New sitter seeking advice

Hello Everyone! First post for me.
First after using couch surfing, Airbnb from the first year of their existence, I am really happy to have found TS!
I am on my second sit, and yesterday also got a video call for another sit later this winter…
.the post doesn’t have a lot of pictures attached to it and no indication on where I will be sleeping.
I am unsure about the whole thing and it’s a pretty lengthy one ( 1month)…
The sit will start only in 2month from now… what will be the consequences for me to cancel it. I read that I will have to be investigated?..
I am just unsure, feeling uneasy for some reason…

I will be happy to get some advice and help about cancellation… thanks!

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Hi there

Welcome to THS and lots of great adventures ahead.

Based on what you wrote, it sounds like you didn’t actually accept the sit but just did a call for it? If you are feeling apprehensive strictly because of the lack of photos, you can ask the homeowner to upload some to the listing or send them to you privately. They are supposed to provide interior photos of the spaces sitters will be using, and it is not unreasonable for a sitter to want to see what their living space will be like.

There have been a couple of instances where I took sits that were really appealing for one reason or another without seeing a lot of interior photos; but I felt confident because prior sitter’s reviews noted things about the decor being nice, it being very clean,etc… It is also an intuitive thing that gets honed after doing this for so long. And the places were always great. But generally speaking, I don’t apply to sits where there aren’t photos of the living spaces.

There is talk of THS monitoring cancellations, but I recall one of the moderators on here recently stating that a HO has to notify THS of the cancellation, which means that there isn’t some system in place where cancelled sits get reported automatically and ‘investigated.’ I imagine if a sitter gets ‘reported’ numerous times for cancelling, they then take a closer look at their activity,etc…

Are there other reasons you don’t feel comfortable doing the sit? Or is it just the photos, which can easily be rectified by asking for some? If there are other things that feel off, you can certainly cancel if you have already accepted; but generally speaking, once a person commits to a sit, they should only cancel if they truly can’t do it or things come to light after accepting, like the HO making major changes to the scope of the assignment that are not acceptable to the sitter, and they would not have agreed to originally.

But ultimately you can do whatever you want and give whatever reason you want…no one can force sitters not to cancel. If you are new to this, there can be a bit of a learning curve. Choose sits carefully and trust your instinct. You don’t want to go into this thinking you always have cancellation as some sort of ‘back up’ should you change your mind, something better comes along,etc…

My best advice for choosing sits is considering what the day to day experience will be like. You want to consider the location, various elements of the home, the types of animals and their routine, the various responsibilities, and how all that gels with your personality, preferences skills,etc…because that is going to be the biggest determinant of whether you truly enjoy the experience.

It is all too easy to just focus on the location, the convenience of a sit fitting into your schedule, a house having really great amenities and the like, and people end up doing sits that aren’t a good fit for them.

The most important thing I have learnt through all my years of full-time house-sitting is… follow your gut instinct, it generally isn’t wrong, always do what is right for YOU! (unless of course you have already accepted a sit, then you need a really legitimate reason for cancelling). Best of luck going forward :australia:

Yes it is really more of a feeling than anything else tbh

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I totally hear you… it’s more a guy feeling I guess as it will be for more than a month I want to be sure I feel comfortable in their house…
The pet situation seems good so that is a good thing…
I did a video call with them after doing a phone call with earlier and I accepted only last night so I am less than 24h after I accepted.
I am pretty bad at asking questions… I always feel afraid to sound rude.
Should I say something like " I didn’t get a chance to see the house in general. Would you mind sending a video tour of the place, and where I will stay?"

If I cancel, I should still be able to apply for another one ?
Thanks again!

You can ask for more photos for sure, it’s not rude it’s essential. Bedroom and bathroom and living space all good. Do it soon as THS etiquette is once you’ve confirmed you shouldn’t cancel a sit unless it’s an emergency. And if you do, the HO has to do it, us sitters can’t do it. So speed is your friend @NBO - and :100: trust your gut :raised_hands:t3:

The thing about sitting via THS, the dynamic is one of equality. You sound timid about asking questions during what’s supposed to be a mutual interview, and that does a disservice to you and the HOs.

For example, if you’d asked more questions and taken time to consider the sit if you had a bad gut feeling or doubts, rather than accepting, you would’ve saved yourself grief and the HOs from thinking they’d landed a committed sitter. Do yourself a favor and reset your approach for the future.

