Is it hard as an Homeowner to say no to an application?

There are undoubtedly many reasons why a HO don’t think someone is the right sitter for him. Five Great Danes, but the applicant is only 165cm(5’’5) tall and 80 years old. A profile full of dog photos but they search a cat sitter. I think we all agree that it is ok to say no. As sitter we do it every day in which we do not apply. But this is anonymous. You have to cancel in person and that is certainly not easy for some people

How do you feel if you have to decline?
Is it easy or hard for you?
Do you use standard copy-paste answers, or do you try to reject with a personal touch when possible?
Do you think it is ok not to answer or not necessary?

Let us Sitter and other Homeowner know what you think.

From a sitter’s perspective, even a simple copy/paste sentence in response would be better than nothing.
Pick on if you need one:

  • Thank you for your application, but unfortunately, you don’t fit into our house sitter profile. (Explanation would be nice, but it doesn’t have to be).

  • Unfortunately, we have chosen another sitter this time. But we would be happy if you would try it again next time.

  • Unfortunately, we have chosen another sitter this time. Can we contact you directly about THS at the next appointment?


Yes it is hard to decline, except when people want to bring their dog , several kids or If they do not speak french, although you had precised it was a “must” !

The sitter has no references at all or bad feed backs ? Being an anxious owner, who faced problems in the past with a non experienced sitter, I explain I do prefer more experienced ones

I don’t give always the real reason why a person “did not fit into my sitter profile” I just thank him/her to have applied

I never wrote I would "think of him/her in the future". I can’t make promises.
Some sitters thanked me to have replied and hoped I would contact them if I needed them later on

I NEVER used standard copy paste answers : I assume all applicants have written something personal. Took time.

As I never let the number of applicants grow, I did not need to use the group message thanking everybody (what I received as a sitter)

iT NEVER HAPPENED i did not answer

I’ve used the possibility of choosing privately among a list of sitters living near by when I was searchings sitters for a few days
it may sound weird but I was not often lucky, few answered and many negatively ! Although dates seemed to match…
My post was 2850 long, obliged to cut it !


Thank you Provence.
Wish they all had the same attitude as yourself and your hubbie.
And is your hubbie like mine steps up when they think somethings not right here?


My husband relies on me as he can’t " feel" the HO or sitters as he does not speak english…


Think personal not to hold on to much.
As of today we had 2 further sits.
They Haven’t told us yes or no.
Only 1 opened there message 2 days after we agreed.
We would be fined for crossing the border
100 euros each and another 100s each on the way back
Other 1 has got a sitter now
No reply to us.
What a waste of time
400 euros fine plus toll Bridge.
Fuel etc
Best to tell the truth ,hard or not.

On my first listing, I found it very hard to say no. I kept too many people on the short list. I would give updates and was always in contact with them, so that they were not being ignored. I learned quickly that this was not good and ended up giving false hope. So when I ultimately did say no, it caused more upset. In the second sit, I tried to give personal rejection messages, explaining why I had chosen another person. But I found that people were sometimes offended by this. I was shocked by some of the replies I got. From that sit onwards, I’ve used a polite but general “i have chosen another sitter” or “I don’t think we are a good match” email. I reply to everyone. I try to do this as quickly as possible. I do not say that I will contact them in the future. Sometimes (rarely, but, it does happen) a sitter will send a rude or hostile reply to my rejection. One example from a rejected sitter: “I don’t know how you can have found a person better than me”. I find that a very rapid reply actually increases the % of hostile messages. I have found that the polite-but-general reply is better than the personal reply.


It’s amazing sitters find you rude when you take time to decline, and explain your choice.
I faced myself a sitter furious because i had made my choice the day i published my ad.
On this forum you see many sitters complaining about owners’ attitude (no answer, no feed back) but few measure how difficult it is to behave perfectly.

How can we say no without humiliate or upset sitters ? Hard to find a perfect solution


Thanks @gerrym, for showing us the other side from a view of an HO. I always find it amazing how sitters assume they are the perfect sitter for someone. There are so many factors that make a sitter the best or worst candidate.

I just imagine I would be invited from HO without an application from me, then I refuse, and afterwards, I get rude emails. And they complain about how I can so dare to decline, although they are the perfect HO, have the best house ever, and the ideal pets. I would already be upset.

I always appreciate good communication, even if it is a cancellation. A simple sentence like “Thank you for your application, but unfortunately, you don’t fit into our house sitter profile” would be enough.


Yes sometimes it is hard to say no, especially when there are a number of great applicants. But we can only select one! However i usually respond to everyone initially and say I will be deciding in a couple of days. That way people are not waiting too long. Generally everyone is polite. However I have had a few sitters respond abruptly when they were not selected, so wouldn’t entertain them for any future sittings.


Corrine, we must say that we appreciate it when homeowners let us know that they are reviewing applications. We’re patient and understand that a good review of each application will take some time. The acknowledgement on the HO’s side that they’ve received our application and will be in touch soon is reassuring. So, thank you! :grinning:

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Gerrym - Wow, it’s such a shame that someone would respond negatively. However, they certainly reinforce your decision not to pick them when they respond like that.

We’ve had many instances where we apply for a house sit that looks like we’d be a great fit but after talking to the homeowners we realize we aren’t the best sitters for the job. On the other hand, we’ve also applied for sits, not been chosen but respond kindly to the homeowners and asked that they please consider us if anything changes or for future opportunities. Sometimes nothing comes of it, but we’ve had several occasions where the HO reaches out to us at a future date and we’re able to sit for them. In fact, we’ve become on-going friends with the homeowners in most of those situations.

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I always thank owners to let me know they are still in the process of selection or they selected somebody else. Elementary politeness