Whether you are planning a weekend trip or a multi-week getaway this summer, finding a comfortable place to stay is most likely to be high on your priority list. While some people still prefer to stay in a hotel, others will look for short-term vacation rentals on AirBNB or similar websites. Scrolling through the many beautiful pics of locations and amenities in rental listings makes it easy to dream about your upcoming vacation. But as you are scanning for the appropriate number of bedrooms, you should also be on the lookout for some major red flags that could derail your entire vacation.
1. Hardly any reviews
Many rental sites allow for previous renters to add both good and bad reviews about their actual experience of staying in a house. But if the home has little to no reviews, it might be a sign that it is a scam. The property does not exist in the worst-case scenario.
2. Pictures that seem too good to be true
If a vacation home looks extremely luxurious and the price per day is very low, then it is probably too good to be true. Photos could be manipulated and taken in a way that they distort the reality of the property. We suggest Googling the home and also checking out the property address on Google Earth.
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3. Not enough pictures
Many vacation home owners know that pictures will make or break the renter’s decision to book a home. A home with very few pictures may be a red flag, especially if there are under five. You will want to see photos of every room, from many angles and at least one photo of the entrance to the property. If the outdoor space is included, you would want to see several photos of that as well. Do not commit to a rental until you know exactly what to expect upon arrival.
4. The home is on almost every rental platform
A quality vacation rental will have an established presence with good ratings and positive reviews on the website it shows on. But if you notice the same home on multiple websites and platforms, this could be a problem. One big red flag is when you see a home churn through various rental listing sites.This is a sign that the home has poor reviews, so they simply needed to move platforms.
To make sure you know exactly what you expect, always copy and paste the rental description into your search engine. If the text shows up somewhere else, consider the possibility that it is not altogether legitimate.
5. The host is asking for payment off of the platform
If you are renting a vacation home and someone requests payment off the original booking website in any form by check, PayPal or cash, then this is another potential sign of a scam. You should never make payments off of the app itself. One of the benefits of using a vacation booking website is using a secure payment method.
Do you have a question about the best time to sell your home? Call 949-392-6400 to contact the Reed Team today!