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House Sitters America

House sitting & pet sitting exclusively for the US

House Sitter 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 caring for someone’s pet or pets for an specified 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 owner's home 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.

As a house sitter, you live in the owner's vacant home and love their pets just as the owner would, ensuring they are happy and safe in an environment they are familiar with.

You handle the day to day running of the home, such as collecting the mail, putting out the bins and ensuring the security of the home. You are responsible for cleaning the house to the standard in which you found it and you might also be asked to maintain the lawns and garden, as well as any other jobs you and the owner mutually agree on.

There are so many variables in applying for a house sit that we cannot guarantee anyone they will be engaged as a house sitter. If you demonstrate in your sitter profile that you are caring, reliable, and trustworthy, there is a strong chance a homeowner will choose you to take on their house sit.

Having a criminal record check, available referees and good references can also help. Remember each homeowner is unique and in the end they choose who they think is suitable for their house sitting position.

The most successful sitters are the ones with a great sitter profile and who are proactive in apply for house sitting or pet sitting jobs. If you regularly check the available house sitting jobs and contact home owners directly, this will give you the best chance of securing a sit.

With new house sitting jobs being advertised every day, you have a good chance of finding a house sit in your preferred area. All of our available house sitting jobs are published on our site for everyone to see (even if you aren't yet a member). Click the FIND HOUSE SITTING JOBS link at the top of the page to view the current listings. You can search for a particular location using the Refine search options. If you find something of interest, you can register to start contacting home owners. 

We also find that many home owners prefer to contact house sitters directly so.  don't be too disheartened if there are not any house sitting adverts in your preferred area.

If you are only interested in one particular area, you may like to identify yourself as a local house sitter. This allows home owners to see that you are from their local area which may help to improve your chances of being selected for their house sit. 

Yes you can! We have many members who bring their pet house sitting. Understandably however, you will find there are some home owners who won’t want other pets in their home. Some homes may be too small, not set up for pets or have pets that don’t tolerate other animals. This means you do restrict your chances somewhat. Having said that, there are home owners who don’t mind at all having a sitter who brings their pet with them. Home owners will often say in their ad whether or not they are happy to accommodate other pets.

You can filter ads by selecting the PETS WELCOME option using the Refine search on the search page.

Sure! We have many families who enjoy the opportunities house and pet sitting provides. House sitting as a family can really enhance your time together while greatly reducing the costs associated with travel.


There are some home owners who won’t want children in their home which means you do restrict your chances somewhat. Having said that, many home owners, especially those with families of their own, welcome having another family in their home. If you can show your family is respectful, reliable, and trustworthy, there is no reason why you can’t apply to house sit.

You can filter ads by selecting the FAMILIES WELCOME option using the Refine search on the search page.

Yes. The duration of house sitting positions can be anything from 1 day to 3 years. The general length of a house sit tends to fall between 1 week and 4 months but it is not uncommon for house sitting positions to be longer.

You can do a search for house sits by selecting your preferred the sit length using the Refine search options. 

Yes, it happens all the time. Word of mouth is by far the best way to keep yourself employed as a house and pet sitter.

If you engage in a house sitting job that is well received by the homeowner you are probably going to get called upon for their next away trip - plus the homeowner's family and friends away trips! This could potentially extend on to the friend's friends and their friend's friends etc.

Every house sitter has to start somewhere. Most homeowners are willing to consider first time house sitters.

As a first time house sitter, we recommend that you include information in your profile about your own experiences. Perhaps you grew up with pets, or have experience taking care of your own home and garden or helping care for your friend's pets. If you don't have house sitting references, you can arrange professional references from an employer or personal references from close friends. 

Of course, once you've done your first sit, ask the home owner to give you an review - and you will find that getting future sits will be that much easier.

This is something you and the home owner and will negotiate. A house sitting agreement is helpful in clarifying the owner’s 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 is confirmed 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 the case of an emergency etc.


House Sitters America offers a housesitting agreement template that you can adapt to suit your individual needs.

If you're not going to create a formal agreement, we highly recommend documenting everything you discuss either using our in-site messaging system or via email so you have something to refer to. 

If a home owner has security cameras in or around their home it's important that they inform you of this while negotiating the house sitting job. Sitters may or may not feel comfortable if security cameras are installed, however it is necessary that the home owner allow you to make an informed decision before the house sit has been confirmed.

If this is something that could be of concern to you, you may like to ask home owners if there are any security cameras on the property and whether or not they will be in use during your stay. 