With this sit, I suggest you follow up ASAP with the HOs and say you’re having second thoughts about the sit, because you don’t have confidence about X. If they’re the right kind of HOs for you, they’ll probably work with you to address your concerns. Otherwise, they’ll probably cancel the sit themselves. And if they don’t, you can still cancel, though that’s typically poor form. Ultimately, trust your gut.

Sitting involves various unknowns and challenges, as well as rewards. Folks who feel like equals — who don’t consider it an imposition to ask reasonable questions — will tend to fare better.

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Hi, Thanks for your response. I appreciate it. I appreciate your thoughtful perspective on sitting via THS, and I understand where you’re coming from. It’s true that for some individuals, asking questions or expressing doubts can be challenging, and it doesn’t necessarily mean they lack confidence or commitment. Human nature varies, and not everyone finds it easy to put themselves first or voice their concerns right away. I should have not clicked on accepted after the video call when I received the offer right away and waited for receiving my answers… This is certainly my fault and I will learn from it from now on. :slight_smile:

Welcome! @NBO
Don’t be too hard on yourself. It all comes with experience. Unless there are other issues you are concerned about, I’d simply ask for pictures of where you’ll be staying-bedroom, bathroom. It might be perfectly acceptable and cause you no concern.

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I agree with @Danandnan . You’re just starting out, give yourself a break. It’s a learning process. I would contact the owners but do not say you are having second thoughts. Tell them you forgot to ask for pictures of the spaces you’ll be using, the bedroom, the bathroom, Including a shower if you want one, the kitchen, if it has not already been posted. Then see how you feel about the sit. You may be thrilled with it. Will you be their first sitters? If not, have other sitters commented on the accommodations? Maybe they have said some nice things in their reviews. And are you looking forward to spending time with their pets? This also bodes well for a nice experience.

Thanks to both of you, @Danandnan and @mars . This is their first sitting, so I’ve been extra cautious since I can’t rely on previous reviews. Anyway, it’s all sorted now. I asked for pictures, and I may even meet them ahead of time, so I’m at ease. Thanks for the onboarding advice, everyone! I appreciate it."

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Has the HO used THS before? Do they have sitter reviews? Check those out. The way you are asking for the video of the house is perfectly fine and respectful. If any thing you can say its because its a long sit. Good luck!

no no reviews, their first time.

As you start doing more sits, you will gain all sorts of valuable experience. You will get a better sense of your preferences, you will get more comfortable asking questions, you will get a better sense of what questions need to be asked

. Our human nature of not wanting to offend people, not wanting to hurt feelings, fear of misunderstanding,etc…can make this exchange tricky sometimes. But the more you get comfortable trusting your gut, the more clear you get on your preferences, you dramatically increase your chances of aligning with the right matches, the sits that will be best for you, and the experience will be a generally very positive one.

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I appreciate every single one of you to give me your advices and for cheering me up!
Thanks everyone!

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Something to remember is that this is your holiday and you deserve it to be the best holiday for you! Asking questions is such an important part of this :wink:

@STH holiday???

Sitting is a lifestyle @STH - not a holiday. We’ve just finished our 32nd sit which was a month on the tropical island of Koh Tao, Thailand. Jammy choice? Yes. Beaches? Yes. Sunshine? Yes Holiday? No. Two dogs who need three walks a day, four meals, a lot of love, a few meds and playtime plus a house to take care of. For your best holiday ever as per your advice to @NBO - take one with ZERO responsibilities :raised_hands:t3:

Hi @ziggy — yes, wonderful holidays.

The copy on the THS website is: “Sitters exchange their time, care and expertise for interesting homestays and unique travel experiences.” — whether you do this one week a year or full-time is up to each person individually :wink:

@Cuttlefish It’s wonderful you’ve chosen sitting as a lifestyle. I approach it somewhat differently When I have holiday dates in mind, I look on THS first. I look for healthy, unmedicated pets who require walking, feeding, loving & play, as well as a house with a back garden or outside space, and a car. If I don’t find that, I book accommodation on Booking or airbnb. That’s just the way I use the site, and sometimes I don’t find anything on THS that suits my requirements, and that’s ok for me.

I love where I live, so I use THS for holidays & unique short-term travel experiences.

Best wishes to you both, Stephanie

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Good on you @STH - I can see from your other posts that you’ve been doing this a long time so know exactly what you want and how to make the THs system work for you. Enjoy it all! :raised_hands:t3:

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