Applicants who aren't applicants for housesits

Has anyone noticed lately how new house-sit responses are littered with “applicants” who aren’t interested in the current sit but your place in general, who clog up your inbox but aren’t real candidates? This has happened to me on my last three listed, sits, and it ends up requiring multiple rounds of sitter reviews to find viable candidates. I sure with THS would create another path for this type of communication so that it didn’t interfere with finding sitters for current housesits.


Sitters can click on a “heart” icon within your listing in order to “favorite” or “like” your listing. Apparently some (all?) Owners can see a list of Sitters who “like” their listing.

This is what Sitters should do- click on the heart. Sitters should NOT clog up your 5 application limit pool to tell you that they would like to sit for you in the future.

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If TH eliminated the 5 app rule, it would solve all the issues that are becoming more prevalent since this rule. Owners pay for this service. They have the brains to decide when they want to pause.


I agree that there should be another option to applying “ask a question” perhaps.
Sometimes there isn’t quite enough information in the listing, and while it’s intriguing, I might want to find out some further details.


@Alba_gato , Hello! You are so right. I hope the team takes note. This has come up many times on the forum. It would be an improvement and very helpful to sitters and HO, alike, for sitters to be able to message a HO with a question without having to click “apply” and use up one of their five spaces.


If you apply, you can still apply for other sits. Once you hear back, if you don’t like what you hear, you can decline the sit. Even if the HO confirms you for the sit without talking to you first, you have to then confirm yourself, so you still have a chance to talk to the HO and decide if you want to commit or not. But the issue for HOs, especially in popular areas is going through the first five and seeing if there are applicants worth responding to and unpausing to get more applicants. It wastes time if three out of the five are just people saying hello. It’s fine to say, I’m interested in this sit, but I’m wondering…" It’s not so great to see: “I can’t take these dates, but I’d really like to sit for you someday.”

Yes they should, but many don’t.

Making matters worse, when I un-paused my listing I didn’t receive new applicants like I did with the original. Now I’m confused and would just like to start with a clean slate. Does the site differentiate between “new” listings and “un-paused” listings, i.e. is my un-paused listing deeper in the pile and hence, less visible to candidates?

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I know that must be really frustrating. The best fix for now would probably be making a note in your listing-probably best for it to be the first thing you say to maximize the chances of people reading it–to please only send in an application if you can do the dates listed. I started noticing that on more listings, and I imagine what you are dealing with is the reason.

@Alba_gato …“Does the site differentiate between “new” listings and “un-paused” listings, i.e. is my un-paused listing deeper in the pile and hence, less visible to candidates?”…

I would be interested to know this also.


Hi @Alba_gato
I think from my recent experience that your listing will come up as a new one.
Recently I applied for a listing that quickly was paused. A few days later, I saw a listing and thought that looks interesting I will apply, only to see that I had already applied. It then paused and a day later I saw it again as a new listing.
I am now interested to see how many times it is paused; at least I have not yet been declined!


Thanks for sharing your experience Itch-feet! It’s good to know you see an un-paused listing as new. I hope you get that sitting gig!


I concur that an un-paused listing looks like a “New” listing again. It has the “New” label.

Where the listing winds up in the “pile” depends on the filter used by the Sitter when they search. I like to use the filter to show “Newest” first, but that is not the default.

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I am stunned that there are applicants who actually do this! What do they say in their message to you? I’m so curious is it along the lines of “oh just wanted you to think of me in the future” or what?

Only if you’re a premium member. I can’t see anyone who’s favorited my listing as a homeowner.

Standard members can see it, too @pitcherplant . I’m a Standard member HO, and I can see who have favourited me.

It does make sense, doesn’t it? It’s a workaround to the 5 applications rule, because once you have had a conversation, no matter if it contained a single word or a lengthy application, you can write an application, taking your time doing it, without having to worry about being among the first five.

I actually did something similar by setting up false dates to get sitters, who looked interesting to me and who saved my listing, but also others to write an “application”. I stated my intention clearly in the first sentence of my listing and now I have quite a large pool of sitters, who might jump on new dates and I already “know” them.

Of course THS found out, because I wasn’t doing it behind their backs and told me I had to cancel my fake dates. But by then I already had collected my pool of sitters.

Probably this post will also be flagged and censored as soon as an admin reads it, but I will do everything possible to workaround any rule that doesn’t suit me. What can they do? Throw me out of the forum? This has happened before. Throw me off the platform? I am not far from not renewing anyway, so no big deal.


I’m a legacy Combined member and can’t see anyone who’s favorited me. Yet another gambit to get me to upgrade…

Exactly! For years I’ve reached out to HOs to make my interest known to them for a future sit if I liked their listing but couldn’t do the specific dates.

With the 5 appl limit, I realize that I take up a ‘spot’ when doing this, however I still do it every while as 1) it already establishes a trusted relationship with the HO, and this is how I have been able to get many interesting sits in the past, and 2) it means that if they relist and fill up to 5 before I manage to get to the website, I can still contact the HO.

If I only save them as a favourite, I still can’t get in touch with the HO when they list new dates and it fills up to 5. For example, I recently noticed a listing that I really liked. And I also noticed that they had apparently already listed quite a few sit dates in previous months, all of which I had missed while checking the listings on the website ( = refresh THS website, repeat). The only reason I can think of, is that all these previous dates filled up to 5 before I scrolled the listings and thus I missed them again and again. I immediately reached out to establish contact with them, such that if they list new dates, I can actually get in touch! And yes, I’m an experienced sitter with 9 years experience on this site, so I do consider myself a suitable sitter who should be able to signal interest to an HO, whose pet sitting needs I can serve well.


Don’t waste your money @pitcherplant

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