How Much Should I Pay A House Sitter?

by Kathy Green

If you’re going on vacation and want someone to water your plants, collect your mail and put out cat food, consider hiring a house sitter! Not only are house sitters very effective at preventing home burglaries, they also upkeep your house while you’re gone so you don’t have to spend time catching up when you get back from your travels. When you’ve found the perfect person to look after your home, you may be wondering how much does a house sitter cost. Luckily, we have done the research so you don’t have to!

Finding a house sitter without help can be a challenging and time consuming task. Part of this challenge is the decision you have to make around money. What is a fair wage? How much should or could you pay for this service? But there is help available. Please read below for some valuable guidelines regarding this decision.

If you’re a house sitter wondering how much to charge for house sitting, read this guide to get a good sense of what you should charge your employer.

Some house sitters may charge in a variety of ways. Some charge by the hour and some charge per visit. Most housesitters, however, charge homeowners with a daily rate. Therefore, most of our figures will be for daily rates.


Important Factors to Consider When Deciding

There are several factors that influence the salary for a house sitter. Each of the following should be considered carefully:

House Sitting Rates in 2017

Housesitting cost varies widely. Some house sitters will work for free in exchange for food and rent while others will charge $80 per day! Most house sitters charge $25 - $45 per day. Depending on your area and other factors this number might fluctuate. How much you pay for house sitting depends on many factors, like location and types of services you request.

The Cost of a House Sitter in United States 2017

The average house sitting rates vary a lot geographically! Even in the same city house sitter rates can be quite different. Ask friends and neighbours how much they have paid in the past to get a good idea of the average rate of house sitting in your area.

Here’s a selection of some major North American cities and their average rates:

City Average House Sitter Cost (per day)
New York, NY $37.46
Los Angeles, California $45.70
Chicago, Illinois $37.68
Houston, Texas $37.34
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania $66.67
Phoenix, Arizona $29.50
Jacksonville, Florida $43.96
Indianapolis, Indiana $44.20
Columbus, Ohio $34.44
Charlotte, North Carolina $38.96


The city with the highest average house sitter rates is Philadelphia at $66.67 per day! Other cities like Phoenix or Toronto have lower rates at under $40 per day.

Difference between Short-Term and Long-Term Stays

One of the biggest factors influencing a house sitter’s salary is time. Do you require house sitting services for a few hours during the day, or for a more extended time such as an overnight or a week? If you require these services for a few hours a day, a reasonable industry price is $25-$30 per day. However, if it’s for an overnight job, prices can rise up to as much as $50 per day.

When you consider this price, relative to the cost of house cleaning, you’re actually getting a pretty good deal. The best part is that - like a housekeeper - many house sitters are comfortable with light chores, clean up, and re-organizing your home. Many professional maids will charge up to $40 for a single hour - which makes the average house sitter look incredibly affordable.

If your need for a house sitter encompasses an extended period of time that stretches into weeks, or even months, the pay scale would change again. For employment of this type there would be a set weekly or monthly fee, and this would not necessarily reflect what would be paid for shorter daily visits. A bit of a break is given to the house owner as the house sitter is getting a good guaranteed salary because of the length of your trip.

Responsibilities

Your house sitter’s wage is also influenced by the number of responsibilities that they have to take care of. Responsibilities can include cleaning the house, watering the indoor and outdoor plants and so on. The more responsibilities given, the higher the compensation required.

Here are the services most highly requested by households:

  • Feed pets (58% households requested)
  • Collect mail (58% households requested)
  • Care For Plants (52% households requested)
  • Take Out Trash/Recycling (47% households requested)
  • Snow Clearing (11% households requested)

Services

Here’s a list of common services that you may ask your house sitter if they provide. Every housesitter has different tasks they are willing to perform and some are willing to go the distance.

Mail Collection - 98% of house sitters offer this service and charge an average of $31.66 per day

Feed Pets - 97% of house sitters offer this service and charge an average of $31.64 per day

Taking out the Trash - 97% of house sitters offer this service and charge an average of $31.66 per day

Plant Care - 96% of house sitters offer this service and charge an average of $31.69 per day

Snow Clearing - 42% of house sitters offer this service and charge an average of $31.00 per day

Pets

If you own pets that will require baths, feeding, walking and entertainment, you should expect to pay more. Housesitters that also provide pet care charge 3% more than those who do not. You can also hire a pet sitter to give your pets the individual attention they deserve, but this then involves coordinating the two employees and their respective jobs.

Location

The rates for house sitter services are also dictated by the geographical location of the home. A professional house sitter will cost more in in large urban centres than in the smaller cities and rural areas. A professional house sitter in cities such as Miami and NYC can cost as much as $50 daily compared to a professional sitter in Salt Lake City that would likely charge in the area of $30 daily.

Experience

While experience with housesitters isn’t as important as say a Nanny or Housekeeper - it certainly does not hurt. More experienced housesitters are likely to charge a higher wage.

Other Factors to Consider

  • If you have a larger house or own many valuables highly consider hiring a house sitter and compensating them well - majority of home burglaries happen when no one is home.
  • If you live in a high-demand area like Manhattan you can probably do with paying a house sitter less - rent is expensive in large cities and your house sitter is getting a free place to stay! If you’re wondering how much house sitters make, some earn close to nothing in exchange for free accommodations.
  • Staying for over a week can be quite a commitment for house sitters so homeowners give some extra cash for extended stays. The rate for house sitting can clearly vary a lot - ask your house sitter what they are looking for before opening negotiations.

Petsitting Services in Comparison to House Sitting Services

If you have multiple pets or high-maintenance ones - it might be better to hire a petsitter instead. While a little more expensive than house sitters, pet sitters are more likely to provide better care for your pet(s) while you’re gone. Also, they can still provide almost all the same services a house sitter can such as mail collection, watering plants and protecting the house.

Do you need a Housekeeper or House Sitter?

If you want to come home to a cleaner house you may want to consider hiring a housekeeper instead of a housesitter. It’s often unfair to expect a house sitter to perform the duties of a housekeeper while being paid a lot less. While also more expensive, house keepers can give your home a nice, deep clean.

Should I Hire A Professional?

If you expect to be away from home for longer than 2 weeks, you should consider hiring a professional sitter rather than asking someone you know to do the job. These family members, friends or neighbours may have trouble saying “no” to your request, and may feel that you are imposing on them, ultimately causing bad feelings. And what do you pay people that you know personally?

Professionals usually have a detailed fee structure that they would use in order to come up with cost estimates for the services you need. This number is certainly negotiable, but that is more easily done with a stranger than with a friend.

As well, with a professional, you have the protection of the individual being bonded and insured in the case of an emergency. A final item to consider here is that, if you only need occasional visits to your place, a quality housekeeper might also be sufficient.
If you're a busy individual you might also be wondering what to pay a nanny or what to consider before hiring a housekeeper. Take a look at the linked resources, they can be a huge help in trying to navigate these waters.


Top House Sitting Service Providers

Now that you know how much to pay a housesitter, it’s time to go out and find the perfect service provider for you! We’re saved you some trouble, and hand picked some of the best house sitters near you. Navigate to their page and start a conversation, we’re confident you’ll be happy with the maid services pricing on Housesitter.com!


Need a House Sitter?

Need a House Sitter Job?

Conclusion

Finding the right house sitter can take some time but can really ease your travel anxiety, knowing that your house is well taken care of. Hopefully you found some advice that can point you in the right direction in terms of paying your housesitter.