Your car’s gone through midnight runs to the beach, cross-country road trips, and the biggest highways around…during the holiday season. But the time has come for the two of you to part ways and your valued vehicle to service a new owner.
But for new sellers or those re-entering the game, it can prove confusing to figure out the best way to sell your car. What options do you have?
Well, we’re glad you asked. You’ll have all the answers you need after reading our 6 important tips on how to sell your car! Now put the pedal to the metal and let’s get on with it!
- Research the Market and Prices
One of the first things you’ll want to do when selling your car is to make sure you do your research on the secondhand market before you sell. Waiting to sell your car until a time when the market is hot helps ensure you’ll get the best price possible.
The model of the car you’re selling also factors in. While “family” vehicles like minivans or SUVs tend to carry universal appeal, the market for fancy sports cars or luxury vehicles tends to skew narrower.
Use this data to help you estimate what price to sell your car at. You can also go on used car dealership websites to get rough estimates of how much your vehicle sells for, adjusting as needed to accommodate for the condition or selling conditions of your car.
That said, try to price your car a little higher than you want to sell it for. That way, when you get to the negotiations phase, you can bargain it down to actual value without having to give up on profits.
- Make the Sale as Appealing as Possible
To draw in potential buyers, you need to make sure your car looks its best. Take it through a car wash and clean out the interior, removing any trash or personal belongings and making sure the car looks neat.
If the seats or flooring looks ragged and torn, replace it with new material to help the car look newer. Slapping a fresh coat of wax on the car to make it shine doesn’t hurt either.
You can also make the sale more appealing by getting all your paperwork in order beforehand. Obtaining a vehicle history report, for example, displays to the buyer that you aren’t selling them a stolen vehicle or disguised hunk of junk. Providing the buyer with service records (which show a history of all the work the car’s gone through) can also help ease their mind and increase the probability of a sale.
Having your bill of sale, vehicle title, warranty details, and owner’s manual will also help add more security to the buyer’s mind (plus, you will need this stuff to register the car as the buyer’s legal property).
- Pick a Platform and Advertise
Once all that’s in order, it’s time to spread the word. First, decide what platform you want to use to sell your vehicle. Are you going old-school and using flyers and newspaper ads to get phone inquiries? Or are you posting it online to a site like eBay or Craigslist?
Next, you need to advertise your car. Take the time to snap some good photos of your car that show both the interior and exterior well-lit from different angles. The customer should be able to get a good idea of what the car is like without even seeing it in person.
You can use print or online classifieds to spread the word about your used vehicle. Social media sites are a great place to get eyes on your car, especially since some have store features you can use to assist you (like Facebook Marketplace).
In a pinch, you can even use online forums or the old classic of parking your car beside your house with a sale notice slapped on the front. Removal services like Delight Car Removal can also net you quick cash without going through the hassle of finding a buyer.
- Work With Your Customers
Make sure to stick close to your phone after spreading the word. You’ll be more likely to keep buyers engaged if you respond in an hour rather than a day after their inquiry (or better yet, take the call when it comes).
Once the customer comes in to view the car, take the “open book” approach. Answer any questions they have about the car with honesty and politeness. Let them take the car for a test drive so they can see how it handles (make sure to meet them in a secure place where you feel comfortable if they’re strangers).
The buyer can ask you if they can run an inspection report handled on your vehicle through their mechanic. It’s in your best interest to say yes, as refusing can make it look like you’re hiding something. You can even go along to make sure the car returns to you and that the inspection goes as planned.
- Knowing How to Handle Negotiations is Key
When the buyer’s settled on the car and throws you an offer, it’s time to negotiate. Pay attention to the buyer’s tone and language to see how flexible they are. Phrases like “$10,000 or I walk” indicate that this person isn’t going to back down on their price and you’ll want to move on.
Don’t be afraid early on to stand your ground if buyers try to lowball you on the price. As long as you’ve done your research, you should be able to pull a buyer who will pay your asking price.
Now, if the car has sat on the market for weeks and still doesn’t have a buyer, then you should consider lowering the price (or if you’re working on selling a car fast).
- Putting a Bow on the Sale
Last but not least, make sure to notify the holder of the title (in case you were still paying off the car) and your insurance agency about the sale of the vehicle. You’ll also need to fill out paperwork handing the title to the vehicle over to the buyer.
You should also check the rules with your local government to determine how liability with your sold vehicle works. Otherwise, if the buyer pulls your car out of the lot and gets into a crash, you could still be on the financial hook for covering the damages.
Knowing How to Sell Your Car is Half the Battle
Even though you have our 6 key tips on how to sell your car, it’s still going to take a lot of hard work and dedication to ensure the sale goes through.
Because of this, if you hit speedbumps in this process or need more information about selling your car, make sure to check out the other articles on our website!