Note: Moving during COVID-19 requires extra precautions. Make sure to wear a mask, keep social distance and follow CDC guidelines. Read more in our post on moving during a pandemic.
When it’s time to look for moving services, you’ll likely come across moving brokers in addition to moving carriers/companies. A broker isn’t a mover — and understanding the differences between the two can help you avoid worries down the road.
What is a moving broker?
Moving brokers are sales teams that book your move and then sell it to an actual company. Because they’re essentially the middle men, brokers don’t own trucks or have a staff with expertise in moving — and they aren’t responsible for your belongings.
And because they aren’t the actual movers, they won’t have the flexibility to answer your concerns about timing or handling of your belongings.
What are the risks of using a broker?
If your broker has issues finding a mover in a timely manner — which can occur for any number of reasons — you could find yourself without a mover on the big day.
It’s also possible that you won’t know who your mover is until the actual moving day, so you won’t be able to check them out before they arrive at your doorstep.
In a worst-case scenario when working with a broker-hired mover, you might not get a written, signed estimate. This means you’ll be vulnerable to a last-minute rate hike that you will have to pay before the mover releases your belongings — the dreaded “hostage of goods.”
What are the benefits of hiring a moving company directly?
A mover, or moving carrier, has a name and a reputation to protect. This means they will strive to ensure you’re satisfied — because their business ultimately relies on happy customers, positive feedback and word-of-mouth referrals.
The best moving companies work with you directly to ensure the highest quality customer service. They may provide a range of services, from storage options to packing and unpacking. They will also be licensed, insured and responsible for any lost or damaged goods.
What should you do if you hired a broker?
For interstate moves, the mover hired by the broker must be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (under the U.S. Department of Transportation).
The broker must also be registered with FMCSA, and they are required to:
- Give you a list of moving companies they use.
- Use only FMCSA-registered movers.
- Give you FMCSA’s “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move” and “Ready to Move” brochures.
- Base estimates on the fees of the mover they plan to use.
- Advertise the broker’s physical business location, MC (motor carrier) number and their status as a broker, not a mover.
- Have the mover perform a physical survey of your household goods if they are within 50 miles of the mover or the agent’s location, whichever is closer. You have the option to waive this requirement.
Choose Sorensen to Move You
When it’s time for your move, you have to decide the most reliable way to safely and efficiently transport your home or business. At Sorensen Moving & Storage, we’ve been moving Florida for more than 60 years. Get your free virtual moving quote in as little as five minutes.