About Home Exchange

Finding a home exchange

Menu:

Assuming you are willing to consider a home exchange you need to figure out where you want to go and how to get there. This means signing up with an Internet-based home exchange agency that allows you to advertise your home for exchange and/or review the listings of homes available for exchange.

Choosing a Home Exchange Agency

Most home exchange services are for members only. Only registered members can post a listing or respond to a listing. You are paying for the ability to solicit the other members either through the quality of your listing or by responding to their listings. The leading home exchange agencies allow non-members to browse their listings for free but the contact information is erased. By browsing you can get an idea of the number, location, and quality of possible home exchange partners and decide whether or not to join. Members-only agencies range in cost from being free to $500 per year. The largest home exchange agency, Homeexchange.com, charges $100 per year.

finding

When choosing a home exchange agency, you want as many of their members as possible to be in those areas where you would like to go. You also want well-organized systems that are easy to use. Visit www.knowyourtrade.com for an independent look at the various agencies. I have used Homelink (www.homelink.org) and Homeexchange.com (www.homeexchange.com) and can recommend them. See Home Exchange Agencies for a detailed analysis of this topic. The Country Guide to Home Exchange looks at countries and recommends particular agencies depending upon where you want to travel.

Your Home Exchange Listing

When you join a home exchange agency you normally prepare a listing of your home exchange offer. This serves two purposes. It allows other members to find your listing and it also allows them to ask you to consider an exchange with them. When you see a listing for a family that you would like to contact, you can refer them to your listing for more information. This saves time.

Most agencies have you fill out an on-line form for describing your home, family, region, and exchange destinations and timing. Often you check yes or no, or choose a response from a limited set of options. Fill out the form carefully. Better agencies will supplement the multiple choice questions by allowing you to present your home and other details in your own words. Describe the location of your home, and the city/town/village and region in which it is located. Talk about the size of your home and the quality of its furnishings and amenities. Mention the age, sex, and occupation or interests of your family members and where you would like to go on your home exchange. Describe your car in detail if it is available to exchange.

You should have a comprehensive and complete listing, but don't make it too long. If your essay about your family, home, and region is humorous or brilliantly written this is a plus. (Some home exchange agencies won't allow you to write an essay.) You will notice that many home exchange listings are incomplete or poorly written. You will have an advantage over the competition if your listing is complete and well written. The primary objective of your listing is to accurately present your offer and preferences; a secondary goal is to show others your charm and character by the quality of your writing.

If you have children and/or are teachers, don't give dates for your exchange by saying ``School Holidays Only.'' Folks in other countries may not know the dates of your school holidays. Putting between June 15 and August 15, 2007 is better. Putting the year in the date field is important so those looking at your listing know whether it is for the upcoming, current, or already past year.

It is crucial to list the countries and/or regions you are interested in trading with. Some agencies allow you to list them all in an essay, while others will have check boxes of countries, continents, and regions. Most agencies will allow you to make the claim that you are willing to consider going anywhere.

You should list all countries of interest specifically up to the maximum number allowed. After listing them, you can also consider indicating you are open to all offers. The reason for listing specific countries has to do with the way the system search tools work. These tools allow users to find people willing to go to a particular place. Those willing to go anywhere may or may not show up on a specific geographic search (depends on the agency and the search options).

Another reason to be specific is so that someone reading your listing knows you want to go to a particular place. If you are searching for a family willing to go to New York you know those that list New York or the USA as a destination are likelier to respond to your offer than are those that put ``willing to go anywhere'' without specifically mentioning New York or USA. Many experienced home exchanges refuse to contact those with a listing that says only ``willing to go anywhere'' because they think it is inefficient and a waste of time and effort.

You can specify cities or regions of interest in a country or state. The disadvantage of this is if you are too specific you may discourage offers that would otherwise be worth considering.

Take attractive photos of your home and put them in your listing. Most agencies allow many photos. The #1 photo is the most important because it will be shown in the summary listing and/or the main listing while additional photos are shown as thumbnails. Photos are worth a thousand words with respect to the quality of your home, your sense of style, your interest in taking care of your property, and the immediate environment of your home. The majority of listings on the best agencies have photos and if you don't have one or more photos, you are at a disadvantage. One agency, Homeforexchange.com, puts listings lacking photos at the end of search results. The more photos you provide showing your home and its immediate environment the better. Key photos to display (assuming they look good) include your swimming pool, the living room, master bedroom, a minor bedroom, bathroom, the kitchen, your family, the garden, the view, and the front and/or rear of the house.

