Do you have any questions or doubts? You will definitely find an answer on the answers we provide to you below.
In this section, you will find some general information about the home exchange world.
What is a home exchange between employees?
A home exchange is an easy and comfortable way of enjoying your vacation. It brings together people from different places or regions of the world and allows them to exchange their houses for a specific amount of time. Getting in touch with other members is also very simple, since all of them are your colleagues, and they all wish to do the same thing: exchange their home for the holidays.
The concept of home swapping is simple. All it takes is an agreement between people that want to exchange homes for their vacations and enjoy free accommodation. All of the conditions are arranged in advance, including the dates and length of stay, each participant's obligations, the house rules, and all of the available amenities. Anything is possible with a home exchange and there is plenty of room for flexibility. There are no requirements for the location or size of the home. Primary homes, secondary homes, and rental properties are all welcome. You also do not have to travel at the same time as your guests because home exchanging can be simultaneous or in different time frames.
What is Homeforswap.com?
Homeforswap.com is a web platform that brings together all the employees of Homeforswap, which are spread in numerous countries all over the world, in order to exchange their homes for the holidays. Our portal is available in 6 languages (English, French, Spanish, German, Portuguese and Italian) and allows you to find homes in your preferred destinations as well as to get in touch with homeowners and organize a perfect exchange.
What are the steps I must follow to do a home exchange?
To organize an exchange through Homeforswap.com follow these three steps:
1. Register and post your home swap ad using the online form.
This very complete and easy-to-use tool will let you provide as much information as possible about your home and allow you to share the details of the exchange you are looking for (dates, destinations, accommodation type, etc.). You can also provide any additional information you feel would be useful in the empty fields. Don't hesitate to regularly update your ad: you can change it for free at any time and as many times as you like.
2. Find your ideal house thanks to our search engines. Look for houses in a specific city by using our conventional search engine, or use our reverse search tool and find members who wish to spend their holidays on your city/region or country.
3. You can post an ad for your primary residence, as well as for your secondary one, or for both! Get in touch with other members via the internal messaging system of Homeforswap.com. Your email address will never be revealed to other members or third parties. You are the only one who can decide to whom and when you make it known. In that way, we make sure that you don’t receive spam emails.
I want to travel to Paris. Can you organize my stay?
Yes, Homeforswap.com is an excellent place to start. We expect to have a large number of listings within the Homeforswap employee community.
Homeforswap.com is a service specialized in listing homes in order to proceed at an exchange. We give you the possibility to find a house and have a first contact with individuals who are looking for the exact same thing, meaning exchange house to discover a new way of traveling. Homeforswap.com is not involved in the exchange organization and we won't contact members for you, but we give you helpful advice, useful documents and a general frame so that everything goes well. The terms of exchange are decided between members through a written agreement, in which you precise where, when and how long you are going to exchange for. You can add the terms and conditions you want... You will see, it is so easy to go on holidays with home exchange !
Is there a contract for the home exchange?
Yes, a written agreement is available in each member's personal account. Each member who had already signed up in the website. There is all conditions of residence and must be signed by both parties ; so that everything is scheduled ahead. For further information, search for the corresponding questions in the paragraph Security - Insurance .
Do the exchanged homes have to be equivalent?
Not necessarily, even though it is the norm. People look forward to exciting and unique vacations, so maybe a little house in the mountains in an unfamiliar area may be exactly what someone is looking for. In this case, a country house could be exchanged for an urban apartment in the city. Even though the house might be very spacious while the apartment is smaller, the location can be the main feature of the exchange. It is up to the members to make these decisions and to set their priorities. The location and the dates are the most relevant details to take into consideration. Remember that the more flexible you are with your travel dates and destination, the more possibilities you will have to finalize an exchange.
Is it possible to exchange when you are sharing your home? Can I set restrictions to certain areas of my house?
Of course. This information will be specified once the ad is published. We will give you the option to list whether the property is shared or not. In this case, you can specify which section of the property is accessible and which are the common areas. You can also discuss further details with members through private messages.
Do the exchanges have to be simultaneous?
Not necessarily, even though it tends to be the norm. It's all a question of common agreement. Both members have to reach to an agreement on the best period for each of them. For instance, if you or your exchange partner decide to exchange your secondary residence, the exchange can be at two different periods of time. Indeed, you can spend a few days with your exchange partner in order to make them discover your region. All formulas are possible and should be foreseen straightaway with your partner.
Does a home exchange have to be reciprocal?
Of course, all members must offer at least one accommodation property in order to make an exchange. There might be members who have big house and who wouldn’t mind to offer accommodation in exchange for some company, but that is not very common. This would be a “hospitality exchange”. Our exchange option however is based on reciprocity and requires that both members offer a property for exchange.
How much time in advance do I need to organize a home exchange?
Home exchanges can be organized in a short amount of time if the exchange is within the same country. However, usually an exchange is organized and agreed upon step by step in order to reach the necessary communication and confidentiality level. For international exchanges, you will probably need a few months to set dates, formalize the agreement, book flight tickets, etc. If you like the idea of home exchange, then why not start right away? Look for homes and get in touch with your fellow colleagues and organize your trip.
Is it completely free?
Yes, the main advantage of our platform is that once you are registered, you can organize as many home exchanges as you like. The accommodation will always be free and you can save even more by cooking at your home, an amenity that you don’t have when you stay at a hotel.
Is it safe?
One of the main advantages of using Homeforswap.com is that you are able to exchange homes within a trusted environment: Homeforswap employees. It is true that in the beginning you might feel like you will let strangers live at your home. But once your exchange partner and his family arrive at your house, they won’t be strangers. You will have exchange many messages, letters, photos, as well as speaking over the phone in order to organize a successful trip. Additionally, remember that while the other family will be at your house, you and your family will be staying at their home. Finally, don’t worry if you don’t feel comfortable with the members that you get in touch with: our community has a great number of members, so you can simply choose another person for your exchange. We advice you to communicate plenty with the member that you have selected as your exchange partner. Discuss all the doubts and questions you have about the house, the neighborhood, the region and of course your exchange family. You can also ask for more photos if the ones included in the ad are not enough.
