Frequently Asked Questions: House Sitting

Posted August 6, 2013 by Charli Moore in Budget Travel

House sitting is fast becoming one of the most accessible travel hacks for the budget-conscious traveler, but what exactly does it entail?

So far we’ve taken a look at house sitting abroad, how to craft a successful house sitter profile and we’ve even shared with you our top 10 picks for the best international locations to house sit.

However, I’m sure you’ve still got a few questions about how to maximize the potential of the concept to reduce your expenditure on accommodation, and maximize your experience of the locations you visit.

In this article, we will be answering a few house sitter FAQs. The what, where, how and who’s of house sitting.

If you have a question and you can’t find the answer, leave a comment and we’ll add our answer to the article as an additional resource.

CC Flickr / Daniel Peckham.

What Is Expected Of A House Sitter?

One of the great things about house sitting is that each assignment is unique. No two home owners will require their sitter to take on the same responsibilities, therefore expectations can vary.

Remember to check whether or not you will need to apply for a visa before entry into the country.

The two standard responsibilities most assignments include are property and garden maintenance.

Home owners expect their sitters to treat their house and belongings with the utmost respect and to adhere to their wishes by following any instructions given.

It is important to have a clear understanding of exactly what the home owner expects, to ensure you are capable of catering to their needs.

Who Can Become A House Sitter?

The answer is very simple.

Anyone can become a sitter. Assignments are offered to sitters by the home owner based on their idea of the skills and attributes their ideal sitter will need to have.

Regardless of whether or not you are a single traveler, couple or family, there will most likely be an assignment suited to your skill set and requirements.

What Skills Do I Need To Be A House Sitter?

Again this is not set in stone and is very much down to the home owner to specify.

Applying for an assignment is essentially like applying for a job.

I would suggest that sitters are able to confidently and competently care for a property and manage day to day tasks such as household chores and light gardening.

When applying for assignments, be honest about your knowledge of the tasks that the home owner requires their sitter to undertake. While it is not vital to have previous experience, a willingness to learn and a desire to try your hand at something new is a must.

CC Flickr / UGArdener.

Am I Guaranteed To Get An Assignment?

No.

Applying for an assignment is essentially like applying for a job. You will be selected if deemed the best candidate, so make your application letter stand out from the crowd and don’t sell yourself short.

What is The Best Way To Secure An Assignment?

The best way to secure an assignment is to sign up to a reputable house sitting service, create an engaging house sitter profile, and craft a tailored application letter detailing exactly why you are the perfect candidate.

Assignments are allocated by the home owner based on their idea of the skills and attributes their ideal sitter will need.

Be considered in the way you approach your application and don’t rush in without ensuring you are in fact able to commit to the onwer’s required dates, are comfortable taking on the responsibilities they have listed and have checked your application for simple things like grammatical errors.

First impressions count for a lot so make sure you come across as capable and confident.

Do I Get Paid?

This is for you to stipulate.

Many sitters choose not to charge for their services as they believe this is a more attractive prospect to home owners and they will therefore be considered for more assignments.

Remember if you are charging for your services while house sitting abroad, you will need to apply for the relevant employment visa.

CC Wikimedia / BrendelSignature.

Will I Have To Pay For My Assignments?

I would suggest that sitters are able to confidently and competently care for a property.

Once you have paid the annual membership fee for the service you select, you should not have to pay to apply for assignments.

You may however be required to pay for the utilities you use while on assignment or for any repairs that arise as a result of damage you may have accidentally caused during your stay.

It is always worth asking the home owner exactly what financial responsibilities you will have while caring for their home.

Can I Apply For Assignments Overseas?

Yes.

However, remember to check whether or not you will need to apply for a visa before entry into the country and check for any visa restrictions that may limit your stay.

Can I House Sit With My Pets?

This is something you must discuss with each individual home owner. There are many who are happy to accommodate this but do not assume you will be able to take your pets along with you.

If in doubt always ask.

If you have any house sitting queries or questions about the concept share them below and we’ll endeavour to answer them.

About the Author

Charli Moore

Travel writer and blogger Charli is a digital nomad currently travelling the world with her other half Ben. Whether backpacking through Central America or road tripping around Australia they embrace each and every opportunity for adventure. Read more about their insatiable wanderlust on their blog, Wanderlusters.

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