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Homebuyer and sellers have more than themselves to think about. For a large number of Americans, pets are also part of real estate decisions— NAR found that over half (63 percent) of households are home to pet companions, with 3 percent planning to get one. According to a new report from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR)—2020 Animal House: Pets in the Home Buying and Selling Process—four in 10 U.S. households (43 percent) would be willing to move to better accommodate their pets, showing just how much of a priority furry family members can be.

Pets factor into buying decisions for many. NAR’s report found that 18 percent of respondents said the most important neighborhood factor when purchasing a home is that the property be convenient to a vet or have enough outdoor space for their pet.

REALTORS® have noticed a growing trend of clients with pets. Twenty-two percent said between 51 and 75 percent of their clients have a pet, companion animal or service animal, and another 22 percent of REALTORS® said that percentage is between 26 and 50.

Pet factors that contribute to home-buying decisions? For 68 percent of members, clients responded strongly to animal policy in their respective communities. Additionally, for their buyers, finding a home with a fenced yard was an important feature, said 49 percent of members.

Pets also influence selling decisions, but in a different way. According to 78 percent of members, clients routinely took their pets out of the home during showings. Meanwhile, 72 and 70 percent of members, respectively, said their clients replaced items damaged by their pets and cleaned their home to remove any lingering smells.

The current state of the world could mean an even larger pet presence in the future.

“As households in the U.S. pursue comfort, companionship and home entertainment, animal shelters were cleared out in many cities,” said Jessica Lautz, NAR vice president of demographics and behavioral insights. “These pet adoptions could lead to future home sales as families seek to accommodate the best living spaces for their four-legged family members.”

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