How Much To Pay A House Sitter (4 Factors to Consider)

Going on a vacation or away on a business trip? You’ll need to find a pet sitter to take care of your fur baby. But you may be unsure about the appropriate amount to pay for house sitter services. 

In this guide, we’ll share the biggest factors to consider when determining cost estimates and the average rates based on location.

As well as the average night cost of a house sitter.  

Average Nightly Cost for a House Sitter

We have found the average and reasonable cost for a house sitter is $30-$55 per night.

However you need to take the factors below into consideration to work average cost of a house sitter in your area, as well as the tasks and responsibilities.

Before we jump into the factors, I have included our personal instructions templates. These templates ensure your house sitter has all the information they need to perform the service to the highest degree.

Below that I have also included the questions you should be asking a house sitter in the interview.

Note: We recommend using a trusted house sitting platform to find and hire house sitters. This ensures they have background checks and you are covered by insurance.

Pet/ House Sitter Instruction Templates

Want our comprehensive checklist and instruction template for your next housesitter/ pet sitter?

These templates will ensure your home and pets are cared for exactly how you want them to be.

They have everything from feeding, sleeping, and walking schedules, vet contacts, bin days, part of the home the animals are/ aren’t allowed, and dozens more questions.

House/PetSitter Instructions Template – For Home Owners – click here to download

Pre House Sit Interview

It is important to have an interview with potential house sitter before you commit. It may be in-person or via video chat.

We have created questionnaire for both homeowners and house sitter to use.

These questions ensure you gather all the essential information you need to make an informed decision.

 What To Ask Potential House Sitters In The Interview 

 What To Ask Home Owners In House Sitting Interview 

Factors to Consider 

By determining a fair rate to pay your house sitter, you ensure that you won’t get charged unfairly for the level of care provided.

If you’re hiring a friend, you want to ensure that you’re paying them reasonably.

In contrast, if you plan to hire a professional house sitter, you want to make sure their prices are within the average pay range of other sitters. 

Here is a list of factors to consider when you’re determining what to pay your house sitter. 


The average rate for house sitting will vary significantly based on the geographical location of your home.

A professional house sitter will cost more for large urban cities like New York City than a smaller rural town in Salt Lake City.

For example, the average hourly rate for sitters in Charlotte, North Carolina, is $38 per night. In comparison, the average rate for sitters in New York City is $45 per night. 

It’s important to research the rates for an average house sitter in your area. 


Every house owner will have different responsibilities that they need from their house sitter.

The more responsibilities you need, expect to be charged additional costs. Some of the common services of a sitter include: 

  • Feed pets
  • Walk dogs
  • Clean litter box 
  • Water plants 
  • Taking out the garbage 

Additional services that you may ask your professional sitter to do are: 

  • Collecting mail 
  • Snow clearing 
  • House cleaning 
  • Pool cleaning 
  • Carpet cleaning 
  • Taking a pet for their scheduled vet appointmentsdog

The level of animal care required should also factor into the pet care charge. Some pets require 24-hour pet care, especially for elderly or sick animals, puppies, or kittens.

Also, the type of animal contributes to the cost. For example, a cat sitter may cost less than a dog sitter because a cat doesn’t need to be taken out for walks.

Typically, a sitter will charge an extra $5 per visit for each additional pet and another $5 per visit for puppies. 

If you require your house sitter to perform cleaning tasks, you’ll want to research the average cost of house cleaning. 

For example, house cleaning services cost between $25 to $50 per house or about $30 to $50 per room. 

Time Spent 

The rates for house sitters also depend on the amount of time you’re requesting a sitter to stay. Overnight stays should be charged as a daily rate, while occasional visits can be charged on a per-hour basis. 

If you’re requesting extended time, emergency, late-night, or holiday visits, you’ll want to pay a little extra. Also, decide whether you need your sitter for daily visits or have them stay at your house while you’re gone. 


Consider if you’re providing any amenities or services for the sitter. For example, you may be providing them with kitchen, WiFi, and swimming pool access, which allows the sitter to enjoy their stay. For example, you could offer these amenities and utilities in exchange for light chores. 

Commuting Costs

Take into account the distance and costs for the sitter to commute to your home. Calculate the public transportation fees or gas that it would cost the sitter.

It’s entirely up to you to factor transportation costs into the rate you’re paying. However, if you’re asking a sitter to commute over an hour to your house, it’s worth compensating them for it. If your hiring an international house sitter, you may want to discuss transport costs.  

Experience or Skill Level

Experienced housesitters generally charge more due to their higher level of expertise. That’s because they may have other useful skills that can come in handy such as:

  • Pet CPR certified 
  • Trained in cat or dog first aid 
  • House cleaning services 

Finding a professional sitter with lots of experience means they likely have many happy customers. You can search for their reviews on house sitting sites and see what others have said of their services. 

