Best house sitting websites compared 2020
House Sitting Websites - Pandemic Update
This year's new pandemic has meant that many of us who live for travel and house sitting, have put our lives on hold, or we are subject to stop / start house sitting as restrictions are placed and then lifted, repeatedly.
This has had an extraordinary affect on the house sitting industry, as house sits in all but the most urgent of cases have been put on hold until we can all travel with freedom once again. That could be some months into the future, and it's likely that, until a vaccine is developed, travel won't be quite the same as we knew it. But house sits are now appearing again as lock-downs ease, especially where staycations are possible.
There is a yo-yo effect in sit availability between the north and southern hemispheres, as Australia and New Zealand get the virus under control and enter their summer season.
We have put together some articles with tips to help you when house sitting through the pandamic:
- Common sense safety guidelines for handovers and sits
- Covid 19 backup plans for full-time house sitters
House sitting website membership extensions during the pandemic
As far as we are aware, most of the house sitting platforms have stopped their extended membership options now that house sits are available again. One exception is HouseCarers, who are offering 3 months extended memberships on both renewals and new subscriptions. You can benefit from a 10% discount on top of this, by clicking this link.
Which house sitting platform should I choose?
We talk to a lot of people about house sitting and we get asked over and over about how we started out, and which international house sitting site will get the best results for newcomers to house sitting. As house and pet sitting becomes more and more popular, so do the options for finding house sits. So how exactly do you decide which is the best house sit website to join?
There are a number of very good house sitting websites available that will match house sitters with home and pet owners, but they all have different features and options, and the annual subscriptions vary from $20 to over $129 USD.
It's easy when starting out to find yourself a little confused or even overwhelmed, but don't worry, we've got you covered. As full time international sitters (a Brit and an Aussie), we've been on the road for 7+ years, and there aren't many house sit sites we haven't tried. And we've seen house sitting from both perspectives, as we were once home and pet owners too - we used sitters for our off-grid property in Panama.
The good news is we've made it easy for you to make the right decision about choosing a house sitting site, by compiling a comprehensive review of the most popular international and regional options.
Ready to go? Our best house sitting discounts
Once you've decided, you can make savings on your new memberships with our exclusive platform discounts - get signed up as a house sitter for less. Many sites are free for home owners, but we'll cover that in detail below. Here are our most popular house sitting discounts:
- 25% TrustedHousesitters Discount (no code required)
- 50% HouseSitMatch Discount (code 50HSMAG)
- 10% HouseCarers Discount (no code required)
- 15% Aussie House Sitters Discount (code HSMAG15)
A reminder - what is house sitting?
If you've arrived here with no idea about house sitting, then let us explain. Simply put, house sitting involves a home owner leaving their property, possessions and pets while they go off on their own travels. A mutually beneficial exchange built on trust allows house sitters to live in the home for free while taking care of the pets and looking after the property.
We travel around the world taking care of pets and homes while their owners are away. For home owners there are added benefits of saving on pet boarding costs and the reassurance of knowing their pets are being cared for by other pet lovers in their own home, while following familiar routines.
You can read more about starting out with house sitting in our popular post "Getting Started as an International House Sitter"
Which house sitting website is best for me?
All of our house sitting website reviews are based around a fair exchange of value where money doesn't pass hands. It is possible to employ the services of paid pet sitters but they tend to be advertised on specific websites like Rover.com in the USA, or Pawshake.co.uk in the United Kingdom.
This is a comparison and review of the options available to help you find your ideal house sitting jobs around the world. We review the top 5 international house sitting websites and also give links and info about some of the country specific house sitting sites. You'll find these in countries where house sitting is especially popular like the UK, USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia & New Zealand.
We've found that each house sit platform has their own unique features and benefits. A combination can sometimes be the best way to achieve effective coverage of the destinations on your wish list.
OUR TOP 5 INTERNATIONAL HOUSE SITTING WEBSITES
1. TrustedHousesitters review
Discount: 25% (CLICK HERE NO CODE NECESSARY)
Active sits: 2500+
Email Alerts: Yes (not real-time on desktop version)
ID Checks: 2 levels
Insurance: Insurance backed guarantee for homeowners
Reviews: 2-way sitter and home owner
APP Version: YES
Age limit: 21 years
TrustedHousesitters is the largest and most well known of the international house sitting websites. You'll find the widest choice of house sits around the world, but they are particularly strong with sits in the UK, Europe, Australia and the USA.
You get what you pay for in terms of choice, as they are the most expensive of the platforms, but their growing popularity and number of sits, will increase you chance of selection. If you use our 25% discount, you'll find them on a par with some of the other larger international sites.
