Vacation rentals: How to save money and avoid scams

It’s that time of year when snagging a getaway is on a lot of people’s minds.

Believe it or not, there are still a lot of great deals out there for vacation rentals. And you don’t have to stop at the listed price.

Kristie Butts, for example, took her first trip away from Sadie Grace with her husband last year and used VRBO. But instead of just clicking, they called.

“He’s a dental student so he didn’t have a lot of money. So we contacted one of the places on Vacation Rental by Owner and just told him our situation and asked him if they could give us a discount, and they were able to do that and we’ve gone back there a couple of times since then and we really liked it,” Butts said.

Just by asking, they got 10% off.

The most successful price negotiations are when you offer something in return like writing a review or spreading the word on social media.

Real Estate expert Pam Harrison adds that being courteous goes a long way. She also warns beware of bogus listings.

“I have seen my listings out there, hotpads is one that I’ve seem them on. I’ve seen them on Craigslist. And they steal the interior photos. A lot of times it’s the vacant houses that they are doing, not so much the ones that are occupied,” Harrison said.

The fake listings tend to have below market rent. But besides that, many times they are very deceptive.

We asked Harrison how you can tell the difference between a real listing and a scam listing.

“It’s really hard, they’re super sneaky when they do it. The biggest thing, do your research. Google that address. See if you see real estate listings come up on or with a real estate company website, and then do some more research.” she said.

Back to the savings, Butts returned the favor with a great review, and ever since has been flexible on when she booked, to land more great deals.

“It just worked out great, so I would suggest trying to negotiate it and just see what happens,” she said.

If you think it’s too late to get the good deals for this summer, think again.

Many times there will be cancellations that open up last-minute bookings. And along with the off-season bookings, that is a great way to save.

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