How to transfer a Vrbo or Airbnb listing to a new homeowner

The keys to a smooth transition

Selling your Airbnb or Vrbo property? During this time, it’s vital to keep things as smooth as possible to avoid any disruptions in bookings, rental income, and guest service. Whether you're retiring, moving away, or simply looking to pass the torch, transitioning your Airbnb or Vrbo to a new owner requires careful planning and preparation.

Here are the steps.

Does Vrbo and Airbnb allow you to transfer your listing?

In short, no. Both Airbnb and Vrbo have the same policy: Hosts can’t transfer their listings, even if they’re selling their property. (However, you can request to transfer the guest reviews.)

Instead, you’ll have to deactivate their Airbnb and Vrbo listings after the sale. While the new owner creates a new listing.

With Vacasa, we’ll make the process seamless by crafting all new listings that include new descriptions, professional photos, and a 3D Matterport tour.

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Your home is a success waiting to happen. We'll show you how.

How to prepare for exchanging ownership

Here’s how to properly and seamlessly transfer a vacation rental listing to a new owner.

Step 1: Hide the original listing

Once you decide to sell your property and can no longer accept new bookings, hide your Airbnb and Vrbo listing as soon as possible or block your calendar so guests can’t book. This will ensure you don’t unintentionally accept bookings you can’t honor as you transfer ownership.

Step 2: Recreate the listing under a new account

Since both Vrbo and Airbnb won’t allow you to simply transfer the listing to new owners, you’ll have to open a new account and create a new listing. Here’s how to do it:

  • Rewrite the vacation rental description, with the same listing details and amenities.
  • Get permission to use the same property photos from the photographer or owner. Or, take new photos that boost bookings.
  • Ensure the new listing accurately reflects the property and maintains the same high standards as the original.
  • Update the listing to reflect the new owner's contact information and any other relevant changes.

Don’t forget to also transfer any social media accounts and guest mailing lists for email marketing.

Hire Vacasa to manage your new property and we’ll provide expert copywriting, photography, and a 3D virtual home tour at no extra cost.

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Step 3: Consider rental management or co-host changes

New owners should thoroughly read the guest reviews and see what guests loved and what they complained about. If most guests left high marks for service, quick response times, and cleaning, consider keeping the current property manager. However, if there are more complaints than compliments, start looking for other vacation rental management companies in the area.

Keep in mind there are a few types of rental managers:

  • Full-service managers who handle it all for you (like Vacasa)
  • Half-service managers (such as Vacasa’s Guestworks)
  • Managers that offer a la carte service

Step 4: Be transparent with guests

It's important to communicate with any guests who have existing bookings for your Airbnb and Vrbo property. This includes:

  • Notifying them of the upcoming ownership change and providing the new owner's contact information
  • Assuring them that their existing bookings will be honored and that they’ll still receive the guest experience they were promised
  • Providing the new owner with any relevant guest information, such as special requests or preferences

Step 5: Update account information

Before transferring the property, ensure that all account information and details are up-to-date, including:

  • Verify that all payments, fees, and taxes are current
  • Update the property's address, contact information, and other relevant details
  • Ensure that any scheduled maintenance or cleaning services are properly communicated to the new owner

Legal and financial considerations

As with any real estate investment, transferring ownership of an Airbnb and Vrbo is a complex process. Before initiating a transfer, it's crucial to understand the legal requirements, tax considerations, and contractual obligations involved.

Consult with a real estate agent specialized in vacation rentals

Consult with a real estate agent specialized in vacation rentals or real estate attorney to ensure that the transfer of ownership is handled properly and in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. These experts can help with:

  • The legal process for transferring the property
  • Any necessary paperwork or documentation

Vacasa can recommend licensed, vacation rental-savvy real estate agents in your area.

