Cancellation by sitters

A post was merged into an existing topic: Why is the site pausing my listing?

Hi @Britchic ,

Ten applications, even over two sets of dates is a good response and in most cases, you should be able to find a great sitter from that number of applications.

Sitters that save your listing do not necessarily make them potential sitters so be careful not to let the number of savers you have get your hopes up too high. I often save sits that look lovely and I think I would love to do whilst knowing the chances are very slim that I would be in that area at a time when the home host was looking for dates that suited me.

Also, as with everything in life, a verbal agreement is always fragile until officially confirmed. I agree it is rude of your sitter to just ‘vanish’ after agreeing verbally but the correct sequence of events is 1-you verbally agree 2- you then officially invite them to sit 3 - They officially accept your invitation to sit. - This sequence from 1 to 3 normally happens instantly. If there is ever a gap of more than 24 hours between 1-2 or 3, then move on to your next choice.
Never decline other interested sitters until your number one choice has officially accepted the sit.


I must say i have had a similar experience and I have only had two sits so far. This 5 applicant limit is a factor as it encourages sitters to accept and then see if there is something better out there. I have had sitters accept (one for an upcoming trip, only to go AWOL on me). Communication is essential. So I had to repost again. Not sure I will stick with this site given that my confidence level is marginal at best.


@HelloOutThere Could you clarify your last sentence? Is that a good hmmmmm or bad?

After searching the THS website I find no mention of the form. We downloaded it for our first sit and have been using it ever since. So I can understand that it might have been off-putting. As to inquiring why they backed out, they made some way off-base statements that lead me to believe that they were making excuses to withdraw because of a change of heart. After that I had no desire for any further conversation.

I appreciate all of the constructive criticism as I really want this to work. I have updated my Title to hopefully make it more enticing. Sell the sizzle with the steak as they say in marketing, but at this point I believe that the 5 application cutoff plus the use of an antiquated tool may have worked to my detriment.


It’s kinda concerned hmmmm.
I hope you’ll soon post that you found the perfect sitter who is thrilled to stay at your home!

1 Like

Just to chime in here for @FJLOVER as a homeowner/sitter and someone that works remote that sentence…well, really all of it makes perfect sense to me and doesn’t give me any pause.

When we go out of town too for longer periods we often times find the best applicant is someone that works from home. That way someone is always there with our dog, they can put packages inside when needed. We don’t have break-ins in our area but knowing that someone would be in the house during working hours goes give a lot of reassurance to homeowners.

Agreed. I guess that is obvious to my mind.
Perhpas just worded differently or is it even needed to mention?

Hi @FJLOVER. Hmm, you have a long sit listing that starts in two weeks. I appreciate you saying you really want this to work. I’ll spend some time making a longer post. Thoughts:

  • More your listing more readable. For me, that’s more whitespace and shorter paragraphs.
    • For whitespace, you should be able to have a full blank line between two paragraphs. It’s there in your “Home & location” section but not others.
    • For paragraphs, like “responsibilities” is one big paragraph. Can you make that easier to digest? Shorter paragraphs, or some bullet points? Sadly, the TH website doesn’t offer fancy formatting like these Discourse forums, but if you look at other listings, you can see what they do.
    • Preview on both website and app.
  • Car: emphasize way more.
    • If I zoom the map out so there are 99 current sits, only 15 have a car.
    • It’s currently buried in the super-paragraph about responsibilities. Make it instead its own paragraph under “home.”
    • Include a photo of the car. You could even experiment with changing your photo to the car for a couple days.
    • Put “Car included” in the listing heading. Example: “See beautiful Cape Cod with our car, golden retriever, and no summer crowds!”
    • Yes, sitters can search for “car included,” but there are many sitters who don’t need a car, but it’s an amazing perk. And it is a game-changer for non-city locations. Make it easy to find your car.
  • Change the first pic to something more eye-catching.
    • Look at all the available sits in your area, and zoom out to Boston if desired. The thumbnails are mostly nice home pics. You may stand out with Jazz’s photo (or the car).
    • Just switch the first photo every couple days and see if something works better.
    • This one of Jazz I like. It’s like, “please visit me!” Or retake similar with a brighter background.
  • The last sentence as discussed in posts above also gave me pause, before I read others’ comments. I would at least reword.
    • Just so we’re on the same page (pun!), it’s this, after a listing of pleasant-sounding dog and plant responsibilities:

      • “The sitter’s presence in our home is of utmost importance for security, so this is ideal for retirees or work-at-home person.”

    • You seem to rule out people who aren’t work-at-home or retirees. If I weren’t one of those, it might turn me off applying. Especially as it’s the very last thing I read.

    • Maybe instead: “We think our sit is ideal for retirees or remote workers. But if that’s not you, please apply and let us know what you think!”

    • Also, earlier you say Jazz can be left alone up to 8 hours. Or brought in the car. Awesome! But now I read about you wanting the sitter at home for security? It’s a bit contradictory. If you meant “security at night” that would be totally different, but then you wouldn’t need to say that because everyone sleeps over.

    • For example, are you just saying technically Jazz can go 8 hours alone, and you could take Jazz in the car somewhere, but really you want a sitter who will be at home all day, every day for a month? Oh, but sitters have to drive Jazz to her walks, so then the house is totally empty without even a guard dog, but that’s okay because that’s how the PPs already do it. See what I mean? It just makes me confused and second-guess the listing.

    • I pause not just because of the seeming contradiction, but just by itself, I’m wondering why would someone be worried about needing someone during the day in cape cod? Especially if they may have a dog at home? I recall a news story where they interviewed a serial house robber, and he said he never robs houses that have the sign “Beware of Dog,” whether he hears or sees a dog. Just not worth the risk.

