Your Pet Won’t Deter 79% Of Home Buyers – But Your Neighbor’s Might

7 Min Read
Updated March 12, 2024
Dog running in back yard with ball in mouth.
Written By Matt Cardwell

It’s no secret that Americans love pets. And that love seems to be growing – as of 2022, about 70% of American households own pets, up from 56% in 1988.1 That’s over 90 million families with pets!

With so many pets in America, it’s common for home sellers to face unique, pet-related challenges during the home sale process. REALTORs often advise home sellers to make pet-related changes to the home in preparing for market. About 72% recommend repairing damage caused by pets, and about 47% recommend removing pet objects.2 Repairing any home damage before going to market makes sense, but with so many Americans owning pets of their own, do signs of pets really make a difference? 

We surveyed 1,000 people and found:

  • Seeing signs of pets in a home won’t deter 79% of people from making an offer, so long as damage isn’t present.
  • In fact, almost 2 in 10 people would have an increased desire to make an offer if they saw signs of pets, except damage.
  • There’s about a 50/50 chance your neighbor’s barking dog will cause home buyers to regret offering on your home.
  • Cat owners are more likely to regret offering on a home where the neighbor’s dog barks than dog owners.

So if you’re a home seller with pets, don’t worry. Here’s how your furry friend will (or won’t!) impact your home sale.  

About 80% Of People Won’t Be Deterred By Signs Of Pets

Nearly half of REALTORS advise sellers to remove pet objects from their homes, but most people don’t seem to mind seeing signs of pets.2 We asked survey respondents whether seeing signs of pets (toys, beds) would affect their desire to make an offer on a home. The results? So long as damage isn’t present, signs of your fur baby won’t deter 79% of people from making an offer. This is true across genders and generations:

  • Neither women (79%) nor men (79%) are likely to be deterred from making an offer by signs of your pet.
  • Millennials (79%), Gen Xers (80%) and boomers (80%) are aligned in that the vast majority won’t be deterred from making an offer by signs of your pet.

Unsurprisingly, pet owners vs. non-pet owners do see some variation, with non-pet owners being more likely to think twice about an offer than pet owners.

  • 67% of people without pets wouldn’t be deterred from making an offer by signs of your pet.
  • 86% of pet owners wouldn’t be deterred from making an offer by signs of your pet.

While those without pets are more likely to be deterred by Fido, they’re still overall not likely to hold back their offer. More than half of people without pets said the likelihood of making an offer on a home with signs of a pet wouldn’t decrease, as long as damage isn’t present.

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Your Pet Could Increase The Chance Of An Offer in 16% Of People 

Surprisingly, 16% of survey respondents said that seeing signs of pets would actually increase their chances of making an offer with the exception of damage.

A graph shows how buyers would be affected by signs of pets: 16% would have an increased desire to offer; 63% would not be affected at all; 21% would have a decreased desire to offer.

This positive effect isn’t hard to imagine. Pets can have a hugely positive emotional impact on people, with 75% – 80% of Americans considering their pets “fur babies.”3 Not only do people largely consider pets part of the family, but nearly half would consider moving for their pet, and 1% of people make purchasing decisions because of their pet.2

So, if you don’t have time to clear out your dog’s tennis ball collection from the house before a showing, don’t worry. It may actually increase the chances of an offer!

Your Dog May Not Bother Buyers – But There’s a 50/50 Chance Your Neighbor’s Will

While your dog is unlikely to decrease the chances of an offer in potential buyers, it’s possible your neighbor’s might. When asked how they’d feel after hearing the neighbor’s dog barking during the final walk-through, 52% of respondents said that they’d have some regret about making an offer. 

  • Cat owners are more likely to regret offering on a home where the neighbor’s dog barks (57%) than dog owners (48%).
  • Compared to millennials and baby boomers, Gen Xers are the least likely to regret offering on a home where the neighbor’s dog barks.
  • Men (50%) are about as likely as women (53%) to regret offering on a home where the neighbor’s dog barks.

Still, Even Your Neighbor’s Dog Won’t Stop 88% Of Sales

While there’s a 50/50 chance your neighbor’s dog will give buyers cause for regret, it’s not likely to stop the sale. Only about 1 in 10 survey respondents said that a neighbor’s barking dog would make them wish they’d offered on a different home altogether.

A graph shows the effects of a neighbor’s barking dog on neighbors. 49% wouldn’t regret their offer; 39% would have some regret, but wouldn’t change their offer; 13% would regret the offer.

So, while it could be a good idea to gift the neighbor’s dog a nice bone to chew on during showings, don’t let barking give you too much stress. Nearly 90% of the time, it shouldn’t prevent your home from selling.  

3 Tips For Selling A House With Pets

Even if your kitty, dog or bunny probably won’t prevent your home from selling, it’s still a good idea to make your home market ready. Some signs of pets – like damage or odor – may have a negative impact on potential buyers. Giving the best first impression can help you get the best price. So, if you’re selling a house with pets, here are a few tips:

1. Clean your home to remove pet odor. You can choose to do this on your own or bring in a professional cleaning service. Since we often become “nose blind” to our own pets, it may be a good idea to bring in a friend and ask them about any smells in your home.

If you’re removing pet odor on your own, try these DIY odor-eliminating sprays!

An image displaying odor-eliminating recipe cards.

2. Repair any damage caused by pets. Damage of any kind in a home can prevent you from getting the best price. If your home has scratches on doors, sand them out and repaint the door if necessary. Deep gouges may need to be filled with wood filler. Replace any blinds that may have been chewed on.

3. Make sure your homeowners insurance protects your pet. If you choose to leave your pet at home during showings, it’s important to make sure your homeowners insurance covers pets. Although your dog may be well trained, if a bite occurs on your property, you may be held liable.

Aside from considerations regarding your pets, selling your home can also bring up challenges for the family in general. Home showings or inspections can feel disruptive, especially if you have little ones at home. If leaving the home for showings causes your child distress, it can help to connect the experience with something fun. Try printing out these pet-themed coloring pages for your little one to do next time you have a home showing!

Furry Friends Coloring Pages


The survey featured in this post was conducted on YouGov Direct for Quicken Loans. One thousand U.S. adults ages 18+ were interviewed January 31, 2022 – February 1, 2022, between 4:50 p.m. and 6:20 a.m. ET. Data is weighted on age, gender, education level, political affiliation and ethnicity to be nationally representative of adults 18+ in the United States. The margin of error is approximately 3.1% for the overall sample.

If you’ve been considering selling your home, now could be a great time. With today’s low rates incentivizing buyers, you may have more – or better – offers! Then you and your furry friend can finally move to a home with the yard you’ve both been dreaming of.