A Realtors Guide to Moving Companies

The Realtors Guide to Moving Companies

Having been a realtor way, way back in the day – I used to cringe when clients asked me for a referral.  I know what you are thinking – that’s one of the most crucial parts to being a real estate agent – giving people good advice – right?  Wrong!  I had the pleasure of taking my real estate courses by a broker  who scared the bejeezus out of me.  In my dreams – I could hear him chanting his favorite phrase “displace responsibility, remove liability.”  Essentially, explaining to us that referring a service/company/lawyer may find you in a defendant’s chair.  Well, that broker is almost out-of-business now and I have found a new calling.  I have been a part of the moving and storage industry for 15 years now and am excited to write the:

Realtors Guide to Moving:

Realtors Guide to Moving
Realtors Guide to Moving


To Refer or Not to Refer: 

Referring a moving company these days – is actually pretty darn easy.  There are a few moving companies that have really set themselves apart form the mistrusted industry.   Another bonus – their movers will actually sponsor an open house for your broker tour!  You can download a moving comparison sheet here – or send the link to your clients – it has all of the pertinent questions to ask your moving company.


Scenario: Your Clients Need Overnight Storage or Short Term Storage

In the case of a bridge loan or new construction, your buyers may need overnight storage or short term storage.  This is one of the most common moving needs – and storage is tricky.  First off, pods are not recommended.  After a few years, their reputation has taken a serious hit and the amount of people complaining about stolen items is too much to risk.  I suggest finding a mover in your area who  will let you keep your clients items on the truck overnight – it’s called on-board storage – a quick search moving overnight storage should give you a good list to start with.  On-board storage should run about $100-$200/night in the peak months.  Short Term storage will require two separate moves as well as a monthly storage fee.  It is very important to find movers that have clean, secure storage – you can always google map their location to take a closer look.

Scenario: Your Sellers are Moving Out-Of-State

This is your last chance to help your sellers out.  The long distance moving industry is in the middle of a much needed overhaul.  Long gone are the needs to wait up to 14 days for a van line to haul your customer’s belongings across the country.  Private long distance movers are doing this much faster ( about 4 days MA to FL) and are even less expensive.  How you ask?  Private long distance movers don’t load/offload items into multiple storage units/trucks.  They also don’t charge all of the typical van line fees like: fuel surcharge, mileage fee, taxes, tolls, fees for stairs, elevator and the biggest doozy – the shuttle fee.  The shuttle fee is added if a larger 53 ft tractor trailer cannot access your storage facility/house/condo.  Very common in Boston, New York City, Miami, Washington, DC and Los Angeles.

How to Get a Quick, Surprisingly Accurate Moving Estimate

Moving Cost Estimator
Moving Cost Estimator


Here is a quick link to a quick yet accurate moving cost estimate form.  You or your clients plug in the furniture they have and a vitally instant moving price is generated and sent to your email.  This comes from a private company so your information is never shared or distributed.


Ultimate Moving Checklist

By now, if you have ever looked up moving checklists you will find thousands – maybe even millions.  I think Martha Stewart alone has about 100 moving checklists.  This moving checklist has everything your client will need – from who to call to what to pack.  There are links as well to specific packing tips.


Best Closing Gifts

The best closing gifts are always gift certificates and/or experiences in your client’s new town.  And no, not to a home improvement store. Think dining experiences, massage envy, etc.  Another gift that keeps on giving is a subscription to a wine club, craft beer of the month club, etc.  This gift keeps your name and great service constantly coming up.



Top Ten Moving Fails

Top Ten Moving Fails


Our all-time favorite moving fails – because who doesn’t love a good fail – especially on Friday the 13th.


Moving Fail # 1

Low Bridge


Rental Truck + Low Bridge = Moving Fail

Moving Fail #2

Packing Boxes That are Too Heavy

Books + Big Boxes = Moving Fail


Moving Fail #3

Not Emptying the Fridge

Not Emptying Fridge + Stairs =Moving Fail










Moving Fail #4

 Not Hiring Professional Mover

Not Hiring Professional Movers = Moving Fail







Moving Fail #5

Saving Packing for the Last Minute

Last Minute Packing = Moving Fail








Moving Fail #6

 Not Shutting the Back of Your Moving Truck

Not Shutting the Back of Your Truck = Moving Fail







Moving Fail #7

Not Hiring a Company that uses a Lift Gate

No Lift Gate – Moving Fail










Moving Fail #8

Overloaded Your Car 

Overloaded Vehicle = Moving Fail







Moving Fail #9

 Getting Overcharged

Getting Overcharged = Moving Fail

Moving Fail #10

Trying to Park Your Truck Somewhere it Doesn’t Fit

Bad Parking Job = Moving Fail

Songs To Listen to When You are Moving

Songs for Moving

It’s hard not to get sentimental when you are moving  – thinking of all of those things you will miss and opportunities gone by – your favorite coffee spot, that neighbor you never got to know to well but seemed cool, the nuances of your place only you know about.  Okay  – enough about that – YOU ARE MOVING!

