HO Questions About Why You Want To Sit

Hello, I’m new to THS and have started booking sits. I just had an interaction with a HO, who asked a bunch of different questions via chat, which I was happy to answer (I even offered for them to call me). Then they asked why I would want to sit their house if I live in the same area. (Their questions felt increasingly more suspicious.) Is this really so unusual? In fact, THS recommends getting local sits under your belt if you’re new to the platform, right?

Anyhow, I replied that it looked like a wonderful opportunity to enjoy another aspect of the town I am new to, while enjoying some pet companionship. I haven’t heard back. It may be they are new to the platform as I don’t see that they have any reviews. Any feedback or advice welcome. I’m wondering if this is a red flag. Thanks!

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I don’t see any harm at all in going for local sits. In fact, that’s exactly what I did when I was new to THS as it is a really good way to go to build up those initial reviews.

For what it’s worth, if you are feeling uncomfortable with the question and something is feeling off, definitely do pay attention to that feeling. Whenever I’ve ignored those initial instincts, I’ve tended to pay quite a price for it. Almost 5 years on THS has given me the best training ground for learning to trust my instincts!

It might be worth holding out for a host you feel more comfortable with and more of a connection to but of course only you know best. I very much wish you every success on your pet sitting journey!

Why did you not answer like it is, that you are trying to get reviews, that this is what THS recommends new sitters to do?

Hi @ThePetCharmer - Since you mentioned you’re new, the HO is probably just trying to ensure they can trust you. If they’re also new, I wouldn’t hold it against them.

I’ve seen HO’s here post their questionnaires, and it’s a long list. Mine is not quite as big, but sometimes asking a lot of questions is just our way to avoid a bad experience if we’ve had one.

My first sitter was local because she was also relatively new and trying to build referrals for when she traveled. The second sitters (they were a couple) were also local, and I didn’t even need to ask why they wanted to sit for me; they told me - their home was being remodeled, and they didn’t want to be at her brother’s the whole time, and they love pets, so it was a win-win. Both experiences with local sitters were wins for me.


At the time, it didn’t even occur to me to mention this until after I was reflecting on the conversation the next day. I will definitely mention if the conversation continues.

I love doing local sits. Unique pets, different neighborhoods to explore, helping animals, a break from my own (small) home but with no travel expenses.
You answered perfectly.

Some people are quite suspicious by nature, and there’s not much you can do about that!
I’ve seen a couple HOs in this forum say they wouldn’t engage local sitters because they were suspicious of their motives. (even after sitters in the forum explained their “motives” for sitting locally.) :woman_shrugging:
But many HOs specifically seek out locals. It takes all kinds!

If you have zero reviews, you could offer off-site references if you like. I did that once, in the beginning, with a HO who seemed hesitant. (she ended up saying I was the best sitter she’d had in over 10 years, so it worked out!)
You’ll get some reviews, and HOs will automatically be more trusting of you.

In the meantime, video chats or phone calls work well to show you’re a “normal” person.
Or, since you’re local, you could meet them in person before the sit, if they’re into that. That’s one of the big benefits to HOs of engaging local sitters! (Plus, there’s no flight delays or potential immigration problems to hinder you from showing up on time!)

Do keep in mind: If someone is brand new to THS and seems quite nervous or suspicious, it is possible the sit might not go as smoothly as you’d like, so choose carefully. (I do a lot to try to soothe the nerves of first-timers, and I don’t shy away from doing their sits… But I do notice that sits sometimes go quite a bit more smoothly with HOs who have used THS at least a couple times…)

Remember, you’re vetting hosts for compatibility too; it’s not a one-way street.


I think that you gave an excellent answer but, as others have said here, trust your instincts and keep looking.