How to Choose a House Sitter 

First, you’ll need to determine where you’ll want to look for a house sitter.

To find a house sitter, you have many options such as: 

  • Asking friends and family
  • Asking for a recommendation on a house sitter 
  • Going on house sitting websites 

Keep in mind that finding a sitter in cities is much easier than in small suburban areas. 

Once you have a handful of sitters to choose from, you can narrow your choice by vetting them out individually. Here are factors to account for when choosing the right house sitter: 

  • Check their references. Make sure their clients receive a good experience. For example, did they walk home to a messy or clean house? 
  • Arrange a meet and greet. Ideally, you want an in-person interview, so you can see how they interact with your pet. If your pet needs to be coaxed to warm up to them, choose someone else. If you’re getting bad feelings about the person, it’s better to cut ties. You don’t want any horror stories to occur in your home! 
  • Ensure their rates align with your cost of house sitting. The sitter should offer a rate that is fair and fits within your budget. 
  • Check to see if they present professional items. This includes contracts, a cancellation policy, and payment arrangements. 

How Much Should You Tip a House Sitter? 

Before you decide to tip your house sitter, make sure they’ve done everything you’ve agreed upon doing. If they’ve gone above and beyond, consider tipping about 15% to 20% of the total bill. 

In addition, if they went through extra trouble to care for your pet, such as rushing them to the emergency vet, you may consider tipping them more. Tipping is a personal preference, so the choice is yours! 

When you’ve decided on your rate, make sure the detailed fee structure is enlisted in the contract. Also, schedule a meet and greet and provide adequate instructions to ensure everything runs smoothly. Not sure when to pay the pet sitter? This will help you make a decision.

Pet owners care for their pets and want to keep their pups or kitties happy while they’re away. Finding the perfect house sitter will help ease your anxiety about leaving your fur baby for an extended period.

If they do a great job, they can become a long-term house sitter that you can call upon for future trips! 

Author: Britt

I am Britt. I have been house-sitting and pet-sitting for the past 7 years. I have cared for 25 dogs, 35 cats 1 turtle, and 1 rabbit over 80+ houses in 15 countries.

The opportunity to experience different homes, cultures, and communities has been extraordinary.

Through house-sitting platforms like Aussie House Sitters and Trusted House Sitters, I’ve connected with homeowners seeking reliable sitters. This unique way of living has allowed me to save money on accommodation, explore new cultures and meet new people.

Being a member of these platforms has broadened my horizons and opened doors to short- and long-term house-sitting jobs. I’ve found joy in providing excellent pet care and ensuring the home is well-maintained.

I get many questions about how to start as a housesitter, so if you have any questions, please reach out! I want everyone to enjoy this incredible lifestyle as well!

You can read more about Jay and me here!

Or connect with me on Facebook or in our house-sitting community on Facebook.

House Sitting in Salon-de-Provence
Me (Britt) House Sitting in Salon-de-Provence, France

11 thoughts on “How Much To Pay A House Sitter (4 Factors to Consider)”

  1. I just finished a house sitting job I was there 13 nights it also entailed taking care of 2 cats. Which one of the cats required giving 2 insulin shots per day. When the owners came back they offered 200 dollars I felt it was low and counter offered a fee of 300 dollars I then asked Google what housesitting fees go for I think 300 was fair but Im not sure any suggestions?

    1. Hiya Anna,

      Thanks for writing in! I think it is something you need to work out before the sit, otherwise it can be hard to come to an agreement. I would stick with 200, ask for a reference and then going forward discuss you pricing first 🙂

  2. Thanks Britt!! I really wasn’t sure what to pay my house sitter, but after reading your post I am way more confident in what to pay her!

    1. Hi Susan! No worries at all! Let me know if you have any other questions as well about house sitting! Ohh also I would suggest making sure you use an instruction print out as well!

  3. Thank you for writing this post. I did a house/pet-sitting job for a friend once last year. It was great. This year I have found myself house/pet-sitting for 3 families back to back and I am staying at the homes. I find myself doing chores and taking the trash out, as I thought that was just what was expected. I have been getting comments that I should start a business lol. I have a full-time job right now and working from home has enabled me to do this. I got stumped when one of the families asked me my rate. I did not know how to answer that. I just accept what was given to me. Thanks to your post, I now I have a better idea of what to ask and of course, I will discuss it before the stay.

  4. Thank you so much Britt!! I was really struggling to work out what to pay my house sitter (we have 2 dogs and a pool to care for) I really found your post helpful and reassuring I am going to check out your post with the handover template now so that I make sure I have all the information he needs!

    1. No worries at all Kim! So glad it helped and its awesome you getting your handover doc started so soon, the more time you give yourself the more you pick up that needs to be documented

  5. thanks so much for putting together all this info on what to pay a sitter Britt!! I having a house sitter come next week and I wasn’t sure what to pay them, but after reading all your considerations I think I have come to a good price!

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