House-sitting tips for success

6 Jun, 2022

House-sitting tips for success

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It’s all common sense really you might think, but to find success in housesitting read on to learn our house-sitting tips for success to help get the best of the house-sitting situation for both sitters and owners. It is useful to bear in mind that people have different expectations and standards so it is best to be clear as possible what yours are from the outset.

Do unto others as you would have others do unto you works very well as the house-sitting credo for both parties.

Finding A Sit

Finding a suitable housesit or petsit is important as part of the factors for success

Sitters houses-sitting tips for success

  • Post a photo of yourself/selves looking comfortable and relaxed and one with pets if possible.
  • Be clear on your reasons why you want to house-sit. Homeowners will ask.
  • Your first email should be short and too the point responding to each of the criterion an owner has outlined in their post.
  • If you have had experience, refer to it and post scanned in copies of references on your profile.
  • Your profile wording should be concise, upbeat and honest.

Finding A Sitter

Owners house-sitting tips for success

  • Be clear on sit duration e.g. dates you will be away
  • In your post use photos of your home, and if applicable your pets as well.
  • List local amenities in your post.
  • Decide if you want to charge a bond/deposit and if so be clear on what that is.

house-sitting tips for success

Interview Stage

Owners house-sitting tips for success

  • Be open and honest with your prospective sitters in terms of your expectations. This is one of the critical house-sitting tips for success.
  • A nice cup of tea tends to break the ice.
  • Find out where a prospective sitter works, it shouldn’t be too far away from your home otherwise chances are they will pull out of the sit before or even after you leave once they find the travel too onerous.
  • Ensure travellers are aware of the fact that they need to spend the majority of the time in your home to ensure they uphold responsibilities in terms of garden maintenance, pet care or just the basic security of having someone in the house on a regular basis.

Sitters house-sitting tips for success

  • Be punctual for meetings particularly the first one. First impressions do count.
  • References are very important. Particularly as house-sitting is very competitive so good references will give you the edge. Always make sure you get a reference from any sit you do. If you haven’t house-sat before then rental references do help.
  • Generally, homeowners tend to prefer people who know the house-sitting ropes but you can always impress by attending interviews well dressed which doesn’t necessarily mean a business suit but clean, tidy and neat are musts.
  • Some people are more house-proud than others but use your noggin and if you see white carpets beyond the threshold, offer to take your shoes off before entering a house.
  • If logistically possible, invite owners to visit you at your home or at a current sit so they can see firsthand how you keep a place.
  • Be genuinely interested and ask relevant and intelligent questions about home and garden maintenance and pet care.

During The Sit

house-sitting tips for success
Good pet minding skills are usually really important on a house-sit

Sitters house-sitting tips for success

  • A good idea to ensure you return the house the way you found it is to take photos of it to refer to before you leave. That way you can make sure the hedges are the right height or ornaments are left in the same place you found them.
  • Take a photo of the pet or a particular plant in new bloom to email to the homeowner to reassure them that everything is tickety-boo in their absence.
  • Maintain regular email contact, not too often though, just often enough to assure the owner/s that all is in order.
  • If the agreement is that you will be paying utilities make sure you record moving and in and moving out dates.

Handing The House Back

Sitters house-sitting tips for success

It is always a lovely idea to have the bare essentials in the fridge for the owners return like milk, bread and maybe something to make a sandwich with or some cheese and crackers. A bottle of wine and/or flowers is pushing the boat out a little but it is a nice gesture and acknowledgment of appreciation.

Owners house sitting tips for success

Check the inventory as soon as you can on your return to make sure you return the sitters bond/deposit without delay.

Good luck and please do let me know if you have any house-sitting tips for success to add to ours based on your experience!

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Further reading about housesitting and HouseSit Match house sitters

At we like to share useful blogs and practical advice about housesitters, housesitting and pet sitting. We hope you find this small selection of our blogs on house sitters and house sitting in London useful.

5 Housesitter’s essential skills

What a housesitter does – Top 10 responsibilities

What is House Sitting?

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Founder and Director of HouseSitMatch - I'm a hands-on Admin on the site. Please ask any questions and as soon as I can I'll happily answer and assist where I can.

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