How much of my vacation budget can I save if I exchange my house?
The calculations are simple! The main cost depends on your choice of transportation: plane tickets, train, gasoline, tolls… You must also consider food expenses, although you can save money if you choose to cook at the home you are staying in.
Here we estimated the total cost of the trip of a European family to the United States versus the amount they would have saved with a home exchange.
As the table shows, accommodation in a hotel counts for more than 2/3 of the total vacation budget. By exchanging your house you can reduce this cost to zero, and either save that money for later or use them on additional activities during your holidays.
By staying at the house of a colleague, you will also have the chance to discover the residential areas of a city and live like a local, away from the tourist traps. Home exchange is an opportunity for alternative holidays and for immersion in the culture of the country you are visiting.
What are the environmental benefits of home exchange?
Home exchanges contributes to the ecotourism movement, in other words, it corresponds to a new vacation option that preserves the ecosystem and helps the local economies of the places that you'll visit.
By choosing our initiative, you are occupying an already existing house whose owners are on vacation and contribute to preventing the destruction of natural life from hotel construction and tourist complexes being built. It is a well-known fact that these types of constructions require large amounts of energy consumption and accumulate high water and electricity costs that create excess contamination.
What additional benefits does home exchanging offer?
With Homeforswap.com you can now travel to any place in the world where your company is present. Apart from staying in a comfortable place, home exchange gives you the opportunity to prepare your own meals (a fact that is especially useful for people with allergies or intolerances) while enjoying all the amenities of the house, such as appliances, bicycles, and toys and cribs for your children. It is also possible that the exchange may include a car as well, that will be a great help for the families with kids. The members also exchange important information with each other, such as useful addresses and recommendation of sights and activities in the area. The communication between the members is what makes a home exchange a success and that might also lead to a wonderful friendship by the end of the trip.
How many people can I bring along on the exchange?
The members, according to the capacity of their house, decide the limits. In every listing you can see what is the maximum number of people that can stay at each house, which depends upon the number of available rooms/beds. The exchange does not have to be reciprocal; both parties do not have to host the same number of people. The agreement depends on each owner.
Can I make multiple exchanges within the same vacation?
Of course, you just have to coordinate the dates and plan ahead of time. Don't forget that you can exchange your home as many times as you want.
Can I organize a multiple exchange, i.e. with more than two members?
All is possible, but usually the exchange is done between two members and their homes. In some cases, there can be a home exchange between three different members. A Spanish member can go to a house in Italy, the Italian member can go to a house in the USA, and the American member can go to the house in Spain. The most difficult part of all of this is coordinating the dates, but it is possible in any case.
Is it possible to do a home exchange within my own country?
Yes! Homeforswap.com gives you the possibility to get in touch with any member you like, therefore it includes people from your country. You perfectly can contact members from your country to exchange your homes, if you want to discover a region.
What is the average time that a home exchange lasts?
- It is up to you; however it is difficult to establish an average stay, since every exchange is different. You can choose to exchange your home for a short amount of time: a weekend, a bank holiday, a week or choose a longer stay of maybe even a month or two. It depends on how many days you and the other member has available. According to our statistics, these are the percentages:
- - Exchanges of 2 to 4 days: 20 %
- - Exchanges of 10 to 15 days: 53 %
- - Exchanges of one month o more: 26 %
- - Exchanges of one year: 1 %
Can you exchange your home for long periods of time?
Yes. There have been exchanges of up to a year for professional reasons, but these were exceptional situations. In this case, you should formalize your contract officially and also make sure that your home insurance is up to date, since most of them cover your guests for a limited time.
In this section, you will find the necessary information to decide whether you want to join our community.
Can I exchange my home if I am renting?
If you are renting a house, the home exchange program does not consider it a sublease, since it is not for financial purposes. From a legal stand point; you are simply lending your home free of charge. You can exchange your home just like a property owner and you are not obligated to tell your landlord, however, most people do notify their landlords out of courtesy. Your home insurance will continue to function as if you had friends over staying at your house.
In our house we do not allow smoking or pets. Can we arrange for the same conditions to be followed by exchange partners?
Of course, it is only a matter of having both parties agree upon the details. When you make your ad, you can choose which options are suitable in your case: smoking not allowed, no pets, no children allowed. You can also specify these details through the private messages. When both parties reach an agreement, you can agree on the prohibitions through a written contract that both members will sign. The agreement contract can be found on the member section.
Would people want to visit my home if it is not in a typical tourist destination?
Don't prevent yourself exchanging your home just because it is not located in a region with a good weather or if it is not in a touristic place. Whatever the region might be, one of the platform users will want to travel there ! Our community is as diverse as the preferences for a destination or another.
I live in an apartment, can I exchange my home?
Yes, all accommodation types are valid. Most of our ads correspond to houses and apartments but all other types of housing are also welcome: cottage houses, houseboats, trailers, etc.
Can I exchange my home with members that do not speak the same language as me?
Of course, the vast majority of members post an ad in English to make sure other Homeforswap.com employees will understand their home description. At Homeforswap.com you can find all of our information in 3 different languages: English, Portuguese and Spanish. The description written by the member is not translated but you can use any online translation tools to translate it, if necessary.
I share an apartment, can I exchange my room?
Yes, as long as your roommates are aware of the exchange and approve of the circumstances. You must also specify in your ad that your apartment is shared. Some members could be interested.
Do I have the opportunity to exchange my little apartment for a big house in the country for a few days?
Yes, there are no standards for the types of accommodation that are exchanged. An apartment in a big city is smaller than a home in the valley, but the location might compensate for the size. Size is not the most important priority when organizing the exchange.
Will home exchange suit me?
Home exchanges bring together a big community of travelers from different backgrounds, so don't think that this way of travelling is not for you. It is a different way of organizing your vacation. The most important thing is to have respect for the other member's homes. Home exchange is done by independent travelers and people who like to travel comfortably.
