Whether you want to trade-in or trade-up, you need to know how to sell a car you want to get rid of. Here the complete guide!
Keyword(s): how to sell a car
Buying a new car is a big step but what’s the fate of your current set of wheels? Should you trade it in or sell it privately? Which of the two options will generate more money? Which involves less hassle? How do you conduct a secure transaction?
You need the right blend of preparation to avoid costly mistakes.
Learning how to sell a car may seem daunting, but it needn’t be so. It might actually turn out to be interesting for you or can even end up fetching top dollar for your old wheels.
Whether you’re looking to trade in or trade up, knowing how to sell a car the right way can make all the difference to your car sale process.
Here’s the complete guide:
1. Understand the Market Trends
Conduct some research to give you realistic expectations of the common car market trends. Is your car a hot commodity in the market? Does it command competitive prices? Does it have a set value? Such questions will help you know the market.
Every commodity seller knows the importance of studying market trends. Cars such as sedans, while unexciting to the market, are in constant demand by families needing basic, affordable transportation.
While sports and convertible cars have seasonal markets. They have a high demand in summer, whereas in winter and fall months nobody wants to buy them. Collector cars are difficult to sell but if you find the right buyer they can fetch a good price.
2. Gather All the Necessary Documents
First off, you will need your car’s title. It’s also known as a pink slip. You don’t have legal right to trade in or trade up your car without its title. But don’t sign the title yet.
Secondly, confirm if you have cleared your car’s loan or you still owe money. Even if the loan is not cleared, you can still contact your lender to arrange the sale. You can now proceed to establish the paperwork required for transfer ownership by visiting the DMV website for your state.
From this site, you can find about the paperwork and if your car will retain the license plates after being sold.
3. Know Your Car’s Actual Mechanical Condition
You need to be realistic about your car’s condition. It’s common for owners to overprice their cars because they lack accurate knowledge of the vehicle’s condition.
Having unrealistic expectations will make it difficult to sell your car. Ask your mechanic to give you an assessment report. Mechanics can identify issues with engine plus other things that you can’t tell by your own.
You can also order a car history report to show a prospective buyer. This prepares you to answer potential questions that may arise. This report will put the potential buyer at ease and give them the confidence to buy the car.
4. Make Sure Your Car Looks Its Best
When potential buyers look at your car, within the first few seconds they will make up their minds if they are interested in it or not. This is based on their first impression. Therefore, your car must have a ‘convincing appeal’.
Before you decide on whether to sell or trade-in your car, you should pamper it.
Consider a thorough wash and vacuum treat. Let the mechanic ensure the car is free from scrapes, dents, dings or any mechanical problems. Pay for all the low-cost repairs.
Remove all jumble from your car interiors because without all the junk, the prospective buyer won’t get a feeling of ownership the moment they take the car for a test drive.
5. Are You Trading It In Or Selling It Yourself?
Once you have all the documents and know the actual condition of your car, you need to decide if you want to trade it into a dealership or sell it yourself.
Find out the pros and cons of these two options. Trading it in is fast and convenient. There is no extra cost for listing and there will be less taxation on your new acquisition.
If you decide to sell it yourself, you get the advantage of negotiating with the buyer. You are likely to get about 20% more from your car since they are no dealer overhead costs.
Your decision may finally come down to whether you have the inclination or the time to sell it yourself, or whether you prefer the dealer to take care of the process.
6. Price Your Car Reasonably
There are different factors you need to consider when pricing your car. These include the condition of your car, its location, industry development and current economic condition among other factors.
If the market value and your asking price don’t match, then you risk discouraging potential buyers.
Always leave a bargaining allowance in your asking price. This means you should ask for a slightly higher amount than you’re willing to accept. Buyers tend to negotiate in big amounts ($500-$1000) when it comes to cars. If you hope to get $11,000, set your price at $12,500.
This way, if a potential customer gives you a lower offer, it will be nearer your actual price. Remember, a car that costs $13,000 is often priced at $12,995 because of the psychological impact. Don’t underestimate this trick.
7. Create an Ad That Actually Sells
You need to create an outstanding advert. Have several nice photos, accompanied by a detailed description of your car and then post your advert online.
Consider websites that have heavy traffic. These websites will help you get the word out to the biggest audience possible. They will put your car in front of thousands of potential buyers in a matter of seconds.
What details should you include in your advert? Mention any special features, remaining warranties, mileage, and MPG. State your reason selling the car. Be upfront about your car’s condition and list its VIN number to assure potential buyers that you’re not withholding anything.
Mention your price and negotiating terms. Let buyers know if the price is ‘negotiable’, ‘best offer’ or ‘firm’. Protect yourself from cons by defining the acceptable forms of payment. Don’t accept personal checks.
8. Screen Prospective Buyers
When contacted by potential buyers, use your instincts to evaluate them. If they seem shady, pushy or difficult, disregard their offer. If you don’t want to potential buyers coming to your home to check out the car, ask them to meet you at the nearest shopping center or a park.
Remember that the buyers will also be screening you, so make sure you answer all their questions honestly. Potential buyers will be uneasy if there are inconsistencies in your answers. Trust has to go both ways.
How to Sell a Car on the Test Drive
Knowing how to sell a car on the test drive is the best way to let a prospective buyer experience how it feels riding on the vehicle. But before you allow a third-party to drive your car, you should make sure it is properly insured.
Also, be ready to provide all the documents required to that prove your car is well-maintained.
Before you try to sell a car on your own, contact us today for the best KBB Trade value.