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House Sitters America

House sitting & pet sitting exclusively for the US

Home Owner FAQs

GENERAL HOUSE SITTING

There are many different kinds of people who choose to house sit - retired couples, singles, young families, professionals, writers, artists, and those who love to travel and meet new people. There is no one stereotypical 'sitter', however all siters are caring, responsible and have plenty of life experience.

Some people run house sitting or pet sitting businesses and therefore charge for their professional services while others will house sit in exchange for free accomodation.

People often choose to house sit as this lifestyle allows them to travel while enjoying the benefits of staying in a home and an opportunity to meet new people and their pets.

Pet sitting is simply caring for someone’s pet or pets for an organized length of time either within the pet owner’s home or the pet sitter’s home. A pet sitter may also offer other pet related services.

House sitting on the other hand is pet sitting in the pet owners home (which most vets highly recommend to reduce pet anxiety) while also caring for the home and garden for an agreed length of time. Some house sitters may also offer extra pet related services. On the odd occasion there may be homes that don’t involve pet minding where home security and garden care is all that’s needed.

Paid Sitter: A ‘paid' house sitter is someone who charges for their house sitting and pet sitting services. The amount the house sitter charges is determined by them. A sitter's rates may vary depending on such things as the house-sitting location, the length of the house sit, the number of pets to care for, the amount of work involved caring for the house, pets and garden etc.

Free Sitter: A ‘free’ house sitter is someone who is happy to care for your house, pets and garden for no charge. Each house sitter is different but some of the reasons why a house sitter may not charge for their services is the ability to save money by not having to pay for accommodation, the exciting house sitting lifestyle, a desire to love and care for pets, or to have a budget friendly travel opportunity.

It is totally up to you if you choose to go with a paid house sitter or an unpaid one. Many unpaid sitters will have extensive house and pet sitting experience. If your sitting job requires a lot of work, then you may look at choosing a paid sitter as they are remunerated for the larger number of duties. You can be assured that either paid or unpaid sitters will strive to do a great job for you.

The house sitter lives in your vacant home and loves your pets just as you do, ensuring they are happy and safe in an environment they are familiar with. They handle the day to day running of your home such as collecting mail and putting out the bins.

Sitters can also maintain your lawns and garden, as well as any other jobs you mutually agree on. Having your house occupied by a sitter also means that it is much safer than being left empty.

A local house sitter is one who lives within your location rather than a house sitter who is happy to house sit in that location but doesn’t reside there. They may have an established house and pet sitting business in the local area and may only choose sitting work in that location. These house sitters may be living and working or studying in that one location and only want local house sitting jobs.

This is something you can negotiate with the sitter. A house sitting agreement is helpful in clarifying your expectations and ensures both parties are clear on the terms of the arrangement. It is very important to discuss all aspects of the house sit before it begins to avoid confusion. This can make all the difference when it comes to ensuring that the house sit runs smoothly. Terms that may be noted in the agreement include: details of pet care, information on house and garden care, who is responsible for paying for utilities and what to do in an emergency etc.

If you are engaging a paid house sitter, then we would encourage you to have a written agreement for your house sit which includes the details house sitting job and remuneration to be paid. 

House Sitters America offers a housesitting agreement template that you can adapt to suit your individual needs (under Useful Tools in the left hand menu).

WHO PAYS WHAT?

Yes! We do not charge homeowners anything to find a house sitter.

In most cases, the home owner will cover the cost of any utilities as the house sitter is taking care of their home and pets. However, each house sit is unique and everything is negotiable between you and the house sitter.

It is important that both the owner and the sitter are clear and open about what has been agreed to and that it is clearly documented to avoid any confusion. 

If you’ve chosen to pay your house and pet sitter you will need to organize to pay them directly. House Sitters America does NOT deal with any payments. We do NOT take any commissions from payments made like some of the other pet sitting sites do. We are a meeting place for sitters and owners to find each other to organize house and pet sitting jobs.

House Sitters America do NOT take any commissions from payments made like some of the other pet sitting sites do.

House sits run smoothly 99% of the time. In the event of something being broken or damaged by the house sitter, they will generally pay for the repairs happily. If the damage was not the fault of the house sitter e.g. due to the age of the house, then the homeowner will usually cover the costs of the repairs. 

Many of our members like to use a house sitting agreement to prevent any potential misunderstandings. We offer a house sitting agreement template that you can adjust to suit your needs.

REGISTRATION AS A HOUSE OWNER & PLACING A FREE AD

We approve ads at regular intervals throughout the day. Generally, all house sitting job ads are approved within 24 hours of being submitted. 

1) Login to your account

2) Click DEACTIVATE THIS AD where you see this option at the top of your ad

(If you don't automatically see your ad when you login, simply click MY HOUSE ADS in the left hand menu, then follow step 2.)

Deactivating your ad means that you remove it from the list of ads on the website, so sitters can no longer apply. Not only does this avoid sitter disappointment, it also means you are not contacted unnecessarily. Your ad and all the associated details remain in your account so you can use them again should you need a sitter in future. Even though your ad is deactivated, you are still able to message all of the sitters who have contacted you. Should you need to reactivate your ad, you can easily do so.

NOTE: You can also contact us and ask us to deactivate your ad for you.

We ask that you please deactivate your ad as soon as -

  • You have been contacted by a sufficient number of sitters from which to make your choice, or
  • You have already selected a sitter, or
  • Your sit has been cancelled

There may be other reasons to deactivate your ad. We simply ask that you ensure your ad is deactivated as soon as it is no longer required, so that house sitters don't contact you unnecessarily. 

