10 Airbnb Listing Red Flags

4 min read
air bnb listing

Seeking somewhere to stay long or short term is an activity that warrants careful thought. You want your money’s worth in addition to comfort, convenience and satisfaction. But it’s easy to be fooled by scammers.

Airbnb hosts can display a listing that shows a beautiful street and property but doesn’t adequately show the interior — the most crucial part. You should be able to clearly see what you are paying for and what kind of convenience you are getting.

Continue reading to find out 10 Airbnb listing red flags.

10. Where Are the Reviews?


When you buy a new gadget or clothing item, you want to know what other people think. You want to read what their experience has been. Well, the same goes for an Airbnb listing.

If you can’t find a review, proceed with caution. You should always get feedback before you sign off on any agreement. If not, forget it!

9. You Have More Questions Than Answers


If there is a virtual listing with missing information, that is a big question mark. The ideal listing truthfully provides a virtual tour with photos to show you precisely what you are getting. Don’t be afraid to ask for pictures of the house interior if you go through a list with missing rooms.

You can research the neighborhood yourself if that is missing, but you want to see what the rooms look like and the standard of convenience you are getting with your temporary home.

8. Only Negative Reviews

negative review

The only thing worst than no feedback is one with a ton- of negative reviews of people criticizing a listing says, Sara Mosadegh, an Airbnb property manager and host.

Reviews that give Wi-Fi a bad rap or talk negatively about neighbors and neighborhood security should not be ignored.

A barrage of negative reviews spells disaster. Mosadegh advises, however, to follow up on any reviews that mention construction.

7. The Photos You See Don’t Match the Description

airbnb, pictures

A frequent Airbnb user and travel writer, Jessica Norak, advises people to use their investigative skills and see if words and pictures match.

Norak says if the listing says luxury apartment and you see chipped paint, uneven concrete floors, and little or no furniture featuring, it may not be a luxury apartment, and you should take your business elsewhere.

View photos taken and verified by an Airbnb, so you know what they should look like.

6. Price Seems Too Good to Be True


Before you suffer from a double-edge sword, find out why a listing is below market value. We all want to save money and are happy to get a deal in a competitive environment, but don’t jump for joy just yet.

There is always a reason for the offerings, which is not always good. The neighborhood might not be so appealing, or something might be missing from the property or home, and the host is trying to make up for it.

Investigate why the rate is lower compared to other listings. Be sure before you sign off on a potentially budget-friendly option.

5. Too Many Errors

price, airbnb

We understand if someone isn’t a native English speaker and the grammar might not be so great. And yes, there are honest-to-goodness typos, but constant contradictions should jolt your alert neurons.

It may not just be because someone cannot write and put a professional listing together, but they want to get your money and scam you.

If you are reading about a picturesque backyard in a gorgeous neighborhood and you cant find a picture to match, be bold and ask for clarity. Let no one arm wrestle your money for luxury and give you a junkyard.

4. You Are Not Sure If It’s Legal


In this era of growth and development, the government steps in to regulate and upgrade the industry. They determine what’s acceptable and what’s not. Industry experts warn that if you are not sure, ask to see the license and registration number of Airbnb.

Airbnb in many cities must register to offer themselves as an Airbnb. Research the rules of any city you are traveling to, as you might be asked at customs for the registration number.

They’ll want to know if you are staying at a registered property, so have that information ready, or you might be in trouble. Somewhere in the property description, you will find the registration number.

3. You Booked the First Place

airbnb, book, vacation

You can have some unpleasant experiences if you don’t do due diligence and go through several listings before you choose. Spend the time to ensure that a property is up to the standard you require.

Ask about traffic noise if you are a light sleeper-you don’t want your window facing an intersection. Wi-Fi might be essential to the type of job you have — so ensure you can have 100% of what you need as all listings don’t have the same speed or consistent connectivity.

2. Your Host Is Taking Forever to Respond

host, reviews

If you are traveling to an unfamiliar destination, where language could be a barrier, a host with speedy, excellent service is crucial. If your host is not responding or is slow in response, that is a huge red flag.

If the host is slow to respond before you check in to the destination, that host will be slow if you have a problem to resolve in the home.

1. Everything Is Too Good To Be True

listing, city, host

If things are just too affordable, the location too spectacular, pictures too perfect, it could be a fake. If you do a quick Google search and the listing turns up on several sites, back up!

Ask your host all the relevant questions. And pay no money, except on the website of Airbnb or App.

This ensures that you get coverage by the anti-scam policies of the company. In addition, Airbnb conducts background checks on hosts and guests in the US, so be sure to go through the correct channels for your protection — then you can hit book.