Arranging an exchange, Home exchange guide

Starting An Exchange Agreement

You’ve searched and contacted and chatted online with lots of nice people and now you have found exactly the right partner for this year’s exchange. You are ready to start the exchange agreement? This article is for you.

Starting the Exchange Agreement

Before you get started, have a look at your member home page and be sure that your listing is marked as available for exchange.
Be sure your listing is still available for exchange.

You will find the Exchange Agreements section of our site by scrolling down in the member navigation to the My Membership section and click on Exchange Agreements.

Screenshot of the ongoing exchange agrements page

From here on it’s pretty straightforward. If there is not an agreement already started by your partner, the only thing you’ll need to get one started is your exchange partner’s listing id. At the top of the Exchanges overview page, you should see the blue “Start Exchange Agreement button”. Click on it…

Start Agreement via Listing ID

First, you will see the legal text for your agreement after that, you can choose to search for your partner’s listing via their listing id, or if they are already on your favorites list, you can look there.

Screenshot - First steps in starting your next exchange agreement

Start Agreement via Favorites

In this tab, you will find each of the listings in your Favorites. Each favorite will have either a tag explaining why it is not possible to start an exchange agreement with that listing (expired or trial member for instance) or else it will have a Start Exchange Agreement link.

Screenshot - Finding your partner on your favorites list.

Clicking the Start Exchange button will create your exchange agreement and, moreover, it will automatically fill in your name and address as well as your partner’s name and address. Your partner will be notified that you have started the agreement process. You will see a new ongoing agreement card on your Exchanges overview page.

The Ongoing Agreement Card

This screen is your control panel for the progress of your exchange agreement. Just by starting, you are already 20% finished.

The next step is to click the “Edit Your Terms” button and fill in the form. Please be sure that you add at least one participant (yourself, for instance). Also, add the dates you will be arriving and leaving your partner’s home.

Member Questions

 What does that mean: Use “n/a” if the field does not apply to your situation.?

The abbreviation “n/a” is commonly used in English and it stands for “not applicable” (does not apply) or “no answer”. For the purposes of our exchange agreement, you can also use a “–” or any other abbreviation common in your language. The main thing is you should not leave any of the text fields blank.

Arranging an exchange, Home exchange guide

Filling out your Exchange Agreement Form

Filling out the form

Ok, first off, I’m going to go through the whole agreement form in this post. It is a bit long, but I hope this helps you with your next exchange agreeement.

Contact Details

Screenshot - Partner Information on Exchange Agreement

Having chosen your partner and clicked the Start Exchange Agreement button our system made one of these forms for you and one for your partner. You can see here that it has automatically filled in both of your names and contact information. You can choose to show your email address and/or mobile phone number on your working exchange agreement. This information will only be displayed here. It will not be visible to other members or your exchange partner via the contact information on your listing.

Holiday Dates [required]

Screenshot - Holiday Dates on Exchange Agreement
In the next section you should give the dates you will be staying in your partner’s home. Remember, your partner’s form is independent of yours so be sure to put the dates you are planning to be there. Your exchange partner should put the dates they are planning to be in your home.

Member Questions

Member Question Question: What if it is a non-simultaneous exchange and one party doesn’t know their dates yet?

The form requires that you add dates in order to save it. Since non-simultaneous exchange usually requires more planning, we recommend you choose something close. You will be keeping in touch with your exchange partner anyway.

Member Question Question: I am having trouble getting the dates to work. What am I doing wrong?

Exchange dates calendar
These date-picker calendars on the web all work slightly differently and that can be troublesome. Here is what you need to do to use ours:

  1. Click on the white date field (highlighted with a blue frame).
  2. Set the year by clicking on the year – it will give you a menu to choose from.
  3. Choose the month via the little dark triangles in the gray Month bar (first red arrow)
  4. Then choose on the day that you want by clicking on it.
  5. The date-picker calendar will disappear and the year, month and date you chose will appear in the box.

Exchange Participants [required]

Screenshot of exchange participants section of the exchange agreement
This is where you list all of the people who will be staying in your partner’s home. You will not be able to save your form if you do not have at least one person in this section.