Some home exchangers promote their offers with their own personal web sites. This can be useful in promoting your offer, particularly if your home exchange agency limits the amount of text or photos of your home. On the other hand HomeExchange.com, for example allows many photos and essays similar in length to the book War and Peace, so there is no need for your own website. Most home exchange agencies will allow you to put a link to your personal web site or to a website with general information about your city or region.

Home Exchange Motivation

Understanding the motivation of people who might be willing to trade with you (besides the economic incentive) will help you understand how to promote your home and know what kinds of exchangers might be interested. Four specific motivations are discussed below.

Traditional Vacationers. These folks want a marquee destination, a large and exciting city, a place next to the ski slopes, or anyplace nice--as long as it has a lake, pool, or beach. They want to kick back and relax in comfort and luxury or they want to explore the sights, restaurants, and monuments of the world's great cities. If your home or second home is in a popular tourist destination you will hear from plenty of these folks.

Road Warriors. These families are going to see the entire region, be it state, country or continent, in three weeks using your car. They may not be staying in your home much as it will be their base. We have traded with several of these families because the location of our home is ideal for this kind of vacation. If your home appeals to these folks, your car needs to be in good condition and you need to accept that they might put 5000 kilometers or 5000 miles on it. If your car is in poor condition or you don't want it heavily used, you should avoid promoting your place as a good touring base.

Local Culture Enthusiasts. These folks want to learn more about the country, its culture, and perhaps the language. They usually want to meet the locals and get to know them. They are happy to see the sights and enjoy the beach, mountains, etc. but their primary focus is cultural. They probably will stay close to the home and not travel far. This is the key motivation for our family when exchanging.

Special Interest Travelers. These people have a narrow issue of overriding importance. Maybe they want to be in the same town as a relative. Perhaps they want to be there for a festival or a sporting event such as the Tour de France or the World Cup. I love cycling and this is one of my criteria when evaluating home exchange opportunities.

Deciding Where You Want to Go and When

Where you want to go is up to you. However, keep in mind that home exchange is not practiced everywhere. Regions with large numbers of home exchange listings include North America, Australia/New Zealand, South Africa, and Western Europe. These countries account for more than 96% of home exchange listings. Your chances of finding a home exchange in one of these places are much better than trying to find an exchange in a country with only a few listings.

finding2

Many exchangers will want to go to famous or well-known places. The competition for attractive homes in these places is intense. You can help yourself find an exchange by becoming expert at researching and understanding lesser-known but attractive places in the countries listed above. This is discussed later.

You should have a detailed knowledge of any region or country where you plan a home exchange. Before deciding to exchange in a particular place you should understand the weather, customs, culture, and key aspects of life. This kind of research can be done on the Internet, or you can read travel guides and other reference books.

Most home exchange listings will indicate the languages spoken by the family concerned. This is important information. You should never consider an exchange with someone with whom you do not share a common language. Clear and effective communication is an absolute necessity before, during, and after a home exchange.

Another factor to consider is that your location may be attractive to some and not others. You may end up discovering this by trial and error. In our case we are in sunny California and 90% of the European exchange offers we receive are from Northern Europe. These folks want reliable sunshine for their summer home exchange vacation. We often receive offers from Britain, Scandinavia, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and Northern and Central France. We don't receive as many offers from Italy, Spain, or Southern France. Families from these areas have all the sun they want at home.

If you are a couple you can travel anytime during the year. This flexibility means you can choose possible home exchange destinations during their best season, or during the time you want to be out of town, and/or when airfares are cheapest. Places like Southern Florida or Northern Queensland are at their best in the winter while Iceland or Finland are more attractive in summer (unless you like ice fishing).

Families with school-age children tend to be limited to the summer holidays, though a quick exchange during the Christmas season or the spring holiday might be possible.

Many or all sectors of some countries tend to take vacations at the same time. Businesses and other institutions in these countries might shut down for several weeks when all staff goes on holiday. For example, many French will want to exchange in July or August, even those without school age children. Normal activity in France slows down in July and stops completely in August.

It is possible to arrange a home exchange at the last possible minute, but four or more months in advance is usual. Normally our exchanges are finalized six months in advance, probably because we are a family and must travel over the summer school holidays.

An Example of Specific Criteria for Choosing a Home Exchange

Every family will have different preferences as to where it wants to go, what is important and unimportant, and what is desirable or unacceptable in a home exchange. Here is the process we use to evaluate possibilities.

