Moving Tips & Resources
Top 5 Questions Realtors’ Clients Are Asking About Moving
Realtors wear a lot of hats for their clients and go far beyond just the real estate transaction.
Buying a home is an important decision on a personal, emotional and financial level. During this important time, often a realtor is the closest advisor and expert people can lean on for advice and critical referrals. Even once the transaction is closed, there’s a final step realtors get asked about before the client is settled in their new home – the move.
We reached out to some of our realtor contacts to gain an understanding of the most frequently asked questions regarding moving services, and how we can be a trusted resource for providing answers.
1. How soon do I need to reach out to a moving company?
To set your move off on the right path, it’s important to reach out to a moving company early. Not only will this give you enough time to secure the moving date you want, but you can vet different moving companies properly and set your moving budget.
How early to reach out depends on the time of year. During peak moving season, which is May through September, we advise you reach out a week or two weeks earlier than typical.
A good rule is to reach out to at least three different moving companies four weeks before a local move, and at least six weeks before a long-distance move. For an international move, the earlier you reach out the better. An experienced international mover will help advise you on the moving, storage and customs process, saving you a lot of time and issues. At least eight weeks in advance is a good amount of time for an international move.
2. Can I coordinate my closing and moving dates with a moving company?
This answer really has to come from a moving company, even though realtors often are asked about timeline.
When a closing date comes close to being finalized, we advise reaching out to at least three experienced, trustworthy moving companies to gain insight into their availability and request a quote. Hopefully ahead of this time you’ll have reached out to friends, neighbors, and of course, your realtor, in order to get personal recommendations.
An important tip is to focus on established, larger moving companies. Many local moving companies in Texas may only have a few crews and trucks available, but more professional companies that have been working in your area for decades will likely have greater capacity in order to commit to specific dates.
One aspect of the moving industry that often surprises people is that it is frequently priced based on supply and demand. Booking dates for your move works a lot like booking a flight – the price goes up when the available capacity goes down. So in the same way it might cost you more to fly out to your destination on a Friday during the busy summer months, moving on a Saturday during the summer may also cost you more. Movers like Daryl Flood can council you on what options might work best for you and your budget.
When flexibility is limited, it’s important to choose a moving company that can provide you with the options to best meet your needs.
3. What’s involved in a moving survey? Do I need to know what I’m taking and what is staying ahead of it?
A moving survey is so important when it comes to your move that it is legally required. If any moving company says they do not need one, take it as a big red flag. This can be a clear sign of a rogue mover, because a thorough moving survey is the only legitimate way a mover can give you a binding or guaranteed quote.
What to expect:
During a moving survey, your experienced moving representative will go through your home, ask questions, take measurements, learn more about your needs and identify services you may want to consider.
A professional moving survey should be the first step a moving company takes, as it is their opportunity to be as thorough as possible and prevent last-minute surprises. For example, the garage and attic are common areas that people tend to forget to mention to movers over the phone when they are getting initial quotes. A qualified, trained moving professional will spot any inaccuracies or overlooked items before they become a stressful issue or cause a delay.
Do I have to decide what is being moved?
You certainly do not have to have everything decided when you do the moving survey, as this happens early on in the process. However, you should make sure you communicate which items you’re unsure about moving to the moving consultant. This way, they can provide you with an estimate that would include all items, and then easily update it if items you decide to sell or get rid of affect the final cost.
Expectations for you during a moving survey:
- Ensure the consultant is aware of items that hold special value to you
- Display all areas of your home to the consultant which contain items you may want moved (this includes closets, attics, basements, inside cupboards, sheds, etc)
- Show access points to the home along with any special considerations such as difficult to maneuver areas of your home
After the survey:
- Review the costs so you have a good understanding of what’s included (Detailed resources like this blog on how to read moving estimates can be helpful)
- If getting multiple quotes, ensure you are comparing apples to apples (valuation, packing, shuttles, third-party, weight, etc)
- Ask how long the estimate is valid, and how soon you’ll need to commit to secure your preferred move dates
4. How much should I budget for my move?
Whether you’re moving locally or cross-country, moving quotes are typically based on these main factors, to varying degrees:
- The distance of the move
- The weight and cubic dimensions of the items being transported
- Additional services such as full-service packing and storage
- Third party services needed, such as crating, auto transport and other specialized services
Because weight and distance are usually the biggest factors when moving across the country, it’s important you take the time to verify any additional costs relating to any special items you’re having moved. Examples can include large or complex furniture, any delicate items that require special wrapping, or any bulky items like pianos or pool tables.
Weight is one item that most people don’t usually consider. Because your moving truck can only legally drive while hauling up to a certain amount of weight, it is an extremely important factor to your moving company. If your moving company isn’t asking about weight, that could be a red flag.
What this means for you is that weight of certain items may be looked at or asked about during your home survey, and you should consider ahead of time if heavy items are worth bringing along to your new home. This is why purging and donating items ahead of time can save you a lot of money in the long run. Many items could cost more to move than to replace.
Because there are so many variables when considering moving quotes, it’s important to conduct a video survey or in-home survey with a move consultant – instead of simply getting a quote over the phone or via email.
A quick tip when looking at moving expenses is to understand that some aspects of a move can be tax deductible. Make sure to look into this when filing and save receipts for your accountant.
5. Do I need to tip my moving crew? How much?
A professional moving crew works incredibly hard to ensure you have a good move. It requires so much more than just putting items onto a truck, and of course you want to show your appreciation for a job well done.
It’s good to be prepared to tip your crew in an amount you see fit, however since most people don’t move very often, the appropriate amount is a common question.
A quick Google search comes up with what most people would consider standard when it comes to tipping – 10 to 20% of the overall price. However, if you’re moving long distance or internationally, and depending on the size of your move, this could be far too much.
Long distance moves can range from around $15-35K and if you add a 20% tip on top of that you would certainly make the crew very happy, but your wallet would be not be.
Luckily, Daryl Flood has dedicated, hardworking and professional moving crews who provide a great client experience, which leads to a lot of customers wanting to tip them for a job well done. This is what our crew members say is typical:
Driver: $50 – $75 per day
Helpers: $25 – $50 per crew member (a 2-day move is typically $40 – $80)
Tip: This only includes the number of days spent loading or unloading, not days spent driving for a long-distance move. You can slide up and down that scale depending on these variables:
- You had a local, long distance or international move
- The size of your move
- The scope of work included an unusual amount of labor or special handling
It can also be a nice gesture to have a cooler with drinks available for the driver and crew members, especially if you’re moving on a particularly hot Texas day. It’s certainly not required, and the crew should come prepared with everything they need. However, your kindness will always be appreciated and remembered by the crew.
The top question that should have been asked by realtors (but wasn’t) was:
1. Can a moving company help stage a home?
Definitely! Home staging has become incredibly common in helping homeowners to show their homes in the best possible light both online and in person. To assist, Daryl Flood has developed our Declutter and Store program.
Declutter and Store is an easy, cost-effective temporary storage option for staging or even short-term projects like remodeling.
With this program, Daryl Flood’s professional crew will arrive to pack and load excess furniture and personalize items, and then store them in our local warehouse until it’s time to return post-sale and complete the move.
This service is both flexible and affordable, allowing customers who are unable to fully move out and professionally stage their home to still show their home. Our expert team will perform the move in two pieces in order to help stage a home with items already in the space, with the end result of hopefully selling the home quickly and for the best possible price.
Reach out to Daryl Flood today to get a professional home moving quote.