Home Sweet Sitter

Leaving home on vacation is supposed to be relaxing and exciting…

… but sometimes it’s hard to escape the worries associated with leaving pets behind, plants that need to be watered, potential leaks or other issues. The cost of house sitters can add up but what if you could find a fellow traveler willing to exchange house-sitting services for a place to stay. Several reputable sites are doing just this, connecting people who love to travel with those who want peace of mind on vacation. Check out these popular options.

Trusted Housekeepers

The site was launched “to keep pets happy and safe in their own homes” by offering free pet and house-sitting services. It has since established a global community that spans over 150 countries. Sitters sign up for a $119 membership and create an online profile, can choose to pursue different lvels of the site’s three-step verification process that is reflected through trust badges on the profile. Basic entails simply email, phone number and one reference verification; Standard adds an identity and document check as a requirement, while Enhanced includes a criminal record check. Two-way feedback from both sitters and homeowners creates mutual trust.

Mind My House

Owners join for free while sitters spend $20 on membership. Sitters essentially create a profile called an “advert” on the site. Owners can browse the sitter database for free and reach out to their top picks via email or phone to negotiate the stay. The site has various document agreements to protect both parties. Owners can remain anonymous until they reveal their identity to the house sitter. The site encourages and offers a template for a security deposit paid directly to the homeowner. The site overall takes a less involved approach to the entire transaction but keeps membership fees lower. Sitters can feature testimonials from homeowners on their profiles, acknowledge whether they have a police check verification and also offer references. Read profiles carefully as some sitters also charge an additional fee.

House Sitters of America

This family-owned site offers house-sitting services only in the U.S., which is great for homeowners but not as exciting for those wishing to travel abroad. Owners place a free house ad using an online template while sitters pay for a yearlong membership ($30/year) and create their own profiles. Both sitters and owners can then review the various ads and choose one that sounds interesting. Once an arrangement has been made, a sitting agreement is signed. A Reply Rating measures responsiveness when contacted but the site doesn’t provide reviews.

Alexandra Drosu
Alexandra Drosu

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