10 Principles for a Successful Home Exchange
People around the world do things differently, due to varying cultural norms, or simply out of individual habit. We have established the following guidelines to make sure that our home swap network offers the basic considerations that our members can look forward to on each HomeLink home exchange.
Describe your home honestly in your listing and in all correspondence.
You want your exchange partners to be pleasantly surprised when they arrive, not disappointed. Never hide the existence of pets.
Leave your home clean
Standards of cleanliness vary, so make sure that floors are cleaned, refrigerator emptied, oven and stove top grease-free, bath and shower free of mold and grime, windows see-through, and surfaces dust-free. No need to repaint the house! And be sure to do the same, when leaving your exchange partner’s home at the end of your stay.
Make space for your guests
Clear away enough of your personal belongings to leave space on shelves and in wardrobes and drawers so that your exchanger partners can empty their suitcases, arrange their things in bedrooms and bathrooms and feel at home.
Leave at least two sets of clean sheets per bed and two sets of towels per person.
Create your personal "Guide to your Home and Surroundings"
This simple binder or notebook should include local tourist information, instructions for household and electrical appliances, pet and plant care, details of garbage collection, etc. Phone numbers of a recommended doctor, dentist, babysitter, good restaurants, and helpful friends are always welcome too. It is important to strike a balance between your Home Guide's quality and quantity of content so your exchange partners won't be overwhelmed with the information you provide.
Confirm the terms of your home exchange agreement
Use the Home Exchange Agreement Form to avoid all misunderstandings and clarify who pays what in terms of telephone, electric bills, gas consumption, insurance excesses in case of accidents, and staple foods such as flour, sugar, oil, etc.
Ensure a warm welcome for your guests
If arrangements are such that you cannot personally greet your exchange partners upon their arrival, arrange for a family member, neighbour or friend to come by and welcome them. They will certainly have questions, and such a welcome will be much appreciated.
Leave the makings of a first meal
Nothing fancy, but your guests could be tired and hungry and grateful not to have to go out for dinner.
Leave them a welcome gift!
It has become a HomeLink tradition to leave a small gift of welcome: a bottle of wine or champagne, a local specialty brought from home... Always a special surprise.
Close the door, turn the key, and go off on holiday!
You may rest assured, knowing that your home is in the good hands of another HomeLink member like you.