Choosing Between a House Sitter or a Home Watch Professional

We are often asked what the difference is between a Home Watch professional and a house sitter.  When you are planning to leave your house vacant for an extended period, you should know your options so that you can make an informed decision on who to entrust your home to while you are away.

Home Watch

Home Watch can be known by many names: house watch, house check, home concierge, caretaker, absentee home service, property watch, and so on. Regardless of the name, a Home Watch professional will perform scheduled visits to your vacant home while you are away. A ‘Real Deal’ Home Watch company will have specific Home Watch training and be an insured and bonded professional business.

A Home Watch professional is trained to locate and report any issues they observe at your home back to you. When they visit your home they will thoroughly check for any issues and send you a report on the status of each visit. The report will let you know that everything checks out at your home or bring to your attention minor issue that should be taken care of to prevent costly damages.

You will be immediately contacted if he or she finds an issue that requires your immediate attention such as a leak or a rodent issue. You will be able to instruct them on how to deal with the issue at hand. They will be able to manage the resolution of the problem on your behalf using the contractors that you specify, or by using someone from their trusted network of subcontractors and professionals.

House Sitters

A house sitter is someone who will live in your home during the time that you are away.

Generally, the main reason a homeowner chooses a house sitter is that they want to leave their pets at home.  A house sitter will be able to take care of your pets in your own home so that you don’t have to board them.  They will be there more or less at all times which keeps a house looking lived in.

The drawback to a house sitter is that there will be extra wear and tear to your home. Although any wear and tear should be minimal, accidents do happen. The house sitter will use your facilities during their stay so in addition to the costs of their services there will also be an increased cost of your utilities bill.

You will want to check to be sure your house sitter is properly insured and bonded, as  some house sitters operate informally, meaning that they do not have insurance against damages which means that you become responsible for any issues that arise.

Whether you decide on a Home Watch professional or a house sitter, be sure to check that they have the proper insurance in place, their online reviews and their credentials.