What is a reasonable amount of time to hear from HO about a sit

I’m new to THS and am starting to apply for sits as we will be traveling from the US and applying for sits in Europe. We already have one scheduled for the Christmas/New Years holiday and should have another one scheduled for September confirmed by the end of the week.
My question is this. How long is a reasonable amount of time to expect a HO to respond to and application. Even if they haven’t made a decision, just touching bases and letting you know some kind of timeframe they are looking at to make a decision. When should I give up on a sit and pursue other options?
Also, when canceling an application, should you give a message explaining why you pulled your application or is that necessary?

Hi @Danandnan,

On behalf of the forum team, a warm welcome to the TrustedHousesitter’s community. Congratulations on already getting some great holiday sits booked! In regards to your question there has been a very long discussion about that exact topic here that may help inform you.

As someone that is a HO and has been a sitter I have found that if a applicant messages me to kindly remind me they have been waiting a reply to their application (I respond well to that). If you need to decline an application for any reason I do find it courteous to send a message as to why you are pulling your application but it is certainly not necessary.

One a separate note, as you cannot share a link to your listing in this post, do share a link to your listing on your forum profile for a bit of extra exposure. But the main website is where ALL our members will see your opportunity and be able to apply and message with you.

If at any time you need any help don’t hesitate to reach out to our community here which is full of helpful members who have been through the process themselves and will happily give advice and guidance. And don’t forget our membership support team are always on hand to give assistance.

All the very best,

Kelly & the Forum Team


Welcome to the forum, Dan!

While we all would love it if home owners (and sitters) responded within 24 hours, it just doesn’t always happen that way. How long to wait depends mainly on you - how much you want the sit, how many other sitters have applied for the same sit, have they read your application yet, how many other sits you have applied for the same time period, and whatever other time constraints you might have.

When we are needing a response more quickly, we sometimes send a second (friendly and polite) message asking if we are in the running because we are anxious to secure a sit for this time period and may (or already have) applied for other sits.

When we have had no response, I always leave a brief message before I cancel my application. I say something like, we haven’t heard from you so assume you’ve already found someone suitable, or we tell them we have just secured another sit or whatever. Keep it polite but brief. Maybe you’ll want to apply to them again some day.


Thank you! I’ve been a little hesitant to apply for more than one at a time since I’m just starting out. I’ll keep that in mind about my responses to HO. What prompted the question was I’m a week out without having heard anything on one sit but I’d heard from others much quicker.

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Thank you! I’ll keep that in mind when I need to cancel an application.

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If we’re not in a rush and we really want a sit, we only apply for one at a time.

But if we are short on time and there are multiple equally good sits, we will sometimes apply for more than one.

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As a person needing a sitter I always reply straight away, as soon as I receive the e mail
Don’t like to mess people about


In your first contact, do you just say you are looking at the applications and will get back to them within x days, or do you automatically interview the first person to apply?

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Hello @Danandnan and welcome to the forum. Having now been on the forum for some time, I’ve seen variations of your question. Having just searched with the magnifying glass (using key words time to respond), I’ll add a few here for you to review:

Unread applications and non-responses (305 responses)

Responding to sitter applications (76 responses)

How quick would you expect a reply from a sitter? (26 replies)

What this tells me is the range of answers to your questions is extensive and they are as varied as the circumstances of each member.

I’ll give my personal opinion on your final question. I always think a response is courteous. If you think the reason might help the owner improve the way they manage their listing, then mention it, in a polite way. Otherwise, a simple message is sufficient. Remember, you may want to be considered by them at a future date. :wink:

Volunteer Forum Moderator :canada:

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Hello and welcome. There’s no hard and fast rule but from all the sits we’ve applied for, the ones we’ve secured have always replied within 48 hours on the whole. One was a bit more but anything over two weeks & we send a polite “are you still looking or have you found someone to help” and then cancel the application if we don’t hear back. Applying for multiple sits is a good plan if you’re keen to fill your diary, just keep a good track of them :+1::grin: Best of luck

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Thank you for the information!

I think my experience repeats what you have already heard, but FWIW here is some nuance. First off, response time really varies. Some host-listings reply almost immediately or within 48 hours, the majority of others do not reply in a timely manner or at all. I also find that the ones who reply right away are the ones who are seriously interested in booking me as their sitter.

I think there may be a lot of host-listings that are just testing the waters and aren’t really ready to commit to their dates or a sitter. I think others don’t see a need to reply at all if they have the applicants they need, and they haven’t bothered to close the listing. Personally I think that is a bit foolish as far as burning bridges. Indeed some of those no-replies message me much later to say their sitter backed out and asking if am I still interested. For me, it leaves a bad taste to have been ignored and unless I am REALLY wanting those dates and location, I pass.

When I do pull my application, I am courteous but always say why. (e.g. I am withdrawing my application as I have found another sit for these dates.) A few times, after that, I get a nice message back saying something along the lines of, “Sorry it took me so long. Your application looks great. Hope we can explore something another time.”