Could the Internet Stall Your Home Sale?

By S.E. Slack

Home sellers often spruce up their homes by uncluttering the house, adding new landscaping and tossing on a fresh coat of paint. Most, however, completely overlook some sales aspects that buyers can’t live without. One, in particular, is becoming such a need among buyers that they won’t even consider looking for a new home that doesn’t have access to it: high-speed Internet.

For those looking to sell their homes in the next year, promoting the home's technology may be another savvy way to market the property, particularly in buyers' markets like Philadelphia. Rural homeowners could consider offering to pay for one year of Internet connection to sweeten the deal if Internet access is a potential barrier. If it snags a buyer, it’s a small price to pay.

Pew Research Center found that more than 70 percent of American adults ages 18 and older have – and expect to have – a high-speed Internet connection at home as well as their work location. The highest rates of home broadband connections are found in homes where there are college graduates, adults under the age of 50 and the residents earn at least $50,000 annually.

As for dial-up connections, forget it. Only 3 percent of adults go online using that method.

Kathryn Zickuhr, research associate for the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project, said that’s because high-speed internet can be pricey. That’s especially true for homeowners in rural areas where satellite connections might be necessary.

Age, education and household income are among the strongest factors associated with home broadband adoption, according to Zickuhr. Many organizations now require high-speed internet for applicants seeking some positions.

“I have found that while many companies hire traditional employees, there is also a range of virtual positions and work-from-home options,” said Korynn Stark, recruitment services manager with TalenTrust. “Recruiting for clients nationwide, I often look for candidates who can work just as efficiently from a home office as they do from an actual office.”

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