Most homeowners will see home watch, property management, and house sitting to be mostly the same businesses, with different names. The fact is, they are all different businesses that may share commonalities. Take a look at each business below.
Companies that provide property management services are typically an offshoot of a real estate company. Their primary focus tends to be sales and or seasonal rentals. They may offer home watch services in an effort to be “full service.” Their “home watchers” may have minimal training or limited knowledge in the physical and mechanical systems of a house. Keeping your home safe and secure is not their primary purpose.
As the name states, house sitters are usually situations where someone stays in your home for either long or short periods. This is ideal if you have pets and need someone to care for them while you are away. However, with house sitters, you run a risk of something in your home getting damaged, or they may consume all of your food while running up your utility bills! Also, they may have limited knowledge of your house’s physical and mechanical systems and may not know what to do if something goes wrong. House sitters are best suited for temporary or one-off situations.
The National Home Watch Association describes Home Watch as “a visual inspection of a home or property, looking for obvious issues.” Let’s dig a little deeper into that. Most home watch providers are trained and or certified specialists in the business of watching and keeping your home secure. Here in Massachusetts, you have to submit to and pass a background check by the Massachusetts State Police Certification Unit to own and operate a home watch business. You also have to have a working knowledge of a house’s physical and mechanical systems and know who to call when something goes wrong. Most home watch companies have built a network of reliable and trustworthy vendors that they can call upon on behalf of homeowners.
In essence, a Professional Home Watcher keeps eyes on your home, acts as your advocate, and has your interests first and foremost.