Expectation of prior visit

Am I being unreasonable or is the homeowner?

I’m now traveling fulltime, not necessarily pet sitting. Every month or 2 I’ll fly back to my hometown for a few days to see my mother and take care of some things.

So, I applied for a 4 day sit in my hometown over Christmas and mentioned that I was flying into my hometown yesterday and leaving again Wednesday. We had a few back and forth and she said that they were new to THS and that they had others they were going to check out.

This morning she asked whether I could come by tomorrow evening to meet and that they had another potential sitter come by today to their home.

I felt that that is more than I’m willing to do, considering that I have very limited time here and that it’s really an imposition to expect that. This is in Germany and it’s not like in the U.S. where you can just jump into your car, but will have to take public transportation. I deleted my application.

How do you feel about that? There obviously are others who are willing to do that, so, maybe it’s me that’s being unreasonable for not. I would have been happy with a video chat, but willing to take away precious time to compete like that.


I think you’ve answered your own question. For you it’s too much so you’ve pulled out of the sit. Your sit, your lifestyle, your call @Varinia :+1:t3: I can understand their nervousness but doing a meet & greet when you’re only one of the possible sitters for a 4 day sit is too much of an ask. We’d have said no too.


I agree with @Cuttlefish


I agree too. Would not have done that.
Just when it is really around the corner and then instead of the videochattime (which I always want to do).


Turn it around and ask if the host will come to you, since it’s for their benefit. If not, they seem entitled.


In my experience, HOs want to meet at their home so you can also understand the responsibilities of their home - not just to see if they like you. Because my sits have all been during travel and I planned them weeks in advance, we did video calls so the HO could, if they wanted, show me around their home and “introduce” me to their pet. I think that could have been a solution for the OP but perhaps it’s not as common in their area as here in the US where distance is often an issue.


I think each person has to decide what they are willing to do. Some HOs asked if I would go down to their part of the country, about 6 hours away. I asked for a video meeting first. I didn’t hear back from them. Its weighing up what it means to you and how much you want the sit.


I understand new HOs may be nervous and I would perhaps consider meeting them prior to them choosing my husband and I if we were extremely local and I knew we were the only people they were considering. I definitely wouldn’t take the time to do this in the case you describe, where they will be speaking with more than one applicant. So I would have withdrawn the application as well if an in-person meeting was the only way to be considered.

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Sure, I and other sitters know that. But the HOs who ask to intw multiple candidates in person don’t seem to realize that the dynamic is supposed to be equal. So ask them if they’d be willing to make the trip.

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They asked; you answered.

It doesn’t matter if anyone else finds this reasonable, you didn’t and you withdrew your application. where is the problem?

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In some way it reminds me of dating in America.

It used to be that you meet someone and you both feel good about each other. So, you explore each other one-on-one to make sure there are no red flags and date only each other until you decide that it won’t work any longer and then you move on to someone else.

Now it’s about dating as many as possible and then eliminate someone if they show a red flag. Always looking for a more perfect person.

If I were a HO I would rather do the first option. If someone seems to really click and seems they would be really fun for my dog, then I’d want that one to be my number one and I’d vet them until I feel there’s nothing to worry about with this person.

But I feel that HOs often go with the number two approach, keeping as many balls in the air until they finally have to make a commitment. In the meantime everyone is getting strung along until…


How were you strung along? It sounds like they were upfront about having more than one person to consider. You mentioned that you’d be in town for a few days and they asked to meet. Using your own analogy, that was a red flag to you and you withdrew.

There are plenty of posts about sitters whose applications go unanswered for month sometimes, getting neither a confirmation nor a rejection. THAT is stringing someone along.

I just thought…it is ofcourse an investment…if it is close to your family and you could get more housesits there in the future, you have maybe while visiting your family in the future a place to be “on your own”.

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You did the right thing to just withdraw. They would have wasted your time and it is entitled behaviour - particularly for a 4 day sit. Expecting people to travel around the city at their own expense without even confirming for the chance of a non paid sit is not reasonable.

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I’m in the fortunate situation where I don’t need it as an investment. I stay in a hotel or Airbnb when I visit my mother and when I travel. Every once in a while I pet sit, because I really miss the companionship of a dog or cat.


When pet owners are new to THS I completely understand that they feel more relaxed if they can meet the person beforehand (especially dog owners). However, sometimes it just isn’t viable. We try to visit beforehand but only if we are in the area, and yes we have visited one where nothing was confirmed because it felt ‘right’, we vibe’d, we knew it would go ahead.
But we wouldn’t do it with anyone if they were asking others to pop in too, we want HO’s who instinctively feel we are the best fit for them from our profile, not one of many they are going to ‘interview’ which is exactly what it is when they are doing it with multiple sitters. It’s a waste of everyone’s time, especially THS sitters who are simply doing a good thing by doing it for free because we love animals. They will learn over time to read a profile, and go with their heart for which one they feel is the best fit for them, and reach out to only the best fit to see if their first impression was matched once they reached out.


As a HO, I have appreciated when sitters could come by in advance to meet in person. It has allowed me to show them around, let them meet my dog, show them things in the house that may have been unclear in the welcome package. I have never insisted on it, but I think it makes everyone feel more comfortable if it’s possible and convenient. I’ve been lucky in that all my sitters have been in the area prior to my sit.
Just another perspective!

Did you do that in the ‘competition phase’, when you were still evaluating everyone, without commitment or did you do it after deciding upon someone in order to show them around?

@Varinia and @JudyY I see where you are both coming from. After a Sitter is confirmed, it is completely understandable that a Sitter might come over to meet the family/pets and see the home, if it is convenient.

I completely disagree with an Owner wanting in-person interviews with several candidates. That is just not feasible for most Sitters.

Imagine an Owner who tells multiple candidates that they are going to do back-to-back interviews at a nearby cafe, because they do not want to divulge their address to multiple people. Would anyone agree to that?

I would remove my application.

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@Varinia we have offered to meet homeowners under the following circumstances :
we were new to THS with only external references,
we were nearby
at a time that convenient for us-

Two homeowners were willing to confirm the sits on this basis that we would visit them prior to starting the sit … Another two did not think it would be necessary. All the sits went well .

Since we have had reviews from our THS sits we have not offered or been asked to come and visit before a sit was confirmed.

If a homeowner expects this of their potential sitters I think they need to state this in their listing so no one’s time is wasted.

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