Home owners are charged the same rate as house sitters for membership. We like this as it means home owners are more committed to the assignments they list. They are less likely to be “testing” the water as we've found on other less expensive websites, or those where adverts can be placed for free. To join as both a house sitter and a home owner, the combined subscription is at the reduced rate of $189.00.
This website is also run as a professional business with a team of 50+ people including a 24/7 customer care team, and access to a vet support line. The website has been improved and updated time and time again over the years with the latest version offering a useful app version for use on your smart device. The site is modern, responsive and easy to use with plenty of useful filters. It should be noted that you can only get real time email alerts with search criteria on the app version. For that reason our tip is to use both the desktop and app versions in combination.
TrustedHousesitters Insurance Backed Guarantee
TrustedHousesitters is currently unique among the international house sitting platforms in that it provides an insurance backed guarantee for home-owner members and every sit is automatically covered.
All adverts are verified and it's extremely rare that you'll find a house sit advert without photos or comprehensive detail. Messaging is secure and you can use this on both the desktop and app.
Definitely one to have at the top of your list - some of our best house sits have been found through this platform!
Is TrustedHousesitters worth it?
We would say yes, most definitely. There are lots of members in our Facebook group who have started out with TrustedHousesitters and found quick success by putting effort into their profile and application.
Tips to improve your chances - It's sometimes said that it's more difficult for "newbie" house sitters because of the competition for the very best jobs. Don't let this put you off. Set up "email alerts" on the app version and apply to house sits as soon as you can with a personalized message. Spend time creating a stand out profile and apply to sits with fewer applicants (a nice feature is that you can see how many people have applied) in less popular destinations. This way you'll find it easier to be accepted. References are important and we suggest you start by offering your services to friends and family to get a few reviews under your belt. You can load character references as well to help at the beginning.
2. Nomador Review
Price: 65 euros per year / 25 euros per quarter
Discount: None, but FREE TRIAL available here
Active Sits: 900+
Email Alerts: Yes
ID Checks: Multiple options - free ID verification
Reviews: Endorsements and badges (no external references)
APP Version: YES (for member messaging only)
Age limit: 18 years
Originally operated as a French house sitting agency called Ilidor, Nomador has retained a French connection and so there are still a lot of house sits in France. But as a business they are now truly global. So, international house sits are prolific and they continue to grow steadily every year. We found the site a little more difficult to navigate but following a major aesthetic overhaul in 2019 and we find it much better and easier to work with. It is now full of great tools and helpful advice for house sitters and home owners alike.
When searching or browsing "available" sits make sure you go to "filters" and make sure the "include past house sits" is not checked, otherwise completed sits will feature in your search.
The website’s modern design has a unique trust-based identity upload area for passports, driving licenses and other forms of ID. This identity check provides extra reassurance for homeowners. Your uploaded information is not shared and it is disposed of once the verification is complete.
Nomador also has a unique "Stopover" feature where home owners can register to offer free accommodation to members in-between house sits, or simply to build friendships. A bit like couchsurfing for house sitters! They also have a filter for assignments that are suitable for house sitters with reduced mobility and for family friendly. The ethos of the platform is to grow the sharing economy and build community and trust - we think they have really succeeded with this!
The rate is the same for both home owners and house sitters. There is also the "Nomador Discovery Option" available FREE OF CHARGE which allows new house sitters to apply for up to 3 assignments. This free option extends to home owners too and you can list your first house sit for free.
The Nomador App
An instant messaging service reserved for members who are already registered on Nomador, whether they are using the Discovery Option or Confidence Option. You can send messages to other members, get notifications on your phone of new messages, send photos and make audio and video calls when you have internet access. The app is available in Android and iOS versions on Google Play and the App Store.
3. HouseCarers Review
Price: $50 USD per year for sitters
Discount: 10% by clicking here - no code required
Active sits: 200+
Email Alerts: Yes
ID Checks: ID Verification by mobile, passport or driving licence
Reviews: Upload references / reviews
APP Version: No
Age limit: 18 years
HouseCarers was the first house sitting website to offer a job match service back in 2000 - they are based out of Australia. A long-standing, highly respected international site, with listings in countries around the world. Definitely worth considering. Our first ever long term house sit was with HouseCarers, looking after a beautiful luxury home in Australia with a large pool and a fabulous view! We were very happy with their service and ease of use of the website.
HouseCarers has a limited FREE trial, but you won't be able to upload photographs or contact home owners, so if you are serious about house sitting it might be better to bite the bullet and pay the membership fee. The free option will give you daily alerts, so it could be worth a try just to see what you get offered.
