How to Choose the Best Seattle-Area Mover

Written by Charley Bowling on Aug 19, 2020


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Selecting a Seattle or Lynnwood moving company to transport all your furniture and belongings is a big decision. After all, you want to make sure your moving day proceeds without a hitch and all of your things arrive at your new home in good condition, whether it’s just across town in Snohomish County or from one end of Washington State to the other. 

Maybe you’ve heard some of the horror stories – moving companies that quote a price over the phone but then, once the move is underway, demand additional money and hold their customers’ property hostage until it’s paid. Others that take a deposit but don’t show up on moving day. Ugh! 

The good news is that most movers are reputable. But that doesn’t mean you should pick one at random. So we’ve put together a list of all the important questions you should ask a moving company before hiring them.

What areas do they serve?

Tell the moving company where you’re moving from and where you’re moving to. Some moving companies only do in-state moves while others can handle long-distance and interstate moves. If you’re located in Snohomish County, anywhere in or around the Seattle or Lynnwood area, you should have plenty of options.

Is the mover insured?

A reputable mover who is insured offers you protection in the case of damaged goods. 

Bonus Tip – Request to see the company’s COI (Certificate of Insurance) so you can see for yourself that they’re insured and don’t have to take their word for it.

Does the mover have a website?

While anyone can have a website, it still says a lot about a company if they’ve invested in creating a professional online presentation. They’re more likely to be well-established and reputable as opposed to fly-by-night or scammers. Take a moment to read through the site and be sure you’re comfortable with the descriptions of their services.

Does the mover have good reviews?

Thanks to social media, customers have ways to praise the companies they love and diss those that are sub-par. Check Google, Yelp and Facebook to see how a moving company ranks before hiring them. Stick with companies that have mostly 4-5 stars and positive feedback in the comments.

Bonus Tip – You can put the name of the moving company into Google with the word “reviews” and you’ll find all the places the company is mentioned, good and bad. If the company has no reviews, ask them for references you can call. You can also contact the Better Business Bureau to find out about a company’s service history.

How long will the move take?

If you tell the moving company the size of your home, the number of bedrooms, etc., they can usually give you an estimate of how long it will take. Part of that depends on the number of people in their moving crew. And of course, if you’re just moving cross town, say from Seattle to Bellevue or Edmonds, that will obviously take less time than say a move from Sammamish to Spokane.

If you have a large home or need any sort of special services, the moving company may offer to send a representative to your home to do a quick visual survey before providing an estimate.

Are their employees background checked?

These movers are going to be entering your home and handling your belongings. You want to be sure they’ve been background checked by a third-party provider.

How do they charge for their moving services?

If it’s an hourly rate, find out what it includes. How many people are in the moving crew? Do they provide a non-binding estimate? That means the price could change if your move requires more or fewer hours than expected.

Are there any extra fees? 

Some movers charge extra for stairs, fuel, and long walks to and from the truck. Make sure that’s all spelled out in the quote so you don’t have any surprises on moving day.

If a mover charges hourly, when does the meter start running?

If it’s port-to-port, then find out where they’re based so you can roughly calculate their travel time to your old home and their travel time from your new home.

What payment types do they accept?

Most companies accept cash, check and credit card. Some may also use PayPal, Venmo, Zelle, etc. so you can choose what works best for you.

When is payment due?

Most movers request a deposit of 20% of the estimated cost to reserve a moving date. The balance will be due at the start of your moving day. Be suspicious of any company that requires 50% or more in advance.

Bonus Tip: You may want to put any deposits or other payments on a credit card, so you have some recourse if there’s any wrongdoing.

Does the moving company offer storage?

If there’s a lag between your moving-out date and your moving-in date for your new home, you may need some short-term storage for your furniture and belongings. Ask the mover if they offer storage or if they can handle moving your items to and then from a storage facility.

Do they sell shipping supplies?

Some moving companies can provide you with boxes, tape, bubble wrap and plastic wrap for fee. For fragile items, they may have crates available.

Do they offer packing services?

If you’d like help packing up the items in your home, a moving company may be able to provide that service. That could be a fabulous resource for you, especially if you’re time-pressured on your move.

Can they help with disassembling?

If you have furniture or electronics that need to be taken apart for the move, the mover may be able to assist. They may also be able to help with reassembly at your new location.

Bonus tip:  Before taking anything apart, especially electronics with multiple cables, snap a quick photo or two of how everything is placed so you have a reference to follow for reassembly.

Can they move specialty items?

Not every mover will transport every type of item. Pianos, guns, gym equipment, safes, pool tables, water beds and hot tubs require the right equipment and manpower. Be sure to ask your mover if they can handle these types of items before hiring them.

Do they own their own truck or will they be using a rental?

A professional company will have its own equipment including a vehicle, dolly and blankets to protect furniture.

Does the mover have experience with your type of move?

Perhaps you have steep, narrow stairs or a specific item that is fragile and requires special attention. Be sure to give the mover this information prior to moving day, as that may affect the equipment they bring to your home.

What is the mover’s cancellation policy?

Most movers require at least 48 (?) hours’ notice to cancel a move or they will keep your deposit.

Does the mover have availability on your chosen date?

Reserve your date as far in advance as you can to avoid scheduling conflicts. 

Bonus Tip: If you move mid-month and mid-week, you’ll have a much easier time getting a mover, as most people want to move on the last weekend of the month.

How do I ensure the mover will show up on time on moving day?

Make sure to confirm the time you want them to arrive the day before your move. That way you avoid any misunderstandings. A quality moving company will put the time in writing on your estimate and may also offer to give you a call the morning of to let you know they’re on the way.

Not all moving companies in the Seattle and Lynnwood area are alike. Once you do your research, you’ll quickly find there’s a difference in price and also in customer reviews. Choose carefully.

If you’d like to work with a five-star company that’s professional, reliable and affordable, contact Neo Moving for a no-obligation estimate. Whether you’re moving into or out of Washington or choosing to stay in or around Snohomish County, we look forward to providing you with a moving experience that exceeds your highest expectations in every way.