House Tour/Inspection Before Booking

In the past two months I’ve had several potential guests request a tour of the house before they book. I always decline. Always. First I normally have guests and am not going to subject them to strange people peeking into rooms in the house. Second I will not release my address prior to a booking. Third my photos are current.

Is this a new trend with guests wanting to inspect the property before they book or just a fluke that I’ve had three in the past two months.

I have only received this request once, and they had already booked so they already had my address. I found it odd, but he was booking for friends and I think he needed reassurance that he wasn’t sending them someplace awful. There have been an awful lot of bad media stories about really bad AirBNB spaces and hosts. I did let him take a look on a day that I didn’t have a guest. Obviously, I turned over the room as soon as the previous guests had left so that he saw the room at its best.


I tell them that they are welcome to meet me but that because we have back to back bookings, I will not inconvenience the current guests. Would they like it if I was showing people round during their own stay?

I always strongly imply that my listing is current and accurate so they have no need to scope the place out - just read the reviews. AND - that I am not a liar - our listing is descriptive and it’s all they need to make their decision.


I’ve had several people who wanted to hold events here want to see the place in advance. I’ve shown it to them. Only two have booked. I’ve had several people who were interested in long term stays and asked to see our place before they booked. None of them ever came to see our place nor did they book. One time I had a man and his son staying with me. His wife was staying with her daughter who lives nearby. The wife showed up at my house unannounced the day before the husband and son’s stay. The wife demanded to see the guest room and the breakfast items.

I have agreed to the house tour prior to booking twice in my AirBnB career. The first time went well and I got a business guy to stay with me on a weekly basis for a few months. No regrets there. The second one had allergies and was worried about scented products in the home. I landed the booking, but I got the strangest and most bizarre person I’ve ever had. Regrets there.

Overall, I agree with you. These requests should be declined. Everything in my listing is accurate as well and I answer questions as the come in full detail and as accurately and objectively as possible. And yes, giving out your address is a bad idea too.

I’d say it’s just a fluke really. I’ve only had it twice out of the hundreds and hundreds of guests I’ve had.

In a year and a half, we’ve had 2 requests to view. Just say NO. The photos are current; they can’t see anything that isn’t in the pictures. This is our private house, not a commercial hotel; guests should be able to look at the locator map and google maps and determine that the neighborhood is nice, and look at the photos to see what the rental looks like.

I have been asked for a tour by potential long term guests, but they never reached me after I said yes. I was very open to let them see the place when it was vacant, but I am not disturbing a current guest for a prospect guest unless he shows REAL interest. Some people look like OCD that need to explore ALL the options, not just those that are likely THEIR options (in terms of budget, size, area).

I’ve gotten a few of these, usually because they want to film something and need a home setting. Kids from the art school or whatever. Anyway, it’s never panned out, so now I just say no. Too much hassle.

If it’s someone in the neighborhood looking for a family member who wants to stay close by, it doesn’t generally impede on my life so I’m more or less ok wth that. But random people–no.

I find that the guests who ask the most questions are the most problematic. I’ve had guests ask about check in time (on the website as flexible), ask if they can cook (again on the website, yet), if laundry is available etc… it tells me that they didn’t read the listing which is red flag #1, and that they are going to be high maintenance guests.


But then what do you do if they are already booked for almost a week and that week is coming up? I have such a guest checking in next week. After she booked she asked for pictures of my whole house, my front and back yard, etc. My listing includes a picture of my pool and screened in lanai, which for all practical purposes is my backyard. Even though I have an acre of land, my main house sits right at the back of the property.

I complied anyway and took a number of pictures of the trees, the leaves, the front yard (which is mostly just land), She wrote back…oh it’s beautiful. I have asked her if she needs help with booking any excursions in the area, as I offer that help to anyone who stays here. But in reply to that question, she asked if I have a Keurig?? I told her I read they are bad for the environment, so no I don’t have one. That’s one reason I don’t have one…the other would be I just don’t like the bloody things.

Last question I received is what is my address? That was a first for me, no one has ever asked that before.

If they ask all these questions prior to booking, then I guess it’s a red flag and you can decline, but if they are already booked, it just causes more angst, imo.


OMG, what did you do?

Maybe a good answer to these people would be: “Feel free to reserve for one night beforehand, so you can sleep here and have the whole experience. Afterwards you can decide if you still like it and make the reservation for the period you require.”

This is supposing that your property allows for 1 night stays. Or just put a price on the viewing :grin:. I have never experienced this and really wouldn’t know how to handle it. Maybe just a short: “The property is as shown in the pictures, feel free to make the reservation.”

She literally barged her way in. I opened the front door and she pushed past me while showing me a print out of her husband and son’s reservation. I showed her what she wanted to see (the guest room and the breakfast items).

I probably would have called Air and had the reservation cancelled!


As it was the day prior to the guests’ stay, I didn’t want to give up the money.


Yeah, that would have been hard to rebook, and Air would have probably refunded.

What did you leave in the review?!

I have the flexible cancellation policy so the most I would have gotten is one day. Also, the guests were from a different culture. I don’t believe that I should be “teaching” others our culture’s views on manners. It was startling and makes a good story, but it really wasn’t a big deal.

At the risk of inviting criticism here, it was a third party booking. The wife’s daughter booked for her stepfather and stepbrother. I accept third party bookings as long as the person who books confirms on the Airbnb email that the person(s) who will be staying are comfortable with large dogs. I don’t leave a review for third party bookings.

I can see why he made a separate booking to her, wow.

I did once have a painful, painful group of guest (whom air had to throw out of my place, only time ever) who contacted me 17, yes 17 times to TELL me they knew my check in time was 2pm but they would be there at 10am- ummm no you won’t I repeatedly explained, I did actually have a guest, then went to the pool. From 12pm they inundated me with harassing messages. I should have made them cancel the booking long before they arrived but they were my 3rd or 4th booking and I had no idea. I then found out the day I got Air to throw them out they had sent 2 friends from their country of origin to my house the day before their arrival to tell me this for the 18th time. A previous Air guest of mine who now lives around the corner, saw them and approached them thinking they were new guests and having trouble getting in and when she found out what they were doing she told them to go away and made sure they left. She forgot to message me and I cran into her a few days later and she told me. It was the final straw for me with the worst guests ever, I actually yelled at them in English while the Airbnb customer service yelled at them on the phone in Mandarin as they had driven us both to total nervous breakdown.

They even left their poor child in my home for four hours after they were evicted. I could not believe.