There's been no charge for home owners on this site until this year when the HouseCarers premium membership for home owners was added for a small fee of $25 USD. This will give you a verified "supporter" badge on your profile, and the ability to add private notes to a house sitter profile. You can also participate in a reward program, where your 12 month membership will be extended to 18 months.
4. HouseSitMatch Review
Price: £69 GBP per year Standard / £89 GBP per year Premium Plan
Discount: 50% by clicking here - Use code 50HSMAG
Active sits: 50+
ID Checks: Free ID check for ALL members on registration through Hooyu
Reviews: 2 way reviews on completion of sits
APP Version: No
Age limit: 18 years
HouseSitMatch initially focused on house sits in the UK and Australia but new countries are being added all the time. Their strength is in Europe, and the UK but more and more international house sits are appearing as they've experienced more rapid growth of late. Less house sits mean those listed are snapped up quickly. Founder, Lamia Walker, offers a very personal house sit match service and is always available to help and advise new members. On this smaller site your chances of securing a house sit assignment are much higher. There is an option when searching to filter "active house sits only", as this platform does show completed jobs when you first browse or search.
The premium subscription is worth the extra money as you can load more pictures and a video. The website offers lots of great resources, has a new member chat facility and we've heard that this is a good website to contact if you are interested in family house sits.
5. MindMyHouse Review
Price: $20 USD per year - FREE homeowner membership
Discount: None... it's almost free as it is!
Active sits: 250+
ID Checks: None
Reviews: Reviews on request - must upload
APP Version: No
Age limit: 18 years
Another popular international house sit platform that gets regularly updated and improved. The site is inexpensive to join at USD $20 a year and so you’ve nothing to lose really at this price! It's currently the cheapest house sitting website available. We haven't ever used this website but hear good reports from other house sitters, as long as you carry out good due diligence. With no ID checks, it gets the occasional spammer or non-serious member that you'll need to filter out.
It has a good messaging system and a great house sitting jobs search system with a useful map locator. There’s lots of relevant information to help you get started and they have some good downloadable resources. Home owners join for free.
There has been some criticism in house sitting forums about people posting sits that are more like workaway projects than house sits, but as platforms like TrustedHousesitters move towards advertising free trust based house sits only, perhaps this will be the place to find occasional international opportunities that pay. Remember if you are paid, you'll need to have the appropriate work visa if not in your home country.
TOP HOUSE SITTING WEBSITES BY COUNTRY
Some house sitting websites focus just on one particular country or region. If you are planning to house sit in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or Mexico, then you might find it beneficial to subscribe to one of these more regional websites as well as an international site.
We always found that HouseSittersUK worked well for us when we’ve been looking for house sits in the UK, and the Aussie equivalent has been a real bonus when we've been house sitting in Australia.
This "House Sitters Group" has house sitting sites in a number of countries (UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and America), but you do have to sign up to each one which can be expensive if you are an international sitter. The membership prices vary by country. You can interchange your references between the platforms which is a bonus.
Because some of the platforms are free for homeowners, some will have signed up to a larger international sites as well as well as a regional website so there may be duplication of sits - you'll need to weigh up whether you think it’s worth it.
1. Best house sitting websites in Australia
Australia is a great place to house sit. Many Aussies love to travel and usually for extended periods. This means properties are available throughout the year in some great and often interesting locations. There are more country specific house sitting websites in Australia than in any other country. If you are planning to spend an extended period of time in Australia house sitting long term, then we would definitely suggest you sign up to an Australian specific website. It's also a good country to get started and build your references, as like the UK there is an abundance of house sit jobs available.
If you are an Australian looking to house sit mainly in your home country then one of more of these sites are worth subscribing to. But we would definitely recommend: AussieHouseSitters - see discount below.
For an in-depth review of Aussie House Sitters take a read of this: Aussie House Sitters Review - In-depth
However, if you have subscribed to House Carers and Trusted House Sitters you will have a large selection of Australian assignments available to you. Browse the international house sitting platforms first (if you are already signed up), and compare to your country specific selection to see what sort of duplication of assignments exists.
And remember that HouseCarers are based in Australia, so whilst an international site they have a lot of experience of Aussie house sits and feature many.
2. Best house sitting websites in New Zealand
3. Best house sitting websites USA & Canada
Given the size of America and the number of house sitting opportunities that exist, there are very few country specific house sitting websites available. Although an international site, you will find that TrustedHousesitters has a lot of USA sits available.
This is probably why House Sitters America do so well. They charge only $30 a year for anywhere in the USA. Some sites charge by zones or states so this really is a good deal. The website runs and operates easily using the same format as House Sitters UK, a company we’ve had great personal success with.
