If you have never sold a car, the process may seem long and complicated especially if you are not sure what to do first, how to price your vehicle or what you need to be aware of. Therefore, we have compiled a short guide to help you through the process starting from how to prepare your car for the sale to how to market it in the best possible way. As a bonus, you will also find a suggestion how your old companion can serve you once again in case you are financially troubled.
Keep in mind that the tips below are useful in case you are selling your car alone. If you plan to trade it at a dealership, there is no need to follow those steps as they will give you the same price no matter if your car is washed or not. Even though this may look less stressful, it also means receiving less money for your vehicle. Therefore, we recommend taking care of the sale by yourself following the advice below.
What you need to do before the sell
Before listing your car on a given site for sale, there are a few things that you need to do in order to secure a quick deal for a desired price. Here are three of the most important elements you need to consider:
- Get your car looking good – make sure to clean your car well both from the outside and inside. Things like dirt, stains, empty snacks packages will make your car look older and cheaper. Invest some time and money to make your car look good. Replace the floormats, for example, if they are too dirty or worn out. This simple trick will make good impression to the potential buyers.
- Have your car serviced – it is a good idea to have your car professionally inspected before putting it to sale. Thus, you will avoid any unpleasant situations afterwards. If there are any minor flaws, have them repaired. If there is a bigger issue, make sure to include it in the description of the car so that the potential buyers are warned.
- Gather all documentations and records you keep – it is important to have all the documents related to your car handy. This doesn’t include only the title deed or other such papers but also records of all checks you have undergone. The maintenance and service records will give the potential buyer a peace of mind. A CarFax report that your car has never been in an accident will increase its value.
If you have done any modifications to the car think well whether you shall leave them or remove them based on the notion if they will increase or reduce the price of your vehicle.
Ask for the right price
Pricing your car is perhaps the most difficult aspect of the entire process. When it comes to determining the value of a vehicle several factors play a role. A significant one is the emotional factor – if you are attached to your car and relate it only to positive memories, then you would be more willing to ask for a higher price that is not realistic. On the contrary, if you have had some accident with the car or you are desperate to get rid of it, then you will be willing to give it away for even half of the money you can get for it.
The best way to determine the correct price for your car is to check some sites that sell used cars. There you will be able to see how much you can expect based on the make of the vehicle, the year of its production, the extras it offers, the mileage, etc. Some of the sites you can check include Cars.com, Craiglist or eBay Motors. You can add a bit more to the actual price you are looking for to make room for people who like bargaining.
Make the right listing
Once you have prepared your car to be sold and determined the right price for it, you shall consider listing it for sale. The most efficient technique is to post your ad on several sites and not just on one. Thus, you will stand a greater chance of concluding the deal quicker. The best advice to follow when putting the ad is to be completely honest and describe in full details all the pros and cons of your vehicle. Including all details and features accompanied with the right photos is a must for a good ad. Remember that the potential buyer knows nothing about your car. They might not be looking for a car like yours even but a given feature or accessory might grab their attention and make them interested in contacting you. It is important to mention if the car has been through an accident or if there are any visible damages. There is no good in putting just nice pictures and when a buyer comes to be profoundly disappointed by the truth that the car is actually in much worse condition. Take as many pictures as possible (40 is considered a good number even though it may sound a bit excessive) and make sure to use a good camera that produces high-quality photos. All details should be clearly visible and make the potential buyer want to bid more for your car and not less as a result of being uncertain what your photo reveals. Honesty and accuracy, combined with a few marketing tricks as the ones above, are your best-selling strategy.
Consider a title loan instead
Take a moment to consider why you want to sell your car before you proceed with the ad. If you are short of money and this is the solution you see, think again of the other options. Let your car serve you once again in a different way. One possibility is to use it as a collateral to get a title loan. It is a quick and simple process without much paperwork, doesn’t include a credit score check and you end up with the cash in about 15 minutes after being approved. This is a faster way to cover any urgent bills or debts and once you repay the title loan back you can consider selling the car again in case you really don’t need it any more.