How to become a house sitter

Your step-by-step guide to becoming a house sitter

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Are you looking for a way to explore new places while saving money on accommodation costs? Do you love the idea of staying in beautiful homes? House sitting is a unique and rewarding way to see the world, and it’s easier than you might think to get started.

This guide covers everything you need to know about becoming a successful house sitter, including how to find opportunities, what to expect on the job, and how to make the most of your experience.

What are the responsibilities of a house sitter?

house sitter feeding dog in kitchen

A house sitter is a person who takes care of a homeowner’s property while they are away. The primary responsibility of a house sitter is to secure a home by regularly monitoring it and ensuring all house openings, such as doors and windows, are closed and locked.

In addition to securing the property, a house sitter may also be responsible for the following:

  • Handling the homeowner’s calls and mailbox

  • Taking care of pets on the property. This may include feeding, playing with pets, and maintaining the cleanliness of their living areas.

  • Performing light household tasks, such as watering plants, taking out the trash, and ensuring all lights and appliances are turned off when not in use.

Overall, the main goal of a house sitter is to maintain the integrity and security of a home while the owners are away and to ensure that everything is in good order upon their return.

How to start a house sitting business

In this section, we’ll explore the steps you can take to get started as a house sitter. 

Step 1: House sit for friends and relatives.

handing over keys to house sitter

If you haven’t had the chance to house sit, your connections are the best place to start. Consider house sitting for friends or relatives during the holidays or whenever they’re away. This allows you to learn the ropes and get a good reference, which can help you get hired for future opportunities.

Step 2: Sign up for a house sitting website.

Wondering how to get house sitting jobs? There are a few different options you can try. 

One way is to sign up with a house sitting website, which will allow you to match with homeowners looking for someone to take care of their place while they’re away. These websites typically charge a membership fee but can be a good way to find various house sitting opportunities.

male house sitter using laptop, signing up for house sitting website

Signing up on Airtasker is a great way to find paid house sitting jobs. You may even come across quick house sitting jobs, such as homeowners needing someone to let the technician into their home to install an internet line. These types of jobs may only last a few hours, but they can be a good way to get started and build up your experience as a house sitter.

Step 3: Create an amazing profile. 

A well-written and up-to-date house sitting profile can attract homeowners who will contact you directly rather than posting a job. Make sure your profile clearly communicates your skills, experience, and availability, and regularly update it to reflect any new experiences or qualifications.  

What to include in your profile: 

  • Relevant experience as a house sitter or homeowner: If you are new to house sitting, you can highlight your relevant skills and experiences, such as growing up with pets or taking care of your own home and garden.

  • Love for pets: Most house sitting jobs include pet care. Let potential homeowners know you are comfortable and experienced in caring for animals.

  • Special skills: Highlight any unique skills or qualifications that make you an ideal house sitter, such as foreign language proficiency, gardening, or home repair/maintenance. 

Step 4: Have references. 

Having references or people who can vouch for you can help you land house sitting gigs. On Airtasker, a Criminal Background Check badge lets you stand out when applying for house sitting jobs. Trust is key when it comes to house sitting for someone you don’t know. 

Step 5: Be aware of licensing requirements. 

You typically don’t need any special licenses to become a house sitter. However, there are a few things you can do to make your services stand out and protect your business: 

  • Get certified by the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters. This can show pet owners that you have the skills and knowledge needed to take care of their pets. 

  • Purchase general liability insurance. This can give you financial protection if you accidentally cause damage to a homeowner’s property while on the job.

Do note that you’ll also need an employment visa if you’re planning to house sit in the USA and you’re not a resident of the country. 

Step 6: Ask all relevant questions.

house sitter asking client questions over the phone while writing on notebook

To ensure a smooth and successful house sitting experience, it’s essential to fully understand the expectations and requirements of the job beforehand. 

Consider setting up a virtual or face-to-face meeting with your potential client to clarify any details. Additionally, don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions and communicate openly to ensure you have all the information you need, such as: 

  • Pet feeding and medication schedules

  • Rules regarding having guests over

  • Wi-Fi access

  • Access to vehicle/s

  • What to do in the case of an emergency  

This will help you avoid any unexpected surprises or misunderstandings during the job. 

Extra tip: Complete a drawn-out house sitting agreement.

A house sitting agreement allows you to have everything in writing, including payment terms, dates, responsibilities, and additional services like decluttering. This document ensures both parties are clear on the expectations and terms of the arrangement.  

With or without a formal agreement, documenting everything is a must. Make sure to save emails or chat conversations you can refer back to.  

Find house sitting jobs on Airtasker.

Are you ready to find your next house sitting gig? Sign up on Airtasker to connect with homeowners in need of reliable sitters. You’ll be well on your way to experiencing new places while earning some extra cash all at the same time.

Create your profile and start browsing jobs in minutes

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FAQs on house sitting

House sitting offers many benefits, such as free accommodation and the opportunity to live like a local while traveling. You get to save money on rent and hotel accommodations. And, if you’re taking care of pets, you’ll enjoy their company too. Additionally, you can gain an immersive experience in a new neighborhood rather than just a hotel experience.

House sitting rates range from $13 to $45 for a full 24-hour (overnight) assignment. Various factors determine how much you can get paid to house sit, including the stay length, number of pets, house size, and extra cleaning services.

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