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Your car has given you many years of satisfying driving, but now you’re ready to sell it. Perhaps you have your eye on a new car and prefer a vehicle with the latest amenities. Or, maybe your needs have changed and your little sport coupe isn’t sufficient for your growing family. Regardless of the reason, you’re ready to sell your car. Here’s how to do it and get the most money for it.
1. Avoid trading it in. Most new car buyers trade in their old vehicle. That’s the easiest thing to do, but it also means you won’t receive as much money for the car had you sold it privately. If at all possible, separate your new car deal from your used car transaction. Sell the car privately and you should net 10 to 20 percent more from a private sale than from a dealer trade in.
2. Understand your car’s value. What is your car worth? No, not what you think it is worth, but its book value. Book values are assigned by companies such as Kelley Blue Book, NADAGuides.com, and Edmunds.com, to name a few. These sites assign a value to your car based on the model, make, model year, trim, mileage and a few other factors. You need to find out what your car would fetch on the market and price it accordingly. Pricing it slightly higher gives you more wiggle room in the negotiations. It can help you come out ahead and make the buyer feel that he has obtained a fair price.
3. Get it ready to sell. You shouldn’t sell a car without making it look ready for a sale. This means washing and waxing it, touching up the paint, polishing the wheels, cleaning the trim, and vacuuming the interior. Pop the hood to ensure that all belts, hoses and wires are in satisfactory condition. Replenish fluids as needed. Check the spare to ensure that it is in excellent shape. Go over your car with a fine tooth comb because that’s what any savvy buyer will do.
4. Post a price on the window. It should seem obvious but it is easy to overlook: post a price for your car on the window. Better yet, print an 8.5 x 11 sheet and list all the pertinent information about the vehicle. You’ll want to include the vehicle’s make, model, model year, amenities, mileage and your contact information. Make it easy for someone to contact you — you might have the car at a mall and someone could spot it in the parking lot advises Mavis discount tires.
5. Post an ad online. Few people need to pay for ads these days unless they post their listing on eBay Motors. For everyone else, an advertisement on Craigslist will get the job done. Be as clear as possible about what you’re selling. Offer at least six shots of your vehicle — exterior: front, back and side, interior: seats and dashboard, and one photo of the engine. More photos are fine, but six is the bare minimum. Post your price, your contact information and expect a lot of calls from people, including not a few annoyances, such as dealers.
6. Let’s make a deal! When someone is interested in your vehicle, they’ll want to take a test ride. Go with them and explain how the car works and what features it has. Answer their questions, offer tips and otherwise keep quiet to allow them to “listen” to the car. If they’re interested in your vehicle, they’ll offer a price. If the price is acceptable to you, then the deal is done. If it isn’t, then make a counter offer. Arrive at a price that is satisfactory to both parties and you have a deal. Then, go to the bank and have the buyer withdraw cash to pay you. Only when the cash has been received should you sign over the title. The deal is done and your car has been transferred to the new owner. Oh, yes, don’t forget to remove the plates and the registration and insurance information.
Set the price of your car competitively and it should sell rather fast especially if it is model that someone wants. Make sure you cancel the online ad as soon as your car sells, otherwise you will find yourself dealing with more potential buyers well after the sale.