Pet friendly homes are in higher demand than ever in the United States. When home buyers search for their new home, they take into consideration a multitude of factors to meet their family’s housing needs. For a majority of Americans, their families include their pets. Learn more about the influence pets have when prospective homeowners make decisions about where to live and find out which pet friendly home features can help sell a house.
Demand for pet friendly homes primarily is a matter of demographics, since around two-thirds of American households now include pets. According to the annual survey by the American Pet Products Association, nearly 85 million homes, or 67 percent of U.S. households, own at least one pet. Just as Millennials represent the largest segment of the population overall, they also are the largest group of pet owners for all pet types, especially birds, small animals, and saltwater fish. More than 80 percent of pet owners who are Millennials and Generation Z, the emerging generational group, report owning a dog.
Most pet owners consider their pets to be an integral part of their family, so it makes sense that having pets influences housing decisions. According to a 2017 report from the National Association of REALTORS, 81 percent of Americans claim animal-related considerations will play a role when making decisions on their next living situation. Here are more statistics that demonstrate reasons for the demand in pet friendly homes:
- Eighty-nine percent of pet owners surveyed would not give up their animal because of housing restrictions or limitations.
- Twelve percent of pet owners have moved at least once to accommodate their pets.
- Nineteen percent surveyed claim they would consider moving in the future to better accommodate their pet.
- Surveyed real estate agents report that one-third of their clients with pets will refuse to make an offer to purchase a home because the home is not ideal for their animal.
Sellers frequently perform renovations aimed at appealing to potential buyers. To increase the appeal of a home to pet owners, consider investing in one or more of these pet friendly features:
- Install an invisible electric fence around the perimeter of the yard.
- Or, install a solid, secure wooden fence around the property.
- Put a pet bath or pet washing station in the laundry room, mudroom, garage, or other convenient areas.
- Install retractable pet gates that tuck away inside the door jam.
- Insert a pet door, a door insert that allows pets to let themselves outside and back in.
- Install a pet chat system, which provides a way to communicate with pets via video or audio devices.
- Create a dog run area in the yard.
To attract pet owners, highlight certain amenities and features of the home in the listings and property descriptions. Emphasize the spacious yard and ample outdoor space for pets to roam safely. If there is a tucked away nook, note its potential for holding a pet’s bed.
Homeowners seeking to sell in today’s pet friendly environment should point out these features to appeal to households with pets:
- Fully fenced in yard (91 percent of pet owners ranked a secured outdoor space as the most important feature of a home to accommodate their pet)
- Locations of any nearby dog parks, walking paths, or other pet friendly areas (71 percent of pet owners ranked these as the top features of any neighborhood they would consider for their pet)
- Proximity to veterinarians, pet hospitals, groomers, and pet supply stores (31 percent of pet owners considered the proximity to pet-related services as important)
When staging the home for viewing by potential buyers, real estate agents can better appeal to pet owners through use of a few simple tricks.
- Place a fresh bowl of water in an attractive dish in the kitchen.
- Strategically hang a leash or two on hooks by entrances.
- Lay a clean pet bed at the foot of the bed in one of the bedrooms.
- Leave framed photos of pets on display in the living room.
If showing a home where a pet currently lives, be sure to spritz all furniture with Febreze before a showing to eliminate any lingering odors. Also, yards should be cleaned of any chew toys and pet waste.
Whether you are a pet owner looking to buy a pet friendly home, a homeowner hoping to appeal to more buyers, or a real estate agent on either the buyers’ or sellers’ side, let LemonBrew connect you with your ideal partner in the real estate process.