We want to be in a region with enough activities or tourist attractions to keep us and the kids amused for three weeks. Discovering a new region and/or country is always exciting and preferred. We don't want to drive more than two hours per day, and on most days much less than that.

We want a home large enough to house the family comfortably. A room for each child is ideal, but if we want the children to fight constantly we can insist that two of them share. Having a bathroom attached to the master bedroom is appreciated but rare in Europe outside the UK. The car needs to be large enough to carry five persons comfortably. If the other family's children are of similar ages and/or gender as our children, it is a plus. This increases the chances that the house will have children's amenities (video game, bicycles, DVD's, etc.) as well as the possibility of our children meeting local kids.

We want a convenient location with good transport connections, but not too close to a noisy or busy road. A beautiful garden, a stylish house, and a pleasant view or setting are attributes that often tip the scales in favor of a particular offer. The country or smaller towns are preferred, but center city could be interesting. The ability to walk out the front door and have an interesting walk or cycle ride is a plus. If we are located in the suburbs, there should be a convenient subway, bus, or train connection into the city center.

A reliable computer and internet connection is essential; broadband is better than dial up. Satellite or cable TV is better than just a few over-the-air channels.

We like to meet people and ask that our hosts arrange introductions and activities with their friends. We want a quality host family that is friendly, reliable, interesting, and communicative. We rely on this kind of family to prepare their house for our arrival, treat our property respectfully, and solve any problems that might come up.

Although it is useful and desirable to trade with families similar to your own, no exchange will be exactly even. The place you trade with may be better or worse than your own home. Usually it will be better in some ways and worse in others. The objective is that the exchange home and experience you trade for your home is worthwhile, practical, and enjoyable. It may be smaller than your home, with fewer conveniences, and a dodgy computer. We had such a house once but since it was in a beautiful region with a fabulous view with great neighbors and a wonderful host family, we didn't mind. And it was much larger and more comfortable than any hotel room.

Searching for A Home Exchanges in Europe shows how these abstract concepts work in practice.

Reviewing Home Exchange Listings

You can list your home and simply wait to receive home exchange offers from others. If you have a home in a great location this is a reasonable strategy. If your home is in an average location you will have more exchange choices and possibilities if you actively review home exchange listings and send e-mails asking specific families to consider your home for an exchange.

finding3

When confronted with several thousand home exchange listings, you may find it difficult to know where to begin. Each agency has search tools to make your job easier. Most of the leading agencies allow you to search only the most recent listings that tend to be the most relevant.

The leading agencies allow you to search for homes in a particular country or even a region, city, or state of the country. You can search for families that want to come to your region or country. For example you can find people in Normandy, France, who want to trade with New York, USA.

The leading agencies allow you to specify detailed requirements in your search. Homelink has almost 100 choices you can make if you choose their advanced search feature. A sampling includes domestic help available, waterfront, spectator sports, and country club privileges. To summarize these options into categories:

Avoiding or Embracing Nuisances. You can veto smokers, pet owners, and families with children. Alternatively, you can look for families that welcome smokers, pet owners, and families with kids into their home.

Setting and Regional Amenities. You can look for a home on the beach or in the mountains. You can require that the home be located near golf courses, museums, or restaurants.

Home Features. You can search for listings with a swimming pool, car for exchange, or wheelchair friendly, among many others.

Size. You can specify that the home accommodates a certain number of people and has a certain number of bedrooms.

Composition and Characteristics of the Exchange Group. You can look for homes of seniors or those traveling with children. Homeforexchange.com allows you to search listings by the number of persons in the exchange group.

An alternative to a focused search is simply browsing listings. You can choose the listings of a country, region or city and simply look at the most recent listings on the site. This is a good method if you have lots of time and want to begin to get a feel for what is available. After you have looked at many listings at random you may have a better idea of what is on offer and what you should be searching for.

Most agencies will present a list of search results in a chart format with a line for each listing that is relevant. The chart should have useful summary information such as the location, the dates, whether children are involved, where they want to go, the number the house will accommodate, etc. There might even be a small photo. This information allows you to click through to only the most relevant listings.

A potential source of confusion is how many people the home can comfortably accommodate. You need to read the details to know if your family will be comfortably accommodated. This number should be interpreted as the maximum number of people allowed in the exchange family/group. Some listings will be conservative with a low number while others will exaggerate with a high number. This is because some exchange families think it is reasonable for your children to sleep on a couch or two to a double bed while others insist on a bedroom for each family member. Look at the car's capacity also. There was one listing in Ireland of a home that could accommodate five. However their small car could accommodate only four (they were a family of three.)

