves do you do annually?” Donen noted that there are positives and negatives to using a larger company but he believes that in most cases, a bigger company is a better choice. 

“A bigger company will have more experienced movers, a better training program, and sufficient insurance coverage as required by many real estate management companies,” Donen said. “Bigger companies will have a claims department in case something goes wrong and will be able to offer additional services in case something arises during the move.” 

6) Insurance 

“How does the insurance of your company work with regard to my personal move?” 

Bitton said that in most cases, movers will be liable for either $0.30 or $0.60 per pound per article at no additional charge to the cost of your move. 

“Full replacement protection or depreciation protection will add to the cost of your move. Don’t forget to ask if there is any deductible,” she advised.

Do your homework and choose the moving company that is the best fit for you. Trust me when I tell you that having the right company handle your move can alleviate a great deal of stress from the entire process. 

Brad Malow is the founder of BuyingNYC.com and an agent with Rutenberg Realty. He has been helping buyers and sellers navigate NYC’s complex real estate market for over 10 years. Visit the BuyingNYC Blog for more advice or contact Brad at bmalow@crrnyc.com.

Brad Malow
Brad Malow
Brad Malow has been a licensed real estate agent in New York City for 9 years. In 2007, he joined Rutenberg Realty where he currently has a transaction portfolio exceeding $25 million in the sales arena as well as many mid and high-end rentals.