Adventure, learning new things, and hope for the unknown are right around the corner and we have the playlist for you – to get you in the mood to move!

Movin’ On Up is the #1 moving song on our list – can’t go through a move without this oldie.  This theme song reminds us we are always moving on up!  Here are the next songs on our list –

Another goodie that we have to add is Flo Rida’s 2016 tune – My House – a perfect tune for moving in:

Move on Up is a perfect moving song for that last minute in your old residence – time to say good bye.


And of course if you can always do what Elsa does and…


Also on our list of songs for moving has to be Take U There


Brought to you by Monster Movers





What is the most cost effective way to move cross country?

What is the Most Effective Way to Move Cross Country

There are a few options when moving cross country – you could move yourself, use a van line or a private residential mover.  Depending on the time of year you are moving, where you are moving to and from and how much flexibility you have will also be key factors in finding the most cost effective way for you to move cross country.

Cross Country Movers
Cross Country Movers
  1. Moving Yourself – Overall, the thought of doing a cross country move alone is terrifying personally.  However, I realize there are some brave souls out there ( and hopefully those that don’t have a ton of heavy furniture) that are thinking about renting a truck themselves.  An average truck rental from New York to Texas is right around $3,000 ( including insurance, taxes, fees) during mid-season.  Here are other costs you will incur during any cross country move.  These figures are for a move of 2,000 miles in a 20 foot truck with 5,000 lbs -longer moves are more expensive:

One-Way Rental Truck: $3000 – The prices online do not have insurance added on ( approximately $100/day) or taxes

Gas: $700

Hotels and Food: $600

Tolls ( much more expensive than a personal vehicle): $250

Labor: If you are hiring labor to help unload your truck – expect to pay $800-$1600 for the load plus the unload.

A few hints for moving yourself:

  1.  Always opt for the full insurance on a rental truck.  Rental truck operations are notorious for charging extreme rates due to any damage.
  2. Watch for low bridges on the way to your new residence – Boston, NYC, and even the back roads of Florida are full of low bridges.  Stay off the Merritt Parkway in CT – half the time I am driving on that road I see a rental truck that attempted this low bridge road causing traffic.
  3. If you are staying in a hotel ask if they have truck parking – some hotels will not let your truck park there overnight.
  4. Rental trucks get pulled over just for being rental trucks.  The DOT pulls them over all the time.  Make sure your rental location has put the registration in the truck for you.   If you have loaded your truck overweight – the DOT will shut you down and you will have to hire another mover/friend to get the weight legal.  Expect heavy fines if this happens to you.
  5. Rental truck operations are not responsible for anything if  your truck breaks down.  FYI – if the truck looks old and scary I would ask for a newer one especially if you are moving cross country.
  6. Rental truck agencies do not have any repercusions if your rental truck is unavailable on your moving day – I suggest leaving a few flex moving days just in case.


2. Hiring a Van Line – A van line will be the most cost effective option for moving cross country for those who have a small amount of items and are very flexible.  Van lines are a network of moving companies that book moves and trade and/or sell to others in their network.  15 years ago, moving companies across the country were begging to be a part of a van line – much like drivers for uber used to do.  Motivated by avarice, most van lines lost the exceptional moving companies in their networks.  Many went bankrupt and some still exist with lower standards.  An agent for a van line will be hired ( less 30% or more ) to pick up your items and bring them to a storage facility.  Eventually your shipment will make it cross country where another agent will deliver it.  Here are the approximate fees a move of 2,000 miles in a 20 foot truck with 5,000 lbs:

Line Haul 5,000 lbs x .80/lb = $4,000

Labor $500

Fuel Surcharge – $400

You may have to pay for hotels/food while waiting for your shipment

Additional fees van lines can charge:

Taxes, Tolls, Shuttle Fee, Elevator Fee, Stair Fee, Long Haul, Packing ( if your boxes are not up to par)