We aks that you reply to all messages you receive even if you aren't interested in engaging the sitter for your house sitting job. We have made this very easy with Group Reply and Quick Reply options.

If you have been contacted by someone that you don't wish to have as your sitter, please reply as soon as possible with a simple message such as "Thank you for your interest. I am sorry that your application has not been successful on this occasion".

Once you’ve added your location and completed a search, you will notice a LOCAL search option button. If you select this button, you will see a filter of all the listed local house sitters within 50 miles. You have the option to change the distance from 50 miles down to 5 miles depending on how local you want to search for. You will also see a LOCAL icon marked on all the house sitter profiles so you know they are definitely a local sitter.

You need to have an email account when you first register so you can activate your account. Once you have registered you can choose to be contacted by phone if that’s preferable, however most first contacts are made via the in-site messaging system. We would recommend having easy access to your email so you receive all notifications about new messages to make it easier to find your perfect house sitter. 

No. All homes and properties must be fully vacant of all people other than the sitters for the entire duration of the sit.

Yes. We do allow AirBnB and other commercially related home businesses but the house sitter MUST be paid for their work. This must be clearly stated in the house sitting job ad.

We do not allow anyone to share the living space with the sitter, so any AirBnB accommodation must be completely separate.

If you have security cameras in or around your home it's important to inform the house sitter of this while negotiating the house sitting job. Sitters may or may not feel comfortable if security cameras are installed, so it is necessary that you advise them of any cameras so they can make an informed decision before the house sit has been confirmed.

 ID VERIFICATION

ID verification is the process by which personal details are checked against public databases, purely for the purpose of confirming that a person is who they say they are.

ID verification is provided through the Trulioo Global Gateway, which is an internationally trusted service working across every level of business and government.

House sitters have the option for the main account holder to be verified. Once this has successfully been done, an ID Verification badge icon is displayed on the sitter profile for your reference.

No. ID verification is only available for house sitters.

Some house sitters may choose not to get ID verified. This can be for many reasons with one of the main reasons being a reluctance to submit their personal details online in case of identity theft. We understand this and that is why ID verification is optional.

There are many other things that you can do to feel comfortable when engaging a house sitter. You can ask for references that you can contact directly by phone, ask if the sitter has a police check, read any reviews from previous house sits that appear on their sitter profile, meet the sitter face to face, and even ask to sight their drivers licence or other identification if you feel that you need to.

ABOUT THE SITE

House Sitters America works to bring together people interesting in house sitting (house sitters) and people who want their home and pets looked after (home owners). 

Once you place your house sitting job ad, sitters who have registered withHouse Sitters America are able to contact you to apply for your house sit. You can view their profile and engage with whoever you feel is the right sitter for you.

Some owners choose not to place an ad. If this is you, you can simply browse through the sitter profiles on the website and use the contact box to send a message directly to the sitters of interest to you.

Easy!

We do not screen our sitters. We are a meeting place for house sitters and home owners to find each other only. As a home owner you are able to ask for whatever you need to feel comfortable that you have the right person. You can ask for reviews or police clearances etc and it's highly recommended that you ask for references, preferably from someone you can call to validate the sitter.


After speaking with a few sitters, most home owners feel very comfortable with the process. Also, many sitters offer references and police checks as part of their profile. You can read as many sitter profiles as you like and contact those sitters who seem most suitable.

It’s easy! You can either place a free house sitting job ad and have our registered house sitters contact you, or you can scroll the list of sitter profiles and contact any whose available dates and profile look suitable. We recommend doing both to increase your chances of finding the perfect house sitter.

The reply rating system is intended to make communication a faster and happier experience for all members. A reply rating appears on a member's homeowner ad or sitter profile as a series of 5 dots. This rates the member's responsiveness to first contact messages.

If a member has responded in a timely fashion, i.e. within 5 days to every first contact message, their reply rating will remain at the ideal 5 points.

For every first contact message that goes un-replied, a point is deducted. To redeem a lost point the member needs to answer promptly to the next two first contact messages that are received.

 

Membership badges are earned for loyalty based on how long the sitter has been with us.

  • The SILVER badge is earned after 12 months of membership.
  • The GOLD badge is earned after 24 months of membership.
  • The PLATINUM badge is earned after 36 months of membership.

It’s a nice way for home owners to know how long a house sitter has been a member of House Sitters America.

Reviews from previous house sitting jobs add a lot of credibility and reward and promote positive experiences.

Both house sitters and home owners can review and rate any completed house sit. These reviews and ratings appear automatically on the sitter profile and the owner’s future ads or direct contact messages.

The star ratings apply to 4 areas, and allow 1 to 5 stars for each:

  • House
  • Pets
  • Garden
  • Communication


These individual star ratings will then be averaged to create an overall star rating from 1 to 5 stars. If an item is irrelevant (e.g. there was no garden) it can be marked as N/A and it will not be included in the star rating. Reviews can be posted with or without star ratings attached.

An email is sent when a member receives a new review or rating. Members then have the option to respond to their review once. This is displayed underneath the review on their profile, ad or message.

Members can also ‘feature’ a review which means the chosen review appears at the top of their reviews list. This ‘featured’ review also appears on the preview of sitter profiles.

All endorsements received under our previous ‘Endorsements’ system have been converted to ‘Reviews’ and appear as outlined above.

We pride ourselves on our customer service and endeavour to reply to all email enquiries the day we receive them. Please allow 48 hours depending on demand.