Potential guest wants to see it before booking?

We host a beach home by remote, and just got this request with an inquiry about dates for a 3-night stay a couple months out. They are not booked yet. Our pics are pretty well representative of the place. With other guests in and out, and us 2-1/2 hours away, we would not be able to accommodate this anyway. It just seems an odd request and from someone with no review history, I’m thinking to just decline the inquiry.


Yes, just decline. Or tell them that for $200 payable in advance they can preview, LOL.


These are Airbnb newbies who are hesitant to take the plunge and stay somewhere other than a Motel 6 or a Marriott. Tell them:

“Pre-booking visitations are not permitted by Airbnb rules. If you cannot decide to stay at our beach home based on the description and photos we have provided, perhaps you are better suited to staying in a chain hotel rather than our private home.”


Hello @KevinA, you don’t need to decline, just respond as @KenH suggested.

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Mirta has a good point. I mean you should decline the request to see the place, but if they make an booking request don’t decline as declines count against you.

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I’ll share my only “need a preview” experience.

A lady who lives in town contacted us. She asked to see the place, wanted to just drive through the neighborhood to see if she wanted to stay. She was having her floors redone and needed a place for a week while the work went down.

It was easy to oblige her request, and we got a good booking out of it. She raved about the house, our hosting prowess, but left us 4* for location because “it wasn’t as nice as her neighborhood”.

I got super worked up (we were new), think that’s when I found this forum… now I can laugh about it.


Do declines really count against you? I see where they track accepted reservations, but does that really hurt you? I have IB set only for folks that have prior good reviews, verified, etc, but this guest doesn’t meet those requirements.

Check other threads for previous discussion of the topic

I responded that we cannot accommodate a preview, but now looking further his request says 1 guest. We have a 4 bedroom entire home that sleeps up to 10, so he ain’t renting this just for himself. His profile says email address and phone number are verified but nothing else, no reviews, and yet joined in 2016.

No. Just no. Could be casing the place and watching our calendar to see when it’s vacant. Hate to be suspicious, but our listing does note the 2 new 65-inch tv’s and new appliances. What’s to stop a thief if all Air has is an email, phone # and no history or ID verification? Nope, not doing it.


I’m generally not suspicious of guests. Quite often I’ve had people want to look first and I’ve told them that they can look at the outside but not inside either of the apartments because that wouldn’t be fair on current guests.

Furthermore a) I’m not going to waste my time showing them round and b) I resent them ‘calling me a liar’ when they imply that the listing text and the photographs aren’t good enough. Just believe me.

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Or they want to hold a party and wanted to start planning.

Either way, just say “No”

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I would consider it for a longer term stay, 30 days or so.


I would say 80% of the time we have obliged these requests when and ONLY if it was convenient for us, we did not receive a booking out of this. They just want to waste your time.


We had a brand new Airbnb user just show up at our house once to introduce himself, lol. I wouldn’t allow someone to come look our place without booking. Good on you for declining.

Hi there,

Preview visits are a massive waste of time. It’s the reason I switched from traditional landlording to Air. Now I am repeatedly booking +4 month stays through Air. That’s what the guarantees are for.

If you are a sucker for pain, here is what happens.

Your home must be meticulous. They always arrive late. It’s part of the power play. Then they critique your home, and offer you a fraction on the dollar. Then they say, “We will get back to you”, which is landlordese for “thanks for the free tour of your home!”

Most importantly, it makes no sense. It’s a 3 day booking. Live dangerously! Take the plunge!

My evil twin would also like to point out that they just got free access to the inside of your place, including it’s valuables. You cannot be too careful.


My place attracts Looky loo’s, had one this morning, said I listed on AirBnB and the response was ohh can I can come and look around - no.

I did do it, very occasionally will do it but chance of a booking is close to nil.

Sometimes I play along, ohh when are you looking at staying etc.

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To build on @Brandt ‘s comment; I try to accomodate my snowbird requests to view the condo (beach condo remotely managed, peak season June-September). Rentals Jan-May tend to be 30 days or more and to retirees trying to escape snow and be able to play golf and walk on the beach.

I want them to be happy. To live 30 days or more in a place where they aren’t happy is not going to be a good experience for them or me.

Short term rentals are encouraged to rely on pictures and prior guest reviews of the condo.


I’ve had three local people with future visiting families who wanted to come and see the place first. I agreed at a time that suited me and didn’t make any particular effort to tidy up. All of them booked direct with me for between one and two weeks. It pays to be accommodating sometimes …


i wouldnt do it for a 3 night stay what the heck! ive done it before for families who have stayed for 2-3 months and wanted to see if it was right for them!