How Pets Factor Into Home Sales

If anyone is happy about our being stuck at home, it’s our pets. Owners who previously left for work every morning have become constant companions to pets during the pandemic, providing scratches, treats and walks throughout the workweek. This writer’s own skittish rescue cat has become increasingly playful and willing to accept a pat or two as the lockdown has stretched on.

According to reports from shelters across the country, people have been eager to foster pets recently, so while we can infer that pets are happier with us around, it’s clear that humans have been leaning into the opportunity to experience their companionship. In fact, it wasn’t long after the lockdown began that The New York Times started reporting on the hunger for puppies and providing advice on topics like grooming and planning for a pet’s care should their owner become ill.

But how does our resurfaced love affair with furry creatures affect how we buy and sell homes? A recent study by the National Association of Realtors compiled more than 15,000 responses to surveys of its professional membership, recent home buyers and sellers, and randomly chosen, geographically diverse households. The findings show that a pet’s needs are important to buyers, though only a small percentage will actually make a move to accommodate the needs of a pet. Pet-friendly features such as fenced yards and pet doors were among those on many a buyer’s wish list.

The survey demonstrated that many people consider their animals members of the family, though it also showed that it’s important to erase evidence of pets when showing homes. That includes removing the pets themselves in addition to their toys, their odors, and any wear they’ve caused. After all, not every buyer is a pet lover, and even those who love their own animals may not love yours.

Buyers, Sellers, Renters

Real Estate Professionals

Have represented clients who moved solely because of their pet

63%

U.S. households that have a pet

or plan to get one

18%

43%

1%

4%

2%

18%

U.S. households that would be willing

to move to accomodate a pet

Had clients within the last year who have owned a pet, companion animal, or service animal

38%

Recent home buyers who bought to

make a better home for their pet

Said that animal policies influenced their clients’ decision to rent or buy in a particular community

68%

Single females who bought to make a

better home for their pet

Suggested Changes From Real Estate

Professionals for Selling

Unmarried couples who bought to

make a better home for their pet

Take animal out of home for showings

Replace anything damaged by a pet

Professionally clean the home

Remove pet objects

Replacing carpet or finish floors

78%

72%

61%

47%

33%

Recent home buyers for whom

convenience to a vet or outdoor space

for their pet was very important

The median annual pet fee for clients in single-family homes, townhouses, condos and co-ops

$300

The median annual pet fee for clients in rentals

$400

Most Requested Pet Features

49%

Fenced yard

27%

Large enough home for household

and pet

3%

Flooring

Mudroom, animal washing station

3%

2%

Dog door

2%

Animal pool, outdoor water feature

2%

Cat litter closet

1%

Built-ins for food dishes, animal beds

Real Estate Professionals

Have represented clients who moved solely because of their pet

18%

Had clients within the last year who have owned a pet, companion animal, or service animal

38%

Said that animal policies influenced their clients’ decision to rent or buy in a particular community

68%

Suggested Changes From Real Estate

Professionals for Selling

Take animal out of home for showings

Replace anything damaged by a pet

Professionally clean the home

Remove pet objects

Replacing carpet or finish floors

78%

72%

61%

47%

33%

Most Requested Pet Features

49%

Fenced yard

27%

Large enough home for household

and pet

3%

Flooring

Mudroom, animal washing station

3%

2%

Dog door

2%

Animal pool, outdoor water feature

2%

Cat litter closet

1%

Built-ins for food dishes, animal beds

Buyers, Sellers, Renters

63%

U.S. households that have a pet

or plan to get one

43%

1%

4%

2%

18%

U.S. households that would be willing

to move to accomodate a pet

Recent home buyers who bought to

make a better home for their pet

Single females who bought to make a

better home for their pet

Unmarried couples who bought to

make a better home for their pet

Recent home buyers for whom

convenience to a vet or outdoor space

for their pet was very important

The median annual pet fee for clients in single-family homes, townhouses, condos and co-ops

$300

The median annual pet fee for clients in rentals

$400

National Association of Realtors

By The New York Times

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