What to Do Before Listing Your Home on Airbnb

Millions of people around the world list their homes on websites like Airbnb and VRBO to make money, but there are some things you should do beforehand.

Fred Nelson bought a vacation home in Catskill, New York.

“So the thought of renting it out to others who are looking for a vacation getaway made perfect sense,” he said. “That was kind of a no-brainer, to be able to list it on a site and let other people enjoy it as well.”

The market is strong.

According to a survey by Consumer Reports, 75 percent of people who’ve never used a homestay said they’d consider trying it.

Consumer Reports says the first thing to do before listing your home is making sure it’s legal.

“Vacation rentals aren’t legal everywhere, so you’ve got to look into the local laws before you list your home,” Consumer Reports Money Editor Lauren Lyons Cole said.

Your town or city hall can tell you what’s legal in your area.

Consider a call to your insurance agent and your accountant.

“When you’re renting your home, you’re essentially running a business, which means you’ve got to think about things like the type of insurance you need and whether or not you’re going to owe taxes on the income you earn,” Cole said.

Nelson said he’ll keep posting his house as long as people renting.

“I listed it maybe two weeks ago,” he said. “It’s booked up for the entire summer. So, it can be a nice little way to supplement the income and help defray the mortgage, quite frankly.”

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