How to Start House Sitting? A Guide for Beginners

Maybe you’ve heard a lot about house-sitting. Maybe you don’t know anything about it.

Either way, you may be wondering if house-sitting is a great way to travel for free.

House-sitting is a great way to make some extra money, especially if you enjoy traveling.

Staying at homes will decrease travel costs since you won’t have to pay for hotels!

A lot of successful house sitters would even say that house sitting is fun.

If you’d like to know more about getting started, keep reading!

What Should a House Sitter Do?


A house sitter takes care of houses while the owners are away.

Many homeowners make travel plans and will hire someone to keep an eye on the house.

Quite frequently, the sitter doubles as a pet sitter. Someone needs to provide pet care for the owner’s furry friends!

Not all house-sitting gigs include pets, though.

There are still things you may need to do even if you don’t take care of pets.

For instance, you might need to water plants, clean the pool, or take in the mail.

Maybe you just need to hang out on the premises so that nobody thinks the house is empty.

Always discuss your expectations with the homeowners.

Each assignment will be different. This means you can never be certain which tasks you’ll be responsible for.

Outside of actual job requirements, there are some expectations that sitters should meet.

Before you start your job, you should communicate with the homeowners.

Ask them a lot of questions so that you can do the best job possible!

Effective and prompt communication will give them a great first impression.

After the house sits, make sure the house is welcoming for their return.

Let them know that you’d be willing to work with them again in the future. Ask if they would leave you a good review so you can get more clients.

How Do I Start Home Sitting?

Set up a house-sitting profile with a reputable house-sitting website.

You could start your business by word of mouth, but we recommend using an existing company.

Choose a House Sitting Platform

There are many websites to choose from.

Different websites may be better for different countries.

Here are the ones we have used over our six years of house sitting around the world

It could also be strategic to sign up with the most popular platform first.

Then add another website when you are comfortable with the first one.

This allows you to reach even more potential customers!


Create an Impressive Profile

Provide references and upload your resume. Highlight your skills and experience.

If you don’t have experience, ask your friends if they would let you sit for them.

They could leave you a review and tell their friends if you did a great job!

Once your online presence is appealing, it’s time to look for an opportunity.

Look For Your First House Sitting Gig

Experienced house sitters will set up a saved search. This will alert them whenever a relevant opportunity arises.

When you get the alert, you can be the first sitter to message the homeowner!

While flexibility is beneficial for full-time house sitters, it is not necessary.

Maybe you can only sit during the summer or you can’t do any international house sits. That is completely okay!

A lot of popular house-sitting sites are great for digital nomads.

They are also useful for someone who just wants to house-sit on occasion.

You can be a service provider who takes care of homes without upending your entire life.

After you snag your first job, it will be even easier to get your second.

The more experience you have, the more hirable you will be.


What Should You Not Do When House Sitting?

While house sitting seems like a dream job, there are some things you should be aware of.

Don’t Expect It to Pay the Bills

House sitting won’t pay the bills.

Fortunately, if you use house sitting as a method of full-time travel, you won’t have a ton of bills. One of the many benefits of house sitting is lower costs of travel.

However, you’ll still need to pay your cell phone bill, buy food, and spend money on travel experiences.

Don’t Be Careless

The biggest mistake a house sitter can make is being careless.

When you provide animal care, it is important to follow all the directions.

When you are caring for someone’s home, it is essential to remember everything.

Everybody makes mistakes, but service providers should minimize the number of mistakes.


Don’t Be Disrespectful

One common mistake that house sitters make is being disrespectful.

Some sitters might eat all the food left behind. Others might not replace the toilet paper when they run out.

Things like this might not seem like a big deal.

However, when you get back from a vacation to see that there’s no food in the house, you might feel frustrated.

Don’t Do Anything the Homeowner Wouldn’t Approve

Discuss expectations with the homeowner beforehand.

Can you have friends over? What food are you allowed to eat?

Owners are usually accommodating but appreciate the communication.

Instead of hiding something from them, ask if it’s okay.

They’ll usually say yes and then you can be open and honest!

If you do invite friends over, make sure that they are also respectful of the pets and property.

What House-Sitters Should Know

House sitting gets easier with time. It may be super awkward and stressful at first, but soon it will be second nature.

The best way to skip the stressful newbie stage is to have open communication.

Don’t be afraid to ask the homeowners a lot of questions!

It is also important to use a reputable house-sitting website.

We recommend Trusted House Sitters, we like that they provide insurance for the homeowners and house sitters.


How to Become a Good House Sitter

The best way to become a good house sitter is by gaining experience.

You can start by sitting for your friends.

You don’t need to be picky when accepting opportunities until you are more seasoned.

Learn from your mistakes. Use the internet to find any answers.

Put your best foot forward when talking to homeowners.

The more the homeowners trust you, the more likely they will be comfortable with you.

This provides a more enjoyable experience for everyone involved. This is also a great way to expand your references and get good reviews.

One easy way to get more jobs before you become a seasoned pro is to quickly apply for new opportunities.

If you’re the first person to apply and send a friendly message, the homeowner will be more likely to hire you!

While this doesn’t make you a good house sitter, it gives you more chances to prove yourself!

Now that you have a basic understanding of house sitting, it’s time to get started. Don’t let anything hold you back!

The first step is the hardest, but you will be glad you did it.

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

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