When Owners "Suddenly" Remove The Listing Right After You Apply

Over the four and a half years I’ve been housesitting, I’ve had two or three instances where I received notification of a new housesitting opportunity. I apply for it, and immediately the owner removes it. In each instance, the owner never bothered responding to my application. At the time I applied, at least on two occasions, the applicants showed 0-3 had applied.

Has anyone else had this experience? What are your thoughts? How do you feel when this happens to you?

~ Curious

Yes, I was wondering too and asked the same question a while ago.

It seems that this occurs when owners are asking repeat sitters to come back. They put the ad on THS, send a message to the previous sitters and as soon as they accept, the ad is gone.

I had the case with 2 repeat sits, it was all done in 5 minutes.


This happened to me recently, I didn’t even get a quick note to say thanks for applying we have changed our minds etc and there was 0-3 applicants. It was a local sit and I just wont apply again.
I had another one that I applied for in Montana, it still shows on my dashboard as applied but when I select view listing it says currently no sitter needed. I didn’t get a declined notification or a message from the HO.
There are similar topics to this one in the forum, it seems most HO’s don’t have the time to reply to all applicants.
My take from reading the comments are, sitters are to apply to many and move onto the next, don’t get high hopes on one particular sit.

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Being a sitter, I am not sure what the HO sees on screen, but I know I have done several repeat sits where the Ho has listed the sit “publicly” for me to apply, after contacting me, so it has only been listed for minutes.

When I have next been offered the repeat sit I have mentioned to the HO about the option to list without making it public(so as not to get any applications) and they have been surprised, but have managed to do it, so maybe it is not so obvious a thing to do. Maybe just be the location of the “button”, or maybe a relatively new option.


Don’t take it personally. They are probably decisive people who either accepted the first sitter who applied or got an ok from a previous sitter. I like people like that - no hanging around.
As already mentioned on numerous threads, some hosts don’t see the need to reply. They may be too busy or just don’t have the manners.


Same happened to us : for repeated sit, we agreed first and they published the dates so we applied in the first minutes and they confirmed. Told them about this “private invitation” but they didn’'t find it…

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I recently had a bizarre experience. I applied for a one-month sit and about 5 minutes later got the “they’ve chosen you!” message. I’ve had HO make quick decisions, but never without a single word exchanged between us!

I sent them a message back with a few friendly words and questions, trying to establish dialog as I was genuinely interested in their sit. Within 5 minutes I got “sorry you weren’t successful this time!” still without a single word from the HO.

Their listing is still up, with no sitter needed at this time and no previous sitters showing – I have no idea whether someone else accepted the message-free invite within minutes of mine, whether they changed their mind about listing, whether they were just trying out the features and didn’t intend to list it . . . or what. Just so weird.

Hi @teddypdx sounds to me more like someone who is new to THS and is learning their way around the system. Did you notice whether there are any previous sits? If there weren’t, that’s my guess.

I applied on a sit a few months back and was shocked that my application was “confirmed” almost immediately. The homeowner didn’t even reply back to me via email. I then accepted the sit and sent her an email with some questions. It was great that the homeowner made such a quick decision and I thoroughly enjoyed the sit. She has had a few listings since and same thing - shortly after listing, the sit is removed so I think it may just come down to the fact that some homeowners make quick decisions!

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I appreciate everyone’s comments and perspectives. I’ve had repeat sits post an opportunity so that I could accept as well, but it didn’t occur to me how this would look/affect another sitter who saw the listing and applied. I haven’t discussed with my HOs if they replied to applicants other than me or how they handled the issue generally. I’m good to know that people are making sure to keep communications on the platform and not going offline, even for repeat sits.

Although this isn’t an issue that affects everyone, it would be interesting if THS could look into a way for HOs to contact a previous sitter first to see if they are available and interested in the sit before making the posting public. Maybe a drop-down of previous sitters that they can send a direct invite?

But since I don’t know how things work on the HO side of the platform there may already be such a feature but people aren’t aware of it.

Just a thought…

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The lack of replies doesn’t bother or concern me. :slight_smile:

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There is a way for homeowners to send private invitations to a sitter to do a sit without posting it for all. My homeowners have done that for repeat sits several times. They only contacted me ahead of time and we both agreed on the dates.

I got these instructions from member services.

“Owners can privately invite sitters to a sit through the inbox. When an owner is in a message with you, they will have the option to manage dates, or invite to private dates.

You can forward on these instructions to the owner, or have them reach out to us in Membership Services.

*Log in to your account
*Select your name in the top right corner (this will show as three lines on mobile/tablet)
*Select inbox from the drop-down menu
*Select the sitter’s name you wish to invite
*Select ‘invite to private dates’


I figured there probably was a way to send private invites; I just wasn’t sure. I maintain fairly regular contact with almost all my past HOs. I usually get a heads up when they need to book a sitter. I have several regular repeat with different HOs during the year.

I appreciate all the information and advice this post has generated and hope it helps some of the newer sitters navigate the platform more knowledgeably.


Yes I’ve had this experience several times and is just another example of rudeness

A large majority of HOs are not familiar with how to post private dates

We’ve had several HOs reach out to us directly via phone/text and first ask us if we are available, then quickly post the dates as public and approve us for the sit. Only one owner was familiar with the private dates option and invited us through that.

We were recently approved for a sit where we were the ones who asked the HO if we can watch the pets for a week and the HO wholeheartedly agreed, quickly created the listing and approved us.


Thank you @Southernsitter I’ll send these informations to the OH we are actually discuss with for a forthcoming sit.

UPDATE: The HO listing that prompted my original post here just contacted me. The HO generally apologized, saying they had to pause the listing within hours of posting it because they were overwhelmed with applications. It’s a gorgeous home in a stunning location, so I totally understand the interest. However, she wanted me to know that my application stood out and they felt I was a perfect fit!

She said their dates had changed a bit, and they may even have to cancel altogether, so if I couldn’t work with the new dates, she wanted me to know that she would consider me for a future sit. The original dates fell perfectly between two previously booked sits, which I mentioned in my application. The new dates may negatively impact my travel between sits, so I’m not sure I can accept it now. We agreed to connect again in a week when she has more info about their travel itinerary.

It’s a great feeling knowing that my application stood out among so many and that my housesitting experience, ratings and reviews made an impact. Also, I now know that HOs may pause or remove a posting for a LOT of reasons. It’s best to know that most times, it has nothing to do with you individually. As someone said early on in the comments: don’t take it personally.


I’ve had that experience too! It is odd when that happens but I’m sure it isn’t personal.

I recently paused a listing and was surpised to see the listing disappear. I had contacted all applicants to acknowlege their interest on receipt and let them know I needed a little time to review. With the listing “gone” I am concerned they may think the posting has been cancelled.
Should there be a distinction between postings that have been ‘paused’ and those that are cancelled/withdrawn? Maybe the paused ones are still visible but with a banner across it stating its on pause and not accepting any more applications…

Hi @Manunited pausing applications should not make the listing disappear, what is does is remove the dates so the listing is no longer live for those dates …

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