House sitting is when someone comes in to take care of a homeowner’s property, pets and garden while the owners are away. The length of stay can range from a few nights to several months or longer depending on the agreement between the owner and the house sitter.
House sitting is usually an unpaid exchange of services, whereby the house sitter stays in the owners’ home and looks after the property, pets and garden in exchange for free, temporary accommodation. There are some professional house sitters who offer their house sitting service for a fee.
The first step to finding a house sitter is to place a free homeowner ad. In your ad you can state all the expected house sitting responsibilities such as details about pet care, watering plants, mail collection etc.
Once your ad goes live on the website, house sitters are able to then contact you via the website messaging system. You are also able to read through all the house sitter profiles, check any reviews and references and arrange to call or meet them face to face.
Placing a free house sitting ad can save you a lot of time as you know all the sitters' that contact you are interested and available for your house sit. You are then able to select the best candidate for the position.
Yes. The vast majority of house sits include caring for the owner’s pets. For many pet owners, knowing their furry loved one is being cared for in the comfort of their own home offers great peace of mind.
Most Vets will tell you that the best place for your pet while you are away is in the pet's own home. Pets are far more likely to feel settled if they remain in their own home, following their same routine. Most house sitters are animal lovers and will care for your pets as they would their own, while also ensuring the security and upkeep of your house and garden.
House sitters provide numerous services including house care and security, feeding and exercising pets, watering plants, mowing lawns and mail collection. To choose the best house sitter for your needs it’s important to create a detailed ad so you have numerous applicants to choose from. Include as much information as you can so the house sitters who apply know what’s expected of them. Knowing responsibilities and duties you need from your sitter, and including that information in your ad, will help you find the right house sitter for you.
Ask your potential house sitter about their prior experience, as well as any relevant references or reviews. Reach out to your potential house sitter to set up an interview. If they’re local, consider inviting them to your home to get to know them face to face and to see your pet and the sitter interact. If not, ask them to video chat so you can decide whether they’re the right sitter for you.
The most common form of house sitting in Australia is where the sitter looks after the house and pets in exchange for free accommodation and no money changes hands.
There are however, professional sitters who house sit for a living and they may ask for payment in return for their professional service.
It should be clear on the house sitter’s profile if they charge for their services. If they do charge, the fee will depend on a number of things including how much work is involved in the house sit, how many pets need caring for etc. The amount a professional house sitter can charge can vary from between $20 - $100+ per day.
Many house sitters are happy to house sit for free as they appreciate the savings in accommodation costs. One of the many benefits of house siting is house sitters have the ability to go from house sit to house sit living rent-free. Many other house sitters are simply happy to know they are helping someone.
House sitting is now a very common service and would be considered just as safe as staying in your own home.
House sitting websites provide a platform for homeowners to safely meet and vet potential house sitters, and vice versa. A homeowner can place an ad, interview potential sitters, check references and choose the most suitable candidate.
Similarly, house sitters can speak to the homeowner over the phone or video call to get a better feel for the house sit.
It's highly recommended that both the owner and sitter meet face-to-face whenever possible before either commits to the house sitting job. It's a great way to get a feel for each other and chat about things in detail. It's also good to see if the pets and sitter are compatible.
The best way to land great house sitting opportunities is to register and create a quality house sitter profile. Create a fun but professional profile with quality photos and work your way up to getting several positive reviews and contactable referees.
Be pro-active in your search for house sits. The best house sits can go quickly so having email ‘alert’ notifications set up, so you are notified when new ads are posted, will definitely help.
To become a house sitter, register on the website and create a house sitter profile. Having a sitter profile means homeowners can find you and make contact regarding their house sit. Also, you can scroll through the list of house sitting jobs, find some that you like, and contact the homeowners directly.
In your profile, try your best to demonstrate that you’re caring, reliable and trustworthy. Upload a photo that enhances your sitter profile, such as one with a pet or in a garden.
Offering contactable referees is beneficial. Line up someone who would happily be your referee for the homeowner to call. If you don’t have any house sitting reviews, you might like to offer either professional or personal referees the homeowner can contact.
As a new house sitter you might consider taking on a few house sits which could be considered less desirable (shorter, last minute or remote etc) to get a few good reviews onto your profile. This will also hopefully enable you to have a homeowner you can use as a referee.
One of the biggest benefits of house sitting are the savings you can make by not having to pay rent or a mortgage. If you're fortunate enough to have on-going house sitting assignments sitters have the potential to save anything from $15,000 to $50,000 per year.
Gabriella Pasztor, a house sitter with Aussie House Sitters, says ‘My partner and I saved over $160,000 in rent alone when we house sat for 6 years between 2014 and 2020.’
Many sitters also use house sitting as a way to save money for short term holiday getaways or when travelling, by receiving free accommodation while on the road.
House sitting is also a great way to explore new areas for free, especially if you are trying to decide where you want to buy or rent.