What to check before signing a moving contract

Starting anew at your next house or decorating your apartment sure sounds fun and exciting. However, the moving process is usually a hassle. Everyone gets overwhelmed by researching moving companies. It is a boring and tricky task for many. First of all, you really shouldn’t accept the first offer you come across by the first company you research. How would you even know if the offer is good if you have nothing to compare it with? But we have good news, we’ll go through some things you should pay attention to before signing a moving contract.

Before signing a moving contract check if the movers are insured and licensed

Before signing a moving contract, there are a lot of things you need to tick off on your moving checklist. Good news is that your reliable moving services Pittsburgh are licensed and insured. But, believe it or not, there are some companies who advertise as movers but do not have the legal authority to provide moving services. So be careful, if a deal sounds too good to be true it probably is.

Your movers are responsible for safely transporting your valuable items and belongings, which makes this step very important. Also, they will be responsible for any eventual damage that occurs on your items during the transport. This means that, if they are not secured, neither are your belongings. If you don’t check their license and insurance, you could end up with damage and many extra costs you don’t want.

Man's hands scrolling through his phone
Scroll through the customer feedback page for the quickest way to find out a mover’s reputation.

Look into mover’s reputation before signing a moving contract

Ask your family, friends, co-workers, and local real estate agents who they would recommend as reliable movers. You will not be able to rely on flashy ads full of promises or catchy marketing slogans. Marketing is a powerful and tricky thing. But the moving industry is a business where recommendations really mean a lot. Before signing a moving contract with a company, ask around because people don’t forget good or bad moving experiences so easily. Especially if you are moving to Pittsburgh, you need to check with neighbors and friends if they can confirm their reliability. True professionals handle all the regulations with ease. It is important to do your homework and find out about the reputation of a company before signing a moving contract.

There is really a no better way to get real information than to talk with customers. Positive feedback is the most important way to ensure you are dealing with experts. If there is nobody who can give you a recommendation, check out the online reviews, but always take it with caution.

Price is an important factor to discuss before signing a moving contract

After you have read feedback about moving companies ( but be careful, because there are fake moving reviews out there), you can narrow your search down to a few companies. Now it’s time to ask them for a moving estimate. Most of the companies will provide you with a free estimate. Before signing a moving contract, check if the company offers free quotes because this is something you should not accept to pay. Make sure to show them everything that needs to be moved so they can provide you with an accurate estimate. Quotes are based on the amount of time it will take to move and the weight of your items. Hence, it is important to include attics, closets, sheds, etc.

Man reading through the rules with a pen before signing a moving contract
Extra tip: make an inventory list of your own while packing, then compare it with the movers.

For out-of-state moves, the ideal would be to get a binding not-to-exceed estimate. This way, they guarantee to give you a non-changeable price tag on what you will be charged. If you get a non-binding instead of a binding estimate, you can generally expect to pay some additional fees. There are specific rules in different states regarding moving quotes and there are several types of estimates as well. However, it is always important to have at least an approximate idea of the price you are paying.

Read the bill of lading before signing a moving contract

Bill of lading is one of the most important documents that you’ll receive from your movers. They will give it to you on moving day and it will outline your agreement of the move. This document is absolutely necessary for the moving process. They will ask you to sign the document stating that you agree to the terms. This includes the list of fees for service and total cost, pick up and delivery date, insurance coverage, and an agreed statement. Make sure you read this document very carefully before signing a moving contract. The terms you agreed to while negotiating should be the same as the ones listed on this bill.

Read carefully the fees listed and make sure they match what you agreed earlier. If there are any differences, ask the mover for clarification. Don’t sign the form until you’re certain that the terms are as you agreed. The moving company will also sign the bill of lading and give you a copy which you should keep with you at all times. It is your official record of the move and a receipt of service. Here is what the bill of lading should contain.

  1. Your contact details
  2. Contact information and license of the movers
  3. Origin and destination of the shipment
  4. The date and time for pickup and delivery
  5. Cost of services and method of payment
  6. Dispute resolution program

Inventory list

The status of all your items should be correctly marked in the inventory list your movers made before signing a moving contract. Maybe all your items go to your new home, but maybe some of them are going to storage, so everything should be listed. This is important because, if the item gets damaged during the move, you will not be able to prove that it was the movers’ responsibility. In case you want to file a claim, you cannot prove the problematic property that is not on the list. Hence, you should be careful when checking inventory lists on a moving day and on the day of delivery.

Pens in hands before signing a moving contract
Always read the fine text in your contracts, and be prepared to ask the hard questions.

What to know before signing a moving contract

We’ve listed for you the most important things you should check before signing the moving contract. Remember to carefully check everything that seems suspicious or out of your agreement. Be meticulous and persistent to make sure you get exactly what you signed for. Then when if everything goes smoothly, you can write a review and give a recommendation to somebody else, making a circle of trust.

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