The concept of house sitting has been around for a while. You go on vacation and ask someone to check in on your home, and in return, you get to focus on your time away instead of the running of your house. However, what started as a simple request to a friend or family member has quickly emerged into a booming business for many.
House sitting is a growing industry with many homeowners and house sitters taking advantage of its perks. Not only do you get someone to water your plants, feed your pets, and collect your mail, but are provided with peace of mind. When you hire a house sitter, you'll know that if anything happens in your home, there's someone there to take care of it.
But even though it is a booming business, not everyone fully understands how house sitting works. Who pays who? Do they stay in your home or just pop by? What are their responsibilities? These are just a few questions we at HouseSitter.com have seen over the years. So we understand the confusion around it — especially if you're new to the concept.
If you've ever considered house sitting as an option — or are already doing it, but want to learn more — let us break it down for you. In this article, we'll review the four main methods of house sitting and how they could be best applied to your situation.
#1: Pay to Stay
The most common method of house sitting is where you pay a house sitter in exchange for taking care of your home's necessities. The pay rate would vary depending on the requirements of your home, but generally averages around $25 – $45 per day.
This method of house sitting is best for those who require more extensive home care, such as cleaning, pet care, and yard maintenance. This method may or may not require the house sitter to stay on your property during your time away, but generally requires multiple hours of work per day.
#2: The Drop-In
This is a more tried and true method for those who don't require much (or any) in-home care. House sitters in this circumstance would drop by your home from time to time to provide primary care such as mail collection, plant watering, and property checks.
This method usually doesn't require as high a rate of pay as the necessary tasks are generally minimal. However, the homeowner would still need to pay the house sitter for their services.
#3: Free Stay
This method is more of an emerging concept that requires no payment from either party. In this scenario, as the homeowner, you would offer your home to a house sitter to stay in for free. This offer would be in exchange for basic house sitting responsibilities on the part of the house sitter.
A free house sitting arrangement is a mutually beneficial exchange that provides positives for both parties involved. It benefits the house sitter because they do not have high overhead costs while they travel. It also helps the homeowner in receiving care for their home while they're away.
One thing to be careful about in this scenario is that you need to ensure your house sitter does not treat their stay in your home like a free Airbnb rental. You would need to lay out the ground rules carefully and the duties they would be responsible for to ensure you don't come home to a house you have to clean yourself.
#4: Pay for Stay
The final — and least common — method of house sitting is where the house sitter pays you to stay in your home. This method is more commonly used by travellers looking for a low-cost place to stay while on vacation themselves as an alternative to hotels or Airbnb.
If you are looking to make a little extra cash while on your own vacation, this may be an option for you, however, be advised that the majority of house sitters are looking to make money, not spend it. This may mean that there will be fewer house sitters available to you.
The Choice is Yours
Regardless of what method you choose to use, one fact rings true: house sitting is very flexible. With dozens of options for the services a house sitter will provide and several methods to choose from, there's a house sitter out there who will meet your needs. If you're planning a trip, going away for work, or just taking some time away from your home, house sitting is a viable and versatile option for everyone.