Best house sitting websites compared April 2021
Which house sitting platform should I choose?
The questions we most get asked when traveling, are how did we begin our house sitter lifestyle and which house sitting websites get the best results for newcomers to house sitting.
Until the pandemic hit, house and pet sitting was growing in popularity, as were options for finding house sits. As hope returns for a return to travel, this is a great time to get prepared, . When opportunities start to flow again, you will be ready to benefit from the house sit jobs on offer.
Knowing which house sitting platform to join is a big part of that process. So how exactly do you decide which is the best house sit website to join?
There are a number of very good international house sitting websites that match house sitters to home and pet owners with annual subscriptions ranging from $20 to over $100 USD. They all have different features and options, so it's easy when starting out to be 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 a decade, and there aren't many house sit sites we haven't tried. Our experience as home and pet owners means we've seen house sitting from both perspectives, with our last property a more unusual island based off-grid home in Panama.
Our aim is to make it easy for you to take the right decision when selecting a house sitting site whether it be international or country-based. This comprehensive, regularly updated review of the most popular house sitting platforms will help you make the right decisions from the outset.
Ready to go? Our best house sitting discounts
Once you've decided, you can also make savings on your new memberships with our exclusive house sitting website 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 sit discounts:
A reminder - what is house sitting?
If you've arrived here with no idea about house sitting, then let us explain. Put simply, house sitting involves a home owner leaving their property, possessions and pets while they go off on their own travels. A mutually beneficial exchange, generally built on trust rather than money, allowing house sitters to live in the home for free, while taking care of the pets and looking after the property.
We travel the world looking after pets and homes while their owners are away. For home owners there are added benefits of saving on pet boarding costs, plus the reassurance of knowing their pets are being cared for and loved by other pet lovers in their own home, 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 on the model of 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 UK. For sitters you generally need to be locally based as they work by location.
Our indepth comparison, reviews the options available to help you find your ideal house sitting jobs both domestically and internationally. Or, as a pet owner, find a sitter while you enjoy your own travel adventures.
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.
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 Reviewed for 2021
1. TrustedHousesitters review
Price: $ 129-259 USD per year (3 tier membership new March 2021)
Discount: 25% (Click here - no code required)
Email Alerts: Yes
ID Checks: 2 levels
Insurance: Home Protection, Sit Cancellation & Liability options
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.
UPDATE March 2021 - TrustedHousesitters have introduced a 3-Tier membership plan for homeowners and house sitters, with some exciting new features, including a "Sit Cancellation Insurance" option at the PREMIUM level. Here's our latest review of the new tier membership features for sitters and owners.
If you opt for the new STANDARD OR PREMIUM subscriptions you'll get to choose the package that really works for you. The new sit cancellation and liability insurance cover really make this a bonus for both part-time and especially for full-time house sitters.
Despite being the most expensive, you really do get what you pay for. There's plenty of choice and each year they grow in popularity. This is all good for you, as there are more sits to apply for giving you a better rate of selection. If you use our 25% discount you'll find TrustedHousesitters on a par with some of the other larger international sites.
Home owners are charged the same as house sitters for annual membership, which we believe helps to show commitment. Owners are less likely to be “testing” the water as we've found on other less expensive or free websites. There's a reduced fee if you join as both a house sitter and a home owner.
This website is 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. A newly added option means it's now possible again to get email notifications for search criteria on the desktop version, and not only on the app. You can select 3 different countries, or different dates and set these as saved searches. With the new STANDARD plan you'll get unlimited searches, something we've been asking for.
TrustedHousesitters Insurance Cover
TrustedHousesitters is currently unique among the international house sitting platforms in that it provides a selections of insurance policies, depending on which of the new 3-tiers you select for membership. You can choose for home owners, home protection and/or sit cancellation, and for sitters, 3rd party liability or sit cancellation. Terms and conditions do apply and Covid-19 related issues aren't covered, so do get access to and read the small print.
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 and it remains our favourite house sitting website!
Is Trusted Housesitters 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 - Some will say 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" 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
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, 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
Email Alerts: Yes
ID Checks: ID Verification by mobile, passport or driving licence
Reviews: 2-way review system
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.
The review system was updated and owner members can now leave a review or endorsement of their sitters. House sitters in return, are encouraged to leave feedback or add a review of their experience which will appear on the owner's adverts. There's also the ability to send a reference directly to the sitter so they can upload it to their private reference library, accessible only by logged in homeowners.
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
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 Europe and the UK but more and more international house sits are appearing. Less house sit postings 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!
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 MindmyHouse but hear good reports from other house sitters, as long as you carry out extensive due diligence. With no ID checks, it gets the occasional spammer or non-serious member that you'll need to filter out.
The website has a good messaging system and house sitting jobs search system with a useful map locator. There’s lots of relevant information to help you get started and they have excellent 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 or region
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.
HouseSittersUK has always 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. If you want to know more, this link will take you to our indepth review of Aussie House Sitters
However, if you have subscribed to House Carers and/or Trusted House Sitters, you'll 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.
Update Jan 2021 - HouseSittersAmerica has had a great make-over with new functionality following that of associate company HouseSittersCanada and others in this group. 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! 2-way reviews have also been introduced. There's also a new option to list as a paid sitter.
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.
Now we use TrustedHousesitters for all our UK house sits as they have so many listings and it easier to get selected if we apply straight away. HouseSitMatch is also UK based but with 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 website 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. They've had some good discounts for new and renewing members throughout the pandemic.
Are there free house sitting websites for sitters?
Updated Jan 2021 - There are currently no free websites that we are recommending.
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 house sit?
More and more pet sitting sites are providing options to offer pet related services such as pet sitting, dog walking, grooming, drop-in services, and house sitting. It's up to you to advertise your services to pet 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 the leading house sitting resource available for reading either on the ISSUU app or via the website as a flipbook. 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 "Begin Housesitting" page here on the website.
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, including pets and travel, so come along and join us there for some very active discussions on a range of relevant topics.
Most of the house sitting platforms also have a support line to help with any problems that you might encounter. TrustedHousesitters has recently launched it's own forum for members.
Sign up for our "how to become a house sitter" online video course
Our online house sitting course costs just $47 USD and covers all the techniques we've used over 8 years and on 100+ 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!
House sitting COVID-19 update
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many of us who live for travel and house sitting, temporarily putting put our lives on hold. Those who have continued housesitting are subject to stop / start house sitting opportunities as restrictions are placed and then lifted, repeatedly.
No-one knows when house sitting position will resume in any way the resembles the house sitting lifestyle we experienced up until 2020. Until that time it's anticipated that there will be a yo-yo effect in sit availability between the north and southern hemispheres, as countries get control of the virus. Sits are thriving in New Zealand and Australia, and as we approach summer in the northern hemisphere and vaccination programs reach their peak, maybe things will become easier once more for the travel and house sitting industries.
If you are able to get house sits we have put together some articles with tips to help you stay safe and provide some ideas for backup plans if your sits are unexpectedly cancelled.
Membership extensions during the pandemic
As far as we are aware, most house sitting sites have stopped their extended membership options. If you are unsure about renewing your membership with any platform, we suggest you talk directly with the company concerned - you never know they might be persuaded to give their loyal customers a discount. It's worth a try!
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Last updated on April 2nd, 2021