Agent

4 tips for a worry-free home exchange

Don't be afraid to turn down business if you get a bad 'gut feeling' about a renter

Home security is a huge topic, especially during vacation months when families arrive from long car drives or plane rides to take over a property they have seen only online. Are owners constantly concerned that renters will trash the property? Are home exchangers leery that strangers will pocket personal property before heading out of town? According to Christine Karpinski, author of the best-selling "How to Rent Vacation Properties by Owner," trouble with renters is usually an isolated incident and usually can be avoided by preparation and screening. "It rarely happens," Karpinski said. "Whether they find you online or go through a property manager, most vacationers understand that they're guests in a private home. As such, they are likely to treat it more respectfully than they would a hotel room. Christine Karpinski "And remember, if you rent by owner, you are the judge and jury when it comes to choosing your occupants, and...