REGISTRATION AS A SITTER

Paid Sitting: A ‘paid' house sitter is someone who charges for their house sitting and pet sitting services. You are able to set your own rates for your house sitting and pet sitting services. Your 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 Sitting: ‘Free’ house sitting is where the house sitter is happy to care for a house, pets and garden for no charge. You may prefer not to charge for your house sitting and pet sitting services for a number of reasons which can include saving money (by not having to pay for accommodation), the exciting house sitting lifestyle, the desire to love and care for pets, or to have a budget friendly travel opportunity.

Yes. As a free or paid house sitter you are able to elaborate on your rates (or free services). There is an area in your sitter profile where you can include information about your rates which can be seen by home owners when they view your profile. 

Yes. You can login to your profile and change it at any time. You can vary your rates depending on your circumstance and the workload of each job and edit your profile accordingly.

Some homeowners may feel more comfortable engaging a local house sitter over someone who doesn’t live in the area. If you are limited to living or working in the one area, you could become a local house sitter and only apply for local jobs. Many homeowners also like to use the same house sitter once they’ve found someone they can trust. It can be a great way for a house sitter and homeowner to develop an ongoing relationship for future house sitting and pet sitting jobs.

You can register if you run a house sitting or pet sitting business, but ONLY if you are the sole employee. If you have more than one employee, then you are NOT able to register. If your house sitting or pet sitting business has employees, then each employee would be required to register with House Sitters America.

If you are unsure about what kind of registration is suitable for your needs, please contact us to discuss.

Homeowners pay nothing to register and to use this site, for life.

House sitters normally pay a $49 annual membership fee.

You can choose from our secure online credit card option or use PayPal.

You should receive your login details via email within minutes after you register.

If you have not received this email within an hour (and you have checked your junk mail) please email us and we will re-send you your details.

There are two ways to be in contact with a home owner. Most commonly, home owners place an ad on our site. Anyone can view these house sitting job ads, however only registered house sitters can use them to make contact with the owner.

To do this, login and click on the ad to open it. You will see a contact box on the left hand side, where you can type and send your message. You will receive an email notification when the owner replies. If the owner has opted to provide their phone number, it will also be visible if you are logged in when opening the ad.

Alternatively, the home owner may choose not to place an ad and will instead contact you directly. Many home owners prefer to simply look through the sitter profiles and send a message to any sitters of interest, via the in-site messaging system. (Because of this, it is important to ensure your profile and availability are up to date!)

Registering as a house sitter with House Sitters America is easy and fast, usually taking just 5 to 10 minutes.

Once you have registered you are able to complete the required information for your house sitter profile, look for a house sitting job and start contacting home owners immediately. 

Unfortunately we do not offer this service. If we contact a homeowner to confirm their ad is still active and they reply ‘yes’, by the time the house sitter registers and sends a message, the position may have already been filled – hence a frustrated and annoyed new member.

Every 5 days we contact home owners reminding them to remove their house sitting job ad if it is no longer current.

Yes we email reminder notices 2 weeks before, then again 2 days before your membership expires.

No, we don't! We will email you when your renewal is due, however if you do not wish to renew, you don't have to do anything!

You will need to have an email account when you first sign up so you can activate your profile but once you have registered you have the ability to choose to be contacted by phone if that's preferable.

Most first contact about any house sitting job is made via the in-site messaging system so if you don't regular access to your email, you may find that this reduces your chance of being selected for a house sitting job as it will be more difficult to respond promptly to your messages. 

WHO PAYS WHAT?

Yes. As a house sitter with House Sitters America you can choose whether to charge for your house sitting services or not. Some house sitters do not charge as they use house sitting as a way to save money with budget friendly travel or rent-free accommodation. There are also many house sitters and pet sitters who do house sitting for a job either full time or part time and charge for their services. 

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

House Sitters America is a meeting place for owners and sitters to find each other and organize house and pet sitting jobs. As a result, we do NOT deal with any payments. Any financial transactions or agreements are organized between youself and the home owner directly. 

It is up to each house sitter to decide how much to charge for their services. We recommend that you do your own research and consider what you have to offer a home or pet owner including:

  • your previous experience
  • any quality references or reviews you have received
  • if you are insured or bonded
  • any skills or training you have

Your rate may also depend on the specific house sitting job including how much work is involved, the number of pets and the length of the house sit itself. 

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 home owner.

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.

Yes! We do not charge homeowners anything to register on our site, place a house sitting job ad and find a house sitter. 

If you are a paid house sitter, you are still welcome to charge for your house sitting or pet sitting services and can negotiate this directly with the home owner. 

 ID VERIFICATION

 House sitters have the option to get the main account holder ID verified. Only the main account holder needs to have their identification confirmed to be classed as ID verified.

House sitters with a successful verification will receive an ID badge icon that is displayed on their sitter profile. This is an optional service made available to house sitters.