The new form loads with space for one participant. To add another one participant, click the grey button “Add a Participant”. Fill in the name and age of the next person traveling with you.

To remove someone from your party, just click the red “trash” button next to the name of the person who will not be accompanying you after all.

About our Cars

Screenshot of our cars section of the exchange agreement
Next, you’ll find a text box where you can write any important details about your car. If you need more room to write, just click and drag on that little “handlebar” in the lower right-hand corner of the text box.

Some things that you might want to mention are:

  • Where you will leave your car keys and where your partner should put them when they go home.
  • The condition of your gas tank when your partner arrives and when they leave.
  • Whether or not you expect your partner to wash or vacuum the car before they leave.
  • If you have more than one car, which one(s) are available for your partner’s use.
  • Other insurance details beyond the scope of the checkbox.

Telephone and Internet

Update: This section used to be called “Regarding Long Distance Calls” but has been changed to better reflect how members are using it. (March, 2014)

Some things you might want to clarify here are:

  • Whether your partner may use your phone for making toll calls and how payment for them is to be handled.
  • The availability of Internet and any connected costs + how payment for these is to be handled.
  • Where you will leave the wifi credentials. For security reasons, please don’t leave them in your exchange agreement.

Special Cleaning Requests

Screenshot of Cleaning Requests section of the Exchange Agreement

In this box members often write about:

  • Linens: Should your partner wash them before they leave? Change the beds? Do you prefer to do this yourself?
  • Yard work/plant watering that needs to be done while you are away.
  • Where your partner can find cleaning supplies.

Regarding Keys to My Home

Screenshot of Regarding Keys to Our Home section of the Exchange Agreement

That one is pretty clear. This is the place to arrange pick-up and drop-off of keys.

Regarding Pets

Screenshot of the Regarding Pets section of the Exchange Agreement

Anything you want to agree with your partner about taking care of your pets?

  • Location of pet food.
  • Number of times a day to feed pets.
  • Exercise schedule (how many times a day Fido needs to go outside and where his leash is kept).

Other Special Requests

Screenshot of other special requests section of the Exchange Agreement

What have we missed in the list above? This is the place to mention it.


Screenshot of stipulations section of the Exchange Agreement

Three easy checkboxes to give your partner explicit permission to use your linens (or not), to bring their guests into your home (or not), and to bring their own pets.

After that, it’s time to save your form – and that is all this button does. It does not send your terms to your partner but assumes that your agreement is a draft. When you are ready to send your terms to your partner for review, you will find a button on the Exchanges Overview page.

Arranging an exchange, Home exchange guide

Sending & Reviewing Terms

Sending and reviewing terms and conditions

You’ve filled out your form and you are all ready to send your terms to your partner for review.

Sending Your Terms To Your Partner

You can do this from the Member Home navigation. Scroll down to My Memberships > Exchange Agreements > Then click the View link near the agreement you want to send.

Screenshot of an ongoing agreement ready to send terms to a partner
Clicking the blue “Send to partner” button will send your partner an email to let them know that the exchange process is moving along and that you are ready for them to read the terms you filled in.

Member Questions

Member Question Question: I am unable to edit my terms. What am I doing wrong?

Because of the back-and-forth nature of exchange agreements, our system keeps a lock on each form allowing only one party at a time “edit” access. When you send your terms to your partner, your partner receives “edit” access – by which they are only able to Accept or Decline what you have written. They can not make changes to your text.

If you need to make a change at this stage, it’s best to contact your partner and ask them to decline the term you want to change and send the agreement back to you for edits.

Reviewing Your Partner’s Terms

When your partner is ready for you to review their terms, you’ll see a button in the box for your Partner’s Terms.

Screenshot of an ongoing agreement ready to review the partner's terms

Click the button and you will see the form that your partner filled out. Underneath each item is a set of buttons. Each of your terms is shown to your partner with two buttons “Accept” and “Deny”.

Screenshot of an ongoing agreement ready to accept or decline the partner's terms

To signal your approval with each set of terms that your partner has written, click the “Accept” button.

Not In Agreement? Have a Question?

