House Sitting Services Cater To Absentee Homeowners’ Needs

House Sitting ServicesYou’re packed and ready to go on that extended trip finally, but you’re nervous. You know that empty homes are more likely to be burglarized, and nothing says ‘Please break and enter here’ like a stack of newspapers in the front yard, lights that go on at predictable times, and wilting plants in the window sill. Your homeowner’s insurance may not even cover you if you leave your home vacant, or you may be required to purchase costly additional insurance. Headaches are almost guaranteed while you figure out how to keep yourself and your home protected.

You might put your mail on hold and bother a neighbor or family member to drop by, but why put the burden on your family when you could be indulging in worry-free peace of mind with a house sitting service?

Definition Of A House Sitter

This is someone you trust to take care of your home while you are away, whether they live in your home or drop by several times a day. They allow you to relax while you are away, knowing that the telltale signs of vacancy (i.e., total absence of cars, unmowed lawn, overflowing mailbox, etc) aren’t painted across your home.

What a House Sitter Can Do

House sitters handle specific duties and tasks to care for an absentee homeowner’s property and/or pets while he/she is away. Tasks may include mail being picked up, plants watered, garbage and recycling taken out, newspapers picked up, lights turned on and off, and refrigerators restocked. If you have regularly scheduled maintenance, the house sitter might pass on specific instructions from you. On the other hand, you may prefer to have the house sitter mow the lawn, clean the pool, or prune the hedges. The important thing is to leave specific instructions on what needs to be done. Doing so clearly and concisely will help avoid misunderstandings later.

Why Trust A House Sitter

You can ask a trusted friend to take care of everything, but most people are uncomfortable at the thought of passing on such a burdensome task. Trusted family members are a possibility, too, but many homeowners do not have relatives who live close by while those who do may have frayed relations. Before hiring and handing your keys to any sitter, be sure to do your due diligence. Ask around for referrals, thoroughly check the company/sitting service, the sitter’s experience, references, insurance and bonding in place, and trust your instincts.

What To Prepare After Hiring

After you have selected someone, be sure to provide him/her the following information before you leave:

  • List address and phone numbers to reach you while you are away, and include neighbors’ in case
  • Advise sitter of any lights or TV/radio that are on timers
  • Advise sitter of trash day
  • Provide a large basket by the inside door for mail storage
  • Advise sitter of security alarm information, code and phone number, if any
  • Advise sitter of anyone else who may be on your premises during your absence (housekeeper, etc.)
  • Go ahead and take that vacation and worry less. With a little help from a trusted professional, you can rest assured your home and valuables will be watched over, your pets and plants cared for, and your specific instructions honored.
Image credit:  Marek Kowalik