I am a broker interested in providing house sitting services for home owners on vacation, extended absences, or just trying to sell their home that

Asked by Paul E Myer, LEED AP, BROKER, Plano, TX Wed Jun 30, 2010

are now in a new location. Any ideas on how to price out these services? and locate these homeowners?

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Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Wed Jun 30, 2010
Locating the homeowners should be fairly easy.

Owners who've moved and their homes are vacant: Just search the MLS for listings with the comment or notation "vacant." And don't overlook vacant rentals, either.

Owners on vacation: Network with travel agencies. Let them know the service you're offering (peace of mind for someone on a long trip). Possibly offer a finder's fee. Or you might not even have to do that if the peace of mind is enough to persuade some people that it's safe to go on a trip and leave their homes.

As far as how to price those services: It depends, in part, on your objective. Is it to make money? If so, I'm not sure there's a huge opportunity. House sitters usually get paid fairly little. What they're getting in return is a nice place to live for a while. If you're trying to make contacts (with owners whose homes aren't listed), then it might make financial sense to charge very little. Make a good impression, establish a good relationship, and some of those folks will come back to you when they're ready to sell.

Hope that helps.
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