If there was ever any doubt that most pets are considered full-fledged family members, Animal House: Pets in the Home Buying and Selling Process study puts the question to rest.
The National Association of Realtors® recent report found that 68% of Realtors® say that their clients’ decisions to rent or buy were influenced by the animal policies in that particular community. Their pet’s well-being is a priority for the 43% of households that would be willing to move to better accommodate their pet or pets. Eighteen percent of recent homebuyers said that it was very important that their new neighborhood is convenient to a veterinarian and/or outdoor space for their pets.
“Pets can be a driver of not only the reason a buyer purchases a home, but where and what they want in their home,” said Jessica Lautz, NAR vice president of demographics and behavioral insights. “For some buyers, it’s a top factor in neighborhood choice. Advertising a home is close to a beautiful dog park, near walking trails or that a home has a fenced yard could appeal to those buyers.”
With 66% of U.S. households owning or considering owning a pet, it pays for Realtors® to be prepared to advise their clients throughout the buying and selling process. Lautz noted in recent weeks during the pandemic shelters around the country have seen a high demand for adopting and fostering new pets. “They provide companionship, entertainment and a stress release,” she said, adding that “renters and homeowners alike may decide to move to better accommodate their new family member.”
The report found that 18 percent of Realtors® reported having clients who moved solely for their animal.
The most important pet-friendly features to buyer clients were a fenced yard, enough space for both the household and pets and flooring.
It helps that Realtors® tend to be animal lovers with 81% of respondents considering themselves to be in that category with 14% of them volunteering with animal organizations.
Despite their of love animals, 80% still recommend their clients remove pets during showings and it’s common for sellers to be advised to repair any pet damage. Other common recommendations include cleaning a home to remove pet scents, professional cleaning and the removal of pet objects.
The complete report is available at NAR.REALTOR.