If you are not in agreement with something your partner has written, or more likely, if you have questions, use the “Decline” button. When you click it, you have the opportunity to write a note to your partner

Screenshot after clicking the Decline button

… and that note will show up next to the title of the category when they look at their terms.

Member Question Your partner will also receive an email that there were updates to an exchange agreement process as well as notification message on their member overview page the next time they login.

Once you have made changes to your terms based on any suggestions your partner has, be sure to save the form and send your terms to your partner via the blue Send to Partner button again.

Late Editing Your Terms

It is important that your terms are clear and you are satisfied with them. So, don’t be shy about making changes back and forth up until your agreement is signed.

Once your partner has accepted all your terms though if you want to make changes to them – you will need to click the Unlock Agreement button in the upper right-hand corner of your agreement form. This button is a reminder that any changes you make to already accepted terms will set the process back and require that you send your terms again for your partner to review and accept.


Once you and your partner have reached an agreement, and you’ve accepted each other’s terms it is time to get on with Signing Your Exchange Agreement.

Arranging an exchange, Home exchange guide

Finalizing Your Exchange Agreement

Finalizing your agreement

Once you and your partner have reviewed each other’s terms and accepted the conditions your agreement is ready to finalize. You can tell that it’s time when the green “Review and Sign Agreement” button shows up.

Screenshot of an exchange agreement ready to sign

Remember, if you want to edit your own terms, you must first click the red Unlock Agreement button in the upper right-hand corner of the form. Any changes to your terms will set the process back and require you to send your terms to your partner for agreement again.

Reviewing the Agreement

Clicking the “Review and Sign Agreement” button will show you again the agreement, but this time in full with your dates and conditions as well as your partner’s – all in a single, printable document.
Screenshot of an exchange agreement ready to sign

Finalizing the Agreement

Screenshot of the exchange agreement sign button

In this screenshot, you can see that the agreement form keeps you up-to-date with the process by giving you a button to “Sign the Agreement” and also telling you, in the blue box, that your partner has not signed the agreement yet.

Or, in the green box, that you partner did already sign.


Even though one of you has signed, it is still possible to cancel the agreement.

As soon as both parties have signed, the cancel button is no longer available and the agreement is moved
Exchange Agreements > Overview
Exchange Agreements > Future Vacations.

You can view and print the agreement any time you like but you can no longer cancel it.

I hope you have found this series helpful and wish you happy home exchanging!

Home exchange guide, Your Listing

All about your listing’s photos

Pictures are a very important part of your Intervac listing. They show what your home and neighborhood is like and they present your family to our Intervac community.

There are 4 categories of photos in your listing:

  1. Home
  2. Neighbourhood
  3. Family
  4. Lifestyle

All of these pictures show in your picture slideshow, following precisely that order: Home, Neighbourhood, Family, Lifestyle. If you have more than one listing, the photos in the Family and Lifestyle categories will show in all your listings.


Please note that when logged in you can view all the photos other members have on their slideshow. If you are not logged in, you will be considered as a Visitor (and not a Member) and for that reason only be able to view the ones selected by the member as Members & Visitors photos.

Adding more photos to your Intervac listing

Adding more photos is a great way to provide more information to potential exchangers and increases the chances of you getting the home exchange you want.

To do this log in, and go to Member Home > My Listing > Change My Listing

Choose the category you want (Home, Family, Lifestyle or Neighbourhood)

You can add new photos by clicking the Upload photos button, you can add new pictures in the chosen category.

Please note photos need to be no bigger than 10MB. If your photo is bigger, we recommend that you use an online resizer tool to reduce its size to a maximum of 10MB (that is 10240 KB or less).

You can reorder the photos within the category by using the 4-headed arrow on the right and dragging the photo to where you want it.

If you click on Show to members only, the photo will be shown only to logged in members. If you click on Show to everyone, the photo will be shown to both members and visitors.

Member Questions

 How about the main photo?

The main photo has a blog post dedicated to it. Read all about how to handle the main photo of your listing.

How can I delete photos?

To delete photos, simply follow these instructions.

 How can I rotate photos?

