Whatever the reason you’ve decided to sell your vehicle, it’s a process that requires some extra work, if you hope to get the best possible profit. Selling a car can seem daunting but getting one ready for sale fortunately isn’t all that complicated. The following quick guide should make the process as smooth as it can possibly be.

Market Research

The first step in selling your vehicle is a little research. Setting the best price starts with knowing when your car was manufactured, the number of miles, and its condition. There are plenty of resources that can inform you of the going rate for the vehicle you’re trying to sell. Publications like Kelley Blue Book have a yearly guide that lists the different makes and models. Online resources can be a great guide for determining price, but the worth of your vehicle can still greatly fluctuate depending on how well maintained you kept it.

Also, you’ll want to research the best places to sell your car. Are you going to try Facebook Marketplace or a dealership? Are you just going to leave it by the road with a “For Sale” sign and hope for the best? There are pros and cons to each of these selling methods, so doing appropriate research is necessary.

Gather All the Necessary Paperwork

Though often time consuming, gathering all the necessary paperwork is essential. After all, you can’t sell your vehicle without the title. Each state has different rules for selling a vehicle, so do some research to ensure you have everything you need. You should also consider getting a CARFAX report, which details the history of your vehicle and includes any accidents that occurred. Similarly, gathering your maintenance records can help show you stayed on top of routine maintenance, and buyers are more likely to pay more for a car they know has been taken care of.

A Thorough Inspection and Detailing

A well-maintained, clean and polished car is easier to sell than one that is dirty or needs a lot of work done, especially when you are selling privately. Before you put your car on the market, take it to a mechanic for a full inspection. If any lingering repairs need to be done, it’s best to take care of them when you are trying to make a private sale. This includes having an emission test performed.

Depending where you live, you can be held liable for mechanical problems that occur within a certain time frame of a vehicle sale. Certain states also have buyer protection laws, meaning you can be sued if you knew your car had pre-existing mechanical issues. If you are selling to a dealership, this step is less urgent because they can often can take care of any issues for a low cost to them.

Next, get it thoroughly cleaned out and detailed. No one likes buying a car that looks neglected or beaten down. You want to make a good impression on prospective buyers. Even if you are selling to a dealership, you should probably still clean out the interior, vacuum it, and get a car wash done so you can get the best price.

Decide How You Want to Sell

Deciding how you want to sell your vehicle is an important step in the process. There are a few options available.

DIY Sale: If you decide to sell your vehicle yourself, there are some unique advantages. You set the price, decide who to sell to, and have oversight over the entire process. The disadvantages include waiting for the right buyer, which may take time, dealing with prospective buyers who will attempt to low-ball and underbid your asking price, and handling all of the paperwork yourself.

Selling to a Dealership: If you are the impatient type, dealerships can be helpful. They’ll handle all the paperwork for the transaction. You’ll also be paid upfront and might be eligible to write off the sale as a tax deduction.

Third Party Sellers: Some third-party brokers specialize in selling vehicles. They might sell your car a little quicker than a DIY sale but will keep a commission.

Proper Advertisement

If you decide to do a DIY sale instead of taking your chances with a dealership, you’ll need to know the best way to advertise your vehicle. It doesn’t require a background in marketing, nor a great deal of advertising know-how. Keep your ad short and to the point, and be sure to provide a few photos – of the interior, exterior, and engine. Prospective buyers will like that you provide transparency.

Remember: Be Patient

Unless you’re selling directly to a dealership, there’s a good chance you won’t sell your vehicle overnight. Be patient, and know that you don’t have to take the first offer that comes your way. If someone tries to underbid your asking price, stand firm unless you’re willing to negotiate for a fair rate.

If you follow all of these steps, you should find that your selling experience goes much smoother than expected.

Source: Auto Influence

Article by Michele Norton
See All Articles