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Moving in a hurry doesn’t mean you have to cut corners or settle for less than the best. Even if you need a mover in Los Angeles to complete your project right away, you should still make sure you find the best moving company for the job. Whether you are looking for a local company for a small move out of your apartment or a long-distance agent for a cross country relocation, you can find the right partner to support you as you move.

How do I find a fast mover in Los Angeles?

Quickly finding a mover should not be a problem if you are not trying to book one during the year’s busiest time. Peak demand for moving companies is during the summer when most families prefer to move. Movers and packers are also busy at the end of the month when people end one lease and begin another. If you are in a hurry, you will have more options if you are trying to move in the fall or winter, or in the middle of a month. You may have better luck during the week since people sometimes prefer to schedule a move on the weekend for convenience.

What if I’m moving cross country from Los Angeles in a hurry?

If you are planning a state to state move, that is more complicated than a smaller, local project, but either way, you can find the resources you need. Start by checking with family and friends for referrals. If someone you know has had a positive experience with a moving company, you may want to consider using them. Before you do, check them out at the website FMCSA—which is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. FMCSA regulates interstate moving companies, and you can verify that the company you are considering is properly registered and has a favorable safety record and a good record with consumers.

Even with limited time before the move, don’t skip the step of having the moving companies visit your home to perform a visual inspection of the items you will move. This step is one of the requirements under federal rules, and also necessary for the mover to provide an accurate rate quote for your project. Whether you have an apartment or a large house, the cost of a long-distance move is primarily the shipment’s weight, so it is essential that the mover’s representative look at your furniture and everything else. Once they finish that, they can complete an inventory and give you an estimate of the price.

Ask whether the estimate is binding or nonbinding and verify what services it includes. If you are looking for the most affordable option, you can do the packing before the movers come if you have time. The moving company will charge extra for packing, but they are usually going to get it done more quickly than you can. A binding estimate is a guaranteed price—as long as you don’t add anything to the shipment or require any extra services. A nonbinding estimate is not a commitment, so if the shipment’s weight is higher than anticipated, the price will be higher than expected.

It’s helpful to get several estimates from different vendors so you can compare them. You may be tempted to take the lowest but ask yourself if you are comfortable that the company is trustworthy. In addition to the FMCSA site, check with the Better Business Bureau for reviews mentioning the local moving company. The BBB collects positive and negative reviews on companies in all industries.

Most moving companies are honest, but some shady operators will give you a low quote and then charge a lot more when they deliver your belongings. Long-distance moves are especially vulnerable to these disreputable companies because they have control over your household goods, and you naturally want your possessions returned. If you become mistrustful of the operator during the loading process, put a halt to the loading and find someone else. One red flag to be on the lookout for is if the driver or crew tries to change the terms on the day of loading. Suppose that you have made a deal with a moving company and even paid a deposit. Be aware that a company that demands a large deposit is already suspicious. If the loading day arrives and the driver is unaware that you have made a partial payment, there could be a scam in process. Or if the driver tells you that you have a lot more items than he thought, and the price will be higher, that is very suspicious. The driver may ask you to sign a new service order or make changes to the existing one. You may want to consider stopping the loading process and finding another vendor.

Can I find a fast mover for a local job in Los Angeles?

When you are moving locally, as with a long-haul move, you should plan far enough in advance to obtain several in-person estimates from moving companies. California regulates intrastate movers through the Bureau of Household Goods and Services, which, like FMCSA, requires that the mover complete a visual survey of the items included in the move. Verbal or online estimates of moving costs are illegal in California, so the moving company should always provide you with a firm “Not to Exceed” price in writing. The mover will base the cost of a local move on the time it needs to load your shipment, drive to the new residence, unload, and drive back. This double drive time is permitted in California and some other states and applies to local moves of over ten miles.

How much will it cost?

Getting the estimates is the best way to find out how much the move will cost. A long-distance move to another state will average around $4,300. Some things that can make a move more expensive are specific to your house. For example, if the truck can’t park close to the entry, and the movers have to carry things a long way, the mover will charge extra. If you have stairs, especially more than one set, they will add a fee for stairs. Similarly, if you are moving to or from an apartment building and the elevator isn’t reserved, you will pay extra for elevator waiting time. When you move from an apartment, there are often parking restrictions that result in extra charges or shuttles. The mover’s estimate should outline all these fees. Local moves are less costly and based on the time required to complete the work. In either type of job, the company will charge to move something that is over a set weight (like a piano), or that requires special handling (like a hot tub or pool table)

I’m in a hurry—can the movers do everything?

Full-service movers and packers can pack everything, load it, unpack, even hang the pictures on the walls if you want. You can arrange with a moving company to have the home you are leaving cleaned and dispose of any rubbish. They can contract for appliances to be disconnected and reconnected, and if furniture needs to be assembled, they can either do that work or find someone who will. All of those extra services are not part of the basic moving cost, and you should discuss the prices with your moving partner.

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