How To Sell My Car
Step 1. Know your cars information.
Having all the paperwork ready is the very first step. Unfortunately, the step is overlooked until the very end. This includes the service records, car title, and original sales document.
There are various reasons for these;
- While knowing your car’s basic mileage, year of production and model is good, additional knowledge like the car style and other optional features eg. Keyless entry, leather seats, navigation system is equally good. This can boost the car value.
- Records of service receipts are important to show the buyer that the car is well cared for.
Step 2. Know the condition of your car.
Knowing the condition of your car is important because you will not set overvalued prices and have unrealistic expectations on the car value. Consider vising an auto mechanic for inspection. The mechanic can help identify a problem with the engine and other features that are commonly overlooked or you don’t use. This will help to arm you will every information and any fault that the buyer may find when they make their inspection. Also, a recent inspection will heal ease the buyer of any worries of having to inspect the car on their own.
Step 3. Decide which sales method to use.
Since you now know the condition of your car, you can either decide to sell the car yourself or use a dealer for a trade in option. This is especially important since the car value depends on the method used. There are both advantages and disadvantages of each method used.
- no listing and selling cost
- fast and convenient
- no personal calls
- pay fewer sales tax for the car
- Direct negotiation with buyers
- Get more money from the sale of your car
- There is no overhead cost for the dealer
Step 4. Increase the cars’ resale value.
Most buyers don’t like to spend their money to fix an old car. They expect to buy a fully functional car. Fixing small issues with brakes, tires, windshield, dents, scratches, and lights will increase the car value when selling it. The improved condition of your car will make it sell much quicker and at better prices.
Step 5. Set the asking price for your car.
The very first question, that pops on your mind before setting the price for the car is ‘what’s the value of my car?’
To answer this question you need to understand that car selling is a competitive market. For you to be competitive, you need to compare prices from different car sale websites before setting the price. Just enter the vehicle’s details and see what other sellers with similar cars are asking,
You can also try a get instant offers from various dealers to see what they are willing to give for the car. This will help you when setting an asking price for your car. Also, set a price higher than you are willing to take to allow room for negotiation. If you are selling your car personally, avoid sounding so salesy. Put a price that doesn’t seem like a quick sale the way dealers do.
Various factors will determine if your cars’ value price will be high or low.
The car will attract a high price if;
- will You The car is regularly maintained
- If the car is on warranty and can be transferred
- The car has a new set of tires or newly installed brakes.
The car will attract a low price if;
- You need a quick sale
- The car has been in an accident.
- It has a major scheduled service or needs new tires or brakes.
Step 6. Create quality online ads that sell.
Once you have all the information about your car, you can create quick effective ads that will make your car stand out from the competition.
You can run the ads in various online platforms which include;
- Online classified dealer sites. Eg, auto trade, cars.com, CarGurus. This will help attract wider audiences
- Peer to peer sites. These online sites help to connect buyers and sellers for used cars.
- Social media eg Facebook and Twitter
- Word of mouth from friends and family.
- Online car forums.
Use good detailed description, right keywords and nice photos to draw buyers who are more likely interested in your car’s model, feature, and price range. You can use the following tips to make an effective ad.
Choose the best package for your ad.
Most classified sites offer different packages for the ads. Highly-priced ads enjoy spotlight placement in prime positions on the page and also auto check vehicle reports to assure buyers.
Write a quality ad.
A quality ad should have the right keywords, honest, and focus on the unique selling point of your car.
- The description provides more information on the car’s features and condition. Start will basic car information like model, mileage, and body. Also include the trim version of your car model.
- state your desired asking price and the reason for your pricing.
- Explain the reasons why you are selling your car. This will help give the buyer a sense of the car’s condition.
- Show off gas mileage because fuel-effective cars are high in demand.
- Also state modification you have made o your car. This is because there may be buyers seeking or those modifications extra. Nb. Not all modifications add to the car value.
- Include any information on the warranty.
- Provide honest car condition assessment. This will help show buyers you are trustworthy.
- Disclose issues that might need fixing. Non-disclosure could spoil the deal if the customer were to find out on the vehicle history report.
- Mention maintenance and service record. Well maintained cars are in high demand. This will also give the buyer peace of mind knowing that the vehicle was well maintained.
- State the negotiation terms. Whether the price is firm, negotiable, or best offer.
- Define the means of payment. This lets the buyer know what payment you can and cannot accept.
- Don’t forget to verify the payment once it’s made.
- Add lots of photos of your car.
Avoid the following mistakes in your ads.
- Don’t list your car in two different places with two different prices. This could make you look untrustworthy.
- Don’t post low-quality photos. Buyers will love to see a clear photo of your car.
- Avoid overpricing of the car if you need a quick sale.
- Avoid changing price too frequently
- Don’t neglect your cars USPs eg mileage, side airbags, GPS, etc.
- Avoid putting your ads on multiple places if you don’t have time to manage the ads.
STEP 7. Screen potential buyers.
It’s always advisable to meet the potential buyers if you’re selling your car personally. Firstly check the online customers and call the most promising ones. Avoid those customers who ask for down payment and probably need more time to arrange Car value.
Secondly, ask for the buyers’ full names and tell them yours before the meeting to show them the car. Make sure to clarify the mode of payment which is acceptable. Use certified cheques or money orders.
Collect all the necessary documents in advance because you might need to sell your car on the spot. These documents include; vehicle title, odometer disclosure listing vehicle mileage at the time of sale, warranty information, bill of sale’ As Is’ statement, the release of liability form, any other required document needed by the state.
For precaution, purposes sell your car in your locality to protect yourself from fraud. Also, don’t accept cheques outside your state.
Step 8. Make use of a test drive to sell.
Choose a secure public location for the test drive. Be ready to answer any question from the potential buyer. Ensure that the insurance covers other drivers too. Ask the driver’s license of the potential buyer and take a photo before handing over the keys.
Accompany the potential buyer for the drive. This will give you the chance to know the potential buyers’ likes and dislikes of a car. This will help also to play up your car’s strength while keeping them at ease. Don’t worry if the efforts seem too much. It’s all worth it than when using a dealer. You are bound to pocket more cash from selling your car.
Step 9. Negotiate the best price.
If the potential buyer approves the price after the test drive, it’s time to agree on the price. Make sure you state your price preferably a higher price than what you are willing to take to begin negotiation. If the buyer is hesitant, ask them how much they are willing to buy it for. If the price is acceptable to you then you can settle on the agreed price.
If the price is fixed and the buyer can’t raise that much let them go and be confident that someone else will come to buy. You can also ask them to call if they reconsider your offer.
Step 10. Closing the sale.
After agreeing on the price, it’s wise to go with the buyer to the bank for a cashier check to prevent fraud. Once payment is completed take the following final steps.
- Note on the bill of sale if the car is sold ‘As Is’
- Both parties to sign on the bill of sale and write the date
- Transfer of title by Filling the release of liability form and sign then. Hand it over to the department of motor vehicle
- Include additional paperwork
- Make a copy of the paperwork before handing over the keys and document to the buyer
- Remove vehicle from your insurance
- Remove plates if it’s part of the state requirement.
Selling your car could be a win-win situation for both parties if done correctly. Ensure that you disclose all the information on the condition of the car before the sale. Ensure to complete the required transfer of paperwork with the DMV after the sale. This will help you to gain peace of mind knowing that you have no liability whatsoever after the car has left your ownership.
Also, beware of the tax obligation of your state since it varies with states.