Because house swapping comes so cheap, it allows people to travel to parts of the world they couldn't afford to visit if they stayed in other accommodations. But booking a house swapping partner is not the same as booking a hotel room. When you're making a house swap, it's important to trust your intuition. Multiple e-mails back and forth with a prospective trading partner will give you an idea about the person's personality and whether he or she is trustworthy and trusting.
If someone gives you explicit directions on how to care for the home, or repeatedly asks questions about the size and condition of your home, he or she may not be ready to give up control, which is necessary for a successful swap. As the relationship develops, if you get less comfortable with the idea of a swap, rather than more comfortable, that's another good sign that this is not the right swap partner for you. If you're still concerned but want to move forward with the swap, ask for and contact references. Previous house swappers, employers and family friends can all provide you with details about your trading partner. Someone who is willing to allow you in their home should have no problem providing this information.