Buying and Selling Pet-Friendly in San Francisco

When it comes to buying and selling a house in San Francisco, homeowners have to know exactly what they want and move quickly when they find it. That’s especially true for dog owners who have specific requirements for their future home. Whether you’re moving to San Francisco for the first time or just moving to a more dog-friendly neighborhood, here’s what you need to know:

Buying a House

It’s no secret that the greatest challenge of buying in San Francisco is the high cost of real estate. However, it’s worth it to spend extra for a house in the right neighborhood. Although San Francisco is very dog-friendly — it’s common knowledge that San Francisco has about as many dogs as children, and the city is consistently ranked the most dog-friendly metro in the U.S. — not all neighborhoods are created equal.

  • Mission Bay: With an expansive dog park, a plethora of pet stores and grooming parlors, and green spaces around every corner, Mission Bay is a great place to be a dog owner.
  • Inner Sunset: If you prefer a sleepier neighborhood with real backyards, Inner Sunset is the area for you. Here, you’ll find single-family homes within walking distance of Golden Gate Park, Grandview Park, and Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve.
  • Dogpatch: With a name like Dogpatch, you know this neighborhood just south of Mission Bay is bound to be a dog owner’s dream. This cozy, artsy neighborhood is a great area to explore with your dog. Take a walk around Esprit Park before grabbing dinner and a drink at the dog-friendly Smokestack at Magnolia Brewing

These are some of the most dog-friendly neighborhoods, but they’re hardly the only ones. In a city as dog-friendly as San Francisco, it’s possible to find your pet-friendly paradise nearly anywhere. When considering neighborhoods, factor proximity to parks, dog-friendly businesses, walking trails, and pet services. Walk around and notice how many dogs you see — the more owners out with their pets, the more welcome you’ll be.

When you do find a house you like, don’t just walk in with your dog. Not all residences are pet-friendly, and an owner could have allergies or pets of their own. If you don’t have time to drop your pet off before returning to an open house, ask a friend to watch him while you get the realtor’s contact information. If you need to visit a house with your dog, make arrangements with the realtor in advance.

Selling Your House

Thankfully, selling a house is a quick process for many San Francisco homeowners. According to Curbed, many houses spend fewer than 50 days on the market. However, a quick turnaround means everything must in order before the first showing.

A staged house should be both impeccable and a blank slate. You want buyers to walk in and imagine themselves living in the house, so personal items including pet belongings should be packed away. In fact, a pet’s presence can dissuade potential buyers, so take extra care to remove food dishes, photographs of your pet, and signs of pet damage. Clean the yard of pet messes and hire professionals to clean carpets and upholstery. Pet odors cling to these items and may be noticeable to visitors.

During showings, make sure both you and your dog are out of the house. If you have the day off, like for a weekend open house, make a day of it and visit the dog beach at Fort Funston before grabbing lunch at one of San Francisco’s many dog-friendly restaurants. For private showings scheduled during the workday, schedule a stay at doggy daycare.

Moving is the final hurdle before you and your dog settle into a new home. Moving day can be stressful for pets, so plan for your dog to spend the night with a pet sitter. With pets out of the way, movers can navigate easily and you can focus on coordinating rather than walking the dog.

Moving with a dog isn’t easy, so when you need a realtor who knows the ins and outs of dog-friendly San Francisco, turn to InvestSF. Our knowledgeable team will guide you into the perfect home while our mascot, Titan, ensures a portion of each commission goes to Muttville and the San Francisco SPCA to help pets in need find a home of their own.

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Blog post by: Medina James of

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