You need to read the listings carefully. For example, some will check the box Available for Exchange Anytime even though they have kids and only can exchange during school holidays. Some will put down that they are interested in going only to New York City, but if you click on their listing you find they will consider other offers. Many are careless about updating their listing or the summary of where they want to go.

Once you have reviewed the listings on a home exchange agency you are ready to begin figuring out which are the most promising. Many agencies allow you to save an interesting listing. You can then review these listings and research them thoroughly at a later date.

The Advantages of Trading with Similar Families

Focus on families that want to go to your region or country who are similar to yours in terms of family size, age and gender of children, sporting, cultural, or other interests, class, outlook on life, shared sense of style, etc. These usually make the best partners and they usually are the most interested in your offer.

If you are a young couple without children you probably will want to exchange with a similar couple. You could exchange with a mature couple and it might work out well, but your home and their home will probably be different. It might be fascinating, but the older folks may not like Linkin Park or Alien Ant Farm while the younger couple may not be into Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young or Joni Mitchell. The younger couple may feel strange driving the Ford Crown Victoria and the seniors might find the Mini convertible hip but impractical. The younger couple might wonder what the grab bars in the bathroom are for while the older folks do the limbo and the twist negotiating a small European toilet room with obstructing sink.

Let's examine why families with children should trade with similar families. You want a house suitable for children. You want toys, videos, video games, bicycles, a trampoline, a back yard, and a house that is broken in and already used if not abused. My Mother-in-Law has a beautiful home. I am almost as nervous as she is when my children are there. Are they going to knock the decorative china off the antique hutch? Are they going to track mud on the oriental carpet? Will they bounce on the furniture? My Mother-in-Law would never trade homes with us.

finding4

We want a car suitable for a family. We want to meet locals with kids. My children prefer to hang out with kids their own age rather than with us. It is great when we can go to the beach with another family. We are happy talking and drinking with the adults while the kids swim, pick up dead crabs, throw drift wood at each other, and bury each other in the sand. A family with children similar to our lot will be able to recommend places and activities of interest.

Consider the case of families with young children. They want toys, they want a house safe for smaller children, and they may need a high chair, car seats, and crib. The easiest way to assure that all these items are available is to trade with a similar family.

Contacting Potential Home Exchange Partners and Analyzing and/or Researching Specific Listings

There are at least two different ways to contact potential home exchange partners. The first way may be characterized as the Shotgun Method. You examine listings and contact ten to twenty potential partners that at first glance seem promising and/or interesting. You send them a quick e-mail asking if they would consider an exchange with your family. You refer them to your own home exchange listing. There are agencies that will allow you to do this as a mass e-mailing, for example Homeexchange.com.

This is quick and easy and you need only carefully consider those potential partners that respond with interest. The negative aspect of this is that you might have several potential partners respond positively. You suddenly have several possibilities; you will probably end up with one satisfied exchange partner and several disappointed families. Many that practice the Shotgun Method will ignore the majority of positive responses and negotiate only with the most promising alternative. When they confirm their favorite they may or may not contact the others to let them know they have an exchange.

The Shotgun Method is popular and makes sense if your home is in an obscure or out of the way location. For example you might need to contact hundreds to find that one family willing to consider Fargo, North Dakota. In such a case sending fifty or one hundred e-mails at a time is appropriate.

Be sure your spam filter or the spam filtering provided by your internet provider does not block e-mails from potential home exchange partners

Assuming your location and home exchange offer are attractive, consider the Focused Method. You only contact potential home exchange partners after carefully examining their listing. You should do all that you can to learn more about their region and location before you contact them. Read and reread their listing carefully. Make sure their home will meet your needs. Then review their choice of destination and other preferences to verify that your home will satisfy their wishes. If their listing leaves you confused on either of the above questions it is reasonable to e-mail them.

Look at photos carefully. If the family you are considering trading with are neatness and design fanatics they may not be a good match if you are casual and messy. If you think their furniture and sense of taste is 180 degrees different from yours, consider looking elsewhere.

Look at a map to figure out where the folks live. For Britain, use streetmap.co.uk. If you type in a place you will get a regional map. If you click on the correct zoom level you will see land contours, groups of buildings, rivers, wooded areas, parks, roadways, railways, sewage treatment plants, and recreational paths. If you have a street address or post code they will show you the approximate house location. The Homelink Agency in Britain shows the locations of its listings on Streetmap.

