Applying if uncertain

This may have been covered ad nauseam, so forgive me if so — my question is whether it’s perfectly fine to apply for a sit if you’re not totally sure you want that particular sit for those particular dates. I’ve had 11 sits, all of which were wonderful and in perfect locations for me, with pets I knew I’d love and for dates I really wanted, and was thrilled to get. Now I’m looking ahead several months and am tempted to apply to one that looks perfectly good but I’m feeling “FOBO” — fear of a better offer as far as location! I’m used to being so sure my enthusiasm shines, but this time I’d love to be honest and say “I’m pretty sure…” rather than “”I’m dying to sit for you!” How does one handle this? Obviously I have integrity and would never cancel on the HO if I confirm unless it’s an emergency. I am a professional pet sitter and am used to letting clients know the dates may not work out in the end but tentatively I’ll pencil you in. But THS is very different as obviously I wouldn’t be able to help a HO find a substitute if I weren’t available after all for whatever reason. Tips? Like if I apply and we have a video meet and greet, would it be okay to say I’m not positive these dates work? I don’t want to lead them on and have them miss out on other applicants.

Do not apply for a sit you are not for sure willing to go through with.

It is against policy to cancel a sit because “I like something better”. It’s also a pretty shiesty thing to do to an HO who is depending on you.

Once you confirm a sit, the sit is confirmed. End of unless you have a serious emergency, e.g. you’re hospitalised or someone has died.

What you are describing goes against the spirit of the platform and is super flaky.

If you don’t want to lead someone on, don’t lead them on and only show interest if you are actually really interested. It would be a waste of time to apply for something you “might” be interested in…especially since you would potentially be blocking people who are DEFINITELY interested.

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Do not apply for a sit you are not for sure willing to go through with.

@bakindoki An application is not a commitment. Applying is the only way sitters can contact HOs to discuss a sit. Once a sit is confirmed it should not be cancelled unless there is an emergency, but an application is the start of a conversation about a sit.


Don’t apply if you’re not ready to commit. There’s alway the possibility of a “better sit” to come up after you commit but if you don’t, you might end up with nothing or a “worse sit”.
If it looks good, make a decision and stick with it.
How would you feel if a home owner said they wanted to string you along but wanted to hold out for a “better sitter”.

Applying for a sit because you have clarifying questions to ask about said sit you’re interested in is very different from applying for a sit and “idk if the dates work but maybe I’m interested.”

If the clarifying question is, “I think I can make the dates work but is there a bit of flex by a day or two at the start or finish so I can align it to XYZ” or “would it be possible for me to arrive or leave a day after for blah blah blah?”…Cool, ask away…that is not what the OP’s post conveyed to me.


Agree totally with @bakindoki on all points. I recently applied for an absolute dream sit but unfortunately missed out. Took another sit for dates which overlapped by three days in another country. Yesterday I received an offer from the original FANTASTIC sit, in an area to die for for six weeks. They have been let down by the sitters they chose for no good reason and reached out to me. I had to decline :sob::sob::sob: as I had already committed to the booked sit.

My word is my bond and I never, ever cancel a sit because “something better comes along”, you make a commitment you stick by it. In saying that I have been let down by HO’s cancelling on me, but I deal with it.

I’m not sure what homeowner, who is actively looking for a sitter, would accept or even contemplate accepting a sitter if you told them you weren’t positive the dates would work. Like you, they need definites not maybes. It’s like them saying, I’ll accept you but if someone better comes along, I’ll cancel you. :person_shrugging:

A word of advice - there is ALWAYS something better, in house-sitting and in life. Doing the right thing is always the right thing :wink:

I will add that I realise the OP has said “in the conversation stage” but applying for sits and then saying you aren’t sure on the dates, simply wastes a spot in the first five applications and the HO has to proceed to decline and restart applications. It’s hard enough getting good location sits without a HO having to do this, it doesn’t give them much confidence in you as a sitter, regardless of how many reviews you may have.


Certainly, there is no problem with applying for several sits with conflicting dates at the same time. There is no problem with withdrawing applications.

But yes, the fobo - it makes me postpone my applications. I have something perfect for the summer (a repeat sit), the rest can wait a bit.


I thought I made it clear that I would NEVER agree to a sit if I weren’t absolutely sure of it. I would never string along a homeowner. The pressure is on now that there’s a limit of 5 applicants, so I was inquiring how others handle it when they’re interested but not positive it’s their top choice. And as I said, I am honest and have integrity so I would rather lose a sit if they want confirmation right away than pretend I’m committed if I’m not.


Thank you for reading me correctly, that I’m talking about applying to get the process going but not ready to commit— meaning if they want to confirm I would never say yes dishonestly but keep looking for something better! And I’m sure with the 5-applicant limit many sitters are applying simultaneously to severs sits just to make sure something pans out. That was the point of my post. So how to you approach that middle ground? I mean, do you let them know you’re looking into a couple of sits?

