7 Replies Latest reply: Oct 3, 2019 3:46 PM by feibus RSS

    Selling a vaction rental to a new investor

    sward6880 Contributor

      We expect to sell one of our vacation rentals mid November

      The new owner wishes to continue with the home as a vacation rental. 

      We are being asked to convey our upcoming reservations.

      Can this be achieved in any sensible way bearing in mind ;

      1. We operate a strict cancellation policy and some reservations will be within the "right to cancel with a full refund" period and

      2. Some reservations will have a balance of rental to be collected

      This must arise all the time but I am unaware of a solution offered by Homeaway

      I am also asking the same question of Airbnb support

      Any advice or solutions please ?

        • Re: Selling a vaction rental to a new investor
          kmccor Contributor

          I've been in your situation twice. Both times I had to cancel all my reservations and refund all the money paid to the renters. The renters then had to rebook with the new owner once the new owner set up a VRBO account.

          • Re: Selling a vaction rental to a new investor
            hhirental2 Contributor

            This question made me wonder--I have two properties under the same log-in.  Can I split these into separate accounts without losing my history, my reviews, etc?

            • Re: Selling a vaction rental to a new investor
              feibus Senior Contributor

              It's not up to Homeaway to offer a solution.  The answer is going to be based on the legal requirements in your area.  Check with the closing attorney for how they want to structure not only the change of rental agreements but also how the deposits will be conveyed at closing.

                • Re: Selling a vaction rental to a new investor
                  sward6880 Contributor

                  I disagree feibus


                  Selling a vacation rental to a new owner where there are reservations to convey ought to be facilitated by the likes of Homeaway and Airbnb.  Instead it is incredibly difficult.  


                  The exception is Booking.com where if the current owner agrees, the new owner can take over the entire listing complete with reviews.   Here the new owner collects the remaining amounts as and when they fall due based on the data provided by the seller.   Its incredibly straightforward.


                  With Airbnb the current owner has to cancel the listing, and with it are automatically cancelled all future reservations and guests are refunded.   As set out to me by Airbnb support  :


                  "....there's no way to transfer the listing to another account.   If the new owner would like to continue with Airbnb, they will need to create another account as a host and publish the listing under their name. Once done, you can unlist the listing under your account.


                  About the reservations, if you confirm to us that you'll no longer host and continue with the listing, then proceed to deactivate permanently the listing with no chance to reactivate or list again. The reservations would be canceled and you'll not receive any penalty or payout."


                  So I guess here the option is to give the upcoming guests contact information to the buyer who can then try and secure the reservations


                  With Homeaway  - if the seller and buyer work together there are "workarounds"  - which is how I am dealing with our buyer.  


                  The complexities that arise are associated with :


                  1.  Rentals collected by closing which then fall due to the buyer, potentially at and beyond closing.

                  2.  Account has to be taken of the sellers cancellation policy

                  3.  Remaining payments  - the seller needs to cancel future payment requests and the buyer needs to collect upcoming rental payments as they fall due

                  4.  Communication with the affected guests  - who may well get spooked.

                  5.  Reviews  - as there is no reservation for "inherited guests" in a listing of the buyer then there is no means of the buyer benefiting from reviews.

                    • Re: Selling a vaction rental to a new investor
                      feibus Senior Contributor

                      Unless you are selling the business that rented the home (as opposed to the home, they're distinct entities even if they're run by the same person), the contract needs to have contemplated that occurrence and explain to the guest what would happen to keep the agreement in force.  Did it?  Most RAs do not.  And if it does not, the business that rented the home cannot suddenly assign the contract to another entity without the guest's permission.


                      And that has nothing to do with Homeaway.


                      As for Homeaway, they went the easy route: telling everyone to just cancel their reservations and rebook the ones where the guests agree to rebook.  Simpler, cleaner for Homeaway.  Yeah, they might lose a little business, but it's not frequent enough or expensive enough to care.