For Europe (including Britain) use viamichelin.com. This French web site can be used in English and several other languages. You can type in the name of any town in Europe and it will return results. The details of the maps vary from country to country. You can zoom in and zoom out. You can get tourism information (the information in the Michelin Green Guides) or hotel and restaurant listings (the information in Michelin Red Guides.) The online Michelin Green Guide will find up to thirty attractions within a certain radius of a place, provided they exist.

For the United States, you can use mapquest.com to see where folks live. For other countries consult maporama.com. Google Earth will give you detailed satellite photos of the United States and other places. You may prefer Google Maps to my recommended choices. You can get neighborhood and house real estate valuations with maps and satellite photos for the US at zillow.com.

Maps can give you an idea of positive aspects of the home such as nearness to a lake, forest, bicycle path, golf course, and/or park. You can also see if there are any negatives such as proximity to a busy highway, sewage works, power lines, or railroad.

For example, we received an inquiry from Britain from a family in a beautiful town with an ocean view home near the beach. I had their address and using Streetmap discovered they were fifty to one hundred yards from a train line. I asked them if it was a mainline and if there was a problem with noise and/or vibration. They explained that it didn't bother them too much and that they had become used to it, though it was a mainline. I visited thetrainline.com and discovered that more than sixty passenger trains passed on the line each day, the first around 6.30 am and the last around 11.30pm. I decided that the trains might materially affect our enjoyment of the home and politely declined.

In another situation in Britain there were positive and negative aspects to the map research. Positive traits included many recreational trails, steep forested hills, and a major river, all in a National Park. Negatives were a highway, railway, and sewer plant within two hundred to four hundred meters of their home. Our question to them was did they ever have a problem with noise, vibration, or odor. They explained that the railway carried small passenger trains only and the sewage plant was rarely a problem. We did an exchange with them and because of the trees we rarely noticed or heard the road or the trains. The purpose of the sewage plant became apparent when we walked by it, otherwise it went unnoticed. The countryside was even more beautiful than imagined and we used the recreational trails on a daily basis.

finding5

Use a search engine to learn more about the region and city or town. If you are unfamiliar with their car, use a search engine to learn more about it. Visit the website of the car manufacturer.

Finally, if you have the names of the people you can enter them into Google or other search engine and see what you can find out about them. One of our potential partners was a successful entrepreneur while another ran an international outdoor adventure business.

Making a Home Exchange Inquiry

Let's assume you have found listings that look promising. Now it is time to write a polite e-mail of inquiry. You should be clear and concise. Many agencies have a system that if you e-mail another member they automatically provide a link to your listing. If your agency does not provide this link, give them your membership number. If you are not listed on the agency, your letter will need to describe in detail the key elements of your home, its location, region, and your family described in a way similar to the information found on a home exchange listing. It's better if your note is personalized so the folks receiving it know it is not one of twenty five identical notes sent at the same time (even if it is). Be sure the words Home Exchange are in the subject line of the e-mail.

Your e-mail might read as follows: Hello Jean-Paul, You have a beautiful home and we would love to explore Alsace. If you would like to consider a home exchange in California during the summer of 2008, please look at our listing. Thanks. Regards, John.

If there is something in their listing that grabs you or is particularly interesting you can say more. For example: Hello Jean-Paul, You have a beautiful home and we would love to explore Alsace. Like you, I love to drink wine, and Alsatian Pinot Gris, Riesling, Gew├╝rztraminer, (don't forget the umlaut in Gew├╝rztraminer if you want to impress Jean-Paul) and Pinot Blanc are favorites. Our house is within one hour of over 20 wineries. If you would like to consider a home exchange in California during the summer of 2008, please look at our listing. Thanks. Regards, John.

If you are writing to someone in another country and can speak their language well you should write your inquiry in their language. My wife and I speak French and this has helped us find two home exchanges in France.

Opinions differ as to how many potential partners you should contact at one time. It depends upon the strength of your offer. Shotgun Method followers will contact up to twenty or more. If you are using the Focused Method you should only contact several assuming you have plenty of lead time before a potential exchange. Don't be surprised if they get back to you late or not at all. Up to 50% will not respond to your offer in any way. Many others will respond several days or even occasionally a few weeks after you have sent your note. I personally appreciate rapid response and good communication and use this to judge the suitability of partners.

