Top tips for successful swapping

30 Mar 2016

If you’re new to swapping, you might find it a bit daunting. Our swappers have come up with the top tips below for successful swapping. We hope you find them useful!

Be honest

When filling out the details of your current home, BE HONEST! It will save you and other swappers a lot of time in the long run if your advert is an honest and realistic portrayal of the property.

Add photos

We see thousands of properties on HomeSwapper with no images at all, and it’s a common complaint by swappers. 90% of successful swaps last year had at least one photo of the home – if you’re serious about swapping, add a photo. It shows you’re keen and it helps screen out people who won’t be interested. Try to show your home at its best though – nobody wants to see a close up of dirty dishes in the sink or a blurry image of the fence (both real photos seen on HomeSwapper!)

Ask yourself “what does this show someone who has never seen this room before”. Hold the camera in the corner of the room to try and get as much as you can in the picture.

If you’re worried for any reason about your home being identified, upload photos of the inside or a garden, and make sure you use the description box (tenant comments) to add information about the outside of your home.

Get back to people

Respond to all messages. If you are not interested in proposals or have found other matches that better suit you, explain this so that people aren’t wasting their time waiting for you. One of the biggest complaints we have from swappers is of ‘timewasters’ or people who don’t reply.

Add extra info

When filling in your home details there is an additional text box. Use this to describe your surroundings to sell the location as well as the property.

  • Do you have nice neighbours?
  • Do you have any extra space? E.g. Shed, Garage, Parking Space
  • Do you have any close transport links? E.g. Bus stops, train stations
  • Do you have any local facilities? Church, school, shops, gym, playground
  • Are pets allowed in your property? 

Be realistic

Be realistic about what you are swapping from and to and make sure you read the other tenant’s requirements before contacting them. Look for what you need in a property rather than what you want. Consider the bedroom tax and the extra costs you might be able to avoid and think about the potential with a lick of paint.

Be flexible if you can

No matches? This is usually because you’ve made your search area too small. If you set up one location within 0.1. miles, we can only show you homes on that particular street and they may not come up very often. Check your rent amount too – lots of people have the rent they’re prepared to pay at £125/month. Also, remember you might have to be patient as we can only provide you with properties in that area if they are on the site. 

Are you receiving matches for somewhere you don’t want to live? This is usually because you’ve added a location and then a large search radius around it. Even if you’ve specified the areas you’re happy to live in the comments, the system doesn’t know this and will show you everything within the search radius you’ve indicated. If you want to be more specific, try adding more locations but with a smaller radius around them. We let you go as small as 0.1 miles which is a street. Be aware though that this will reduce the matches you get and sometimes it’s worth being flexible.

Be nice

If you don’t like someone’s home, you don’t have to be mean about it. We’ve seen some awful responses from a minority of swappers who have been quite harsh, listing all the reasons why the home isn’t suitable. While this could be seen as “being honest”, remember you’re talking to another person who may be desperate to move for many reasons, and may be going through a tough time. Be polite and be nice – just say “no thank you” then move on.