4 key questions to ask potential house sitters

November 3, 2015

If you're planning on leaving town for a period of time, it can be helpful to hire someone to stay in your home to ensure it stays safe and maintained. Choosing a house sitter might be difficult, however, because you are allowing someone into your home and around your personal belongings. You should interview each applicant before you allow them into your home while you're away. Some of the most important questions to ask potential house sitters are listed below.

4 key questions to ask potential house sitters

1. Have you house sat before?

If you want to hire a house sitter that you don't know, it's important to pick one that has proven experience house sitting. Ask your potential sitter if they have watched a house before, then ask for references and contact info of the people they worked with. Ask them about them follow up questions about their previous house sitting gigs, too. This is a good way to get a feel for whether they are trustworthy and responsible and whether they'll do a good job.

2. Do you smoke?

If there is something that you absolutely cannot tolerate, like the smell of smoke or the idea of illegal drugs, be sure to ask outright if the person does any of these behaviours regularly. Someone who smokes can bring the smell in your house, and a drug user or drinker might put the safety of your space at risk. Asking difficult questions upfront ensures that you weed out people with behaviour that you can't tolerate.

3. How much do you charge?

Ask house sitters for their rates during the interview. Then, you should compare rates to other house sitters you interview and other candidates that you see online. You don't want a house sitter to charge you far too much, but you also don't want to pay them so little that they're not motivated to do a good job. Ask the house sitter how much he or she will charge, then expect a fair answer.

4. Do you have any knowledge of pets?

If there is a special aspect of your house that's particularly challenging, like caring for a pet dog, cat, or bird or cleaning a pool or fountain, ask the house sitter if they have any particular knowledge or experience in this area. If they don't, it shouldn't disqualify them from getting the job, but having experience in the area can help make them an even more desirable candidate.

Your house sitter should be trustworthy. Asking these key questions will ensure you find the right candidate for the job.

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