I don't think you should ever call anyone on the phone to discuss a potential home exchange and believe this is especially true with the initial inquiry. I prefer e-mail because it provides a written record to which the other party can respond carefully after full consideration of what is proposed. The folks you are communicating with may read your language better than they speak it. My written French is good, my spoken French worse.

If you receive negative responses on your first inquiries or if after a few days they have not responded write them off and send out several more e-mails of inquiry to prospects on your list. You might want to keep records of those you have contacted. Home exchange agencies such as Homeexchange.com have tools that allow you to do this on their website and they automatically keep track of initial e-mails sent and received.

finding6

If you get a positive response don't assume the home exchange is a done deal. You need to confirm their interest. There tend to be two stages to negotiating a home exchange. The preliminary stage is for the families to decide that the dates and homes probably meet their needs. Once this is established, there is the confirmation stage to negotiate the details and build confidence and trust. This process of negotiation is covered in the next chapter of this book.

You may receive an ambiguous response that is a weak maybe or perhaps they will say they need more time before further consideration of your inquiry. It is reasonable for a prospective partner to wait so they can review all the opportunities available to them. However, you should consider such responses as a likely no and continue looking for a home exchange elsewhere.

Responding to Home Exchange Inquiries You Receive

You should learn all you can about potential partners before responding to their communication. Do the research suggested in the above section.

It is useful to respond quickly for many reasons. First, it shows you are a careful, courteous, and considerate person. Second, you don't want to miss a good opportunity because you were slow. The folks that wrote you might have contacted twenty other people. If their initial e-mail to you is not personalized with your names you can assume they have contacted many possible exchangers.

If you are possibly interested, respond positively but tentatively such as Thank you for suggesting we consider a home exchange with you. I will talk to my wife and get back to you. If you need more information ask for it. Get back to them after you have talked to the boss.

If you are definitely interested respond enthusiastically such as Thank you for suggesting we consider a home exchange with you. Your family sounds great, and we have always wanted to spend a month on Lake Geneva. At this point I usually e-mail a Word file with more detailed information about our home, city, region, and family. I might also send them additional photos. I might ask questions.

If you are not interested I think you should politely decline, for example, Thank you for suggesting we consider a home exchange with you. London is a wonderful city, but when we are in Britain with our three young kids we prefer to be in a more rural area.

If the folks have a problem and you are the type to be bold, you can point it out: We understand that you are not able to furnish your company car for our use. However, we find a car an essential part of a home exchange. If they are really interested in your property and are reasonable they could meet your objection by offering to pay for your rental car while they were using your vehicle.

finding7

Probably the most difficult situation is where the offer is ok but you think you might get something better down the road by waiting. I think the best response is an honest one: Thank you for suggesting we consider a home exchange with you. We think London is a great city, but we are not yet ready to commit to an exchange for next summer and will get back to you in three months.

You should always consider a home exchange inquiry an expression of preliminary interest. Recognize that when you respond to an inquiry positively, the person who first wrote you may be unwilling to exchange with you. This can happen because they wrote to twenty families at the same time and you were only #17 on their hit parade. Perhaps they didn't read your listing carefully until you responded positively; maybe they wanted to be next to the ocean and hadn't noticed your inland location.

The Problem of Too Much Interest in your Home

If your home is in a popular location and/or especially attractive you may receive too many home exchange offers. If you don't have the time to deal with a barrage of responses, there are a few steps you can take to reduce interest in your home. You can modify your listing to make it more destination specific. For example, you can say Santa Barbara or Newport Beach instead of California. You can also be arrogant and state that you will only accept homes with a swimming pool or luxury properties. The final step would be to temporarily extinguish your listing. You can do this on most agencies.

The Problem of Not Finding an Exchange

If you are having trouble finding an exchange, it may be because your offer is unattractive and/or your destination and/or date preferences are unrealistic. If your offer is weak, your only opportunity for an exchange may be with another weak offer. As they say in the real estate business, for every dog house there is a dog. More positively there are plenty of home exchange members around the world with ordinary homes in ordinary places, and by trading with each other they can have extraordinary experiences.

If you are having trouble finding an exchange you should make sure that the agencies you are using have members where you want to go and who want to go to your region or country. You should be flexible as to dates and destinations. You should send out hundreds of enquiries asking other members to take a look at your listing. As you review listings you will find other members making the statement We respond to all offers. These folks are letting you know they would like to hear from you.

Once you have found a potential partner that is ready to discuss the possibility of exchanging with you, Congratulations! The next phase of the process is to negotiate the details with them, build confidence and trust, and make sure an exchange will work out for both of you.

finding_end