Where do you find house sitters? Is there a website?
We are asked many questions when talking to home owners about our services.
Yes, there are many websites. Generally, house sitters pay to list their ‘ad’ on a ‘platform’ site. These sites are basically match making services. Home owners also join these sites (some for a fee, others free) and ‘post’ their ad for house sitters to see. Some of these sites will allow home owners to join and simply search the house sitters who are listed on the site.
Do you have to pay house sitters?
Yes or no. The choice is yours. There are sites that pay sitters a specific house sitter rate and it depends on the services provided and whether or not there are pets in the mix. There are also independent contractors who work for themselves and charge specific rates to come to your house, walk your dog, or feed your pet and charge a different rate to stay overnight. These sitters mainly work within a specific geographic location.
The other group is free house sitters. Most of these sitters are international house sitters who travel and house sit or they have adopted a location independent lifestyle which allows them to work remotely from wherever they are. These house sitters (which we are) will come to your home, pay their own way to get there, and take care of your home and your pets while you are away. They charge nothing for their services and prefer to gain experiences while they travel and work in exchange for free accommodation. There are many of us who have sold everything and given up the corporate lifestyle for a more free and independent lifestyle.
How do you know who they are?
As in a previous blog, most sites have varying levels of ID verification and ‘trust profiles’. If you choose to register for a platform (and we strongly urge you to do so), you have the confidence that most house sitters have been vetted in one form or another. Should you decide to go through another medium, such as a facebook group, you will have to ensure that you have done your own due diligence in vetting anyone you let into your own home.
What about our home insurance? Is it still valid?
This question should be considered carefully. Each policy is different, but the norm is when you are away, you should have someone checking on your home every 48 hours or your policy may be void. Check with your provider on what their requirements are. Having a house sitter in your home keeps your home safe from most events such as burglary, or if a pipe freezes, or bursts, the sewage backs up.. just as a few examples. Each country, state, or province is different, so for peace of mind, you should always read your policy.
Do I have to provide a car?
No. You do not have to provide a car. It is a choice. However, (there is always a however) bear in mind that the house sitters are likely not in their own country so likely won’t have one. If there is good public transit, bike, scooters or taxi cab service in the area, this will suffice for most sitters. Some house sitters will rent a car for the period of time they are in your area. Ask yourself, what would happen if my pet needed an emergency vet visit. How would your house sitter be able to get your pet to the vet?
If you do choose to provide a vehicle, you would have to add the house sitter(s) to your car insurance. You will need to ensure they have an international drivers’ license or a license to drive in your country. Check with your insurer as to what is needed or if you can even add someone else to your insurance. There is no guarantee that nothing will happen, but in our experience, most house sitters are respectful and responsible individuals.
In all of this, there is no guarantee and both parties are taking a certain amount of risk in these arrangements. If you have done your homework and know what you need and can or can not provide, you are well on your way to being ready to bring a house sitter into your home.
You can read more in the book Find the Right House Sitter, which gives a more in depth review of the process of finding a house sitter.
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