One of the most common questions we get asked is how we find the housesits. The simple answer is the Internet. There are numerous online services that you can join to either find housesits or look for a house sitter for your own place. Most charge an annual fee for potential sitters and some also charge the homeowners a fee as well. In my opinion, the better services charge a fee to both sitter and homeowner – their websites are more professional and have better methods of capturing referrals and background checks. The homeowners also seem to be more responsive and shall I say, serious about finding a good sitter.
We use two primary online services to find our sits, Trusted Housesitters and House Sitters America.
Trusted Housesitters (THS) is worldwide and huge. With an annual fee of $139 USD for both homeowners and sitters, they are more expensive than other services. I’m including my referral link here – using my link will get you a 20% discount off your first year membership and I will get two-months free added to my existing membership. Or you can use RAF26983 as a code when you check out for the same discount.
THS is the service that we’ve had the most success with and also has the best site for background checks and ability to create an easy to view profile for yourself. It is also very easy for homeowners to submit a review post-sit and those reviews are essential for finding future sits. The more positive reviews you get, the easier it is to find future sits.
The one negative about THS is that at this point they don’t have a way to narrow the email alerts that you get. Your choices are either no alerts or a daily alert that covers all new postings world-wide. If you’re actively looking for sits, this can be great but if you’re looking for a specific time range or location, you can get a lot of unnecessary emails. You can get around this by using one of the housesit search engines that I list below.
Housesitters America is the second site that we use the most. With an annual $30 USD fee for sitters and free for homeowners, it is certainly a more affordable option. We’ve found some lovely sits through this service but I also find that homeowners do not always include as many photos or as much detail regarding their homes. This is the only service that covers just the U.S.
Other services that we either have current subscriptions with or have had in the past.
- Nomador – this service is worldwide and huge. They have a very limited option that is free for sitters and homeowners and an option that provides more features for $89 per year for sitters and homeowners. I have not had success with this service but most of that is due to location – they are more prominent outside of North America.
- Housesitters Canada – this is a relatively new player and is exclusively for Canada. For the time being the service is free for homeowners and sitters get two-years free.
- Housecarers – my friend Lisa has had good luck with this service, I have not and dropped it in the last year after they charged my credit card for renewal when I had not authorized it. To their credit, they were quick to refund. The cost is free for homeowners and $50 per year for sitters.
- Luxury House Sitting – this service is free for homeowners and $25 per year for sitters. The name of the service is more impressive than many of the homes listed. They also show all of their potential “homes” even though some homeowners haven’t listed anything in years. I will probably let this subscription expire.
- MindMyHouse – at $20 a year for sitters and free for homeowners, it’s the cheapest. We’ve used it once and will not use again as the quality of sits I’ve seen on this site are not ones we would consider.
- I still use Lisa as a personal resource and along the way she asked me to join her in creation of a Facebook sub-group under Women Who Sail called Women Who Sail-Housesitting. Of course the requirements to joining this group are 1) being female, and 2) being a member of the parent group Women Who Sail.
HOUSE SITTING SEARCH ENGINES
In the past couple of years a couple of big internet search engines have come into play that search across multiple services. I’ve found that these to be incredibly useful for narrowing by date range and location.
Housesit Search – this search engine is free and covers numerous housesitting platforms
House Sitting World – this search engine has a number of pricing options ranging from free to an annual fee of $99/year. They also have a monthly option with each option giving you an increased number of features.
Neither search engine covers all of the different services but they can help speed up the process, especially if you are looking for a specific locale or date range.