Selling your home is often a long process and a process that can't be completed in days, unless you're extremely lucky. For the average seller, it often takes months, starting with the decision to sell, to listing and finding an agent, to negotiating with potential buyers.
Likewise, you may even have your house listed on the market for months and without any prospective buyers contact you. At that point, you may be wondering what the delay is.
Before you reach that point, there are many factors you have to take into consideration, some of which you will have no control over.
Prepare for the weather
You may have heard the term El Nino to describe the weather lately. Many parts of the country, despite it being winter, are experiencing relatively mild conditions compared to previous years. Even so, Trulia recommended you properly prepare for El Nino as you look to sell your home, no matter if you're in a colder or warmer climate.
El Nino weather systems typically bring heavier rainfall. For houses in warmer climates, homeowners will want to ensure water is kept out of the structure. They can do so by installing new window glaze or weatherproofing tape, or a combination of the two.
Houses in colder climates will have more areas to take care of. A good and reliable heating system is needed, along with a home inspection to ensure everything is working properly. Gutter heaters are also useful for keeping downspouts running free. Essentially, these accessories will help prevent your ceilings from leaking when there is heavy snowfall.
You will also want to check on your house's ducts to ensure they are tightly insulated and properly sealed. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, homes can lose as much as 20 percent of their heat from ducts that are not properly working.
If your house has a basement, you will want to purchase a sump pump, no matter if you're in a warm or cold climate. These devices collect water that has accumulated and help to prevent basement flooding. As El Nino will bring heavier rainfall to some areas, sump pumps are extremely valuable.
Know your target demographic
When you list your home on the market, you can sell it faster by knowing who potential buyers will be. In 2016, those buyers will more than likely be from the millennial generation. These homebuyers are likely shopping for their first home and according to The Washington Post, 2016 projects to be a seller's market.
As such, millennials usually have specific desires when looking at homes. For example, some want backyards, balconies and adore open floor plans. If your home has any of these, be sure to market them extensively.
It's all about time and staging
Even though it's winter, it's never too early to think about when to list your home for sale. The spring and summer seasons are typically the busiest when it comes to getting a quick sale. Interestingly enough, there may be even more sales before fall 2016 because it is a presidential election year.
In an interview with Trulia, Mike Minihan, a real estate agent, said elections equate to uncertainty in the housing market. This correlates to more buyers snatching up homes before speculation runs rampant over the future of the market.
When it comes to staging, light is the most important aspect to remember. Other staging tips to keep in mind include cleaning every window, displaying clean towels in the bathroom and painting the ceilings white to allow light to reflect.
Use the winter months to start fixing up your house to put on the market in the spring or summer in the hopes of securing a fast sale.