What kind of homes can be exchanged?
We expect there to be a large variety of homes on Homeforswap.com. All kinds of ads are allowed: apartments, country homes, farms, cottages, trailers, individual rooms, and even mansions! You can also include your vehicle in the exchange, which is particularly useful in international exchanges. There is no limit ! People decide what they would like to get out of an exchange. Someone who lives in a small apartment in the city can travel to a big luxurious house on the other side of the world, even if is not financially equivalent! There are many possibilities : look for a house that suits you, contact the member concerned and prepare your trip !
Do families exchange homes?
Yes, families are very successful in getting home exchanges because many families want more space and a place for their kids to play during the holidays. Exchanging with a family is easy because you find yourself with a home equipped with toys, space, cribs, and anything you may need to make your holiday a success.
Organizing the exchange
In this section, you will find all the necessary information to organize an easy and successful home exchange.
How do I prepare my home for the arrival of my guests?
To welcome your guests properly, we suggest that you do everything you can to make them feel right at home. In a visible place, such as the living room table, gather all of the useful items your guests may need during their stay (the remote control to open the gates, the mail box or cellar key, instruction manuals for electric appliances, etc). This will prevent them from spending their first morning looking for everything!
To add to the key element, you can create a House Book. This little booklet can explain all of the information that would be useful to your guests. It can include emergency contacts (doctor, fire department, police, locksmith, etc.), the location of the fusebox, how to use the washing machine and the oven, the days garbage is collected, etc.
Use your personal touch by recommending a local specialty or leave a greeting card for your guest.
Why can I not see the members phone number in their ad?
Homeforswap.com does not expose any personal information of its members because we respect your privacy. If you want to get in contact with a member through telephone, email or exact address you must first do this through the internal private messaging, and it's your responsibility to reveal personal contact information to the other member.
How do we exchange our house keys?
You must speak directly with your exchange partner to resolve these small details:
- - Meet each other in person at one's house.
- - Leave the keys to the doorman, a neighbor, a family member.
- - Send the keys by mail
There are many possible options. We know that there are many members that send their keys through ordinary mail, but this is the least recommended option. You must state the key arrangements very clearly in the exchange agreement.
Are cars also exchanged?
Sometimes, the members may include their vehicle in the exchange package, but it is up to you on whether you would like to use it or not.
Why does the exact address not appear in the ad?
If you are interested in a member's ad, you can ask for the exact address of the home through messages. When the exchange is about to take place, the owner will let you know the easiest way to arrive to their house from the closest airport, train station, or etc.
I have pets and a garden, who will look after them?
While some members do enjoy looking after their exchange partner's pets or do not mind taking care of the garden, you cannot in all fairness impose this upon them. Remember, like you, they are on holiday. They may have longer trips planned, or simply do not want to commit to a routine. Even if you arrange for a neighbor or family member to take care of your pets, you should still let your exchange partner know of your furry, feathered or finned friends. Keep in mind that others may be allergic to certain animals. In all of our home exchange offers, members can specify whether or not pets are allowed.
Can I exchange my home and travel with my pet?
It all depends on the agreement that you have reached with the other member. In each ad, you can find out whether or not pets are permitted. Be sure to also include this in your own ad. You must also mention in your ads if you would like to travel with a pet.
What are the most important rules you must follow upon arrival?
Remember to reach an agreement on how you are going to be exchanging the keys of your home. Have a list prepared for the guest so they know the most important things to consider upon arrival: how to enter the home, how to turn on the water or the heating, etc. You can also create a House Guide for your guests where they can find emergency contacts and any other valuable information. You must also consider the Golden Rule, ¨Respect the house you are staying in as if it was your own ¨. In the event that anything is accidently broken or damaged in the host's home, get in contact with the owner to find a solution that best suits the situation. Before you leave, make sure the house is in the same condition as it was when you first arrived.
Who cleans the exchanged home?
Cleaning duties must be specified in the contract before the exchange takes place so there are no problems afterwards.
Each guest must leave the house just as clean as they found it. However, not all of us have the same cleaning criteria. It might be a good idea to arrange for a cleaning service to come and clean the house after your stay.
Who pays the bills?
All expenses are discussed between the two parties. It usually depends on how long the trip lasts. Normally, each exchange partner pays charges for one's own house and agrees to be courteous in the use of utilities in the household he is visiting.
There are some amentities, like a telephone, that need specific instructions for use. National calls may be free, while international calls may require additional charges.
Can I use the Internet connection in the house?
This must all be agreed upon before the exchange. In your ad you can specify whether or not Wifi is included, or if your house is equipped with a computer.
Who will take care of my plants or my pool while I'm away?
If you would like your exchange partner to take care of your plants or your pool, you must arrange this before you leave. All of these details should be included in the agreement contract. You can also designate an external person to take care of these needs. In this case, you must let the guest know who will be coming to the home and on which days they will come.
Are there any additional insurance policies besides the multi-risk home insurance policy?
Yes, it is important that your home insurance is up to date. There is also another option of a specific insurance that Homeforswap.com offers in collaboration with AIG. It requires a subscription cost but it allows you to enjoy your trip without any worries.
Can I contact the other party once I am at their house?
Yes. After agreeing on all of the details, you will most likely have the owner's phone number, as well as, any additional numbers of family members or emergency contacts. If you feel the need to contact your exchange partner, it is entirely up to you.
What should I do if any accidents happen while I am staying in the home?
You should ask your exchange partner for all of the important contact information in case of an emergency. You must also immediately let the owner know of the situation so you can resolve it as soon as possible. If it concerns a minor incident, just contact the member to try to reach a solution for the situation.
Where can I leave comments or feedback after the home exchange?
If you would like to share your experience with us, you can fill out the contact form and we will put it up in the ¨Testimonials¨ section of our site.
Don't forget that you can rate your experience and directly comment on each ad posted by the members you have exchanged homes with or have been in contact with.
In this section, you will find all you need to know about registration and all of the services included.
How do I register in Homeforswap.com?
