BAM Key Details:
- Almost three quarters of prospective buyers with pets would walk away from their dream home if it didn’t accommodate their pet.
- Over 80% put their pet’s needs as high as or higher than their own.
- A survey shows prospective buyers are more likely to prioritize pet-friendly features than current homeowners with pets
Just ask the folks who crossed the latest apartment community off their list because of the declawing requirement for cats. Or the couple who walked away from their dream home because it didn’t have a fenced backyard for their beloved pups.
Every pet owner wants their fur babies to find something to love in their new home, whether it’s a sunny “catio,” a perfectly sized dog door leading to a pet-friendly backyard, or a spot that’s just perfect for the guinea pig “condo.”
Devoted pet owners will even walk away from otherwise ideal homes that are not fur-baby-friendly.
And there’s research to prove it. A new survey by Realtor.com and HarrisX, polling 3,001 U.S. adults, yielded some noteworthy trends among prospective buyers with pets—and how they compare to current homeowners with pets.
More prospective buyers are prioritizing their pets
Over two-thirds of prospective buyers with pets say they would buy a home specifically because of its pet-friendly features.
And 82% of pet parents looking to buy a home within the next 12 months consider their pets’ needs as important as, or even more important than, their own needs or those of their family.
More than three-quarters (77%) of homeowners in the U.S. have at least one pet at home, and 79% say they took their pet into consideration when choosing a home to live in.
Prospective homebuyers are even more likely to prioritize their pets when shopping for a home, with 91% of those saying their pets will be a factor in their decision.
People love their pets. And they’re prioritizing the needs of these furry members of their families when choosing a home to rent or buy. Having an animal-accessible home is more important to many pet owners than extra square footage or a shorter commute to work.
Deal breakers for pet parents looking for homes
Nearly three-quarters (72%) of prospective homebuyers with pets admit they would walk away from their dream home if it didn’t accommodate their fur babies, while 62% of current homeowners say the same.
Sixty-six percent of pet parents looking to buy a home have decided to pass on an otherwise perfect home because it couldn’t accommodate their pets, while just 44% of current homeowners with pets said they would do the same.
Pets take priority over square footage & shorter commutes
Pet-friendly features are even taking priority over extra square footage and shorter commutes to work. About a third of pet owners looking to buy a home would give up a bonus room (37%) or an extra bedroom (33%) in favor of a home that was more accommodating to their furry friends.
Nearly a quarter were willing to give up a shorter commute (23%), an extra bathroom (22%), or a home office (21%).
Two-thirds (67%) of prospective homebuyers with pets say they would buy a home specifically because of features that made it ideal for their pet, while a little less than half (49%) of current homeowners with pets would do the same.
Eighty-seven percent of pet parents looking to buy a home within the next year say they’ll be factoring in their pet when shopping for the right neighborhood to live in. Over two-thirds (70%) of current homeowners say they would do likewise.
Sometimes, pet owners have no choice but to make their own pet-friendly modifications to their homes—adding features like patios, dog doors, and fenced-in backyards, among others.
More than two-thirds (69%) of prospective buyers with pets say they would install or build special pet-friendly features in their future homes, while about half (51%) of current homeowners with pets have done so. The number one add-on for both groups is a dog door.
Other features pet-loving homeowners have added—
- Fenced-in yard (39%)
- Horse barn/facility (32%)
- Climbing post (32%)
- Dog shower/bath station (28%)
- Dog run (22%)
- “Catio” (21%)
Renters looking for pet-friendly properties can use the “pets” filter on Realtor.com/rentals to help them find homes that will accept and accommodate their furry family members.
Top takeaways for real estate agents
If you know your clients have pets, find out from the get-go what features they want to see in a home to accommodate their fur babies — and what they’re willing to give up (if they have to) to ensure their pets have what they need.
What pet-friendly features would put a home at the top of their list? And what are their deal-breakers?
Knowing these things ahead of time will make it easier for you to spot the properties most likely to interest them. And don’t forget to encourage your pet-loving sellers to highlight the pet-friendly features in their homes to attract devoted pet parents.