Thursday, September 25, 2008

Home exchange tip: no pictures is not a good thing!

I had sent an email to a family in Germany who were listing their home for exchange on the original Home Exchange website, the one from the movie. I was getting progressively more dissatisfied with that website, since there is no way to know if the listings are current and I sent many, many emails during my search that were never returned. I like to think that the listings must have been old and the people never got my message, but I know enough to realize that many people don't have the courtesy to reply to an exchange offer if it doesn't interest them. Weird, since most people who exchange their homes are generally very nice and open people, but it's true. What I started doing was just assuming that if I didn't get a reply after a week, the listing was "dead." So, I was surprised to receive a late, but apologetic, email from a bilingual family in Germany who were looking for a long term exchange in the US. Like us, they work from home and have the flexibility to travel for a longer period of time than just for a vacation. They sent a long and enthusiastic email expressing great interest in a swap with us, told us a bit about their home and location, and promised to post photos of their home on They were new exchangers and had just joined the website and had not had time to update their listing. This should have been a big clue, but I was too eager to find an exchange and wasn't looking at all of the warning signs.


Anonymous said...

You are right - many listings on the website are years out of date. They have spent the last 5 or 6 years buying up smaller rivals and adding their listings to their own. Many of these companies had accumulated their listings through free offers, hence they were very "spur of the moment". But, as far as is concerned, a listing is a listing and adds to that great total they continually boast about.

I tried a membership with them once and it was a disaster. No-one ever replied to my inquiry emails and their customer service took 3+ days to reply to me.

They need to replace their slick promotion with real service. I would never recommend them.

Momager At Home said...

Thanks for your input. Actually I was lucky to hve made one exchange agreement through, but after joining I had much more success! Thanks for posting! Best of luck with your home exchanges.