You have landed a house-sitting interview!
But what should you ask?
The questions below are what we ask at all interviews.
They ensure we come across as professional and thorough.
So what happens now?
Read on and we’ll go through some things to consider and ask so you can head into your pet sit prepared.
What Questions Should I Ask Before Committing to a House Sit?
There are a few questions that you can ask to make sure the house or pet sit is the right fit for you.
It’s important to know exactly what’s expected of you before you begin. You’ll then know if the arrangement will work for both of you.
This will avoid any unexpected nasty surprises when you’ve committed.
The interview process works both ways, so don’t be nervous about asking whatever you need to.
We’ve come up with a couple to get you started, but you will no doubt have a few of your own to add.
Still struggling to find a sit? See the tips to landing your first house sit
Ask About Past Experiences
Ask the host if they have had pet sitters before you. How was their experience?
If the previous house sitting experience was negative, why? What were the positives?
Past experiences can help you gain an understanding of the host’s expectations. And give you a chance to improve on them!
What Is A Typical Day For Your Pets?
Ask about the normal routine for the animal. Stick to this as much as possible, so the animal isn’t disrupted and will settle into the presence of a stranger.
Ask if there are areas that are out of bounds for the animals – are there certain areas they shouldn’t go to?
Are they allowed on the furniture? Are there certain places they like to eat and sleep?
If there are multiple animals, do they get along?
For dogs – ask about dog-friendly areas to walk. Is the dog social? Where is the leash, toys, etc kept? Are there any dog-friendly attractions close by?
For cats – does the cat go outside? Does the cat have treats, toys, etc? Where is the litter kept and how often is it cleaned?
Does The Pet Have Any Special Medical Care or Dietary Needs?
Most pet owners will give details of any extra requirements, but it always pays to ask.
Are there any medical issues or medication needs?
Gain some understanding of the feeding routine. Where is the food kept? Do they have particular bowls and feeding routines?
What Days/Dates Would You Like Me To Arrive And Leave?
Make sure you have a clear understanding of the arrival and leaving days and times.
Hosts may like to have potential sitters arrive the day before. Especially if you haven’t met in person yet. It will give them a chance to hand over keys, show you around, and point out any important information.
Confirm when the host will be returning, so you can prepare for their arrival home.
Always leave the property as you found it, if not better. Clean up, and packed, and be ready to leave.
Are There Any Home Tasks To Be Done?
Is there an expectation for tasks other than the care of pets?
Basic general cleaning tasks are a given when you living at the property.
But for extended stays, there may be further chores. Tasks like yard care, pool maintenance, and house plant care. Be clear on the expectation of extra chores.
Always secure the home as required. Shut windows, close curtains, and blinds, and lock doors when leaving for the day or at night. Enquire about alarm systems and activation to keep the house safe.
If you are at the housesit for an extended period, make sure you know when bin day is to put the bins out.
Is The Home Close To Public Transport Options?
Make sure you ask about access to the home. Especially if you are relying on public transportation to get to your house sit.
Will there be a car available? If public transport is a distance away, will they be willing to collect and drop you off?
In the event of an emergency, is there an alternative way to get to a vet?
What Sort Of Facilities Are Available At The Home?
Most of the facilities are on the sit profile and in the welcome pack. But clarify anything you want further information on.
If you are working remotely while there, is the reliable internet, and what are the passwords? Where is the modem, in case there are any issues?
Are you able to use the washing machine, dishwasher, and any other appliances? Make sure you know how to work them before the host leaves!
Check if there are any areas the host would prefer you not to go into.
Are there any tricks or quirks with the house?
Is the host comfortable with you having guests over for a visit?
Wild parties are off the cards, but is a visit from a nearby aunt acceptable?
What Are The Expectations For Communication?
One of the biggest areas of misinterpretation is the expectation of communication. This is the most common area of negative feedback for previous sitters.
Clarify how often they would like updates and the best time or way to communicate.
Don’t send hourly text messages, if the host is happy with once-a-trip updates.
Similarly, the host may prefer a daily photo of the pets and be unhappy with the lack of contact from the sitter.
Clear expectations set with sitters in advance will avoid any confusion. Make sure you are both on the same page!
Who Should I Contact In An Emergency?
Most host’s welcome packs will list all the necessary details. Emergency contacts, vet contact details, and local emergency numbers should the need arise.
If not, make sure you gain these details. Is there a neighbor or family member close by that has a spare key?
If the homeowner is uncontactable, is there an emergency procedure?
Are there internal cameras in the home?
Who else has access to the home?
Where Can I Find Information About My House Sit?
Depending on what platform you use, the homeowners may be prompted to create an information pack.
Send it at least 3-4 days before you start the house sits.
This gives the homeowner time to think about the questions.
Plus it climates the endless emails and messages back and forth. As well as asking all the questions when you arrive, as the homeowner may be busy packing.
If you would like to get a copy of this handover sees here.
Once your home sit is confirmed, you will receive an information pack from the homeowner. These welcome guides are a wonderful resource before and during your sit.
Different house-sitting platforms, such as Trusted House Sitters, will have different formats.
But most will contain the basic information you’ll need. Pet details and needs, details about the home and location, and emergency contacts.
House sitting is a very rewarding experience.
Not only does it open you up to different experiences and places but you have all the pet cuddles you desire!
But it does come with responsibilities.
Arm yourself with lots of questions, and have a clear understanding of what’s expected.
You’ll be well on your way to a very successful housesit!
Brittnay is one of the Travelling House Sitters. She has cared for 25 dogs, 35 cats 1 turtle, and 1 rabbit over 40+ houses in 15 countries over 5 years.
She is ready to teach you exactly how to become a house sitter! She wants everyone to enjoy this incredible lifestyle as well!
You can read more about Brittnay and Jay on their about page.
Or connect with Brittnay on Facebook or in their house sitting community on Facebook