Welcome to the last stop on our “how-to” journey. By now you have completed your Profile and Home Listing, and you have searched and sent a message. It’s time to take the next step: finalizing your exchange. But why is finalizing your exchange so important?

In the end, finalizing and confirming your exchange through the HomeExchange platform allows us to better support you. HomeExchange guarantees your exchange from the moment it is finalized. If you take a conversation off-site, through another communication channel, our Happiness Team is unable to confirm any details shared. That means we are not able to offer you the full benefit of the HomeExchange services. Additionally, if an exchange is not confirmed, you will be unable to submit a review.

How to finalize your exchange

With HomeExchange the way you arrange an exchange is entirely up to you. You can choose to use GuestPoints or opt to not, the most important part is that you get to travel. Ready to start planning your exchanges through the new platform? Here is your step-by-step guide:

Contact potential exchange partners

You have already sent a message to Members who you’re interested in exchange with (see Step 2 blog for more information) and have proposed potential travel dates and the number of people in your travel party. Go to the Messages tab in the upper right-hand side of the page to find all the conversations you have sent and received. This is where you can reply to inquiries, filter and organize your conversations, and make any modifications to proposed exchanges.


When you go into an open conversation, you will find the options to modify the dates and number of guests in a proposed exchange along the right side of the page. This is where you can decide if you want to complete a reciprocal or non-reciprocal exchange.

Finalizing a reciprocal exchange

To get started, change the exchange type from Non-Reciprocal to Reciprocal which will allow you and your exchange partner to enter your separate agreed upon dates. If you have decided to opt not to use GuestPoints for this exchange, you can adjust your GuestPoints value within your exchange information by clicking on the edit tool. The decision to choose not to use GuestPoints must be made before finalizing your exchange.

Note: With a reciprocal exchange, the dates do not have to match! You can enter the days that work for each Member. If one Member doesn’t have confirmed dates, you will have to finalize the exchange in two separate conversations as the system doesn’t recognize undefined dates to finalize an exchange. To learn more about how to start a new conversation with the same person, read our FAQs.


Once the information has been entered, one of the two Members clicks “pre-approve” to begin the process of both Members finalizing the exchange.

Finalize a Non-Reciprocal Exchange with GuestPoints

When you send a message to another Member of HomeExchange, the exchange is, by default, non-reciprocal.


Once the other Member has read and responded to your message, you will have the option to respond by saying either:

If your host responds accepting the non-reciprocal exchange, you will continue the conversation and discuss the details of the exchange, such as: who is traveling with you, the time and date of your arrival and departure, any other details about the homes, and, maybe, some unique things to do and see in the area!


The exchange is no longer possible. And you need to write a message to decline the request. Once this has been done, we suggest either archiving the message (in case you need to view it at a later point) or to delete it (but know that deleted messages are not retrievable).

Pre-approval is an essential step before finalizing any exchange. In a non-reciprocal exchange, pre-approval means that the host agrees to the proposed dates, number of travelers, the number of GuestPoints they will receive, and all of the other details that make up the trip. To finalize an exchange, it must first be pre-approved.

Once the non-reciprocal exchange has been pre-approved by the host, the guest can finalize it. At this time, the agreed amount of GuestPoints will be delivered to your host.

Note: As a current Optimal/Optimum Member, you can complete your exchange with no additional costs. If your subscription has lapsed or you have not selected the yearly option, you will have to renew to finalize or opt to use the Essential (pay-per-night) option to complete your exchange.

You might also wonder: how can you change details after you have finalized an exchange? How do you cancel a pre-approval? Our FAQs can help.

And there have it. You’ve made it through our three-step “how-to” series. If you have any questions, or need additional assistance, please reach out to our Happiness Team. Happy Exchanging!