House sitting is a fun and affordable way to experience new places. For most house sitters, it is a way of life. Before you accept an opportunity to house sit, however, you need to understand that it involves certain responsibilities. You need to have a clear understanding of your responsibilities to manage your expectations.
When you have all the information you need, you will be able to get off to a good start. Before you pack your bags and sign an agreement with the homeowners, it is best to ask some questions. Ask the homeowners questions about the location of the home, their travel schedule, pets, indoor and outdoor plants and trees, and facilities you can use at the house.
Date and Time
Questions about the date and time of the house sit will enable you to plan your schedule. You will be able to book tickets and make your own traveling arrangements based on this information.
- What are the accurate dates and times of the house sit?
- What day and time will you be leaving?
- What day and time will you be returning?
- Will you let me know if there is a change in the schedule?
About the House
Ask as many questions as possible about the house. This will enable you to be better prepared and fulfill all your responsibilities. The questions will help you understand your roles and responsibilities when house sitting. You will be able to understand the expectations of the homeowners. This will also help you know your limitations when using the house.
- What is the address of the house?
- Are there any plumbing or heating problems that I need to be aware of?
- Do I need to get my own food?
- What kitchen appliances can I use?
- Are all appliances in good working condition?
- Do you have the instruction manuals for home appliances (dishwasher, washing machine, coffee maker)? Where do I find the instruction manuals?
- What appliances are off-limits?
- What household chores do you expect me to do?
- Do you want me to water any plants or trees?
- Do any plants or trees require special care?
- Do I need to mow the lawn and caare for the pool?
- Does your house have an internet facility?
- What is the Wi-Fi password?
- How many rooms does the house have?
- Are there any rooms that I must avoid?
- Where can I sleep?
- Does the house have a security system?
- What is the password of the security system and how do I use it?
- What days do you want me to take out the trash?
The questions will enable you to learn information about spare keys and who to contact in case of an emergency.
- Do your friends and neighbors know that you have appointed a house sitter?
- Do your friends and neighbors have spare keys?
- How do I get in touch with you if I need to do so?
- Will you provide me with a list of people I can contact if I am unable to reach you?
- Who do I contact in case of an emergency?
If the homeowner has pets, ask specific questions about their food, health, and medicines. Include:
- How many pets do you have?
- Do I need to keep any of your pets separate?
- Does your dog need to be kept on a leash?
- What is the daily routine of your pet?
- Where do you keep pet food?
- How many times does your pet need to be fed daily?
- Does your pet have any health issues?
- What type of medicine do you give to your pet?
- Is the medicine given along with the food?
- Are there any spaces or rooms in the house that you don’t want your pets to access?
- Where do your pets sleep?
- Do you have any exotic pets?
- Where do your pets litter?
- How often should the litter be scooped?
- Does your pet dog or cat go outside?
- What are their exercise schedules?
- Are there any dog-friendly walking areas nearby?
- Does your dog or cat get along well with other pets in the neighborhood?
- Where are the pet toys kept?
It is important to remember that house sitting goes beyond caring for four walls of a home. Asking the homeowner how to take care of things and pets will go a long way in ensuring in fulfilling all responsibilities.
You can choose to ask these questions in person or you can send across the questionnaire to the homeowner. Get answers to as many questions as possible before you house sit.
Remember, however, not to annoy the homeowner with too many questions! Your goal is to provide solutions to their problems, not more worry. So, attempt not to ask all your questions in a single meeting or call with the homeowner. Instead, send them a questionnaire or keep the questions in mind and ask them whenever you find the opportunity to interact with the homeowner, as long as you can get all the information before they leave.
When you are knowledgeable about the house you will be staying in and what is expected of you, you will have a better experience and provide a better service.