How Pet Ownership Affects the Home Buying Process and What to Do About It: Featuring Pets from PNWT

Pets are such an important part of so many of our lives! Whether they’re big, small, furry, scaly, or feathered, our animal companions can play a huge role in our homes. They even affect the process of buying or selling a home. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, “66% of U.S. households currently have a pet or plan to get one in the future” and “68% of REALTORS® clients say that the animal policy influenced their decision to rent/ buy in a particular community.”



Buying a Home

So what exactly is important to a pet-owner when considering a home? By far, the most sought-after feature is a fenced yard. According to the American Kennel Club, keeping a pet from going over a fence doesn’t necessarily mean adjusting the height of it, but the shape by adding “a section to the top that tilts inward” as a deterrent. Other helpful tips to keep jumpers inside can be to remove climbing aids along the perimeter of the fence, adding a coyote roller (“long, metal bars that can be attached to the fence to prevent your dog from getting the foothold it needs to get over”), or adding a hedge along the fence to make it more difficult to get over. For pets that escape by digging, the AKC recommends adding chicken-wire, or something similar, to the base of the fence which can then be buried to be more attractive. Another option is to pour a concrete footer.

After the fence is adjusted, the next thing that pet-owners find most important is a large enough space for their pets. The amount of space required greatly depends on the size, temperament, and type of animal. Yards should be made safe by providing adequate shade, removing toxic plants, and avoiding harmful lawn treatments. Whilst a big yard is often a huge perk, nearby parks, walking trails, and pet-friendly community locations can also be a fantastic way to give pets outdoor time.

Lastly, the type of flooring plays an important role in the homes people choose when keeping their pets in mind. For the excitable pet, the AKC recommends a concrete flooring because it’s “easy to clean” and “resists scratches.” Tile, vinyl, and laminate floors are also popular choices to keep the floors clean, each with their own benefit. Surprisingly, hardwood floors may not be the best option as it scratches easily and requires messes to be cleaned up immediately to keep it fresh. Carpet definitely requires the most maintenance but choosing a neutral color that “won’t show dirt quickly” or using “carpet tiles” which can be easily replaced one at a time as necessary may make it less difficult.

Selling a Home

Sellers who own pets also have important things to keep in mind. Preparing the home when pets have lived in it is necessary to address. This may mean removing or repairing anything damaged by the pet, deep cleaning to remove pet hair, dandruff, and scent, or even professionally cleaning, and replacing carpets or refinishing floors. Scent is likely one of the most important factors and can be one of the biggest turn-offs to a potential buyer. We often become immune to the scents of our own home, so having a friend stop by to do a “smell test” can be valuable.

When selling a home, the most common step in the process is to remove the animal and pet objects out of the home during showings. Not everyone is comfortable with animals and some clients may even refuse to go into homes with pets. Also, pets can be unpredictable and even the most well-mannered pet may not appreciate a stranger in their home, which can potentially become a liability issue. Lastly, there is an inherent risk that pets may get out, run away, or even become lost under unforeseen circumstances.

So what can be done with pets when selling a home? Some people choose to completely move out of their home and take them with during this time, but this isn’t an option for everyone. Other people may choose to leave them with family or friends during the home selling process, or even a trusted neighbor during showings. Another option is to board them for a specific amount of time or hire a dog walker or animal baby-sitter to remove them during showings.

Here at PNWT, our pets are part of the family. There is a lot to consider when buying or selling a home as a pet-owner, but the effort is well worth the happiness and safety of our beloved companions. We hope these tips help you and every member of your household, no matter where you are in the process.


Meet the furry family members of PNWT!

For more information:

Click here for more statistics about Pets in the Home Buying and Selling Process from NAR.

Click here for more information about the Remodeling Impact for pet-owners from NAR.

Click here to read the full article from the AKC on How to Help Prevent your Dog From Escaping the Yard.

Click here to read the full article from the AKC on What Flooring is Best for Rambunctious Dogs.

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