Request to view the property but booking is 10 months away

Dear fellow hosts, I just got an enquiry through Stayz (or known as homeaway outside Australia). This guest says his family want to stay at my property Dec 2017-Jan 2018, the date is so far away and he wants to view the property this week!
My common sense tells me this is not normal, but I think I should still ask your thoughts on this. My property is in a suburban area, where demand is average. Not a tourist destination, not high demand and I usually got booking requests few days to 1 month ahead.
What do you think? Is this a scam? Your inputs are highly appreciated!

I hate Stayz and have never accepted a booking from them because they mostly turn out to be dodgy.

I think you need to stick to your gut. :slight_smile:

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I don’t know this website but if you have a description/photos what does he want to see that he can’t see from them.

Have you asked him why he has chosen your property, plans for his stay and what he wants to check through a personal visit that isn’t available through looking at the listing?

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JUST. SAY. NO!! No “check out your place” visits! Tell them a little white lie and say it’s against Homeaway/Stayz policy. Tell them that everything they need to see in in your photo gallery.

This may not be a “scam” but could be a home-invasion or a scouting mission for robbery.


Decline this. No need for it.


I have received only quality bookings via Stayz…but, i would ask this guest carefully his reasons for wanting to view the property. I agree it sounds odd.

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Probably wants to negotiate a lower price.

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Last week I had an enquiry from someone wanting to rent for the entire month of March 2018. He wanted to see the place beforehand and was staying in the local area.

I told him that I would be happy to meet him and show him the exterior but because we have back-to-back guests he would not be able to see inside the rental. I don’t normally even consider rentals for more than three weeks but this guy was a host with plenty of reviews and had a legitimate reason for being in the area and evidently is here every year.

As it happened, I was not at home when he came to view the exterior but he sent a message saying that he had been and seen the place.

He has not booked as yet but he didn’t ask for a discount. But I’m not holding my breath.

I saw this as being a perfectly legitimate enquiry and no sort of scam.


Thank you everyone. I really appreciate every input! I have politely explained to the guest, that viewing this early is not possible due to several reasons, mainly security concern. I also assured him the property is exactly like description and nothing differs from the photos. I even told him I have seven reviews on another website (Airbnb :slight_smile:) since opening last December and I can send him the link if he is interested. He hasn’t replied yet.

Thank you Helsi for your great advice. Stayz works a bit different from Airbnb. Home owners/property managers don’t seem to ask too many questions before letting to a stranger (I’m willing to use Stayz because the insurance company covers booking through this website). I still prefer guests from Airbnb because most of them are more polite and willing to communicate. I hosted 8 groups so far and only 1 group from Stayz, and they don’t interact much with me, so more like a hotel experience instead of an Airbnb experience.

Hi KenH, thank you for your reply. This is exactly my concern, Airbnb at least has government ID verification, guests from Stayz are not verified at all, no reviews and even worse I don’t know if they have used a real name in the enquiry or not. I believe most guests are legitimate but we have to protect ourselves from the minor bad ones, so I have to reject all such requests.

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Thank you Jaquo, you have made so many good advices to me. Since I don’t live onsite and my calendar is not always fully booked, so I can’t take the risk showing some strangers my address and the inside of the property. Like @KenH suggested, this could be a scouting mission for robbery, I can’t take the risk even the possibility is very low.

The other advice you made on the forum multiple times, has really inspired me. You mentioned hosts should try marketing to the local business. At first, I can’t think of what local businesses need my accommodation. But after sometime, I observed and googled and there is definitely a demand. I plan to prepare some emails and flyers and see if it works for me :slight_smile:


Between the risk that the person would “case” your place for future robbery, the risk that the guest would be a picky pain in the toenails and the wasted time, I would move on.


Your instincts are correct. This is a huge red flag. Not only should you decline the preview visit, you should decline the booking inquiry altogether.


Got a lovely blunt message today, “send me your address, I want to check out your home tomorrow asap” ,but I remembered all the advice here and did my first decline ever, it was for 6 weeks.


I would not allow them to check out the place 10 months in advance.
I mean the place xoukd have changed/ improved 10 months from now anyway!