Only Homeforswap employees are able to register on the portal. All you need to do is fill out all the required fields in the registration form. By doing so, your ad will be published and you will be ready to contact other members.
If you need help registering, contact us and we will help you with the registration process.
What if I want to list a second home?
Sure! You can list as many houses as you would like and increase your opportunities for an exchange.
Can I exchange my home more than once while I am registered?
Of course, you decide the number of times you would like to exchange your house. It all depends on how much free time you have. With second homes, the possibilities for an exchange are even wider because you can arrange non-simultaneous exchanges and enjoy the vacation whenever you have time.
Who can register on Homeforswap.com?
Every Homeforswap employee is able to register. Our portal is available in six different languages and all people over 18 years old can sign up.
How long does it take to register?
It won't take more than three minutes to register, all you have to do is fill in all the fields and describe your house. If you have pictures of your house and your own picture on your computer, you can upload them on the webpage in just a few seconds.
Home security - Insurance
In this section, you will find everything you need to know concerning home security, including information in regards to the exchange agreement, a vehicle agreement, travel insurance, and confidentiality.
Is it safe to exchange homes for the holidays?
It is the first thing you may ask and it normal to worry about it. However, when you try it, you will stop worrying about it and you'd like to do it again. The home exchange is arranged by reaching a mutual agreement of two members of the Homeforswap community. Take plenty of time to establish the trust that is necessary for such an exchange. Additionally, it is also known that houses that remain occupied during a vacation have a lower risk of theft. Throughout all our years of experience, we never received any complaints. Don't forget that apart from your insurance, you may now contract one of the special travelling insurances of AIG. If you want to read more about it, please go to "Security- Home Insurance".
Do we have to create a contract for the home exchange?
A home exchange is based on values of trust and respect, thus it is up to the home exchange partners to decide on the practical details of the home exchange informally, without drafting a specific contract. By doing so, you put your trust in the good faith of the other member. However, we know it isn't easy to enjoy your vacations while leaving your home to complete strangers. We therefore offer you advice on the best way to experience a successful home exchange. We have made a home exchange agreement template available for those of you who would like to create a formal agreement. The home exchange agreement is intended to avoid any miscommunication by setting clear terms of what has been agreed upon. It also acts as a reference guide containing useful information about both homes including dates of exchange, times of arrival, key exchange, etc.
A home exchange agreement is available for all our members. This home exchange contract is a formal agreement between both parties involved in a home exchange. It is intended to clearly set down the terms of the exchange and all agreed logistics, such as date and time of arrival, exchange of the keys and so on. A car exchange agreement can also be included if applicable.
What information must be included in the exchange contract?
The exchange contract is a document that will help you establish the terms & conditions of the exchange and will help you avoid any misunderstandings. You can agree on the following:
- - All of the basic exchange information such as, personal information, address, dates, etc.
- - All information concerning the home/vehicle insurance or the costs that may be included during the stay.
- - Important details such as, how the keys will be exchanged, personal care for pets, garden maintantence, or house cleaning.
You can download the contract model here and adjust it so it meets all of your needs & demands. Do not hesitate to include any further details that both parties have agreed upon. Do not forget to include all of the necessary details in the 'House Booklet'.
Is it safer to leave a house unoccupied or occupied while out on vacation?
All of the insurance companies agree with this, it is much safer to leave a house occupied than empty in order to avoid robbery.
Am I insured while I am exchanging my house?
Yes, the members staying in the host's house are considered guests. Since there are no financial transactions involved, the owner is still insured. Sometimes there is a 30-day limit, so consult your agent if you are having any doubts.
In the event of any damage done, your homeowners insurance will have the same coverage as if friends came to spend a weekend in your home. There is no specific care in a home exchange. Check that your insurance covers damage caused by a third party who is in your house during your absence.
What does Homeforswap.com offer when it comes to insurance?
As an optional part of the exchange agreement, you can purchase Accommodation Insurance, which protects your travel plans in case your exchange partner is forced to cancel the arrangement due to illness, death in the family, or other unforeseen covered by the insurance. It covers and financially compensates for the following:
- - Civil Responsibility
- - Cancellation or interruption of plans
- - Non-conformity with the home
- - Broken or damaged objects during the stay
For more information about the home exchange contract and the accommodation insurance, continue reading this 'Home security - Insurance' page.
If I rent my home, does the insurance take care of the guests?
If the insurance policy is up to date, it does not matter whether or not you are the homeowner. The insurance should cover both owners and renters.
Will my car insurance cover my exchange partner?
Car insurance normally remains active for about a month, covering anyone driving with your permission. Be sure to check with your insurance agent. If it makes you feel more comfortable, you can set up restrictions, i. e. restrict drivers to those aged 25 and over, indicate the maximum amount of miles to be driven during the period of the exchange, and make it clear if you do not wish your car to be driven out of your local area.
What are the most important steps to take with the insurance issue?
It is important to make sure that your home/vehicle insurance is up to date by calling your insurance company and verifying that they cover your vehicle during the exchange.
Keep in mind the vehicle insurance may have restrictions that apply.
How do I know that I am exchanging my home with a trustworthy person?
You are exchanging homes within a trusted environment: the employees of your company. The time you spend contacting members will allow you to establish trust and and will help you choose your home exchange partner. If at any moment you do not like what the other member is offering, do not go forward with the exchange. This is why it is very important to set all the details on the contract before you purchase travel tickets.
Take a look at our 'Tips on how to make a home exchange' section, to know the most important things about exchanging and to be worry free. You can also read our 'Home security - Insurance' section.
How will I know that my house is being taken care of?
Trust your guests and do not forget that you will also be at their house. Members take care of each other’s homes as if they were their own. If there are any incidents in the house, the multi-risk insurance will cover it.
What should I do with valuable objects?
If you have any fragile objects or items of a large value that you want to keep away from your guests, we recommend that you have a security closet where you can lock them.
What are your top swapping tips?
- Communication is key. Make sure you get to know your swap partner well by exchanging messages, phone calls, or Skype calls to help confirm the exchange.
