Pet Needs Are Top-of-Mind for Buyers
Like people, pets have certain needs when it comes to the space where they live, and the National Association of REALTORS®’ latest Pet Survey proves they can be the deciding factor for buyers when choosing one home over another. In fact, REALTORS® are likely to be prepared to guide clients in the right direction—the study found that 81% of members surveyed consider themselves animal lovers.
When it comes to the house your pet-conscious clients are looking for, the most frequent requests are hardwood floors and a fenced backyard. According to NAR research, 43% of households would be willing to move to better accommodate their pet, and are prepared to get rid of carpet or install a gate if necessary.
It’s also important for the neighborhood to be convenient, with buyers prioritizing being near dog parks, accessible sidewalks and grass, and quality veterinarians.
Cheryl Nelson of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Premier Properties in Katy, Texas, keeps a list of animal-friendly parks and businesses on hand, including amenities that are conveniently located for her clients with children and pets. “I have clients who send their children to daycare and their dogs to doggy daycare,” she says.
Because animal policies, such as size limits or the prohibition of certain breeds, vary between housing developments and buildings overseen by homeowner associations, 68% of REALTORS®’ clients say these rules influenced their decision to buy or rent in a particular area. The annual pet fee can also be a determinant. The average fee for owners in single-family homes and condos in HOA communities is $300, and the average fee for renters is $400. Real estate pros should know the details of the area’s pet guidelines before their clients start looking, which will prevent hiccups along the way.