Exactly. As I said, this is the first time I’m not 1000% sure this is where I want to be for these dates. So in order not to screw them over I would NEVER confirm a sit and then cancel just because. I was looking for tips on walking that fine line to convey great interest in order to have a conversation, but if I need a little more time to think about it how people navigate that. I had one HO offer me the sit before we had even communicated! They were new to THS and I actually explained to them kindly that usually HOs and sitters have a video or phone chat to make sure it’s a good fit. We totally clicked, and it was a fabulous sit.

I’m a combined member. I could see applying for a sit if I had a question that might be a dealbreaker, but I wouldn’t apply for a sit if I was just curious. I’ve backed out of applications because of things along the way – a homeowner appearing overly suspicious, some undisclosed in the listing condition, etc. But I wouldn’t apply for a sit that I didn’t want in the hope that something better would come along and maybe I wouldn’t “have to” accept this lousy sit. I think it’s a lousy thing to do to a homeowner. They could ask you and then lose out on someone else who might have actually wanted the sit.

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I always assume that prospective sitters are looking at multiple sits. I know that mine might not be the best fit for them; that’s fine.

I think the issue is - if/when an HO offers you a sit, are you willing to make your decision right away? Because waiting around for a better offer before committing would be bad form.

Walk away. Even one little doubt in your mind means you are not committed which is not fare to you or the pet parent.
Something which makes your heart race will appear sooner or later. Good luck.


I think you should apply for the Sit, even if you are not sure about it. Lots can happen between now and when the Owner considers your application, and then perhaps a video chat, and then waiting to see if you are selected.

Lots can happen…

You never know, and the only person that you can control is…YOU!

In Oct 2023, I applied for a Sit in Feb 2024. She never even acknowledged my application! I left it sitting there, just to see what would happen. She just now (Jan 21, 2024) deleted the dates. She deleted the Sit!

Did she care about me? Doubt it. Not a word was communicated from her to me. Hmmm.

Take good care.


I totally agree. As I’ve already said a few times, I would never confirm a sit and then cancel unless it were a true emergency. Not because it’s the rules, it’s how we all should treat each other in general!

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We sometimes apply for sits we’re not fully sure about so that we can find out more and also, if they’re interested in us. You’d do that with a job so it seems reasonable to us and some listings are too scarce on info to make an informed decision. We then ask more questions and often for more pics and animal sleeping habits and do the video call too before either of us make a decision @Treeandcathugger - Interestingly in hindsight, we reckon that if we’re not sure at the beginning it nearly always turns out that we were right and something breaks the deal before we’re anywhere near commitment and we say “thanks but no thanks, we wish you well.”. The caveat is (as you know), once you click the “accept” button THEN you’re in and committed fully. Situations like @ziggy’s one are so annoying but a sitter that honours their bond is worth their weight in gold! Best of luck :crossed_fingers:t3:


By applying you are going against what your head and your heart is telling you, so personally I wouldn’t apply at all. However, if you really need to fill your dates just do it and don’t look back, commit to it, accept the decision you have made, but also, you may not get accepted for the sit anyway.

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Wait! Listen to your gut.

Remember, hosts can also gauge your enthusiasm from your application so they may not appreciate your “one foot in the door” application, even if you don’t say it, it may come across that way.

There are very often fabulous sits being listed closer to the time. It’s a real trap that you want to plan further and further in advance. Not necessary at all.

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We do this all the time. Whether we are ‘really sure and excited’ or ‘somewhat sure and on the fence’ we nearly (99%) have a video chat with the HO if they are interested. We’ve had a change of heart on sits we thought we were dying to do after finding out information, likewise we’ve become more excited to do an on-the-fence sit after talking with the host.

Sometimes, we apply for sits that seem great but we haven’t locked in our dates yet. We have been house sitting long enough to know that some HOs will get back to you right away and some will wait ages, so sometimes we apply just in case it’s the latter and we have time to sort out our lives. We recently had an instance of this where it was the former- they got back in 6 hours, wanting to chat and lock it in. We ultimately withdrew our application because we couldn’t commit at that time and it was clear they were ready to book someone.

For something several months ahead, we would NOT book anything less than a perfect sit. Things change for us so often and if we aren’t willing to plan our entire lives around a sit we don’t bother. It’s far enough out that even if you didn’t get anything else, surely you can budget to go to that location out of pocket?

Best of luck with whatever you decide.

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I think that is normally implied. HOs should assume that, and they should not delay responding unnecessarily.

I now have an application for a remote place that would start three weeks from now. It has been almost a week since I last heard from the HO. Now, there are not many sits in the Arctic so this is my only active application for that period, but I am becoming less keen, also because I have signed up for gatherings here at home and because airfares are going up.