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June 26, 2017

How to avoid Service Fees when looking for a Vacation Rental

Things have changed in the vacation rental business this year. Listing sites like VRBO, Homeaway and Flipkey are now requiring owners to complete all rentals through their website. Gone are the days when owners could speak directly with renters prior to booking. Now all communication is hidden from the owner until the booking is completed.

In addition VRBO, Homeaway and Flipkey now charge renters a service fee to book on their respective websites. The service fee is usually 6 to 15% or more . A hefty charge for doing nothing more than clicking on a listing and booking the listing.

So what can renters do to avoid the service fees?

Search locally for a vacation rental. Read the listing on Homeaway, VRBO or Flipkey and look for the branded name of the rental within the description of the rental. Many owners describe their properties with keywords that will let renters know the actual name of their rental. Example….Wildwood Crest Beach House. Search the exact terms and often you will find the owners website to book directly with the owner to avoid the service fee.

Always look at the vacation rental listings below the paid listings on Google. These are the local listings of local vacation rental sites. Many times these are realtors or local vacation rental listing sites like Use these services to avoid service fees. Local listing sites do not block contact between owner and renter. They do not charge service fees.

In sum..a little searching can save you hundreds of dollars in fees. Take the time to search for the vacation rental you want and deal directly with the owner.

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