With home sales on the rise, it's easy to see why so many moving companies across the country are getting busier and booked further and further in advance. Estimates vary from one place to another, but numbers that are coming in from all over are showing not only a rise in home sales, but also in the average price of a home. For one state, Texas, real estate figures show that prices are rising to a ten year high. More consumers are buying, prices are going up, and the market is getting clearer, but that means that more people will be seeking movers in the coming weeks and months as well.
Finding the right mover might not seem difficult, but some companies are already reporting bookings some months out. Smaller companies, who operate fleets of ten or fewer trucks are saying that March and April were record months for their businesses, while they remain booked solid through June and July. Owners and movers are telling consumers that it's important to plan ahead, especially with so many people moving. For consumers with larger homes, finding a mover on short notice might be impossible, which can only lead to more trouble.
Larger movers, such as the household names you see on trucks going down the closest interstate, have reported more than a ten percent increase in business over the past few months as well. Most operators are cautiously optimistic, however, saying this is the first time such an upturn has been seen since the recession hit years ago. While some feel that the worst of it might be over as signs of recovery are seen, others are still wondering if this is for real.
And still others are taking advantage of the situation. As a result of the upturn in business, and the lack of companies available especially on short notice, lots of little companies are popping into existence every day. Older moving trucks are showing up with new logos and designs on them, if any, even though most of them will not still be in business four months from now. Long-time companies can only look on knowingly and shake their heads.
"These companies will do this for a few months, they will damage a lot of goods, and in the end, they'll sell the truck," says one moving industry insider.
Yet, there's little that can be done to keep these businesses from interacting with consumers looking for such services. With limited regulation, experienced movers and inexperienced movers alike know that it's up to the consumer to fully research and vet a company before hiring them. Generally, the most important thing that can be done includes checking to see if a business is registered with the state's Department of Transportation (or Motor Vehicles) and if they have the appropriate license for the states they operate in.
Most consumers don't know they have to watch their own backs, though. Throughout the country, DMV and other Federal consumer based complaint systems have logged a record number of complaints the past few months. The Better Business Bureau is seeing the same trends. Because of the limited amount of regulation imposed on this industry, more companies are appearing, but not all of them are what they seem to be. With complaints ranging from goods held hostage, to broken items, and even scheduling and contact problems, many of these companies don't offer what they promise to those who hire them.
Despite the rise in complaints, though, state and federal officials maintain that there is enough oversight of the industry as it stands. Moving experts agree, however, that it is more important than ever for a consumer to check out and research the company they are considering hiring. Beyond seeing if the company being considered is licensed, it's a good idea to check to see how long they've been in business and how long they have had their work force. Many of these fly-by-night companies use day labor, which can result in broken goods and inefficient moving.
Another great way to seek out the best movers possible involves looking around and listening to what others are saying about the company in question. There are plenty of places online where consumers can check to see what kind of experience another person had, enabling consumers across the country to learn from the mistakes of other people. Talking with the mover themselves is another good step that most moving experts recommend.
Choosing a mover out of a hat, or at random, is not a good way to protect the things that are being moved. To that end, consumers are highly urged to research a mover before hiring them. Knowing what to expect and what comes with the moving contract that is signed will help consumers everywhere avoid falling victim to one of the many moving scams out there today.