Home Exchange Etiquette

A big part of why HomeExchange.com is able to provide such a Community-like experience for travelers is the travelers themselves. Here are a few points to keep in mind when interacting with your potential Exchange Partners. You can also read our Community Guidelines for more tips.

1. Respond Promptly to All Messages

Even if you’re not interested in the exchange we ask you to reply to every message, preferably within 48 hours. Declining an offer is absolutely fine, but please don’t leave anyone hanging.

Many of you receive lots of offers and it can be a challenge to respond to all of them, so we’ve built a tool that allows you to say No, thanks with just one click. Though we highly recommend sending a personal message, a quick No, thanks is better than no response at all.


2. Write Personal, Timely Inquiries

Before contacting other Members please familiarize yourself with their property via their Listing and Profile pages. And always feel free to address your potential Exchange Partners by name!

We recommend sending your exchange inquiry at least four weeks before your trip. Looking for a Last Minute exchange? You can use our Search Filter to find Members in the same situation.


3. Present Your Home Honestly

You’re not trying to ‘sell’ your home. You want your Exchange Partner to be just as excited upon arrival as when they read your Profile. So what if you don’t live in a 15th century Swiss chateau with an Alpine view! Every home is special in its own way, and chances are there’s someone looking for exactly what you’re offering.


4. Expectation of Privacy

Members have a reasonable expectation of privacy while exchanging and you must always respect your exchange partners’ privacy. Pursuant to our Terms and Conditions of Use, Members expressly agree to disclose the existence of security cameras or other surveillance equipment on or around their property. Make sure you are also aware of and comply with applicable laws.


5. Follow the Golden Rule

Remember to leave your home just as clean and tidy for your Exchange Partner as you’d like their home to be for you. This also applies when you depart at the end of your exchange. You can read more about how to prepare your home for the exchange.


6. Do Not Cancel!

Canceling an Exchange once it has been set is more than just an inconvenience to your Exchange Partner. From the moment you “shake hands,” tours get reserved, plane tickets get bought and other non-refundable arrangements get made. 

Barring illness, injury, death or natural disaster, your commitment must be iron-clad, and if a compelling circumstance does force you to cancel, we ask that you make an effort to accommodate or find accommodations for your Exchange Partner.