Ready to sell your car? Here are some tips to accelerate the process and receive the best price.
Calculate Your Car’s Value
The first step in selling your car is to calculate its value. Kelley Blue Book (kbb.com) is a good resource that allows you to enter your car’s mileage, condition and extras to calculate the price. The price can additionally be calculated for a private sale or a trade-in at a dealership. To set your price, decide if you will keep a firm number or if you will set it higher to allow for negotiation. Be honest about the condition. Don’t get too attached to what you believe the car is worth, or you may not sell it as quickly as you’d like.
Determine Where to Sell Your Car
Next, you want to decide if you will sell to a private party, or trade-in your car for another vehicle. Here are some points to consider:
Preparing Your Car
Before you have anyone look at your car, be sure to clean it thoroughly. Your car’s appearance will be very important. Consider having the car detailed. Remove all of your personal items and keep the car clean during the sale process.
If your car is due for an oil change or tire rotation or other services, go ahead and have that done. If it needs a new battery, consider replacing that as well. People will be more likely to buy a car that is ready to go, and you can add some of those maintenance costs to the asking price.
Gather the repair records on your car so that you can show your maintenance record. People will be more confident in buying a well-cared for car. Be sure you have the title of the car, since you won’t be able to sell it without an official copy.
Advertising Your Car
Again, if you are selling your car yourself, take a full series of photos of the interior and exterior of the car. Write an honest ad with a fair price and include the photos. Sites like Craigslist.com, AutoTrader.com and your local newspaper are great places to start. Do not place personal information in the ads. Use the safety features provided on the sale sites, so you can be contacted “blindly”.
When advertising and showing your car, be sure to take steps to ensure your own personal safety. Use a mobile phone or the email address provided by the online service. When someone wants to see the car, consider meeting them in a busy, public place and take someone with you. Most buyers are honest and safe, but it is not worth taking any chances that might endanger your safety.
Negotiating the Deal
Only you know what the lowest price you can accept for your car. There are many factors you might need to consider. For example, you might need a quick sale and can afford to drop the price. Or, you might be able to hold out for the best price. Consider all of those options and make a decision before you advertise to help the process go more smoothly.
Once you have decided on a buyer, you can discuss payment methods. Cash or cashier’s check is the best option, of course, but you might also decide to have your buyer pay using PayPal of Apple Pay. If the buyer wants to pay with a check, you should wait for the check to clear before you hand over the car. And remember, once you sign the title over to the new buyer, you have transferred the car into their name. Don’t do it without full payment.
Selling your car can be stressful, and you might find yourself being a little sad when it leaves your driveway. But following the tips above – especially if you are selling it priveatly – can help you quickly and safely sell your car.