Your Cincinnati home is your haven, and it goes without saying that you wouldn’t trust it to just anyone. The last thing you want to worry about, whether you are away on vacation or out of town on business, is the safety of your home and everything in it that you hold dear.
So, what should you do when you’ve got the chance to head out on the trip of a lifetime (or at least a chance to visit relatives for the holidays) and don’t want to leave your home empty? The quick answer is hire a professional house sitter. But that’s sometimes easier said than done. Finding the right house sitter takes time, and a little patience, too.
Here’s tips from the team at Classic Living Homes on finding a house sitter you can trust. We’ve also included ways to make the process run smoothly, so you can relax while you’re away and return to a home that is the same as when you left it.
Enlist the neighbors
When it comes to finding a house sitter, your neighbors will probably have a wealth of information and advice. Ask them to recommend house sitters they’ve used in the past (and who you should avoid). Remember to get specific. Ask them how their house looked when they returned home and how the sitter kept them updated when they were away.
You could also use apps like nextdoor.com to find house sitters. Many neighbors post feedback and recommendations for house sitters on this site. Alternatively, sitters themselves will often post introductions and details on nextdoor.com about their experience and availability.
Use a housesitting service
There are a variety of online services and networks where you can find house sitters available in your area. Most of these websites also allow you to post a housesitting job and then choose from a pool of applicants who apply. one that comes
If you choose to go this route, make sure you use a reputable online service (not Craigslist, for example) and a house sitter with experience and many five-star reviews. Rover.com, for example, is a great website to find a sitter for your pets (whether overnight or once a day), but it’s also free to use for those without pets who are looking for a sitter.
Trustedhousesitter.com is also worth looking into for local, recommended Cincinnati house sitters. For a flat, yearly membership fee, you can list your home and a house sitter, looking for a place to stay in Cincinnati, will watch your home in exchange for lodging. This service, as well as Rover.com, perform background checks on all sitters and hosts.
We recommend interviewing a few house sitting candidates. Before you make your final decision, ask for and check their references. Any reputable house sitter would be happy to send you the names and contact details of homeowners they’ve worked with before and will likely have a few in mind for you to talk to.
If possible, before you book the new house sitter to watch your custom home while you, say, head off to Europe, ask them to stay at your home while you’re out of town overnight for a couple of days. This way, you can establish your communication process and address any concerns or issues before the big trip.
Will your house sitter stay overnight or come by a few times a day? Can your house sitter have guests over while they stay at your place? What bedroom should they sleep in? Can they help themselves to anything in the fridge? It’s imperative to establish boundaries and set expectations before you leave.
Put the rules in writing and go over them with your house sitter before you leave. Trust us: you don’t want to return home to an empty fridge and plants that haven’t been watered for weeks.
Ask for updates
Your house sitter should send you regular updates while you’re away. We recommend asking them to call, text or email you once a day to give you the scoop on your house. Sure, there probably won’t be much to report, but that’s the point. A simple text letting you know nothing out of the ordinary has happened at home can work wonders for your peace of mind.
Leave contact information
Your house sitter should know how to contact you in the event of an emergency. They should also know who to call if they need help at your home. What if they accidentally lose the house keys, for example. Who should help them?
Provide contact information for a trusted neighbor who can help in the event they’re needed. Your house sitter should also know how to reach your plumber, HVAC contractor, and other companies that help keep your custom home working its best. And don’t forget to show them how to operate your home’s security system.
We at Classic Living Homes know how special your home is. After all, we helped build it. With these steps, you can “customize” a great house sitter who will make sure your home is safe and just as beautiful when you return as the day you walked through its front doors for the very first time.