There are the lucky few who find their ideal exchange and embark on a successful, direct mutual exchange. For the rest of us exchange chains or multi swaps have to be looked for as it can be near impossible to find the property you want and have the property that the other tenant requires. This is why these multi swaps occur and they are a great opportunity for a number of tenants to exchange satisfactorily at the same time. If you are a proactive person taking on the role of searching for multiple exchanges it can be a very emotional and frustrating time, whilst others sit and wait.
One of the biggest problems faced can be timing, once a person decides that want to move, they tend to want to do it NOW! So the ‘links in the chain’ need to be created quickly or else the links will look for and, maybe, find other potential ‘links’ that do not include you. Even worse still, you do all the searching and correspondence only to be ousted out of the exchange completely. Then there is the opposite type of potential swapper who says that they want to move, but do not seem too enthusiastic, unsure of what they really want, only at the end to change their mind. However, the most irritating are the people who initially respond to you and then ignore any of your future attempts of communication. Why can they not just say, ‘Sorry we are no longer interested,’ or ‘Have had a better offer’ so that you can start looking at other options sooner? My personal favourite were the couple who agreed to take my property, but kept trying to exchange directly with everyone that went to view their property to complete a 3 way swap, whilst emailing me after each visit telling me that the viewer really loved their property, so the 3 way swap should go through soon. Eventually the mutual exchange collapsed, they were completely untrustworthy, they even went so far as to fill in the paperwork but posted it everywhere else except where it was supposed to go.
Although it is frustrating to realise that a multi swap, which has taken so long for you to build is collapsing at the last moment, the “radio silence” from one of the participants, being the only indication that all is not well is aggravating. Especially when a telephone call or some form of message weeks before may have given you time to find a replacement.
Oh yes! Finding a mutual exchange is so very far from being fun particularly when your reasons for doing so have an urgency to them. Those lucky individuals who find a direct exchange quickly, I envy you wholeheartedly, for the rest of us, we should not give up!
The months, weeks, and days of frustratedly searching everywhere for potential exchanges, the money spent on registering with various websites and making phone calls, the guilt at ignoring the family for hours whilst the exchange obsession grows, will eventually come to an end. Some may prefer to keep doing direct exchanges until they find the property that they ultimately want to live in. If you have children, this is really not a sensible option, creating all kinds of problems not just financial. I would say that the multi swap is the lesser of “two evils” when faced with this scenario, but an evil nonetheless.
Try to remain optimistic, determined and focused in the face of adversity, when finding a mutual exchange and do not be afraid of embarking on a multi swap, as they really can work. If you have had an experience of a multi swap, good or bad, or even just a mutual exchange experience that you wish to share send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org and we will post it on our website anonymously.