3. Using Private Cross Country Movers –  Using professional residential cross country movers is definitely the most stress-free option  for moving cross country – but is it the most cost effective.  Private cross country movers should have your shipment to its destination in 5 days or less if you are moving 2,000 miles.  The absolute convenience of rapid shipping and displacement of liability is priceless – nonetheless – here are the fees for using a private cross country mover:

Line Haul: 5,000 lbs x .80/lb = $4,000

Labor: $800

Most private cross country movers will not charge the following fees but they may try:

Fuel surcharge, mileage fee, taxes, tolls, shuttle fee, long haul, stairs, elevator

Moving Cross Country
Moving Cross Country

Overall, moving cross country is not cheap – either way you will have to pay thousands of dollars to relocate. Monster Movers are private cross country movers that have transparent, affordable pricing for any cross country move.




Piano Movers

Piano Movers

Piano Moving requires a special skill set aside from moving boxes and basic furniture.  Most movers will sub-contract another moving company to handle your piano move which can cost hundreds and even thousands of dollars in addition to your moving bill.  Monster Movers staff are highly trained piano movers – every mover is required to move our own upright piano and grand piano before even going on a move.  Our piano movers carry the best piano moving materials including: piano boards, straps, steamed moving blankets, tools and shrink wrap.

Piano Movers

Piano Movers

It is highly suggested that you hire professional piano movers for any type of piano moving.  Injury, damage and inability to reassemble the piano are common issues of those who attempt to do this alone or with a moving company that is not used to moving pianos.  Below is our crew moving a baby grand piano.  Although it looks easy enough, for those who haven’t done this before – it is  much, much harder to move a piano than it looks


Monster Movers is a mover you can trust to move your piano.  Approximate piano movers cost:

Upright Local Alone: $425

Upright When Moving Entire Residence: $200

Baby Grand Local Alone: $450

Baby Grand When Moving Entire Residence: $225

Grand Local Alone: $500

Grand When Moving Entire Residence: $300

Monster Movers also offers long distance piano movers to MA, CT, RI, NH, ME, NY, NYC, PA, NJ, OH, IL, MD, DC, VA, NC, SC, GA, FL, TX, CO, CA, AZ, UT, and WA.  Please fill out a moving estimate form for a long distance piano move quote.

Here are links to our most common piano movers needed:

Piano Movers Boston

Piano Movers NYC

Piano Movers CA



#Move4Edu is our way of giving back to some special people who have helped us become who we area and who are helping us grow and learn.  Monster Movers offers a  5%  DISCOUNT OFF OF EVERY MOVE to any educators and teachers.

You teach 7th grade? Swimming Coach? Daycare Provider? Cub Scout Parent? Leading a Robotics Club?  We support all those who educate others – young and old.  We celebrate you…every day!


 It’s actually really simple to access this 5% off coupon – just tweet @monstermovers or Facebook #move4edu and tell us your story with a few words or a picture and you will instantly get 5% off of your moving costs!

Monster Movers also donates 1% of all income to educational charities including local non-profits, sponsoring educational pursuits and awarding funds to other educational endeavors.

The #Move4Edu discount is good for all local moves and long distance movers!

** Only one discount per move regardless of how many awesome people ( educators) are part of yours 🙂

Moving and Overnight Storage

Moving and Overnight Storage

Nobody likes spending a bunch of money on moving and storage.  Moving is one service where a little information can save you hundreds and even thousands of dollars.  Lo and behold – I have a lot of information about moving and moving with overnight storage in particular.  There are a few cities and metro areas where moving with overnight storage presents a specific set of challenges, and those cities would be Boston, NYC, San Francisco, Chicago, Miami, Austin, Portland and other “college towns” will have date-specific issues – let me explain below:

Most apartments in major cities have a lease date that end on the last day of the month.  These same leases usually begin on the first day of the month.  Essentially, you will literally have until midnight on the last day of the month to move your items out and then at 10am-2pm you can move to the new apartment.  Moving companies in metro areas listed above usually book up completely on the first and last days of the month because of this.  College towns will have issues on 8/31-9/1  and May 30-April 1.

Residents that have bridge loans will also require moving and overnight storage.  A bridge loan is when a resident is selling a house and using the cash from the sale to purchase a new house.  This is very common and usually requires 1-2 days of overnight storage.

Moving and Overnight Storage
Moving and Overnight Storage

Moving and Overnight Storage Options

  1. Renting a Truck and Parking it Overnight – Unless you plan to sleep in or with your truck – this isn’t the best option.  First off, the truck rental facility will charge you for two full days which can be $$$$.  Also, they do not cover anything should your items be stolen, wet (if the truck leaks and it’s raining).  If you do decide to move and store your items in a rental truck – get a lock for the back – rental trucks in a driveway or parking lot overnight are sitting ducks.

