Taking the tears out of moving

For many, relocation is an exciting prospect as they envisage the good times they’re going to have in their new home, and look forward to settling into a new community and maybe tackling a new job.

But, notes Berry Everitt, MD of the Chas Everitt International property group, the actual physical move can be so harrowing that it really dampens this enthusiasm – unless you prepare well in advance and hire the right mover.

Writing in the Property Signposts newsletter, he suggests the following guidelines:

* Decide on the level of service you need. Like many service-orientated companies, movers keep expanding their range of services in order to be competitive. So from planning your move, through packing and unpacking, to decorating and organizing your belongings in your new home, you can now choose the extent of services you will require and have them tailored to suit your moving budget

* Choose your mover at least four to six weeks in advance of your moving date. Obtain recommendations from your real estate company, friends, family and work colleagues. Donate, sell or throw out items you no longer need or require, then ask at least three movers for estimates of what it would cost to move what is left before you decide.

* Be wary of any company whose bid is way below the others. A low bid can indicate that someone is trying to buy your business, or it can be a sign of inexperience. You will, after all, be trusting a stranger with all your personal belongings, so you must feel confident that they will take proper care of them and get them safely to your new home.

* Meet with a representative of your moving company to ensure that they know exactly what must be moved, and confirm both packing up and delivery dates. Also establish whether your mover accepts credit cards/  EFT payments/ cheques or operates cash only. Find out if a deposit is required and ask if there are any discounts available – for moving mid-month or mid-winter, for example.

* Estimate the value of your goods and arrange transit insurance. As a rule of thumb, the total value of general household contents will be about half that of your current home, and you should then add the replacement cost of “special” items such as paintings or collectables. Ask whether precious goods you pack or transport yourself will be covered. And in the event of damage to any item, be sure to file a claim immediately – and save the packing materials to show to an assessor if necessary.

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