Would HO's be ok with a note saying "you're on our radar for your sit" but unable to commit to the sit at that time?

Since communication between HO and HS can only be done through an application (for a new sit, I know once we have communicated in the past we can continue), would it be OK to “apply” (since it’s the only way to send a note) saying “we are interested but have details we need to work out and have some questions as well”?
I find that I’m interested in some sits but there can be a lot of research on our end that goes into the travel, lodging (before or after), cost of travel, cost of a rental car if needed, etc and I would like to be among the first to say “hello, we are interested” and then proceed to investigate if they respond.
We recently applied for a sit that required a lot of digging on our end for airfares, flight availability, car rental costs, lodging before and after affordability, etc. We spent a few days after applying trying to see how to make it work (it was quite complicated but we were very interested in the sit). The HO was interested and asked for a video call (this is when we did all the research) and we were excited and then we never heard from them despite telling them we were flexible with the video call date and time.

So, what I’m wondering is; would HO’s be offended if we “applied” sending a note saying “we are interested and if you are too, we will look into the feasibility to make it work” and to ask more questions if some details are left out of the posting. I mean, sometimes we are applying without a ton of information provided on the listing but I hate to apply and then rescind, so a “contact homeowner” without actually applying seems like a function that would help. No?
I do wish there was a way to communicate without applying as there is on Airbnb and Tripadvisor.

Thoughts?
Thank you!

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To me it is no problem if the sitter withdraws the application, because some things don’t work out.
I just recently received an application from an American couple traveling Europe. I asked how flexible they could be and if they might be able to stay longer when necessary (Covid-19, war in Ukraine …one never knows nowadays).
They said they weren’t very flexible, because our sit would be the last of their 90 days period in Europe and they didn’t want to have to exceed it, which is absolutely understandable. They withdrew their application and I was fine with it.
So sometimes the picture becomes clearer only after the application is sent, but as I don’t see it at an obligation at this stage, and with a bit of conversation, both sides should be able to withdraw or decline without bad feelings. I actually don’t see that much difference between an application and a message.

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The application is an expression of interest, not a hard & fast contract. You can ask as many questions as you like in writing & via video to help you & the HO decide if you are a good fit for each other, neither of you are obliged to agree to the sit at that stage.

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We would rather do a quick check of the associated travel costs before applying and HOs might prefer someone who can confirm their availability rather quickly (we usually apply, chat and confirm within a few days at most). But I doubt that HOs would be offended, it’s perfectly reasonable to have questions and not to commit immediately.

We have just applied for a sit a couple of days ago. That went the other way. The almost instant reply was thank you for your application but our dates are not firmed up yet. We will keep you in mind but don’t worry if you find another sit in the meantime. Ok, it was over the Christmas period but why do a listing so early if you aren’t even sure your going?
My applications are all one offs and it takes me at least an hour to get it right. That was a waste of my time and hers.

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That’s interesting. On Nomador there is a notification on the listing if their dates are flexible (but not if they are unconfirmed).
We had a situation where we applied and they changed the dates and asked if we were still interested. We were, then they said they’d call and never did.
Yeah, so I don’t want to waste anyone’s time either but understand that people make tentative plans and try to get all their ducks in a row as best they can.
Maybe those people were in the boat of “well, we’d like to go and if we do, will we find a sitter easily or not?” - I’d hate to book flights or hotels not knowing if I’ll find a sitter, I guess. Lot’s of things on both sides can be contingent on a number of factors, I guess.
Just makes it tricky if lots of planning needs to happen (flights, trains, hotels, etc).

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We had a confirmed sit on another platform that had been confirmed 2 years ago and then shelved because of covid. We reconnected this year and are now doing the sit, signed contracts, everything. However the HO said after this that they wanted to list the sit anyway to see what kind of interest they might get since Covid. So a definite testing of the waters in this case.

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I’m a home owner who posted a sit nearly two weeks ago. I’d be thrilled for someone to express an interest :joy: but I think you should have a basic idea if it’s feasible first.

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Yes, we always do quick checks about the type of dogs, cats etc, the place, the transport links and costs. And we always have extra questions which are usually brought up at the first video meeting.
I like to be super organised. We roughly map out where we want to be and when then start to look for sits that match our criteria. It’s quite exciting when a perfect one comes up so I spend an inordinate ammout of time composing the initial contact. It’s just so frustrating when that perfect sit ends up an “mmmmm, we might go but then again we might not”.
I have also seen sits I would love to do but can’t for one reason or another so I contact the pet owner and explain but keep me in mind if you want to go away another time. This is when the suggestion of dates and places that a sitter wants to be would be extremely handy for pet owners who are flexible for when they go away. Something else that might be incorporated into the site.

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As a Ho I can’t see any reason to want to list a sit if I’ve already confirmed a sitter………

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Agree. It’s just wasting time and effort. And what new sitters go through to get sits is well documented on the forum. This just would add to their angst.

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I don’t see why not - as someone else mentioned, it opens the doors for communication vs. being a hard & fast commitment.

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That HO is a red flag for me. They choose you & then want to play the field. No thanks!

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When I say expression of interest, I mean that I have a high level of certainty that I want to do the sit but in discussions with the owner this might then be confirmed or might change depending on the finer details. There are always heaps of questions to be clarified between both parties before a sit is confirmed or we part ways and move on to the next one. HOs don’t always have all the necessary information in their listings and each sitter is different, hence the application is an expression of interest.

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