You want to sell your car, but you’re not quite sure how to get it done quickly and fairly. You need to figure out your strategy to place yourself in the best position possible to sell that car.
You might even say that selling cars is an art form. Here are some tips to get you going on that car you’re trying to sell.
1. Research Market Value
Everyone wants to believe that their car is worth a certain amount of money, but more often than not, the money you think it is worth is not actually what the car will be valued at.
- Managing Your Expectations
You’ll need to ask yourself a few questions to get an honest assessment of what to expect. To start with, ask yourself if it’s the right time of year to be selling your vehicle. If you’ve got a convertible, chances are that you’re going to have a tough time selling that in the winter.
On the other hand, if you’ve got a more traditional family car, you may be willing to sell that at almost any time of year. These types of cars are often in high demand because families need cars, and these are typically the most inexpensive.
You’ll also want to ask yourself what kind of vehicle you have. If you are in the market to sell a truck or a utility van, you can ask for a higher price compared to a family sedan of the same year, make, and mileage.
- Sometimes It Takes Time
If you’re selling a collectible, the market value will fluctuate. These types of vehicles take quite a bit longer to sell because you’re attempting to attract a specific niche. If you take your time, though, you can get an excellent price because the right buyer will pay top dollar if your car is worth the cost.
One of the most important things to remember in managing your expectations is that sentimental value does not equal monetary value. It doesn’t matter if you put in extra work into your vehicle because when it comes to how much your car is worth, it is not going to make that much of a difference.
- Where to Find Your Benchmark
There are a few places you can check to figure out what prices are appropriately competitive. Online classifieds are a great place to start. When you look at the pricing, don’t underestimate or overestimate how much you should price your vehicle.
As an example, dealers are going to charge a different price than private party sellers. Dealers do have a markup compared to private sellers, but there’s a reason for that. Reputable dealers will inspect the vehicles to make sure that they’re functional. Private party sellers may end up selling you a car that needs brakes, has a broken gasket somewhere, or worse.
2. Pricing Your Vehicle Correctly
When you take a look at the vehicles that are out on the market today, you’ll also want to compare the mileage, overall condition, as well as location to determine if your pricing is correct. You don’t want to price a sedan for sale in Minnesota with a New York price tag. You’ll never sell it.
If you’re still not sure how to price your vehicle, there are online tools that can help you figure out what the fair market value is for your make and model. Factors that will play into that pricing suggestion include the color, mileage, available options, and region, too.
The guidelines are just that – guidelines. They are meant to provide guidance for a price that would work well for you depending on what you submit in the guide. Remember to leave just a little extra room for negotiation, too.
3. Make Your Car Look Nice
Car buying is a very emotional thing. If you love the way it looks when you see it, you’re going to be more likely to buy it, right? The same can be said for the person that may want to buy your car. Before you put it up for sale, there are a few things you’ll need to take care of.
- Clean It Up
Cleaning up your car means doing a full detailing that includes vacuuming and washing the inside and outside of the car. If it looks sharp, you’re doing it right.
You’ll also want to see what you can do about any dings or scrapes that might be on the vehicle. If you can fix them for a minimal cost, go for it. Making repairs that aren’t expensive is better for our bottom dollar.
- Pull the Extras Out
Pull out any extras that you’ve added to the inside. If you’ve got seat covers, pull them off. If you’ve got chargers plugged in, take them out, too. You want to remove everything that isn’t part of the car so the potential new owner can visualize themselves sitting inside.
Don’t forget to clean the windows, the wheel covers, and the undercarriage. Also, it would be a good idea to have a mechanic check it out and give you a report you can show buyers.
You may also want to get an auto report on the history of the vehicle from a site like CarFax or Autocheck. This will prove to the buyer that everything is legitimate and up to date.
4. Advertise Your Car
Once you’re ready to get your car on the market, you’re going to need to advertise your car. You can go to many different websites, most of which offer free listings. Craigslist as well as eBay both offer free options to get your car out there for people to see.
Don’t forget to use social media, too. Now that Facebook has Facebook Marketplace, that’s another great, free way to go about getting your vehicle in front of others. You can also look for sales message boards in your area.
With the advertisements, you’ll need to make sure that they give enough information. You want to have your price, the make, model, and year of your car, but you also want to include the mileage, condition, and pictures if you can.
Also, let buyers know if you’re open to negotiation by using phrases like “OBO” or “Priced to Sell!” You’re bound to find a buyer if you communicate that you’re eager to sell.
5. Get On With Selling Car
You’re going to have to show your car to potential buyers. When you communicate with them, evaluate whether or not they seem pushy or otherwise difficult. If a buyer is like that, they probably aren’t interested.
If you don’t want a buyer coming to where you live, then you’re going to need to meet up somewhere else. Keep in mind that they’re also going to want to ask for a test drive, and they might also request a visit to a mechanic. You can share the report you have, but they still may want to verify the information with their own mechanic.
Once you get past all of the formalities, it all comes down to price. There are some key phrases that you can listen for when it comes to whether or not a buyer is truly interested. Uncomfortable silences also speak volumes. They indicate that someone may be interested, but wants a lower price.
If someone were to ask you what you would accept, they’re ready to commit, but it depends on what you tell them. It would be the same situation if someone were to ask you for the best price that you’d be willing to take.
Be ready to take them up on their offer by having all of the necessary paperwork available. That includes the title, records, bill of sale, and a release of liability.
A Few Last Pieces Of Advice
Every so often, you may find that a buyer says they’re willing to buy if and only if work is done on the car. Avoid deals like this because they can cause problems later on. To save yourself a headache, make sure that you make it known that your car is being sold “as is” to keep from causing confusion.
Also, remember that older cars are not going to be perfect. Conditions may be found, but may also be entirely aesthetic. Older cars are going to have random issues, so you’ll have to be ready to push back a little if the buyer is looking for every little thing that could be wrong.
At that point, you may not need the sale that bad. You also have to be willing to tell the buyer that even with a proposed issue, the problem is not a cause for concern because it doesn’t affect the way the vehicle functions.
If you are open, honest, and upfront with everything, you’re going to do just fine. Don’t forget that saying “no” is not a bad thing either when it comes to selling car, and you’ll get the job done.