The Best Ways To Avoid Moving Scams?
If you’re considering moving during winter, we’re here to help you weigh the pros and cons. There are several to consider. The weather can make things tricky for movers, but they aren’t nearly as busy in those holiday months. If you’re selling and buying a house, you won’t get into a bidding war, but neither will your prospective buyers! Your kids may have to adjust to a new school in the middle of the year, but your family can settle in by the time spring rolls around. We could go on and on listing the options you have to weigh, but let’s get into some of the details.
You don’t want to end up with the next billion-dollar moving scam. We’re here for you, so we’ve compiled some helpful information on how best research movers before hiring them! The first step is reading reviews from people who have used them or been unhappy with their service–the more recent ones tend not to be as reliable because they can change overnight but keep going back until there’s an old standby that has consistently good feedback over time (you’ll know what these companies look like). Call around town to see if any friends use reputable firms; ask those families’ advice about committing solely based upon reputation alone seems crazy.
You can usually avoid moving scams by finding some quick red flags. If any of the following apply to a company you’re interested in hiring, run!
- The company has no physical address
- The company asks for large deposits before the move
- The company asks to sign blank or unclear documents
- The company has no warehouse
- The company doesn’t offer a written estimate
- The company says it will calculate costs after loading
- The company offers a quote that’s too low to be real – get several quotes for comparison!
- The company says your belongings are fully insured
- The company’s employees don’t say the company name when answering the phone
Don’t Fall Victim To Moving Scams
It isn’t hard to find horror stories of those who fall victim to these moving scams. If you read enough one-star reviews in which the company doesn’t respond or appear to try to resolve the issue, you’ll certainly find a prime example of a scam.
The storyline doesn’t change much from victim to victim or company to company. The company offers a quote that seems a bit too good to be true. When moving day comes, an unmarked truck shows up. The movers load your stuff and then demand much more than the quoted price because they claim the load is much more than anticipated.
After a bit of arguing, the customer forks over more cash before the movers take off with the customer’s belongings. Then, it’s usually a long time before the customer sees their stuff. The company basically takes the customer’s items hostage until the customer hands out the rest of the payment. They end up paying far more, often quadruple of what they thought they’d be paying to get their things back.
The mistake all of these victims make is that they didn’t do their research. In a lot of the testimonies, you’ll see them admit that they jumped at the unrealistic quote price and didn’t ask enough questions.
To avoid moving scams, it falls on your shoulders to do your research. Spend plenty of time gathering as much information as you can about the companies. If possible, get some references from friends, co-workers, and family. At the end of the day, as long as you do your due diligence, you’ll be alright.
Con: Moving with Kids in School
Moving with kids is stressful enough. But if you’re moving locally, this might not be a problem. Moving a few neighborhoods over usually won’t mean you have to enroll the kids in a new school. But if you’re moving to an entirely new area, the move can be extra stressful for the kids. And stressed-out kids can quickly turn into stressed-out parents.
Moving in the winter can be especially difficult if you have teenagers. The last thing they’re going to want to do during the holidays is to pack everything up and leave everything they’ve ever known. So they’re going to be emotional and not very happy with you. Of course, those feelings will fade, but it might be a bumpy road for a while.
Pro: Motivated Real Estate Agents
As the moving industry, the housing market is generally a lot less busy in the winter months. So, one pro of moving during the winter is that you’ll get the best deals on houses. There aren’t a lot of houses on the market and there aren’t a lot of buyers, either. That means real estate agents are eager to sell buyers a house. On average, homes sell for 10% cheaper in the winter than they do in the summer.
Con: Cheaper Selling Homes
Didn’t we just list this as a pro to moving in winter? Yes, but it can also be a con if you’re a home seller for all of the reasons we listed earlier. Homes typically sell cheaper in the winter. Real estate agents will usually make better deals for buyers because they need to get homes sold to make a living. Of course, if you aren’t selling a home, this aspect is solely a pro. Also, the property you’re trying to sell might not look the best during the winter, especially if you’re further north. Bare trees, brown grass, and dull gardens aren’t the most attractive to homebuyers.
Pro: Enjoy The Summer
Although our family-owned moving company strives to provide stress-free moves, moving isn’t always a walk in the park. There are plenty of fears, anxieties, and qualms that swirl around in the head of someone planning a move. Summer is supposed to be a time of relaxation, a time to spend outdoors with family and friends. When you move in the winter, you have plenty of time to get settled into your home before the lovely weather rolls around. After all, winter is meant to be used to get cozy in your home.
Con: Missing Winter Holidays
This con of moving during the winter should be an obvious one. Nobody wants to risk missing the holidays with their friends and family. The holidays are usually the best thing about the cold winter months. Even if you don’t miss the holidays, you might not be able to fully appreciate them because you’re stressed about the move.
Pro: Time Off
This pro especially applies if you’re moving locally. Since many companies briefly close for holidays in November, December, and January, you might not have to take much time off work to plan and prepare for your move.
Con: Unfavorable Moving Weather in Winter
The obvious issue for moving in the winter is the weather. Sidewalks and roads could be icy. It might be snowing. If you can, salt your sidewalks before anyone starts hauling stuff. A professional moving company will take care to protect your furniture and items so the weather doesn’t affect them.
Ultimately, deciding when to move is up to you. Weigh all of these pros and cons of moving during winter carefully to determine what’s best for you and your family. Then, when you are ready to move, White Lion Moving & Storage can provide a stress-free move for you and your family. We go above and beyond to make your move as easy as possible no matter what time of year you move.