2.  Hire a Moving Company to Move You with Overnight Storage –  In the past, moving companies used to charge customers per hour to store there items in a truck overnight.  Although it was a reduced weight while the moving crew wasn’t physically moving furniture – it was still not very economical.  Since then, there have been private moving companies that offer on-board overnight storage – or overnight storage that stays on a truck.  There is no need to hire a mover that will offload your items into a storage facility overnight.  The expense can be twice as much as it should because the crew will be doing two moves.  Monster Movers has locations in many major metro areas and charges $100-$150/night per 26 foot moving truck.  Hiring a mover that will do this is much more economical than paying per hour or paying for two days of a rental truck.

List of Moving Companies with Overnight Storage:

Moving and Overnight Storage Boston

Moving and Overnight Storage NYC

Moving and Overnight Storage FL

Moving and Overnight Storage RI

Moving and Overnight Storage Chicago

Moving and Overnight Storage Miami

Moving and Overnight Storage Austin

Moving and Overnight Storage Portland

Moving and Overnight Storage San Francisco

A Moving Cost Estimator That Won’t Let You Down

Moving Cost Estimator

There are many different ways that moving companies estimate the cost of a move.  The most accurate moving cost estimates are obtained by your moving company getting a 100% complete inventory of what you are moving.

Moving Cost Estimator
Moving Cost Estimator

Here are the ways that your moving cost estimator will do that ( and my 2 cents):

  1. A verbal, over the phone moving cost estimate – This method is typical to your common bait a switch movers.  Let me explain, a person at the end of the phone writes down all of the contents in your home in 30 seconds while as you spew out every piece of furniture.  There is a lot of room for error in this method.  I would only suggest it if you are moving less than 10 pieces or boxes.  Local and long distance movers alike can easily give a low ball moving cost estimate by staying they didn’t “hear” everything going and/or “you didn’t tell me you had all this stuff.”
  2. An on-site estimate –  Essentially a moving cost estimator comes to your home to look at everything going, being packed, etc and will provide an accurate moving estimate for your move.  On-site estimates are usually pretty accurate. However very, very time consuming.  First, you have to take approximately 30-45 minutes out of your day multiplied by however many moving cost estimates you receive.  This usually requires scheduling – if you have kids it cannot be during practice/dinner/etc.
  3. An accurate, online moving cost estimator – With current innovations in the moving industry, it is really easy to obtain an accurate moving cost estimate completely online and virtually instant.  There are a multitude of sites that can provide this to you but none as accurate and quick as this moving cost estimator.  Essentially, you fill out pertinent information ( don’t forget cities and/or zip codes) like email, where you are moving to and from, as well as any additional services you will need.  Another, second form will pop up with the easiest moving cost estimation form you will find available.  This secondary list is a comprehensive inventory list where you can add the items in your home.  The list will be calculated with an advanced algorithm and will generate a completely accurate quote directly to your email.  There are other online moving cost estimators but they are extremely difficult to navigate.   Bonus: You can update your items list at any time for a new quote!
  4. A moving cost estimate app – There are a few moving apps out there that require a video of your home.  The apps I have seen are not accurate unless moving a few large pieces.  Some moving cost estimator apps are used as information gatherers so don’t be surprised if you have a bunch of moving companies call you after downloading the app.

As an aside, if you feel like you cannot accurately go through your home and add your inventory to a moving cost estimation form, your local movers and long distance movers should always offer an on-site moving cost estimate.  If they cannot or won’t, it’s not usually a good sign.

What is the Average Cost of a Move?

What is the Average Cost of a Move

It’s almost impossible to come up with an average cost of a move.  There are so many variables which I will outline below.  However, for the point of conversation – an average local move cost from trustworthy, licensed movers is approximately $1085.  The average long distance moving cost is approximately $4800.  What do these totals actually mean to the average consumer?  I will discuss below:

Average Cost of a Move
Average Cost of a Move


Average Cost of a Local Move

The average cost of a local move will depend on a few key factors ( and a few minor ones):