- Give your home insurance company a call to make sure you are fully covered during the swap.
- Make solid arrangements about the collection and handling of keys. See if a friend or neighbor could help you.
- Make sure your home is prepared for the swap before your partner arrives and leave the home you visit in a similar manner.
What should I do if during my stay I encounter any problems?
If you damage anything, you must contact the owner and then you must follow these steps:
- - If it is not something very important, contact your exchange partner to set the details of the reimbursement / replacement, and to see if their insurance covers this type of damage.
- - In case of a breakdown/burglary, have all the contact details for the insurer of the home or of a trusted person and contact them immediately.
What are the confidentiality rules?
Protecting your privacy and personal information is the cornerstone of our business and will always be one of our highest priorities. The required level of confidentiality is always maintained. Our confidentiality policy is always readable and available for download at the bottom of this page.
Will my personal information and address be published on Homeforswap.com?
Your address or personal details (name or email) will never be public on Homeforswap.com. You decide whether you want to share this information with the other members once you come in contact with them.
Which information is published and visible for all the members?
In your ad the members can see the following:
- - Your name
- - The city and country of the ad. With the street name and zip code, the house appears located on a map, but they will not know the number and apt #, unless you want to share this information privately with them.
In this section, you will find all the information related to Homeforswap.com and how it works.
What is the fastest way to find a home or apartment for exchange?
You have two search engines available, one for a general search (where you want to travel) and another one for inverse search (those who want to come to your country/ region). When you select your options, you will get a list of results. You can expand the information by clicking on the ad.
How can I know if a house is available on the dates that I need?
To see someone's housing availability, you can click on the ad that you are interested in and access the calendar on the top. If the dates are free, they will be coloured in green. If the dates are in red, it means the house is taken or that the member cannot travel on those dates.
How can I contact a member if their ad interests me?
To contact a member you must be registered in Homeforswap.com. If you are not already a member, you have to register.
If you are already a member, you will need to sign in with your email and password. From the search engine you can access the ads, click on the ad you would like to see and contact the member from there. The member that you are contacting will receive an email on their personal account. Your personal message that will also appear in their email inbox. When the member reads it and responds, you will also receive an alert in your email inbox.
How can I publish an ad?
In the section 'Add Property', you have an inscription form and also a form where you can describe your house and upload pictures. For further information about the inscription process, read the Member 'Help' section on the 'Frequently Asked Questions'.
How can I contact the Customer Service department?
We hope that our tips have been useful and that you are excited to try this new way of travel. To contact us for any other questions, you can complete the contact form at the bottom of the page. We are happy to answer any questions or concerns.
For more information regarding the Terms and Conditions of Homeforswap.com, there is a link available at the bottom of the page.
Tips on how to make a home exchange
Here you will find tips for organizing the perfect home exchange.
Suggestions for your first exchange.
- - Be proactive: The more effort you put into searching and emailing other members, the faster you will find an exchange partner. Create a short list of several homes you are interested in and send them a brief personalized message. If you only wait to hear from others, then you will limit your opportunities. Your first attempt does not always guarantee an exchange. If you find someone interested in your offer, then you can provide more details and go on from there. As you learn more about the process, it becomes easier with time! Unless you are planning a short holiday, it pays off to start planning ahead of time.
- - Organize your holiday in advance: Do not wait until last minute to arrange an exchange. You can get lucky and quickly arrange an exchange, but usually you should plan an exchange many months in advance.
- - Consider the seasons : Is it reasonable to expect a registered member to exchange their home in July or August. Best to try shoulder seasons if possible, unless you are exchanging non-simultaneously.
- - Flexibility: Be open to options. Maybe 20 kilometers outside of Paris will work for you, as well as being right in the city center. Remember that smaller metropolitan areas will have cheaper prices for their goods. Public transport may also be nearby.
- - Be negotiable: If you are a group of 4 adults, you may arrange to stay in a place for 2 weeks, in exchange for 2 people staying in your place for 3 weeks. Negotiate a fair trade. Anything is possible!
- - Search for similar backgrounds: If you are a family with 5 children, it may not be reasonable to expect a retired couple to exchange with you. Be honest with your exchange partner. Don’t hide the fact that you want the cat fed or the garden watered. Some people are happy to do these things.
- - Exchange Agreement Form: When you have arranged your first exchange we recommend that you fill in an Exchange Agreement Form so that there is no confusion over dates and other details.
Publish the perfect listing
To have maximum possibilities of exchange and receive results faster, it is important to make your ad as attractive as possible...
- * Be precise: Fill out all the required fields for your ad, describe your house in full detail, and make the most prominent aspects stand out. Make sure you include the number of beds, type of amentities, etc.
- * Include Pictures: You can include an unlimited number of pictures for your ad. You know that a picture is worth a million words, so make sure the pictures have a good quality and show the most beautiful corners of your house. Do not forget to add pictures of the living room, kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. An ad with pictures will be viewed as more trustworthy.
- * Share the beauty of your home: Add a personal touch in your descriptions. For example, make it known if the house has plenty of light or if it has a perfect balcony to have breakfast in the mornings.
Now that you have created the perfect listing, do not forget to stay active inside the portal. In order to be successful, we encourage you to continously contact other members.
Communicating in a different language
You may think that it is hard to contact a member that does not speak the same language as you. But, don't worry, here are a few tips:
- - If you are especially interested in travelling abroad, we recommend for you to write your ad in English.
- - State in your ad the languages you are able to speak or read. Make sure it is very clear in your listing.
- - When you have to speak with other members through internal messaging, you can use the 'Google Translate' tool to help you communicate. Even if it is not perfect, it will translate the messages to a level of understanding.
- - The ¨Exchange Agreement¨ for the home is available in 6 different languages for your convenience.
Exchange with absolute security
Home exchanges have rarely given people any problems. If there is an incident, it is usually minor and can be fixed between the members. There are everyday objects that can be broken that can be easily replaced. For this reason, it is important to reach an agreement on how to act in the case of an incident:
- - You should send each other pictures of the inside of the house.
