Find out if the piano’s had any previous problems, repairs, or special tunings; but do consider the piano’s age. A 40-year old piano has probably undergone some type of correction, but a 10-year old model with a history of damage is suspicious. If you consider purchasing an out-of-shape instrument, make sure you’re able to pay for repairs and adjustments.
Most piano retailers can help you arrange a move, usually for a fee. If you buy your piano privately, you’ll probably be responsible for the move. In either circumstance, it’s extremely important that your piano is moved by professionals. A basic move can cost anywhere from $75-$600 depending on distance, piano size, and even the types of stairwells in your home.
If a piano has gone more than a year without a tuning, take it as a warning. Common issues can be caused (or worsened) by a lack of tuning, even in new or unplayed pianos. If you purchase a poorly-tuned piano, be prepared to pay for special tunings or other related repairs.
Pianos are very sensitive to their surroundings. You can get a lot of insight into a piano’s background by scoping out its previous and current environments. A consistent, stable climate is crucial to piano health.