Hello @ThePetCharmer - the HOs might be new so cautious, they also might be detail people so that’s their style and they also could just be too much so that’s a thought. For us we never take a sit without a video call, seeing into the whites of the eyes and all that (& you can see the home and meet the pets too). As you’re close you could offer to pop over and meet them in person. As everyone else says, trust your gut. If it feels right then yes and if for any reason it’s not for you then move on. Best of luck :raised_hands:t3:


Put it on the back burner and keep looking. If they want you they’ll come back but in the meantime there may be something else out there better and more exciting.
I never stop looking until that button is pressed and we are confirmed.


Thank you all for your insights and kind encouragement. I greatly appreciate it!


It is totally normal to be asked that. All they are trying to do is to get to know you better, after all they are trusting their loved ones and their home in your care… and giving you the keys to their property!

We cover why we want to sit in their place at the point of applying, which I think is why people accept us quickly as you can only form a connection with someone you feel you know-know.

Our reason is because we always need to pop back to our home town area to collect our post and visit family in the area, as our own home is now a holiday let.

Personally, I would make sure a pet/home owner knows your reason from the start, but make it more than just to collect reviews as you stand a better chance at getting sits further afield. For example, with you just beginning your pet sitting journey you would like to stay in an area more familiar to yourself to begin with, with pet owners that could potentially use you again in the future.

Hope that helps


I am new to Trustedhousesitters, & I am also house/pet sitting in my own state & cities to build up my platform and I have done 6 sits already. Two reoccurring sits. I don’t think it’s suspicious the HO asked “why do you want to house sit in your own state?” I think they are asking because most house sitters request to sit in a state or country they want to visit like New Orleans. Most people want to come here for the festivals, Mardi Gras, concerts and maybe visit family, some people never been and just want to visit for the first time and Trusted House Sitters gives them the opportunity to do so adding the free accommodations in exchange for the HO to have someone taking care of their homes & pets while they also travel, but when the sitter is local like I am what is the exchange? There is no payment, so what’s in it for me & you? For me it gives me a chance to build up my platform with many great reviews & experiences, so when I am ready to travel to outside destinations It won’t be such a struggle to secure a house sit, and it also gives the Ho a pleasant option for a last minute sitter considering they have a local resident to contact. Or what if the initial sitter has to cancel last minute? There you go! The greatest part about being a local Trusted House Sitter is you get a chance to learn more about your state & cities and the people that reside there and very possibly build friendships as well. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: It’s a win !!.. :heart:


I think HOs, especially HOs new to the platform are going to be a little suspicious that this sounds too good to be true. They may also be focusing on what could go wrong. As a HO, if someone doesn’t have reviews on the site yet, I’m likely to look not only at the references, but also for proof of real identity. (I know there are background checks, but that doesn’t feel like enough.) I will look at the Airbnb reviews if offered. I really appreciate linkedin for sitters. Links to reviews from paid sites are helpful to. And you probably do need to rehearse an answer that will be reassuring to the HO. If it is just a matter of getting site experience and reviews, be honest. Tell the HO that your motivated to do a great job because you want to use THS to go places, but you are trying now to go where the need is. Or if you need a little vacation from your own living situation – roommates, etc. Or to even explore another “local” place. Absolutely be prepared for the question. It’s very common.

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They asked and you gave an honest answer. How did they reply to this .
Were there more questions following it?

“Their questions felt increasingly more suspicious”

Not really. Honest answer would have been “I am trying to get reviews.”

The home owners may have sensed that.

@pietkuip my mistake , I thought she really did think …
" it looked like a wonderful opportunity to enjoy another aspect of the town I am new to, while enjoying some pet companionship."

And wasn’t only trying to get reviews

Probably not “only” but at least primarily.

A suitable answer would have been: “I am trying to get my first review and I chose your listing among the other ones in this city because your pet looks very cute.”

(Or whatever true reason, like: “your pet does not seem complicated to take care of,” or “your listing had enthusiastic reviews”, etc.)

Hi @ThePetCharmer I’ve been a sitter with TrustedHousesitters for nine years and I still take sits close to home, and do repeat sits for the hosts. In my case, in my application I address this point as I realize the hosts would wonder too.

You may want to take a look at this post. You can also search ‘local sits’ and find other posts on the topic.