Maybe you could described in detail (bed-size is important) the guest room, guest bathroom and offer a video tour if they apply for the sit and do a video chat.
Homes go up for sale all the time and the real estate agent will post very publicly all the rooms etc so I am not sure about why the privacy concern.
Many sitters will not even apply if they don’t see where they will be sleeping, so your sitting pool will be limited. From what I understand there are more HO looking for sitters than available sitters post Covid travel, so it is risky for you not to offer more details.
@Shirl while it’s understandable about your concerns of privacy, perhaps just show the location/bathroom the sitter is expected to use. It’s unnecessary for any other bath/bedrooms that you haven’t already included. Think about it from your own point of view if you were renting a vacation home or booking a reservation for a hotel room…wouldn’t you want to know in advance if the bed was sufficient for your needs. That being said, I’ve noticed a few great listings that didn’t show a bed, and after much consideration and reading numerous positive reviews, I’ve applied. At the end of the day, we all simply want to trust that the homeowner has our best interest at heart, in getting restful sleep. I’m sure your home is lovely-best of luck finding your next sitter!
Hi @Shirl it’s certainly your prerogative to not show photos of the sitters bedroom and bathroom but be aware you will really limit yourself as good sitters will just bypass your listing. There are so many available sits right now that sitters can be very selective about the ones they apply for.
I certainly prepare the bed with fresh linens, lay out towels for the sitters and prepare a welcome basket. I wash as much as possible that the laundry bins are empty.
I remove a lot of things, like clearing out the bedside table and most of the personal stuff in the bathroom, I clear drawers and hanging space, and all of this is really A LOT OF WORK right before I leave for a holiday. Don’t underestimate this. If someone doesn’t like to look at pictures, they can put them somewhere else while I am away. As long as they are back to their original place, I am ok with that.
It’s simply not possible to remove all personal stuff, I also think this isn’t necessary and so far nobody has complained. My house looks exactly like in the pictures so if someone finds it too cluttered then he shouldn’t apply.
It’s not necessary to remove personal stuff. We are going to a home that’s lived in, not one that is for sale. I love seeing people’s photos, beloved possessions, things that express their interests. Who wants a sterile place? Not me.
That’s also my understanding of inviting someone to my home. I answered the suggestion of creating a „neutral“ bedroom and that this is easy to do. No, it’s not. It’s a lot of work and I don’t see why I should do it myself.
As a sitter I always want to see the bedroom and bathroom we would be using. If the pictures are not shown we always ask to see them. Maybe the bed is too small or the room too messy looking etc- who knows?! If I can see the bed is small I can ask if there is a second one available for our use. Sometimes there is only a bath when we would prefer a shower etc. Pictures can often say more than words.
If a host has great feedback and the house looks great I will still ask for bedroom/bathroom pics. But if there is no feedback & not enough pics then I will just scroll on…
For us its not only about the pets!- although they, ofcourse, get our 100% attention and love, whatever the circumstances… but it is also our life-time we offer our hosts and we want to know we will be comfortable and can enjoy our time in their home!
Also if any HOs are reading this… Screenshots appear, at best, a quarter of the size that original photos would be displayed. So originals might as well be uploaded. If you are taking the screenshots from another website, and not the gallery in your phone, please download the photos first, then sitters can see them full size. Thanks.
We have been doing Trusted for almost 7 years now and always understood that in the listings there SHOULD be pictures of where you will be living.
I have noticed now that this isn’t the case - a lot of listings just show the house and nothing else. We recently did a sit where there weren’t a lot of pictures and lets just say, the house wasn’t very clean or well kept.
I thought it was a condition that potential people looking for housesitters HAD to include pictures of the accommodation?
Hello @Fionabarton1970 I have been a sitter with TrustedHousesitters for about the same length of time as you. I well remember that many listings in the past did not have as many photos as most do now.
The stricter requirements for photos required is a more recent change. This screening is currently routinely done for new member owners. However, those listings before this change came into effect may still have less. Also keep in mind that photos can be changed out at any time.
If you see a listing that does not meet the current standards, you may direct message any moderator on the forum and they will follow up. Or you can direct message me and I will pass the information along.
