Question Details

Pete Flint, Home Buyer in Noe Valley, San Fran...

Moving houses is so stressful! Any advice or horror stories please?

Asked by Pete Flint, Noe Valley, San Francisco, CA Sun Jul 29, 2007

I enjoyed reading Susan Stellin's article in the New York Times about moving and it reminded me of my horrible and stressful experiences moving houses in the past.
Has anyone got any great advice for people moving, top tips and ways to get recommendations on movers? It would also be fun to hear any other horror stories out there (and learn from them...). I know I'll be moving again in the not so distant future and so this advice would be really helpful.

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As an agent, you would think that my fleet of contractors would swoop in and deliver my affects and me safely to a new home without mussing a single hair on my head. Not exactly. The last time I moved, I happened to be in the market for a new moving company (my go to guys closed up shop). After asking around the office, I was given the name of a small family company by a trusted associate. I set the appointment, and the move date comes before I know it. The guy who was recommended was booked, so I got his brother. The day of the move, I am completely stressed out. My wife was 7 months pregnant at the time, so in addition to finalizing our transaction and conducting my regular business, I had unassisted packing duties. Perhaps I did not do the greatest job with my boxes, but I did not think it necessary for the mover (we'll call him Vince with Arrowhead Movers) to start using profanity. After volunteering to personally move anything he did not feel comfortable taking, my wife pulled him aside and asked him to cut me a little slack. I came outside with a box to listen to my pregnant wife being berated in language that would make a sailor blush. Lovely sentiments such as, "You don't know who the F*&@ I am! " "Do you know who you are f%$*ing with?" There was a moment of just standing there stupidly in complete shock, before I snapped to and nearly had a fistfight in my front yard. After regaining some semblance of compsure, I ordered him off the property. All of my furniture came back out of the truck and was piled up in the carport. I was to give possession of my house the following day, and there we were with no mover and 75% of our earthly possessions just sitting in the driveway. One 1962 full size, manual transmission U-Haul, 10 nerve jangling trips, and 1 dented side panel later, I had moved the stuff out of the driveway and into the new house. The next day, after frantic calls to my company's relocation department, I was bailed out by another mover (who we'll call Dirks Allied Movers). All of the big items that I could not handle were mercifully moved for me by a terrific team of guys. When I sit back and think about it, it blows my mind to think that this was how a Realtor, a possible avenue for referral business, was treated. Imagine what my clients would have been subjected to if I had passed the name along before my little test run. Gives me the shivers. I've had a few laughs with my associate about it, with the punch line usually being some variation of, "I'd hate to see the guys you don't recommend!"
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 29, 2007
Coldwell Banker Concierge is your gateway to the Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage network of transaction, moving and homeownership services. When Buying or Selling, Concierge is "At Your Service" every step of the way. Concierge can connect you to everything you may need to succesfully complete your transaction and move into your new home: Moving Companies, Home Product & Service Providers, Relocation Services, Online Utility Transfer and many more..I encourage you to take full advantage of the seemless support of Concierge and our Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate Companies. For qualifies, pre-screened and insured service providers in your area, before, during and after your move, visit us on the web at
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 17, 2012
Just use "Two Men And A Truck". As far as phone estimates go, they are not the cheapest.One thing is for sure though, their prices never change after the job is started. This has happened to me twice before. Ive used this company twice since then, and other family members as well.They have a corporate "home office" that follows them up with a survey via email. I guess what i am saying is, you have some recourse if you are not satisfied. Most moving companies could care less once they have your money.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 17, 2012
If you are viewing a home that it is currently occupied, don't be afraid to try all the light switches and look in the cupboards. After we moved into our last home, we discovered that half the kitchen lights and switches didn't work and the kitchen plumbing was a nightmare! This time, we paid for a home inspection and so we knew what to ask to have repaired and what we thought we could handle ourselves.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 2, 2010
Hi Pete,
I own a moving company and have heard everything! All movers can make mistakes (will make mistakes), and the best will live up to them and fix the problem. Most horror stories begin with "I found this mover on the internet..." . The second would be "I hired these guys on the corner..."
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 16, 2008
My buyers had a double closing. I did not represnt them in their sale,which closed without a hitch at 10am.

NJ is an 'attorney state' and most all closings are settled by attorneys, not title companies. My buyers prefered to use their family attorney who was not well versed in real estate closings. Despite my 72 phone calls to the the attorney the prior 5 days, the loan docs were not processed and delayed closing.

My buyers had no where to go. Their household belongings were aboard a local moving truck, including all personal care items. Closing was rescheduled for the following day.

My buyers went to check into a local Marriott. An hour later, they showed up at my door, and set down two animal carriers. Fluffy and Spot were not welcome at the Marriott, so my buyers brought them to my house.

Fortunately, we love animals!

They closed the following day. Fluffy, Spot and the buyers are happy new homeowners.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 29, 2007
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in ,
I recommend leaving it to the professionals. Your Realtor should be able to recommend several local movers for you to talk to and get estimates. I also recommend letting them pack for you. Yes, it costs extra, but you have plenty of other things to worry about. Ask for references. Make sure your movers are bonded and insured, and once all the bids are in, don't be afraid to negotiate the price.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 29, 2007
The Hagley G…, Real Estate Pro in Pleasanton, CA
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