Frequently Asked Questions

Want to know more?

Tell us about the name?

It’s based on the hermit crabs who swap their shell for a larger one when they grow too big for it.

Why have you launched this business?

Our founder, Chris Mackenzie had personal experience of swapping a home instead of selling it and it was the easiest house move he had ever done. They negotiated the difference in agreed house values and both parties moved on the same day. We decided to create a community where more people could try swapping instead of selling.

Who is Hermitty designed for?

Hermitty is designed for almost anybody who owns their own home and wants to move without incurring hefty real estate commission fees.

This could be empty nesters looking to downsize their mortgage and free themselves to travel. It could be simply changing to get into school zones in the same city. Or it could be investors who want to diversify their portfolio by acquiring property in a different market. There are many different reasons why swapping your house can be a better option than selling it.

What makes you different from what is out there?

We are not a real estate sales agency. We’re a Chat platform. Once you have found someone to swap with then all the contract negotiation happens off site between the two parties. You pay a one-off fee of $98 to chat to as many home owners as you like. You could say that we’re like Tinder for home owners.

So how does it work?

Let’s imagine you own an apartment in downtown Auckland, and you want to move to a lifestyle property in Raglan or the Coromandel. You register your home at, spend five minutes uploading some nice photos and property information and that’s it! You can search listings in the areas you want to move to, and other people can look at yours. Click to chat on the homes you want to know more about and that’s it. Hermitty charges a one off $98 fee once you decide to chat. After that you can chat to as many homeowners as you like.

How do you list your property?

That’s easy and its free to list! Simply go to and follow the prompts. Select some photos that show your house to its best advantage and provide the key details around land size and features and you’re live. You can even upload a video if you would like to provide a virtual walk-through your home.

Am I locked in to a fixed term if I list with Hermitty?

No way! If you decide that swapping homes is not for you then we wish you all the best in your home search. You can remove your listing whenever you want. If you haven’t had any chats with other homeowners on Hermitty then it’s cost you nothing except a few minutes of your time.

What are the fees?

Its free to register your house on Hermitty and you can browse all of the site’s listings or just the ones that take your fancy. If you see a home that you would like to know more about then simply click the Chat button to start a conversation. You’ll be charged a one-off fee of $98 including GST and you can then chat to as many homeowners as you like.

When do you pay?

You will be asked for your credit card details as soon as you click the Chat button. Once your payment has been processed you will receive a confirmation email that links you back to the property you want to investigate. You’ll also receive a GST receipt.

How do you pay?

Hermitty accepts all major credit cards.

I live outside New Zealand and want to list my home to swap for one here. How does that work?

Hermitty is currently only available in New Zealand but we’re working hard to roll it out to more countries soon.

What happens when you find a home you want to swap your home for?

Once you've found a match and agreed to swap, you're free to manage the conveyancing process using your own provider or you can use Hermitty's conveyancing partners and finance partners. It's over to you. Either way, with Hermitty you pay nothing to list your house and a one-off fee of $98 including gst to chat.

Is this legal?

Absolutely it is. Think of Hermitty as a venue where you can meet other people who want the same thing you do: an easy way to swap houses. No property contracts or other legally binding stuff happens on this site. We are just a forum for connecting homeowners to have a conversation. Think of us as like Tinder for real estate but without the dodgy selfies. For more information you can see our Terms and Conditions here

How do you stop someone falsely representing the features and condition of their property on the site?

Our terms stipulate that home listers must not mislead any potential purchaser as to the value and the condition of the property. We encourage all site users to demonstrate honesty, integrity and goodwill within the ‘getting to know you’ process. We advise our homeowners to style and photograph their homes to best advantage to maximise their appeal on the site.

What protection is there for the consumer?

There is no real risk. No property swaps are transacted on the site, its just a portal to meet other homeowners looking to sell and to start a conversation to see if you may have a match. When you have agreed to swap you let the specialists take over. Any due diligence and property sale agreements are transacted off the Hermitty site between the two homeowners and their conveyancing teams. It is the responsibility of the homeowners to ensure that they seek accounting and legal advice in relation to any sale and purchase of property.

Can you refer home swappers to partners to assist with the sale of their home like lawyers, valuers, movers and insurers?

Not at this stage but we plan to make these services available as the Hermitty community expands. We’ll be talking to trusted companies with a solid history of helping homeowners to have a transparent and stress-free experience changing homes.