Selling a used car on your own will take some time and effort, but it’s the best way to ensure you get the most money you possibly can out of it as opposed to trading it in. While a private sale may have the potential to bring some unsavory characters out of the woodwork, a little preparation should help you recognize and steer clear of fraudulent buyers. Whether you’re looking to get a junk vehicle off your hands or one that runs perfectly, these tips will help to sell any car quickly and hassle-free.
Research the Demand
Certain makes and models of cars are in higher demand than others, making them worth more when it comes time to sell. Do the research to find out where the demand for your type of vehicle falls in your specific market, and study similar listings to give you a better idea of what to ask for when negotiating price.
Get an Inspection
Knowing the exact state of your car will put you at an advantage when presenting it to possible buyers. You won’t unintentionally be hiding anything, and if it’s in pristine working condition, it will allow you to have some leverage with the asking price. Even if you’re under the impression that the car drives absolutely fine, get a professional inspection before you list it so that you can answer questions honestly and avoid the stress of finding out later that there are repairs that need to be made.
Set Reasonable Price Expectations
As mentioned above, you want to have reasonable expectations when it comes to pricing. Overestimating can mean setting yourself up for disappointment with much lower offers and getting stuck with the car for much longer than you’d hoped. Underestimating will leave you with much less than the vehicle’s actual worth. You’re sure to receive the most profit when you price your car accordingly.
Spruce it Up
When you first begin to realize, “I’m ready to sell my car,” start thinking about what you can do to spruce it up and show it in the best light possible. You’ve heard of curb appeal when selling a home, and selling a car isn’t much different. There are several simple things you can do to increase a car’s resale value without spending much money in the process. Consider having it thoroughly washed and vacuumed, remove all personal belongings, change out the tires, replace the headlights, get an oil change and repair any windshield damages.
Selling a car privately gives you many opportunities for marketing, so it’s important to utilize what’s out there if you want a fast and easy sale. You can put a classified ad in your local paper, sign up on Craigslist, auction on eBay and use social media to reach even more people who are looking to buy a vehicle. Market with plenty of photos and all the information that a buyer would want to know.
Consider All Buyer Options
When thinking of who you can sell your car to, car dealerships and private buyers probably come to mind first, but you shouldn’t limit yourself to just these options. There may also be local experts in your area that offer cash for cars and are trained to know exactly what your car is worth so you can make a deal right away.
If you’re getting ready to upgrade your current vehicle or have an old clunker that’s just been sitting around, consider selling it on your own before taking it to a dealership to trade it in. Many people have already come to the realization that, “I can sell my car for more money and have cash in my pocket the same day if I skip the dealership.”