4. Best house sitting websites in the UK
House sitting in the UK is extremely popular and there are two great country specific websites. In our first year of house sitting we subscribed to House Sitters UK and we found their website really easy to navigate with some of the best features we've seen to date. We had instant success when we joined up, finding two consecutive house sits within just a few weeks. They have a great instant messaging system, cost only £29 for a year and currently have over 100 assignments listed.
News May 2019 - HouseSittersUK has had a great make-over with functionality following that of associate company AussieHouseSitters. Check out the filters ... you can now see both "family friendly" and "pet friendly" sits, so if you want to house sit with kids, or your own pets, the selection process is much easier!
Now we use TrustedHousesitters for all our UK house sits as they have so many listings and we find it easy to get selected if we apply straight away. HouseSitMatch is also UK based and you'll find less competition for the UK sits.
Again, as with Australia, you should compare how many of these assignments are featured on the international websites if you are only looking to house sit temporarily in the UK.
5. Best house sitting websites in Mexico
With an influx of expats from America and Canada, Mexico is becoming a popular choice for house sitting and assignments are increasing all the time. Destinations such as Puerto Vallarta, Ajijic, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico City, Merida and the Yucatan in general, offer year round opportunities.
To help facilitate the growing demand, HouseSitMexico was relaunched in 2016 with a smart new interface, and the option to select different regions of this vast country.
They charge $79 USD a year. Rates are the same for home owners and house sitters. If you are both, there is NO additional charge. Once a member you can use either service.
Are there free house sitting websites for sitters?
Updated June 2019 - There are currently no free websites that we are recommending. As of June 3rd 2019 House Sitters Canada began to charge, in line with the other country based websites in the group.
Are there free house sit sites for home owners?
All country based websites in the Aussie/Kiwi/UK/America/Canada group are free to home owners. As is HouseCarers, although they do now have an enhanced paid version too. MindmyHouse and some of the smaller Australian house sit websites are also free to home owners.
Can I get paid to pet sit?
There are more and more pet sitting sites that provide the option to offer pet related services such as house sitting, pet sitting, dog walking, grooming, drop-in services etc. In this instance it's up to you to advertise your service to home owners looking for pet care. This is a very different model to the free-exchange house sitting option, but suits a lot of people working in their own countries, where they want to establish a small pet care business, or to use along side international house sitting when the option to charge isn't generally available because of the need for work visas.
One of the biggest pet sitting sites is Rover.com. They currently operate in the United States, Canada, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden but are expanding every year. A year or so ago they absorbed Dog Vacay, and they are now taking over another small pet service company.
Rover is a platform to find and offer pet care services, and they facilitate payments, but all transactions are between you and the pet owners. You don't pay to join, but you will pay a percentage of your earnings.
How do I become a house sitter?
House Sitting Magazine is a FREE online publication and a leading resource that is available to download as an Apple or Android app version. If you don't have a mobile device, you can read a simple PDF version on your computer. You'll find lots of informative articles about how to get started in house sitting. Download Issue 1 for the best "getting started" articles or go to the "House Sitters Start Here" page
Where can I get help and house sitting support?
House Sitting Magazine hosts one of the larger house sitting Facebook community support groups offering support and advice to new and seasoned house sitters. We talk about everything to do with the house sitting lifestyle, so come along and join us there for some very active discussions on a range of relevant topics. You can join over 8500 like-minded people in our Facebook Community here. Most of the house sitting platforms also have a support line to help with any problems that you might encounter.
Take our online house sitting video course
Our online house sitting course costs just $47 USD and covers all the techniques we've used over 7 years and almost 90 sits. Find out more at this link Become a Successful International House Sitter
We show you all the tips and strategies you’ll need to secure the assignments of your choice time and time again. Discover the secrets to becoming a credible, well respected house sitter, even as a newcomer. Short-cut the research and trial and error.
As well as easy to follow, step-by-step videos, you'll find all the checklists and downloadable resources, you will need to get started.
You can find out all this information for yourself, as we did originally, but what this course will do is fast-track your getting started process. You'll also get the ongoing support of our active Facebook community where you can share your adventures, and get valuable feedback from other travelers and sitters.
Remember, house sitting isn't just about free accommodation
There are responsibilities that are an important part of the relationship between home owners and sitters. These should never be taken lightly. These resources guide you through the process of becoming a successful house and pet sitter, make you aware of all the relevant house sitting best practices, and ensuring that the experience is win-win-win for you, the home owner and the pets!
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Last updated on November 17th, 2020