- - You should talk on the phone or connect through a webcam.
- - Let the other member know any issues or doubts that you are having about the exchange. Do not hesitate to ask questions because the other member may have similar concerns.
- - Read the comments that other members have left about homes you are considering for an exchange. You can even contact these members to ask them about their personal experience.
- - Ask members if they have an up to date home insurance.
- - If you are not completely convinced or do not trust the other member, do not feel forced to make the exchange. Just let them know right away so, they can continue their search.
Golden Rules for a Perfect Exchange
- 1. Be honest: The ad you are publishing must be precise and accurate. Be truthful when you describe the conditions of your home or the number of people that will travel with you.
- 2. Leave the home clean and organized: Be sure to leave the house in good condition for your guests.
- 3. Leave room in the closet for guests to leave their coats and belongings. It is all about making their stay as comfortable as possible. Don't forget to leave bed sheets and towels for them to use.
- 4. Share information and tips: complete the 'House Guide', there you can share all the information that is necessary for your guests, telephone numbers, emergency contacts, house insurance, and you can also give them ideas for any surrounding interesting points.
- 5. Customize the exchange agreement: We offer to all our members an ¨Exchange agreement form¨where they can include the dates of the exchange and any further details that they consider important.
- 6. Welcome your guests properly: The best idea is to have a family member or close friend to pass on the keys to the guests when they arrive. This person can also go through the house before the guests leave to make sure everything is in order. Sometimes members will even leave a house warming gift, such fresh flowers, bottle of wine, or some food in the fridge. The guests will feel very grateful for this.
- 7. Take care of the house you are visiting as if it is your own. Be considerate of the furniture and use water and electricity with moderation. Do not make too much noise and respect the neighbors.
- 8. Make sure there is no miscommunication: Be sure your guests arrived at your house and that there are no problems. It is important to maintain good communication during the exchange.
- 9. Leave the house as it was before your stay: Make sure the cleaning person that you have agreed upon comes and cleans the house. If cleaning was not agreed upon, clean the home and organize it before your departure.
- 10. Leave a testimony or comments about your exchange experience and about the house you visited. This will help other members and your host will gain confidence from you and other members. You can also fill out the ¨Exchange Evaluation Form¨ and send it to us.
Help for members
What is the inverse search engine and how does it work?
The inverse search engine allows you to find out which members want to travel to your country or region. You can use this to find exchanges that best suit you.
To make an inverse search, go to the 'Search' page, that is where you have on the top part the regular search engine, the inverse search.
How can I change the language on Homeforswap.com?
You can change the language of the Portal at any time by selecting your desired language at the top of the page. If you want a specific language to be saved as your primary language:
- 1. Log in your account from the member area. Under your name, you will see a selection menu.
- 2. Click on ¨Edit profile¨ on the menu.
- 3. Click on ¨Language.¨
- 4. Select the language you would like to use.
- 5. Click ¨Update¨ to save the new changes.
Your account in Homeforswap.com
How do I sign into my account?
Have you subscribed? Have you received our confirmation email, including your Member Number and Password?
On the sign in form, type in your email and password without any spaces or capitilization.
We do our best to support the most popular browsers. If you experience any difficulty, we recommend you download one of the following browsers: Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome or Safari. If you still cannot log in, do not hesitate to contact us.
What is the confirmation email?
To make sure that all users are Homeforswap employees, we will send you an email to the address that you have provided us. If you click on the link that appears in the email, your account will be activated. Until you complete this process, Homeforswap.com won't send you any information. Make sure that you have received our activation email.
If you have problems receiving emails, please include email@example.com at your secure contacts list.
I have just created my account, but I did not receive a confirmation email, what happens now?
If you have problems receiving the confirmation email, try the following: br> * Incorrect email address: Make sure you type your email address in correctly, to change any mistakes, go back to your profile and change the email. br> * Spam: Make sure the email is not being sent to your spam folder. * Blocked ISP: In some cases, certain emails may be accidentally blocked. Contact us to find an alternative way. * Full inbox: If your inbox is full it may prevent you from receiving any more emails. You will only be able to receive three confirmation emails to protect your privacy.
I forgot my password, how do I receive a new one?
Go to the sign up / log in page; click on the link ¨Forgot your password?¨. Then, enter your email address. A link will be sent by email to help you reset your password.
How do I change my password?
Once you are signed in, place the mouse on top of your name and you will see a menu:
- * Click on “My Dashboard” and then on “Change Password”
- * Introduce your new password twice. Don’t forget to save your changes by clicking on “Save”.
How can I change my email to sign in?
You can change all of the information that you have entered while registering. To change your email address:
- 1. Sign in and place the mouse over your name to see the menu.
- 2. Click on 'My Dashboard' on the menu and then on 'Edit my profile'.
- 3. Go to the 'Email' field.
- 4. Delete the email in the field and type in your new one.
- 5. Don't forget to save the changes by clicking on 'Save'.
I keep getting the message: 'Your email and password do not match' ...
Make sure you are using the correct email and password for your account. If you experience any trouble, click the link ¨Forgot your password? ¨ Your password will be emailed to you immediately.
View or modify your profile
What information can be seen on my profile?
On your profile, the members will be able to see the following:
- * Your name, your profile picture, the languages you can speak or understand, and your travel preferences.
- * Your ads and comments from other members that have stayed in your home.
On the private control panel on your account, you have access to:
- A list of your ads, that you can change or modify as you like;
- A list of published comments and tips for the exchanged guests that have stayed at your house, your friend list on the site, statistics for the number of visits received from the ad, and your evaluation;
- Your internal inbox, where you can receive and respond to the messages that have been sent to you by other members of our page;
- All of the necessary tools needed to modify your profile, pictures, password;
- Important documents for our members related to the use of our services.
What information is visible for all the members?
In your ad the members can see the following:
-Your first name
-The city/state/province and country of the ad is seen. The street address and map location of the home is also available. However, they will not know the house number or apartment number, unless you choose to share this information privately with them.