Also keep in mind that any sitter is well within their rights to ask for photos of any areas, or any other information needed, before agreeing to a sit.
@Shirl As a sitter, I appreciate this completely. I wouldn’t necessarily feel comfortable putting up pictures of my rooms online either. Yes, the sitter will be staying in the house, but to have your house pictures on a public domain does seem rather invasive. I’ve never really considered this before. I think @Ketch’s advice is spot on.
Photos don’t always tell the full story. I housesat a B+B last year. The photos looked lovely and the B+B got good reviews. I didn’t have the opportunity to visit all the rooms when I met the owners prior to the sit but all seemed good. I soon discovered that there was oil all over the kitchen (presumably from fried breakfasts), mice in the basement and I won’t even tell you about the toilets. Needless to say, it was filthy, despite the great first impression!
The issue I have with there not being photos of ALL the living spaces the sitter will use and instead having to ask for that is that we CANNOT contact the HO without applying! This makes me crazy. I am not sure I want to apply YET. There is not enough information!
So to force me to apply when all I want is more information is frustrating.
Unless THS adds a “contact owner” link like airbnb does, then HO’s really really need to provide the maximum amount of info so people aren’t applying simply to ask for more information thereby creating false applications!
I agree. When I first joined, I read a ton of comments about sitters needing photos of the living and sleeping spaces. It took me looking at a few hundred sit options to understand what the fuss was about. Since there are 2 of us sitting, I definitely need a queen sized (160/200cm) bed. A lot of times, the photos are vague enough to leave us guessing if it is a full or larger. We also won’t do sits with a pullout couch because they just aren’t comfortable enough. So rather than apply and ask about it, we just skip those postings.
I’m a HO. I live in a 2 bed terraced house and when I’ve had single people come to HS then I’ve given them the spare room which has a pull out sofa bed and doubles as my home office. @Snowbird suggested I needed photos of the bathroom so I’ve included some and will update them again. My last sit was a couple and after discussions on here I felt it appropriate to offer my own bed. So instead of storing stuff in my bedroom as usual, I had to make both of my bedrooms presentable with fresh linen on both beds. On top of cleaning that was around 3 days work spread over 10 days. That’s a lot of work for one week away. And I still don’t know which room they stayed in! Plus they brought their own bed linen which I hadn’t expected (I actually bought some new sheets) so I ended up with a lot of washing because I had no idea what had or had not been used.
So yes it’s a ton of work and yes you have photos of my whole house, nothing is private anymore (I have photos of my bedroom to upload now, once the internet cooperates). My sitters were new and in spite of me saying you don’t need to bring your bed linen they did. I need to make sure with future sitters we are completely clear about where they want to sleep and what they do and don’t bring. I appreciate if you’re a couple you may want separate rooms but do bear in mind some of us only have 2 bedrooms to start with.
As a sitter who has now also become a home owner it’s only now that I appreciate just how much work there is in preparing for a sitter. I only have one bedroom so it involves a lot of clearing out and logistical planning to prepare for a sitter. I sleep on the sofa if there is an overlap night and give the sitter my bedroom.
As a solo sitter I have slept on pull out beds many times, and even on sofas. It would never have occurred to me, before reading this thread, that 2 rooms or large beds would be expected by couples. I also must remember to check with future sitters to see if they are bringing their own bed linen.
Maybe next time you could clarify with the sitters what beds they need and then you would know what laundry will need to be done.
Like many things on this forum, it’s a real eye opener!
@Joandacat I completely feel for you regarding the bed linen issue. I leave a detailed note at the end of our sit about what has been cleaned vs. used. Well, we clean everything we use, but sometimes we don’t use a duvet and would fold up and put it away, and then there is also no need to wash it. I hate the thought of running something through another cycle if it’s already clean, it’s a waste of water and energy. And the fact that you bought unnecessary linen is also quite an upsetting thought to a frugal person!
I guess there is always opportunity for improved communications from both sides. Also, I guess you could have asked them about which sheets have been cleaned after you returned. That would have been a perfectly acceptable question if you were uncertain. Or next time, make sure to write “please clean (or at least strip) all used bedlinen on the last day”.