    • It stands out so much, it makes me think, “‘Utmost importance’?! What happened in the past? Was it a previous sitter, or something else? What isn’t being said?”

  • I think it should be “without” below?

“sojourn with out her.”

  • social media: @temba mentioned this, and you said no, but I think there was a misunderstanding.
    • If you tag Angela as temba mentioned and give her permission, she may be able to share your listing on social media. You don’t need a social media account. Angela uses TH’s social media accounts to bring your listing to a wider audience.
  • the form you were using
    • As you might gather, I don’t think the form is the standard anymore. I wouldn’t use it. But there’s nothing stopping you from putting some of those ideas in your listing, welcome guide, or messages.
    • The combo of profile + reviews + messages + video call should give you peace and joy about the sitter(s) you choose. Especially the video call. Just to clarify, I am a big fan of over-communicating, as noted in a blog post by Ben (below). Not as big a fan of “agreement forms.”
  • if you still don’t have a sitter in a week, you’ll be eligible to post anew in the “last-minute sits” category. You may want to calendar that.



I @Val_Sco. I’m very glad you got a fantastic sitter. I’d just make one observation, from the sitter standpoint: with the new 5-application limit, the pressure on sitters to apply immediately to a posting is immense — if you’re not in the first 5, you’re locked out. Especially with a location like Venice, everyone’s going to want to hit that apply button as fast as they possibly can and figure out transportation later. It’s just built into the system now.
I suggest letting THS know how you feel about this.


Hi Edith,

Thank you for your kind response. I have already made TH aware of the problem numerous times, but it seems the administration will not make changes to the 5 person limit. Many have discussed it and the complaints are are lumped now into one category.

Anyway we will see later this year how things go when we start sitter-hunting again, unless our current sitter is available again. It’s very stressful now both for us homeowners and sitters.


@Val_Sco Indeed it is. I believe I saw your sit while I was looking for something in Venice myself (I’m currently in Nice), but the dates didn’t align. Perhaps our paths will cross one day. Ciao. :blush:

1 Like

Thanks Colin, I really appreciate your response. I guess I was confused by the large number of “saves” and so many of my actual applicants had no concept of Winter in Winnipeg, so backed out once I enlightened them! Quite a different experience to other years.
My potential sitters that vanished were were intending to start a new life in Canada, so lots of concern there. I do now have a sitter confirmed, so all good now!

Happy tails and happy trails to you!

Post moderated to stay in line with forum guidelines

1 Like

Dang. Well done.


Thanks geoff.hom. Sorry about the confusion on the security line. We did have a bit of an issue with a sitter who thought they were going to be working from home all but 2 or 3 days a week, but after we confirmed they learned they were expected 5 days a week, with a 1-1/2 hour commute both ways. Tough for them too. We worked it out with a dog walker to get the 2 dogs their exercise.

By no means did we intend to imply that the sitter has to be here 24/7. Ours is a very safe neighborhood. I’ll delete that phrase and make some of the other changes you suggested. However, if by this weekend we don’t get a sitter, we will have to pull the sit and go to plan B.

1 Like

I remember seeing your post when it first came up and saving it. What’s not to love? A Golden AND the Cape, and then longterm, so the sitter can get to know your pet and the area properly.
I would agree with Geoff that a pic of that beautiful dog as your first/main photo would be a sure sell. Don’t give up on your Florida trip. Something perfect will come your way!


Hi @FJLOVER don’t know what the THS written agreement is you refer to but we’ve never seen it/been required to sign it. We wouldn’t anyway as it wouldn’t be legally binding so no point. I think a lot of sitters would be put off by it. Ultimately THS is about trust not documents

1 Like


  • Well, the car thumbnail definitely stands out!
  • I see some of my other suggestions weren’t incorporated (like even fixing the typo of “without” or whitespace), but hey, I know people are busy. Or we can agree to disagree. And if you feel it may not be worth the effort to try to find a sitter before needing to choose plan B, I get that. Glad you have a backup plan.
  • I’m really just writing as I remembered another tip I’ve seen before (we really need to get these in a checklist/wiki…): Change your location.
    • When I think “Cape Cod,” I think Boston. When I think “Boston,” I also think Boston, duh. But if you search for Boston, your listing is just outside of range and so not listed. Try it.
    • In such a case, some PPs will put their location as Boston or an included suburb, but then in the description note clearly and upfront where they really are (e.g., Buzzard’s Bay). You could also provide helpful info like the cost to get from the Boston airport to you.
      • E.g., Rome2Rio notes a $20 bus that takes <2 h, which is not bad in this case! (Because you can offer a car once there.)
  • BTW, when you have more time to A/B test what works for your listing, one way is not just how many applications you get, but how many people favorite your listing. Unless you’re on the cheapest tier, you should get a notification each time someone favorites you. (I just favorited you as a test.) I’m guessing you’d see a big jump in favs if you can get your listing to appear when people search for “Boston.”

Best of luck with plan A, B, … or C++! –Geoff

1 Like

Are you suggesting that the HO list their locations as “Boston”, even though they are an hour away by car?

@Lassie I think Geoff is inferring that more people will view the listing if it falls under the Boston headline. Lots of people know where Boston is but may not know where surrounding towns or other locations are. But as Geoff says, be honest and open in your description as to exactly where the property is located. I have tagged @geoff.hom so he can have a look at this when he is back online.

@Lassie I know an hour away may seem like a long distance, but in major cities, such as Boston, NYC, Los Angeles, and even here in Charlotte, NC, that can truly be considered a “suburb”. I know we can travel 45 minutes and still be in the “area” even though it’s a long distance to drive. As towns expand to accommodate more residents, we see the area expand further.