We have engaged Trulioo Global Gateway, an internationally trusted service working across every level of business and government, for our ID Verification. Personal details are checked against public databases, purely for the purpose of confirming that a person is who they say they are.

Only the main account holder needs to have their identification confirmed to be classed as ID verified. Should you decide to take up this option, there is a one-off $5 verification fee. The main account holder selects ONE of the following data checking options;

  1. Driver licence
  2. Address and Date of Birth (optional SSN)

Once the ID has been successfully verified, an ID Verification badge icon is displayed on the sitter's profile to acknowledge this.

Please note the system only gives you two attempts to pass and we can't guarantee you will be successfully verified. If this happens please contact House Sitters America for assistance.

Here are some important points you should follow when attempting to be successfully ID verified:

  • Verification must be for the main account holder named within your sitter account ONLY.
  • You only need to fill out ONE of the ID data checking options.
  • Names and numbers have to be entered EXACTLY how they are stated on your card or document.
  • You only get two attempts so please input your data carefully (two failed attempts means you'll need to contact our support team).
  • If you are unsuccessful on first attempt and your data is correct, please select a different ID option.

An ID verification costs a one-off payment of $5.

Unfortunately, as it costs the same for a successful or unsuccessful ID verification we are unable to refund the ID verification payment and can not guarantee you will be successfully verified.

We use Trulioo Global Gateway, a secure and professional third party provider for our ID checks.

To avoid being unsuccessful, make sure you enter your data in exactly as it is stated on your card or document. This includes any middle names or initials that appear on your identification documentation.

If you have tried twice and been unsuccessful both times, please contact House Sitters America for assistance.

Yes. International house sitters can still submit their identification for verification.

Please check the details of what identification is accepted on the ID Verification page in your account. 

ID verification is provided through the Trulioo Global Gateway, which is an internationally trusted service working across every level of business and government. Personal details are checked against public databases, purely for the purpose of confirming that a person is who they say they are. These databases are different for each country, and they are all established and secure sources with strict protocols, including Government Departments and Credit agencies.

House Sitters America does not store any personal data on our site that is not already in our member accounts. The only data we store as part of this ID verification process is the payment confirmation, the verification transaction ID and the member name, so that we can offer support if necessary. Click here to view our privacy policy for more information.

No. ID verification is completely optional.

If you choose not to get ID verification, there are still many other ways you can help home owners to feel confident about selecting you for their house sit. For example, a well written profile with a friendly photo is a great start. Having good reviews certainly helps and being able to offer police checks or other references is also beneficial.

ABOUT THE SITE

We maintain a database of people interested in house sitting (house sitters), and people who want their house and pets looked after (home owners).

The website provides a suite of tools that enable our members to find and communicate with each other, so that they can organise house sitting arrangements that are mutually beneficial.

Membership entitles house sitters to contact any house owner through their house ads, and house owners to contact any house sitter through their listings.

Home owners can choose to place a house ad, or just contact house sitters directly.

Home owners do not pay anything for membership, or for use of the site.

House sitters normally pay an annual fee.

Non-members can browse through all house ads and sitter profiles, but they can't make contact with any members until they register themselves.

Yes! We spend a lot of time and money doing this every day of the year across all mediums to encourage home owners to list with us. We believe the more home owners who use our site to advertise for a sitter, the more jobs to apply for and therefore better value for your money.

 

As far as House Sitters America is aware all the house sitting job ads visible on our website are active and available. However we do rely on the homeowner to remove their own ad once they have selected a house sitter. We stress to all homeowners the need to remove their ad as soon as they have filled the house sitting position to avoid house sitter disappointment. Each homeowner has the ability to activate, edit and deactivate their advert 24/7.

 

The house sitter list is ordered by the most recent house sitter to have logged in. Every time you LOGIN or click the MY ACCOUNT link, your profile will rise to the top of the list (maximum once per hour).

We recommend you do this regularly so homeowners can find you easily and are more likely to contact you directly. This system means active house sitters will stay near the top of the list and those who no longer require a house sit or who are currently on a house sit filter towards the bottom of the list.

 

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.

House sitters who earn membership badges can also earn ‘Reward Credits’. These credits can reduce their next membership fee.

Reviews from previous house sits add a lot of credibility to your profile 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 notification is sent when a member has received a new review or rating. Both members have the option to respond to their review once. This response is displayed underneath the review on their profile, ad or message.

Members can also ‘feature’ a review which means the chosen review will always appear at the top of their review list. This ‘featured’ review also appears on the preview of a house sitter’s profile.

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

Generally, we reply within a few hours, but this can depend on things like the number of enquiries we are receiving and time zones etc. We are known for friendly and helpful support, and should be able to respond within 24 hours.