Sitters: How soon in advance…

I will plan to reach out to others if I don’t get any applications this weekend. I want to give it time, but also don’t want to wait forever in case I need a back up plan… really hoping not.

Thanks! I am using all your suggestions :slight_smile: I have 11 saves currently and will boost this weekend if I don’t get any applications. I also noticed low applications for other house sits. Too bad because Grand Rapids is an amazing place in the spring/summer.

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@AmyNJoe wait, what? Does the app not automatically update a sitter’s availability calendar once a sit has been confirmed?
When I view our own profile our calendar shows when we’re on sits / unavailable. Is this not what an owner sees if looking for sitters?
Do sitters have to manually block out dates?
If that’s the case how stupid is that?! Definitely something TH needs to sort out.

From what I can tell, the ONLY time the app updates automatically is when a sitter is confirmed for a sit on THS. But if the sitter is traveling on vacation, if the sitter is unavailable because of school, work, health or jobs through another site, then obviously their calendar shows available unless they manually change it to Unavailable.

There are 3 options on the calendar:

  1. Green means the sitter has actually input to their calendar that they are available on certain dates.

  2. Slash lines through dates means the sitter is unavailable. This happens automatically when a sitter is confirmed. (I don’t know if they have the option to slash out other dates for which they simply are unavailable.)

  3. White is the default and the search engine interprets anything that is not slashed out as available.

Therefore, if you search certain dates for a certain place, ALL sitters show up as available unless they have slashed dates.

When we contacted about 30 sitters in the search results, almost all said they were either on another sit or traveling, or for whatever reason they were unavailable. One said they were unavailable because they had day jobs and needed the sits to be very close to their home. NONE replied that they were avaialble to sit.

Seems it would be best to make the default white mean UNAVAILABLE, and there would be slashes if they were on a confirmed THS sit and if they wanted to sit, they’d need to make the effort to enter green. This way, the search engine would only truly find sitters who made the effort to enter their available dates. (It also would be great if sitters could slash out all dates for which they are unavailable whether for a THS sit or another personal reason. I don’t know if that is possible.)

Therefore, the only dates to trust at this point are the slashed dates which we know means they are unavailable. But the search engine won’t give this result.

I just know the online availability calendar is worthless for finding a sitter.

@mrscodoma Your sit is only in May, there’s still lots of time. Wait for the right sitter, you still have time!


Agreed. I’m a planner/home-owner so I know how you feel - I want everything organised! But you do have time just yet. Lola looks very cute & easy to look after, the area looks fab - and no need of a car is fantastic bonus.

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Haha I know it’s a couple months away but I would imagine sitters appreciate time to buy a plane ticket if needed, etc. I also need to find an alternate plan soon enough. We can definitely spot the planners :slight_smile:

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We used to be meticulous planners, and still are if circumstances allow! But our current route has barely any housesits listed and my saved searches for the rest of the year brings up nothing at all! It just means some of us have learned that careful planning is nice, but not always possible. We often found those sits that are arranged 6+ months is advance are the most likely to get canceled (happened on 3 occasions in the last year). And more exciting, there are often fantastic sits that only get listed a few weeks in advance. If you’re booked months in advance, you sometimes feel disappointed that those last minute sits are so enticing but off-limits! This is of course great if you have a gap in your schedule.

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Good to know. I also want to post a sit for October, but waiting to see how this one pans out. Sounds like it’s too early anyway.

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@mrscodoma I am guessing that most sitters coming to your location would be driving so please give it time. Many sitters are waiting until closer to time due to so many extenuating circumstances, including the Flu right now. Terrible to have to be so concerned about it, but that is the nature of the beast in these times.

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Hi @mrscodoma. I see you have 2 applicants! If those don’t pan out and you want more feedback, just reply again.

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Yes I just got a second application that can do partial dates so I am considering it and separate it to 2 sits.

The first applicant is the one who applied and we set up a time to meet, then was never contact and they haven’t responded since. It was very strange.

Thanks for the follow up! :slight_smile:

@mrscodoma: Well, now I see you’re up to 4! :grin:

Couple notes:

  • When you hit 5 applicants, your listing will automatically pause. If that happens, you can unpause it. Search TH help for more info.
  • If an applicant doesn’t seem like a good fit—including not communicating—then you can decline them.
    • It’s always nice to send a message right before/after declining them. Sometimes people mean well but life intervenes. I’ve also had TH Inbox hiccups, where I thought I sent a message but it didn’t go through. Then I’m waiting for them and they’re still waiting for me.
    • For anyone in your inbox, you can always message each other again. So the declined applicant can still reach you, and even re-apply.
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yes so exciting! The outreach this weekend helped. I definitely need to decline a couple of these sitters due to non-response or no longer able to pursue. Thanks for the info, it’s super helpful.

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Thanks all for the input and support! Interviewed and have a sitter set. It is one that liked my listing and I reached out for anyone else who is in this situation. So glad I did that :slight_smile:


Yes we’re in the same boat not had any replies. We posted some before with months to spare and had loads of replies but as this is within around 6 weeks perhaps too late??? Good luck

Your sit looks lovely & the title is fab! Only sorry we don’t sit in the UK. Am sure you’ll get some applications soon. THS might be able to put it on social for you?? Worth an ask. Best of luck :crossed_fingers:

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NOT too late, but feels very stressful. We got great replies and remember…it only takes one.

We learned, however, not to wait for a few to choose from as we did at the start. When someone applies, if they look good, we interview. IF they are good after the interview, we offer the position. Sure someone sounding “better” might come along, but keep in mind: 1. you might not get others and the one might get another opportunity 2. you can only gain so much from the reviews, etc, and the one sitter might be great.

After this post, we got the reviews in order. We also gave the possibility of our car. We patiently (read: nervously) and did get four applicants. Two needed to wait for their parents’ /current homeowners plans which we think meant they were waiting to hear about other sits they wanted more). Then within 24 hours, we got two applicants and set zoom meets. One sounded fantastic but needed our car (but she said only to get groceries and take cat to vet if needed. She said she planned to mostly stay at the house, work virtually, read, and chill with Luna.). The other couple did not need our car and so we went with them. Had the couple not applied, we’d have happily offered the spot to the woman.

I don’t really have a backup plan if we don’t get sitters…we always have and they have all been great, so far.