Arranging an exchange, Home exchange guide

Exchange Agreement Questions

Exchange agreements - Collected Questions

Starting An Agreement

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 none of the text fields may be left blank.

Filling Out the Form

 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.

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

Screenshot of the date-picker 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 in 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.

Sending and Reviewing Terms

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.

Signing Your Exchange Agreement

No questions so far… If you have one, leave a comment.

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 an 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.

Screenshot of an exchange agreement sign button.

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


Cancellation?

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
from:
Exchange Agreements > Overview
to:
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!

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 a 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.

Screenshot an agreement that needs to be unlocked before editing is allowed.

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

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?

Screenshot of the date-picker 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 in 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 travelling 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

Screenshot of Telephone and Internet section of the Exchange Agreement

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

creenshot 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.


Stipulations

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

Starting An Exchange Agreement

Starting an 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 straight forward. 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

Each of the listings in your Favorites will be pictured and 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 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 and you will be returned to the Exchanges overview page where you will see a new ongoing agreement card.


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.

Screenshot - New Agreement card.

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) and the dates you will be arriving and leaving your partner’s home.


Member Questions

Member Question. 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 none of the text fields may be left blank.

Finding an exchange partner, Home exchange guide

Your Destination Wishlist

Use your Destination Wishlist to communicate with our search engine. List all the places you would most like to go and we will make sure that, when it is appropriate, your home is presented to members who live there!

Screenshot of the destinations wishlist

You don’t have to fill out your Destinations Wishlist but if you don’t, you will most certainly have to make all the first contacts. Raise your chances that members in living in places you want to visit can find and contact you too.

When members living in your wishlist countries use our reverse search, (and their other criteria don’t rule your listing out), our search engine will show them your listing.

If you wonder what it means when I say “when other criteria don’t rule your listing out”. I mean that the searching family has not checked boxes to only see families with children (when you have none), or maybe their exchange dates and yours do not cross at all. Of course, in these situations, you would not be a great partner for them. Of course, they would still find you if they removed or changed their criteria to match the information in your listing.


Open for All Offers

Be sure to check this box if you are willing to consider offers from members who do not live in one of the countries listed on your Wishlist. We really encourage you to do this and be open to the spontaneous opportunities that will come your way.


Adding a Destination

Click the Add a Destination button and begin typing the name of the country, region or city that you would like to add to your Wishlist. Choose from the list of options provided by Google and your choice will be added to your wishlist automatically.

Screenshot of the match alert page


Removing a Destination

Screenshot of the match alert page

Wondering if your Destinations Wishlist affects other member’s reverse searches? It does.

The reversed search is a member asking our system to: Please show me other members who are specifically interested in visiting my location. Our system is specifically designed to help you and your next exchange partner find each other.

The rules our search engine follows are:

  1. If your Destinations Wishlist is empty, your listing will never be displayed in another member’s reversed search.
  2. If you have a checkmark in the Open for all destinations box, your listing will always be included when another member makes a reversed search.
  3. Your Destinations Wishlist is taken into account (countries, regions & cities) and your listing will be included whenever your one of your desired locations matches the location of the searching member’s home.
Finding an exchange partner, Home exchange guide

My Favourites

My Favorites are a convenient way to save notes and a link back to listings that are attractive to you. The My Favorites section is linked from the top section of the Member home navigation.

The Favourites Layout

In the screenshot below you can see:

  • The date you put this listing on your favourites page.
  • A checkbox, useful for removing multiple listings from your favourites page
  • The listing id and location of the member’s home
  • Photo of the member’s home.
  • Underneath the photo, you will find information about their next exchange dates or current exchange availability as well as contact history and button.
  • The headline on the listing
  • The number of people who can sleep in this home.
  • The adults -vs- children make-up of this family.
  • Other details about the home.

Example of a favourite listing

Listing notes are private and are deleted if you remove the listing from your Favourites page.


Adding and Removing Favourites

Besides using the red “Trash” button on any listing on your Favourites page to remove a listing, you can also click the Favourite or Remove from Favourites button when you are looking at another member’s listing.

pages/guide/member-is_favorite_toggle.png


Making Contact with a Favourite

To make contact with the owners of a listing on your Favourites page, click the green “Contact” button underneath the photo. This will open up the contact dialog. It looks like this:

pages/guide/member-contact_favorite.png

Request an exchange or start a conversation – our system has two options available for you.
To close the contact dialog, click the “hide” button.


Contacting Multiple Members at Once

To contact the owners of several of your favourite listings at once, use the link “Contact multiple favorites” from the Favourites navigation. It is highlighted in green in the screenshot below.

Underneath the recipients’ list and the message form, are the listings for all the active members on your favorites list. Add them to your recipients’ list by clicking the blue “+” button – and remove them by clicking the “Remove” link.

pages/guide/member-favorite-contact_multiple.png

After you have set up your recipients list, fill in the message form and send.


You Have Been Added as a Favourite

Did you get an email that looks something like this one?

Example email

No worries, you don’t need to respond to it. It’s only an informational email. We just wanted to let you know that someone is thinking about an exchange with you.


Please, Make Them Stop!

If you don’t want to get any more email when other members add you to their favourites list, you can adjust your contact restrictions on the Contact Information page.

Adjust your contact restrictions here.

Finding an exchange partner, Home exchange guide

Hotlist for Last Minute home exchanges

What is the Hotlist?

The hotlist is the perfect place to find a last minute house swap anywhere in the world. An entry in the hotlist is only valid for four days so the list is always current and these are all members who are actively searching for a house swap holiday within the next 8 weeks. It’s a great tool for new members with upcoming vacations and also for finding a spontaneous weekend exchange. Once you’ve added your listing to the hotlist, it will stay there for 4 days and then be automatically removed.


Where Can I See the Hotlist?

pages/guide/hotlist-search_filter.png

It is fully embedded in our search tool as a filter. Have a look at our search page.

Requirements

  1. An active Intervac membership.
  2. Exchange dates which begin within the next 8 weeks.

Want to know more about the hotlist? Like how to add your listing? It’s really easy.


Quickstart: Go To > Change My Listing

Listing not on the Hotlist

Listing successfully added to the Hotlist

How To Add or Remove Your Listing

The switch on the “Change My Listing” page is a toggle. As you can see in the screenshots above all you have to do is click it and it changes.

To Add Your Listing

  1. Go to the Main Settings for your listing by clicking on “Change My Listing” in the member homepage navigation.
  2. Click the “Show listing in the Hotlist?” toggle switch and it will change from red to green.

To Remove Your Listing

If you have found an exchange and no longer want your listing on the hotlist, you can remove it easily.

  1. Go to the Main Settings for your listing by clicking on “Change My Listing” in the member homepage navigation.
  2. Click the “Show listing in the Hotlist?” toggle and it will change from green to red.