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Your Guide to House-sitting Apps and Services in NYC

You’re finally taking that well-deserved vacation. You’ve got a packed suitcase, an empty to-do list, and a ticket in your hand — but wait! Who’s going to make sure your home is maintained while you’re gone? Who’s going to water your plants, keep your pets alive, bring your mail in, run the AC, clean the floors, and generally make sure your house doesn’t burn down? That may seem hyperbolic, but the reality is that as a homeowner, you’re sitting on a valuable asset. And in a city this chaotic, anything could happen while you’re away. That’s where the house-sitting services in NYC can help! Let’s break down everything there is to know about house-sitting in NYC.

What is house-sitting?

House-sitting is a practice in which someone leaves their home for any period of time and entrusts it to someone else to “house-sit”, meaning there is a mutual agreement that in exchange for the responsibility of watching over the house they get to stay or live there temporarily.
80% of people get house sitters in order to have their pets looked after, so pet owners are especially familiar with this concept. But house sitting can benefit anyone with a property they want to be cared for in their absence.

How do you find house-sitting in NYC?

There are a number of apps and services out there for NYC homeowners to explore. Use this guide to get to know your options for house-sitting, what to expect in the process, and which apps and services to check out. This is also something your real estate agent would know a lot about, so be sure to reach out to a NewDevRev agent to find out their insights, too.

Questions you should ask yourself before using a house-sitting service in NYC

There are a lot of options for house-sitting in NYC, which is why it’s important to know what you need and want before starting your search. Ask yourself these questions to figure out what you’re looking for in a house-sitter.
  1. What do I need most from a house-sitter?

    Is it walking your dog? Grabbing packages that land on your stoop? Maybe your house-sitter needs to take care of the property you own and perform maintenance tasks like cleaning and repairing. Knowing what’s most important to you will help narrow down your search.

  2. Are pets involved?

    This can be a game-changer in terms of what kind of house-sitting situation you choose. Someone who loves pets is a must, obviously, but maybe there’s medication or training involved too. Make sure you’re upfront about the pet needs involved in your house-sitting agreement.

  3. Do you want to meet your house-sitter before?

    Considering that in today’s world, we get in cars and go on dates with people we’ve never met beyond an app profile, it’s easy to see why there are some house-sitting apps and services that don’t include a pre-sitting meet and greet. Decide beforehand if this is important to you so you can get that peace of mind.

  4. What’s your budget?

    Sometimes, house sitting is a money-free agreement. The simple concept of room and board on your beautiful property could be enough to entice a house-sitter for your trip. But you may want to offer a fee, or you may join a website that charges a fee to be part of a network. Before you search, think to yourself “If I was going to spend money on this, how much would I want to spend?” and see what your options are.

  5. Would you be open to an international traveler?

    Many house-sitting apps and services work across borders. This is helpful for families, couples, or solo travelers who want to experience a new country on a much lower budget by house sitting for a homeowner in an exotic location. Since New York City gets over 50 million tourists per year, there’s a good chance you may end up with one as your house-sitter. Ask yourself if you’re comfortable with that before starting the conversation.

How do you find a house-sitter in NYC?

There are many ways to find a house-sitter and most of them fall under one of two categories: websites and apps. Both usually come with a focused network of potential house-sitters whose profiles are geared towards highlighting their reliability, trustworthiness, and experience.
You can also go the less recommended route of posting on your personal social media. This would narrow your pool down to folks in your network, but it also means less safety when it comes to the standardized vetting process that websites and apps provide.

The best house-sitting apps and services in NYC

TrustedHousesitters App

This one is huge for pet owners. TrustedHousesitters lets you browse from a vetted community of “trusted pet lovers” who provide pet care alongside a house-sit in exchange for a unique travel experience. You not only find and meet your house sitter through the app, but you’re also able to keep in touch with them through the in-app messaging service while away. After each house-sit, both owners and house-sitters leave feedback on their experience. Keep in mind that this app requires a membership, and plans range from $129 per year to $259 per year.

This website is well-known for helping families connect with babysitters and childcare providers online. Today, there are just over a thousand house-sitter profiles available in their network. Each person specifies an hourly rate for their services, which can be applicable to anything from housekeeping to tutoring to child care. You can search by ratings and experience level, so this is a helpful website if you want to find someone with many years of house-sitting under their belt.

Rover App

Here’s another great option for the owners of furry friends. Rover is best known for being a dog-walking app, but recently expanded their services to include house-sitting. Like potential dog walkers, you will know that each profile you come across has been reviewed and approved by the team at Rover. The best part of this app is the fact that you can request a free in-person meet & greet before committing to a house-sitter. Plus, the app encourages lots of photo sharing so you can feel secure seeing your pet comfortable at home.

This family-run business was started in the early aughts to connect homeowners with curious, trustworthy travelers all around the globe for their house-sitting needs. Today, you can find over 4,000 house-sitter profiles on the site, nearly half of which are based in the United States. While homeowners can make an account for free, there is a small cost for house sitters (roughly $30). MindMyHouse is a tool for free house-sitting specifically and says some sitters may even pay for their share of utility bills, depending on the arrangement.

House Sitters America

Prefer someone within your zip code to mind your property? Then House Sitters America is probably a good option for you. Like MindMyHouse, this directory has been running for over a decade and is totally free for homeowners to join. Their house sitters are very pet-centric and can care for your garden, too. It’s an easy site to use to do everything from verifying ID to setting up a meet and greet to sending secure messages while away.

Think of this site as a more dedicated search engine, because that’s pretty much how it works. Housesitsearch pulls in the publicly available listings from other websites and puts them all in one place for you. It’s definitely a good place to start your search if you want to avoid making multiple different types of accounts and searching the same thing over and over. That said, it’s a good idea to start the conversation with a house-sitter through a specific platform.

What to expect when you find a house-sitter in NYC

  1. A background check

    This feels like a no-brainer, right? It’s always a smart idea to know exactly who will be in your home while you’re away, and who will know the code or have the keys to your door. Background checks are the best way to make sure that this person will be safe, reliable, and trustworthy. Background checks may be part of the verification process depending on the site or app you go with, but be sure to double-check instead of simply assuming.

  2. References

    Every house-sitter should be able to provide multiple references that prove you can trust them. It’s best if these are a mix of personal and professional references to help you get a clear picture of their reputation.

  3. A written agreement

    It’s always important to have your house-sitting agreement in writing. That way, you have a reference point to follow that outlines exactly what you expect from their stay and what you owe in return (usually nothing). If the app or service you choose doesn’t provide this, ask around to find a lawyer or legal counsel to help you draw one up. Your NewDevRev agent would have a great idea on how to handle this — send them a message to see what they think.

Entrusting your home to someone else in your absence can be scary, but these apps and services should make it a little easier. At the end of the day, prioritize your comfort so that you can enjoy your trip or vacation stress-free.