Homeowners swap houses by opening an account with a house swapping service, creating a listing for their home, finding a listed house they are interested in occupying and initiating correspondence with the owners of the other house to get acquainted and work out details of the swap. The various types of house swaps include simultaneous exchange, nonsimultaneous exchange and hospitality exchange.
A number of companies and networks offer house swapping services. Some are free, but most charge monthly or yearly fees for homeowners to be included in and peruse members lists. Site search tools usually allow members to specify dates, destinations, house sizes, number of proposed occupants, available appliances and amenities while searching for swap partners. Vetting procedures vary from site to site, but they typically include references, evaluations from past swapping partners and personal exchange on social media sites. Because so many details need to be arranged, it is important to plan a house swap months in advance.
Simultaneous exchange means that homeowners arrange to stay in each others homes at the same time. During simultaneous exchanges, the homeowners sometimes do not meet each other face to face. Homeowners arrange a nonsimultaneous exchange when they own more than one home, and their swapping partners occupy their unused homes whenever it is mutually convenient. In a hospitality exchange, swapping partners take turns visiting each others homes when the homeowners are still occupying them.