A Place for the Whole Family – and Don’t Forget Sparky!

In recent decades, pets have become family members – and that means that the real estate market is adapting to accommodate pet-centric families. If you’re in the majority of Americans living with a pet, you’re in good company. The National Association of Realtors found that 43% of homeowners would be willing to move for pet-related reasons, and 29% (nearly 1/3rd!) of all home buyers age 22 to 30 in 2020 purchased a house with their pet(s’) comfort and accommodation in mind. [1] Another study in 2021 found that 57% of home buyers reported having at least one dog, 39%  reported having at least one cat, and 15% reported having at least one other kind of pet.[2] Even 81% of REALTORS® consider themselves animal lovers![3]

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If you’re putting your home on the market, and looking to appeal to prospective buyers, evidence of your pet may actually be enticing. Realtor® Magazine reported that 79% of prospective home buyers aren’t deterred by signs of a pet in the home, as long as there’s no obvious property damage or signs of neglect. 1/5th of buyers say that seeing signs of a well-cared for pet would increase the likelihood of their making an offer.[4]

There are some pet-friendly selling points worth thinking about. Only 1 in 10 prospective buyers said that hearing a neighbor’s dog barking during a showing would be a turn-off[5] – but consider holding showings during pet-friendly hours, when you know the neighbor’s dog is out walking, or discuss with your neighbor the possibility of keeping the dog inside to minimize distractions.

Here’s a short list of what prospective home buyers with pets are looking for:

  1. Hardwood Floors
  2. Location near a Vet or Animal Hospital
  3. Fenced Yard or Enclosure
  4. Outdoor Water Access
  5. Easy access from the house into the yard
  6. Window ledges, full view window screens and front doors
  7. Being nearby to dog-friendly trails or dog parks
  8. Pet-friendly neighborhoods

Pet ownership has changed a lot – granting our faithful companions to family member status. Home buyers and sellers should be comforted by the fact that their furry friends will be well loved by most everyone in the neighborhood.

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[1] National Association of Realtors®; NAR Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends

[2] Zillow Consumer Housing Trends Report

[3] National Association of Realtors®

[4] Realtor® Magazine

[5] Ibid.