If you’re thinking about house sitting, there are a few things you should know. The main thing you need to know is how much you should charge per day of house sitting.
It would be easy to say you should charge a specific flat rate regardless of the large or small tasks required of you, but that wouldn’t be the truth. The amount you charge will depend on what you have to do while house sitting.
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How much do you charge for house sitting? 11 things to consider
1. Will you stay all night?
If the family you’re house sitting for demands that you stay in the house all day and night, that will impact the price you charge them. If they’re willing to let you out for a few hours every day to do grocery shopping and other errands, you should be able to lower your price.
However, some homeowners want eyes on their property at all times, which means you won’t be able to leave the house. You’ll be forced to stay indoors with little to no interaction with the outside world, and that’s going to translate into you charging more money. It all comes down to your preferences and whether you want or need to get out a few hours every day.
2. Do they have pets you’ll need to take care of?
Will you have to take care of their pets while you’re house sitting? If so, you’ll need to add a few dollars to your price. You’ll have to take care of and feed the pets. You’ll probably have to take them outside too.
Don’t be surprised if their pets have medical conditions that require you to give them medicine. If that’s the case, you are going to want to jack up your price a little. After all, it might not be the easiest thing in the world to give a cat their medication.
3. Do you have to clean up the yard?
You might have to do some yard work or take care of the grass. Is that part of your job? If it is, you should increase your price accordingly. If not, be sure to tell the homeowner to notify you before someone comes over to do the yard work.
Gardens require work as well, and you should be paid extra if you’re working in it. If they expect you to water plants, pull weeds, or do other things in the garden, make sure to let them know that this isn’t a free service.
4. Do you have to take care of anyone inside the house?
Do they have an elderly person living in the home that you’ll need to take care of? If so, you should increase your price to accommodate that. If there are children living in the home that you’ll need to babysit, you’ll want to add a few extra dollars to your charge.
It’s not unheard of to charge $10 per hour to babysit children or an elderly sick person. The amount of money you charge will depend on what you have to do. If the person can cook and take care of themselves, you might not have to do anything, and if that’s the case, maybe you don’t need to charge extra.
5. Are you expected to do housework while they’re gone?
Many homeowners don’t want their house-sitting provider to sit on the couch all day while they’re away. Instead, they want you to come in and do some light housework while they’re gone.
If that’s the case, you may have to increase your price a bit. If you aren’t doing a lot of cleaning for them, you probably don’t have to charge that much. However, if they want you to clean the house up and make it look like a hotel room before they get home, more money is in order.
6. Do you have to take care of any indoor plants?
Sometimes, the homeowner will have indoor plants that they want watering while they’re away. That can be a whole job by itself, and if you’re going to do it, you should be paid for it.
Some people charge extra for this because it’s not the most glamorous job in the world. But if you’re willing to do it, you should be able to charge an appropriate amount of money. If they only have a couple of plants, consider doing it for free.
7. Do you have to take care of any fish?
If the homeowners have any fish, be it goldfish in a bowl or a salt-water tank, you’ll need to ensure that their fish survive until they return. If that’s the case, you’ll have to charge a little more money for house sitting.
They don’t want to come home with a dead fish in the tank, and what if you have to take care of it while they’re away? That’s going to add a little more money to your price. The owner should make it clear what they want you to do before you start house sitting.
8. Are you allowed to eat any of their food?
If you’re allowed to eat their food, that’s one less expense for you. However, if they don’t leave you food, you’ll need to buy some. You must pass this cost onto the homeowner.
If they don’t leave you any money to buy food, it will cost them more than if they make provisions for you to eat their food. If they have a pantry full of food for you, you’ll be able to lower your price quite a bit. They can’t expect you to live off of air, and if you’re not allowed to leave much, you’ll have to buy the food in advance and bring it with you.
9. How long are they going to be gone?
The longer you stay in the home, the more money you’re going to make. If they’re coming back in a week and don’t need much watching, it’s hard to justify a high price. You’re also going to be stuck in the house for an extended period if they leave you alone for a week.
If they’re leaving for a month or two, you’ll want to charge a significant amount more. That’s because you’ll have more time to clean, do yard work, or do any other activities that come with the job.
10. Are they willing to pay you extra for holidays?
Some homeowners are willing to pay a few extra dollars per hour if you’re covering their home for Christmas or other holidays. Holiday sitting can be pretty lucrative, and you should consider it if someone is willing to pay you more money.
If the homeowner isn’t willing to pay extra for holidays, you’ll have to adjust your price accordingly. These are days you should be spending with your family and since you’re not, you should getting a little extra money for your work during this precious time of year.
11. Factor in the financial situation of the homeowner
If you’re house-sitting for someone wealthy, you should consider that when deciding on your price. If they can afford to pay you $300 per day, that’s fine, and you’ll get more work from them in the future.
However, you should also know that wealthy homeowners might not be able to pay you every day. It might be more feasible for them to pay you $50 per day. If that’s the case, you need to negotiate the tasks required to ensure that you’re getting fairly compensated for your time.
So, how much should you charge for house sitting?
Well, if you want to cover your living expenses, you should charge a little lower than $100 per day. Often, it’s possible to get this price down even lower, but it will take some bargaining on your part.
If you want to make a little money on the side with house sitting, you can charge upwards of $200 per day, but it’s not expected for you to charge much more than that. You can get away with charging more if you’re willing to do a lot of work and if the homeowners are willing to pay it.
House sitting fees: The bottom line
Many factors go into setting a price for house sitting. Price is something that is going to depend on the homeowner. If you need more money, you’ll have to get creative in getting it. It’s essential to understand the situation of the homeowner.
You should always ask them about their finances before starting work with them. This will give you an idea of how much they are willing to spend on a house-sitting job.
It’s also important to know about their schedule and how long they need you to stay. Then, the price can be determined. Remember to always ask for the money upfront before starting house sitting because you’ll want to ensure that you don’t get ripped off.
Take all of these things into consideration when determining the price you charge for house sitting. There’s a lot that goes into it, but you should be able to get away with charging a fair price that leaves you both feeling good about the transaction.