  1.  Size of residence – This one is pretty obvious.  The average local moving cost takes into account all size  homes/townhouses/condos/apartments.
  2. How far you are moving – All moving companies will charge to drive from the old residence to the new one.  An in-state move will be charged at an hourly rate.
  3. How packed you are – If your residence is heavily furnished, you will have more boxes and hence, more items and it takes longer to load/unload.  If your movers are packing for you this will increase your average moving cost.  For the purposes of the average local moving rate of $1085 – we only included moves that did not require more than one hour of packing.  If your movers are packing for you the average packing charge for a move is $655.
  4. Quality of movers – This average total was taken from Monster Movers which is a high quality mover.
  5. Additional Items – There are many additional smaller factors that effect the average local moving costs.  They are: stairs, long haul, overall layout of  your residence.
    1. Stairs/Elevator – If your residence is up/down stairs or an elevator the average moving fee will increase.
    2. Long Haul – Some condos and apartments have long hallways as well some homes have a longer trip to get from residence to the truck.
    3. Overall Layout – If your residence is in an older home that has smaller doorways and tighter spaces to move in/out, expect your move fee to increase.


Average Cost of Long Distance Move

The average cost of a long distance move is much more complicated mostly because of the distances traveled.  Here are a few of the considerations included in the cost of an average long distance move.

  1. Rate Per Pound – This is probably the most important factor when considering the average cost of a long distance move.  This is essentially the rate per pound that you are paying for your items to be shipped.  This rate changes depending on it’s own set of details:
    1. Destination City
    2. Origin City
    3. Distance Between the Destination and Origin
    4. Demand – The demand for shipments going from Boston to DC is going to be higher than Boston to Norther Maine.  Therefore, the average long distance moving rates will be more going from Boston to Maine.
  2. Price of Fuel – Many long distance movers add a fuel surcharge onto their long distance moving costs.  As the fuel fee decreases, the fuel surcharge should decrease.  Some movers incorporate the fuel surcharge into their rate per pound ( recommended).
  3. Guaranteed Dates – If a guaranteed pick up date and/or delivery date is required, the average cost of a long distance move will change drastically.

Overall, the average cost of moving services depend  on many different factors.

5 Steps to Completing a Successful Long Distance Commercial Move

5 Steps to Completing a Successful Long Distance Commercial Move

A long distance commercial move, whether a large office, an industrial warehouse, or a retail space can be a daunting task.  It is imperative to plan a long distance commercial move as efficiently as possible – or it could mean lost revenue for you as the process extends.  If you happen to be the person in charge of your office relocation – this is for you.

STEP 1: Writing the Plan

Your office plan should include a number of different factors.  Even if you work for a small company – this part of your commercial move is crucial to the orderliness of your move.  Your plan should include a list of employees – and what department they are in.  Each employee office should have an inventory of what furniture/electronics/etc is located in each office.  I highly suggest getting a blueprint of the new office to determine where each employee will be.  Usually, when performing a long distance office or commercial move, we usually only move a portion of the office – for example one department moves.  A complete inventory of what is going and staying is crucial to the success of a long distance commercial move.

STEP 2: Hiring a Long Distance Commercial Mover

There are a lot of moving companies that offer commercial moving services.  However, few are actually trained office movers.  Monster Movers is a long distance commercial mover that incorporates office and commercial education into the initial training that our movers receive before going on any job.  Monster Movers is a trusted commercial mover that is trusted by Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, and everyone in between.  Long distance commercial moves are extremely time sensitive – you need to hire a commercial mover that guarantees delivery dates.

commercial movers
Long Distance Commercial Movers


STEP 3: Coordinate and Evaluate

About 2 months before your long distance commercial movers arrive, you should give each employee a small folder that includes:

  1. Orientation Sheet – this will let the office staff know where they are going and where their new office will be
  2. Commercial Relocation Stickers – these stickers should already have the floor/office number that the employee will be occupying
  3. Box Location – I suggest giving employees the boxes at a short meeting or you can let the staff know where to get them
  4. Important Dates

You should also coordinated any computer installation companies, elevator usage, phone services, and utilities services.  Your long distance movers should be notified of elevator days/times in the new location.  Long distance commercial moving is extremely time-sensitive so your movers need this information well in advance.

STEP 4: Make Special Moving Arrangements

With most office moves, there are some pieces of furniture that won’t be going and new furniture that will.  You can call a removal company ( or your commercial mover may be able to do this) to pick up old office furniture for donation.  Contact your office movers and make them aware of any special moving arrangements or last minute moving services.

STEP 5: Label

I have attended some office relocations where the labeling of furnishings, cartons, boxes has been inconsistent and leads to hours of “who’s mousepad and pictures are these.”  Label everything – twice.  Label offices, make signs for your long distance commercial move and employees.

Comprehensive Moving Tips, Advice, Checklist from Industry Leading Mover Company