Applicants for a sit being invited then declining much later as they found a better dated sit

I just wondered if any Owners have had applications from sitters, who they invite, but are later refused. I have to say this has only happened once, but this particular sitter seemed very nice, we had conversations, the sitter seemed happy and I then invited her. Finally the next day she declined and said she had found a sit with better dates. So why not tell me that when we started communicating? It was awful really as I felt so rude keeping the other applicants waiting, I had to decline them, with a polite message while waiting. Then later I had to put it back on the THS site again. I thought it was very rude and luckily it has only happened once and I should have known as applicants usually accept within a few minutes after we have had several conversations to check if the sit was right for both of us.


HI @Debjm59 I’m sorry to hear that things did not work out with your first choice of sitters. I am a solo sitter and, when I have a video chat with the owners, I always suggest that they talk it over and let me know the next day. Sometimes we are so comfortable at the video session that we agree then, but I like to give a couple the opportunity to ‘compare notes’.

Until a sit is confirmed on both sides - owner and then sitter - I suggest you not decline the other applicants, because of the situation you found yourself in. You could contact the first set of applicants and just explain that the first person wasn’t able to confirm and therefore the sit is open again. At least that will give them notice that you’ve listed it again. However, you could pause the listing, if you feel you had possible sitters in the original batch of applicants. That would be easier for you, and more respectful to those who first applied.

It may be that the person who declined your offer did so for a reason that she wasn’t comfortable explaining. Given she hadn’t confirmed yet, her reasoning may have been more to be polite, even if maybe not truthful. I like to give someone the benefit of the doubt anyway.


All I can say is that the sitter hadn’t actually accepted your invitation and at least got back to you quickly. She may have been happy but then the other sit might have just popped up which did suit her better. If she had accepted your invitation, confirmed as a sitter, then later declined well that’s a whole different ball game.


Hi @Debjm59 - I can understand your frustration and had they declined for a better offer after confirming with you then I would have said the sitter was in the wrong.

However, in this case did you take a while before eventually inviting them? You say " we had conversations" - In our experience the decision whether to invite us to sit or not is made after one conversation. If so, your hesitation may have given time for another home host to send an invite that was a better fit for the sitter.


Thanks Colin. Actually I didn’t take long at all. We emailed on THS several times and I then invited the sitter. It was the sitter who took over a day to finally decline. So the sitter was obviously not sure but did not make that clear to me. I just hate making other potential sitters wait as I feel so rude. I also wouldn’t feel happy saying to other potential sitters that they are not my first choice so can they wait to see if my preferred sitter accepts. Obviously putting it more politely.
I have to say I have never had a sitter let me down once we have been accepted other than for very understandable family reasons.

Hi @Debjm59 I can understand how you might feel uncomfortable with any message to sitters who are not your first choice. However, as sitters we realize that there are other applicants and you have a process to go through. Something simple, such as ‘Thank you for your application. I expect to be able to get back to you within a week.’ is sufficient (my suggested timeline only). You don’t need to give any more details. If you offer a sit to someone and they don’t give you a prompt response, I would move on.

I suggest that if you are emailing back and forth with someone several times, you should instead consider a video or phone call to cover questions, as it’s more efficient, time-wise. I realize we all have our preferences though.


From what you’ve said, that’s still the case, no? She had not accepted the sit; you had only had “conversations” via email or messaging.

My husband & I have had only one canceled sit experience . The young couple accepted our sit invitation, which was several months ahead of our travel dates. During our initial conversation, the young man said we could get another sitter if we found someone else. Surprised, I asked were we not committing to the sit? He adamantly agreed and accepted our invitation thru Trusted Housesitters, but then declined a couple of months later (within a month of our travel). I discoved they had accepted a longer sit – in our area, no less. Needless to say, we labeled that young couple as “unacceptable”.

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@Hi.Its.Me - That is not acceptable, you should have Reported them to THS


I have been in a position as a HO with flight plans that kept being changed by the airline. I had not invited anyone, and finally posted to all who had shown interest with my revised dates (also edited my THS site request), apologized for the delay in responding, and asked people who were still interested to let me know. I think the inherent nature of THS means that both the HO and potential sitters need to use open and prompt communication as soon as possible, and be upfront!


We had that happen recently where we accepted a sit but then the HO changed their dates and the sit was longer than we could do. We thank them for the invite but told them we would have to decline since the dates overlapped with out plans.