[Your email address or your phone number will never be published. Your privacy is important to us, we do not share this personal information with other members or third parties.]
How can I fill out all of the information on my profile?
We advise you to fill out all of the required fields to create easy communication among our members and provide trustworthy ads.
- From the toolbar, click on your name and then on "My Dashboard". Then, click on the tab "Edit my profile" and fill in all the required fields of the online form. Take advantage of the field "About me" and write more about yourself: where you come from, your hobbies, your favourite trips... Don't forget to include the places that you would like to visit.
How do I attach a profile picture?
Uploading a picture will create a higher level of trust with other members and will give credibility to your listing. Adding pictures is very easy: 1. Sign in to your account. br>2. Click on your name from the toolbar and then click on 'My Dashboard' on the drop-down menu. br>3. Click on 'Edit my profile', then on 'Edit my profile picture' and select a picture to upload from your browser. br>4. To save the changes, just click on 'Save' at the bottom of the page, otherwise the changes will not be saved.
How can I modify the information on my account?
All of the information that you entered during the registration can be edited. You can change the dates you wish to travel, your favourite destinations, your house description, and add or delete pictures. When you have organized an exchange and do not wish to receive any more offers, you can choose to hide your ad (or you can choose to do so for other personal reasons). In order to edit your information, log in on the platform. You will be directed to our home page and from there you will have to click on your name from the toolbar. Then simply click on "My Dashboard" and then on the link "Edit my profile".
How do I add or delete my travel destinations?
Go to your account and from the toolbar click on your name. When the drop-down menu appears, click on "My properties" and then on "Edit". On the online form you can delete or add more destinations.
Publishing your ad in Homeforswap.com
How can I create an attractive listing?
- * Be flexible in your requirements – For example saying you are interested in any offer from Italy will open your opportunities up to a much larger group of members than if you specified a small town or specific region of Italy.
- * Include as much information about your property, the features, and the area. Detailed descriptions allow people to visualize staying there easier.
- * Upload quality photos of the inside and outside of the property.
- * Do not just wait for people to contact you, actively browse and contact other members you would be interested in exchanging with.
Don't forget that publishing your ad is not the last step. You can search for offers and be active by contacting other members.
To read more about this, consult our 'Tips on how to make a home exchange' section.
What are the required fields that must be filled out?
In order to increase your home exchange opportunities, we ask that you fill out all of the required information, including an ad title and details of the home (square footage, number of rooms, how many beds are available). It is important that you attach pictures. An ad that includes pictures has 10 times better chances of being looked at.
What does the field ¨Room type?¨ mean?
This allows you to indicate whether your house is entirely available for the guest or if it is a shared apartment and you are only offering a room. You must specify in the house description and house rules which areas are accessible.
What are the house rules?
Here you can indicate all of the house rules that you think are necessary for visiting your house. Take your time to explain what is permitted and what is not allowed. You can include whether smoking is allowed, whether the house is suitable for children, and if it is pet-friendly.
Should I add some pictures of my house?
Yes, absolutely! Many members simply skip listings without photos. We actively acknowledge members who add photos by showing their listings more prominently on our website. Experience has proven that listings with good visual presentation get over ten times more offers, so the chance to finally close a successful exchange deal is also much higher. Common photos show the outside of your house, the master bedroom, the kitchen, and the living room. The number of photos you can add is unlimited, so post as many as you would like. If you experience any problems trying to add photos, please contact us or send them to us by email.
How can I attach pictures to my listing?
To include photos on your listing you only need to choose the photos you wish upload by clicking on “Select photos from your computer”. Once you have selected the ones you want, click on “Upload files”. Wait until all the photos are uploaded on our site and click on “Publish”, so that the listing is published with your photos.
How can I modify the information on my property?
Everything in your listing can be edited: home description, amenities, photos, and etc. To modify your information, just sign in to your account, click on your name from the toolbar, and finally go to “My properties”.
I have more than one home that I would like to exchange. Can I publish multiple ads?
Homeforswap.com is ideal for travelers with multiple properties. You can have a single account with multiple listings. This gives you more flexibility. Each listing is a separate offer for which you can have different requirements (different destinations, different dates, etc.). You can also provide individual details, descriptions, and of course photos for each property.
How does the calendar work?
We provide you with a calendar that is very easy to use, so you can specify the dates in which your house is available or when you would prefer to travel. Remember that the more flexible you are, the more possibilities you will have to receive proposals and organize a trip. To use your calendar, you just have to log in to your account, click on your name from the toolbar and then click on “My Properties” and then “Availability Calendar”. In the calendar that will appear click on the date that you wish to start your vacation. From the pop-up window you will be able to choose a period of time and select “Available” or “Not Available”. The days that you have marked as available will be in green, while the non-available in red. You can always modify and edit the days.
How can I change my calendar dates?
By default, your house appears as available (in green) all year long. To change the available dates:
1. Sign in on your account and click on your name from the toolbar > “My properties” >"Availability calendar"
2. Click on your start and end dates. From the pop-up window you will be able to choose a period of time and select “Available” or “Not Available”.
The days that you have marked as available will be in green, while the non-available in red.
How do I hide my published listing?
You can hide your ad for a while and make it visible again whenever you need to. To do this:
1. Sign in to your account and click your name from the toolbar and then click on “My properties”.
2. Click on the “Deactivate” button. You will notice that the word “Inactive” will appear next to the button. We recommend that you hide your listing when your house will not be available for exchange for a long period of time, or if it will be impossible for you to answer to other member’s questions.
3. You can re-activate it by clicking on “Activate”.
How do I unhide my listing on the site?
1. Log in to your account, click on your name from the toolbar, and from there select “My Properties”.
2. Click on ¨Activate¨ on the ad that you would like to make visible.
How can I delete all of my information from the Homeforswap.com database?
To delete your account and your ads at Homeforswap.com: 1. Sign in to your account. 2. Click on ¨Edit profile.¨ 3. Click on ¨Delete account¨ on the lower hand side of the webpage. 4. Confirm that you would like to unsubscribe. If you proceed, all of your information on our database will be automatically erased and you will not be able to retrieve any of your information. Remember that if in the future if you would like to become a member of our community again, you will have to re-submit all of your data.
