Guest wants to see house before booking for a month but another guest request to book within that month

Hello! I’m a new host and I need some advice. I use both VRBO and Airbnb. I got a request on VRBO for a guest who wants to stay for a month, with her father who is having a medical procedure at a nearby hospital. She wants to see the house first to make sure it would be okay for recovery, which I understand in this case. So, I have arranged for her to come by tomorrow to see the house. Not even two hours later, I got a request on Airbnb to book a weekend within the month that the first guest wanted.

I’m not sure what to do- hope that the month-long guest goes through with the booking or go with the sure-thing guest of just a weekend. Obviously the month-long guest will be paying WAY more but it’s a gamble because they might decide it’s not for them. I was thinking about telling both guests my delimma but I’m not sure how to phrase it.

Any advice?

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Generally if somebody needs a place for Recovery they want to make sure as much as possible is all on one level. Bathroom and bedroom Etc. And depending on the procedure wood floors would probably be better as far as a walker or a wheelchair is concerned. And obviously make sure that doorways are at least 36 in to accommodate a wheelchair. Although I do understand wanting to see a house before such a long reservation, it would make me feel uncomfortable I think because now this person who is not a definite guest is going to be inside my home. I think I would prefer to even do video chat and give a tour then physically have an unbooked guest. Do you believe her story of a medical procedure?

I understand your dilemma, but personally I don’t hold on to rooms for anyone. The person who makes the reservation first gets the room, and everyone else arrived too late to the party. I may have lost money this way, but it seems the most correct way of handling these things.

Also take care with month long bookings: Depending on local legislation, most people on this forum don’t do month long reservations, because of guests acquiring renter rights once they pass 30 days.


Thanks for your replies. I do believe her story because we have a major hospital that does specialized procedures nearby. You made good points about the doorways, etc. I’ll message that guest and give her more details about things like that. Also, I wanted to add, she actually requested 27 days, not a full month. I guess that makes a difference.

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ABSOLUTE NO to Lookee-loos who want to check out your space in person. It’s your home, not a Motel 6.

It took me a minute…autocorrect drives me crazy too, generally.


I’ve allowed guests to see the rental prior to a longer term rental. Especially if they may have special needs the last thing you want is rental not be a good fit and they request to cancel after arrival. Regardless of your cancellation policy it can get messy. It is better that all be informed and happy.

Yes there is a risk they are checking out the place for possible theft but your pictures probably show the bad guys all they need.

For my area rentals greater than 30 days are considered long term so 27 nights would be short term

About holding a rental— I tend to agree with first booked gets to stay. However I could go either way with this one. The vRBO guest contacted you first. It is only a delay of a day. It sounds like the Airbnb guest was inquiring not making a request to book.

Open communication with the Airbnb guest. If the guest who previews the property books then tell Airbnb guest you are sorry but the property was booked on VRBO before their reservation on Airbnb completed.

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Ahahahahhaha! Speech to text! I fixed it!

This is what I would do also. I would tell the lady that she would need to make a decision quickly after seeing the house as you have other potential guests, and I would ask the weekend couple if they could wait one day for availability confirmation.

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As a new host you also need to consider the need to get as many bookings as possible while you have the new host boost. You book for a month and hopefully get one good review. Your competitor who takes back to back one night stays gets 14 good reviews in the same period. The competitor moves up in search ranking while you get moved down while your room isn’t available.

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I would pursue the longer term booking.
If you are on Instant Book, I would get off IB until you know if it pans out or not.

I would also include a weekly housecleaning in the deal. It helps to know in between that your house is well taken care off.

Showing my place before accepting longer term reservations has always served me well as a live in host.

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You have 24 hours to respond to the AirBnB request, but you also need to keep your average response time low. I’m not sure if you send a response to the AirBnB guest if this will count as the response time or if they count the time you accept/decline the reservation. Anyway, if you really want the one month booking you should make sure she’ll come early enough tomorrow to still respond to the AirBnB request, and message her now and tell her she’d have to make a decision on the spot so you don’t lose the weekend booking. Also, as a new host you should consider limiting your bookings to 1-2 weeks max to get as many reviews as possible while you have the new host boost. It will help you in the long term if you have more reviews. I also find that when I have 1-2 month bookings, my listing drops in the search rankings because it’s unavailable for so long and it takes me a bit of time to get the momentum up again after the guest leaves—not a great thing when you’re a new host.

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Fair question/concern. I’ve encountered this many times. I was concerned too. I found that any response to a Request to Book or Inquiry counts positively to the response time. Meaning if I receive a request a book and I message the potential guest promptly asking if they are OK with my house rules, I’ve met the response time goal.

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Very good tip there! I hadn’t thought about that at all.

And an update: the month long person said they may be able to push their dates back so I may actually be able to accommodate both. It’s nice when things work out


I just made that mistake. I had two guests, one wanted to rent for four nights; the second one’s father had died and wanted to rent for 10 days.
I took the reservation for 10 days, which was confirmed.
The day the two people were supposed to arrive, other family members were arriving and I did not have room to accommodate them all and they wanted to stay at a hotel, so cancelled.
AirBnB paid one-night for the cancellation, but as it ended up I did not have anyone else want the other nine days–OUCH!
As if that is not bad enough I keep getting messages from AirBnB asking me to review the guest who cancelled.

I’m the same. And I also don’t like people asking to look first. Am I lying in my description? Are my photographs all photoshopped? Did I pay people to write glowing reviews? So I don’t like the implication that they need to look first. Ask questions, fine.

When someone asks to see the place first I tell them that they can drive by and see the outside but they can’t see inside as it would disturb the present guests. I’m assuming that they wouldn’t want people looking during their own stay so why should they inflict it on the present guests?

In my pre-internet B & B days I often hosted guests who had a relative in the local specialist hospital as we were nearby. But as I’m no nurse, I discouraged people who were recuperating. There are too many unknown factors, the least of which can be stained sheets. :roll_eyes:

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