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When transferring your Airbnb or Vrbo property, you'll need to consider the tax implications. This may include:

  • Capital gains taxes on the sale of the property
  • Potential changes to your income tax obligations, such as rental income or vacation rental deductions
  • Ensuring that the new owner is aware of any tax-related responsibilities they will inherit

Adjust rental rates

As part of the transfer process, you'll need to review and potentially adjust the property's rates and fees. This includes:

  • Examining how the owner set the rates. Did they take their best guess? Estimate rates based on market conditions and demand? Use a vacation rental pricing software?
  • Ensuring that the new owner's pricing is competitive and in line with the local market
  • Updating any service fees, cleaning fees, or security deposits to match the new owner's policies

There could be room for improvement here (and better rates). Vacasa optimizes rates every day—ensuring our homeowners are making the most with every stay—based on:

  • Demand
  • Peak seasons
  • What competitors are charging
  • Local events
  • Upcoming weather
  • Recent trends

Honor current bookings

It's crucial that both owners work together to honor all existing bookings and maintain the same high level of guest service and amenities promised in the original listing.

There are two main ways to do this:

Add new owners as a co-host

This allows the new owners to message guests and manage any remaining bookings made on the original listing.

Ask guests to rebook through the new listing

Let your guests know that you recently sold the property to new owners and that it will not impact their vacation dates, nor their stay. You can cancel their stay and ask they re-book under the new listing (consider offering a discount to do so). However, be aware many guests may not want to rebook with a new Airbnb or Vrbo account, so be prepared to lose that booking and offer a full refund.

By following these guidelines, you can help ensure a smooth and successful transition of your Airbnb or Vrbo property to the new owner, while maintaining the trust and satisfaction of your guests.

Talk to us

You've got questions. We've got answers.

Call 844-518-0967 to speak with a Homeowner Consultant, who can answer preliminary questions and see if we’d be a good fit for you.

If you'd like to move forward, we’ll put you in touch with our market expert in your neighborhood to explore the financial potential of your home, outline our management fee, and introduce your local team.


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California licenses
Vacasa Seasonals Inc.
California DRE #02160171

Vacation Palm Springs Real Estate, Inc.
California DRE #01523013

Vacasa offers property management and other real estate services directly through Vacasa LLC and through Vacasa LLC's licensed subsidiaries. Click here for more information about Vacasa's licensed real estate brokerage/property manager in your state. Vacasa’s licensed real estate brokerages/property managers include: Vacasa Alabama LLC; Vacasa Arizona LLC; Vacasa of Arkansas LLC; Vacasa Colorado LLC (Micah Victory); Vacasa Delaware LLC, 302-541-8999; Vacasa Florida LLC; Vacasa Illinois LLC 481.014072, Micah Victory Managing Broker Lic# 471.021837; Vacasa Louisiana LLC, Dana MacCord, Principal Broker, ph 504.252.0155 (Licensed in LA); Vacasa Michigan LLC, 602-330-9934; Vacasa Missouri LLC, Vicki Lyn Brown, Designated Broker; Vacasa Nevada LLC; Vacasa New Hampshire LLC,45 NH-25, Meredith, NH 03253, Susan Scanlon, Broker of Record; Vacasa Minnesota, Broker: Micah Victory, license #40877637; Vacasa New Mexico LLC, 503-345-9399; Vacasa New York LLC, 888-433-0068, Susan Scanlon, Real Estate Broker; Vacasa North Carolina LLC; Vacasa Oregon LLC; Vacasa Pennsylvania LLC; Vacation Palm Springs Real Estate, Inc., California DRE #01523013, Mark Graham, California DRE #00700720; Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Texas, Debra Brock, Designated Broker); Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Washington, Robert Brush, Designated Broker); Vacasa Seasonals Inc., California DRE #02160171, Lisa Renee Stevens, California DRE #01485234; Vacasa South Carolina LLC; Vacasa South Dakota LLC; Vacasa Tennessee LLC; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Hawaii LLC, 69-201 Waikoloa Beach Dr. Ste. #2F17, Waikoloa, HI 96738; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Montana LLC, Terah M. Young, Licensed Property Manager; Vacasa Virginia LLC; Vacasa Wisconsin LLC; Vacasa Wyoming LLC. In Canada, this advertisement is provided by Vacasa Canada ULC, CPBC lic. number 75826, 172 Asher Rd. V1X 3H6 Kelowna, BC.