How can I make my listing appear on the main page?
The Homeforswap.com regularly selects the most original and well-presented ads that include detailed descriptions. If you think your house deserves to appear on the main page, let us know and we will make it happen.
How can I edit my address?
If our system does not recognize the postal address entered in the address field, don’t worry, since you can edit it and make sure that is correct. Have you already created your listing? You can simply edit your address. Click on your name from the toolbar, select “My Properties” from the menu and then click on “Edit”. You can modify your address, your postal code and your region. If our system still doesn’t recognise your address, you can identify your location using GPS coordinates or by selecting it on the map. If the problem persists, please contact us through our online form (Footer>Contact Us).
Contact a member
What should I do if I l am interested in a listing?
Members contact each other about home exchanges through the messaging system provided by Homeforswap.com. You will also a notification email every time you have received a new message.
When a contacted member responds, you will receive an email to your personal inbox that will redirect you to your internal email. The message will be saved there.
Can I openly contact all the members?
We encourage you to contact members with whom you believe you can experience a potential swap. You never know how a person will respond, even if your destination is not on their preferred destination list. But please keep in mind that there is a higher probability that you will not receive a response when your offer does not exactly match the requirements of the person you are contacting.
What should I do if a member proposes an exchange?
You will receive a notification to your personal email. When you read the message you will be able to show whether you are interested or not declining the proposal. This does not mean that you are agreeing to anything other than receiving more information about the proposal.
You will always be able to view your 'Internal Inbox' and see the messages on Homeforswap.com.
I received an exchange proposal that I do not understand, how do I write back? Are there any translation services?
To translate any messages, you can use the external tool ¨Google Translate¨ to better understand the message.
For more information, we recommend reading the sections 'Frequent Questions' of Homeforswap.com, the 'Tips for conducting a international home exchange' section and 'Write to members in their language'.
What should I ask if I am interested in a listing?
First, you must find out whether or not the other member is interested in exchanging his or her home by discussing possible dates. Be flexible and open to offers. If the other member is interested, you can start to negotiate the details and organize the trip. Keep in mind that it is very important to communicate with each other as much as possible, and when you have reached a comfortable trust level, you can begin to settle an agreement.
In the member area you have all the necessary documents to do this: email forms, organization list, house guide, agreement form for the house and car.
How can I gain the trust of other members?
Make others feel that the exchange will be successful by offering them guaranteed expectations. Be especially considerate to first time exchangers who experience more doubts than usual. Talk to each other about what concerns or worries you may have and send each other good quality pictures for reassurance.
Should I answer all of the exchange offers that other members propose?
We recommend for you to reply to all messages you receive, even if it is just a short response explaining that you cannot take up the exchange offer at this time. This allows members to continue pursuing other exchange possibilities, some of them may wait for your answer to schedule their holidays.
Should I contact members or should I wait for them to contact me first?
You can start a conversation or wait to receive exchange proposals from other members. Both are perfectly acceptable, but you can greatly increase the chance of finding an exchange partner if you are pro-active and contact other members directly.
How many people must I come in contact with until I can organize a home exchange?
You can contact as many members as you would like, and there is no limit on the number of messages that you are allowed to send or receive. It could take a short amount of time of contacting only a few members or it could take a little longer until you find what you are looking for. Start to look for homes that interest you as soon as possible so you can organize the exchange without any problems or worries.
How can I know if the message I have sent is received?
In the ¨Member Area¨ you can access the contact history. Please note that there is still no guarantee that a member will always receive your message. This is not specific to our site.
Can I contact several members at one time?
We have a system that allows you to send the same message to an unlimited number of members. To do so, go on the Search page and tick the box "Select to write a multiple message" under each listing's photo.
Reviews and recommendations
What are the comments on the ads for?
The comments are written by members who have already experienced a home exchange. You can use this information in deciding whether you would like to contact the member and get to know them better. Comments will make your ad much more attractive and leave members feeling they can trust you more easily. Encourage members that have been guests at your house to leave comments.
What should I do if I have no comments about my house?
If your ad has not been recently published or you have not exchanged your home yet, it is normal.
From now on, after you exchange your house, be sure to ask the guests to leave comments and share their experiences and you can do the same for them.
Can I delete a negative comment about my house?
The comments are truthful feedback from members and cannot be easily deleted. You can write to us and explain your situation and we will resolve the issue. However, members usually leave comments that express a positive experience.
How can I leave a testimony about an exchange?
Yes, and we highly recommend it. Your personal experience is more valuable than what we have to say about Homeforswap.com. Send us your testimonial and evaluation form through the contact form and we will publish it for you.
- You should write some recommendations only to the people you know really well. We created the recommendations to be written by your friends, your family members and your colleagues, because they appear on your public profile. It helps to have a strong and reliable reputation among the Homeforswap.com community.
How can I recommend a host?
When you come back from an exchange, you can leave a comment about your exchange partner. When other members look for a home exchange, they will see what you have written and this will help them make a decision. If you want, you can send us your exchange evaluation form completed. To leave a comment on the ad, just submit a comment in the space provided at the bottom of an ad page.
If you are not completely satisfied with the way your guest was behaving during their stay and you have not successfully resolved it with them, please contact our customer support team and we will investigate the situation.
Who can evaluate me as a member?
Any member that you have exchanged homes with can evaluate you.
What is the difference between a comment and a useful tip?
A useful tip is the knowledge you gained from your own experience that you would like to share with other members to help them when they exchange with the same house. A comment is a general opinion of your travel experience in the exchanged home.
Why should I evaluate the house I have stayed in?
House evaluations are a major part of building the reputation of the members and will certainly help others in deciding with whom to exchange homes. The evaluation of the house is ranked from a number of 1 (bad experience) to 5 (excellent) and outlines the conditions of housing. To do this, we provide you with an evaluation form.