To rotate photos that appear sideways or even upside down, follow these instructions.

 Where did my neighborhood photos go?

All your photos show in your picture slideshow They appear in the order of the categories you uploaded them in: Home, Neighbourhood, Family, Lifestyle.

  I see you have a caption on your main photo. How can I add one too?

Clicking the Edit Caption link will open this little dialog. Just type in the text you want for your caption but keep it under 128 characters. That’s the limit.

Home exchange guide, Your Listing

How to delete your photos

You know your listing looks much better with photos and the odds of getting that exchange you are looking for greatly increase. But maybe you want to delete some of your photos to upload new ones, more up-to-date.

Note: If you are considering deleting your photos because they are upside down or rotate, you don’t need to delete them. See here how to rotate your photos.

Deleting photos step-by-step

1 – Log in to your account and click on Change my listing

2 – Click on Home Photos & Texts

3 – Next to each photo you will find an icon to delete it (as shown in the screenshot below)

4 – Repeat for as many photos as you wish to delete

5 – Repeat also in the sections

Deleting the main photo

 You cannot delete the main photo. You can replace it with a new photo you upload or with one of your other photos. If you don’t want to have a photo of your house, you can use a photo of your area taken from the Internet.
The instructions on how to change the main photo are here.
Home exchange guide, Your membership

How to upgrade your Intervac membership

If you are a trial member and want to upgrade to a full membership, here are step-by-step instructions.

1 – Log in at

2 – Follow the Upgrade membership link right at the top of your dashboard/member home

3 – Select the duration of your membership. Please note that a full membership always starts at the end of your free membership period. To select the duration of your choice, press one of the blue Select buttons.

4 – Once the duration is selected, a yellow Go button will show further down. Click on that button to proceed.

5 – After this, the options will vary depending on the country and duration of membership selected. But if you wish to pay online, you can do so with your credit card or your PayPal account by selecting the blue with credit card button




If you still have questions, please contact your national representative. You’ll find their contact details here.





Finding an exchange partner, Home exchange guide

Past Members – more exchange opportunities

When browsing the listings of Intervac members, you might have come across some that mention being Past Members. These members no longer have a current membership with Intervac.

You can tell it is a Past Member because it shows a yellow “traffic light” saying Past member.


What are the limitations for Past members?

An active member can contact a past member. The idea is to provide an extra exchanging opportunity for both parties.

However, Past members cannot start new conversations and their ability to reply is limited. They can only answer back with a standard Yes / Maybe / No response.

When receiving an exchange request from another member, the Past member has several options. He can renew his membership and proceed to an exchange agreement.

He can also choose to stop receiving these offers from other members.

How can I stop seeing Past members?

If you want to exclude Past members from your search, you simply have to activate the proper filter. Open the Preferences section of your filters and click on the checkbox Open for Exchange.


Home exchange guide, Your membership

How to Become a Platinum Member

Reaching the Platinum level at Intervac is, well, let’s be honest, mostly a lot of fun! Our platinum members have made at least 11 exchanges but we have some who are reaching for 100! Exchanges must be registered via our exchange agreement in order to update automatically.

What Do Those Badges Mean?

Very experienced house swappers having made 11 or more house swaps Platinum members have made more than 11 exchanges. Some of them way more than 11 exchanges. We have platinum members with over 100 exchanges behind them. Some have been Intervac members for many, many years.

Experienced house swappers with 6 - 10 exchanges Lucky us to have so many precious gold members. They have all made between 6 and 10 exchanges. When you talk to them you’ll discover they are enthusiastic home exchangers and have plenty of great stories to tell.

Silver members have made 3 - 5 house swaps Silver members have usually been swapping their homes for a couple of years. They have experience (3 – 5 exchanges). They have made the kinds of friends and memories that happen with home exchange.

Bronze members have made 1 - 2 house swaps These members have a bit of experience now and know the ropes. With 1 or 2 exchanges they have some stories and probably still have some questions.

Beginning members who looking for their first house swap These members are brand new to home exchange and have never swapped their house before. We appreciate their trust in our members and encourage experienced members to help out by making offers to new members.