Selling a car or truck is easy… right?
Once you put your vehicle up for sale buyers will be knocking your door down. A few test drives and before you know it you’ll make a deal and walk away with cash in hand. Then you wake up.
Do you prefer selling your car or truck privately? Here’s a few things and more you should know about the process. It may seem selling a car privately sounds likes a good idea. But often it comes with more hassles then you initially bargained for. People call on the phone and ask you whats your best price even though you have a price listed. They don’t want to make the offer and if your best price isn’t low enough you won’t hear back from them anyway. Some don’t have the funds to buy the car without making payments. You definitely have to think about what your time is worth. No wonder most people prefer to sell to their vehicle to a dealer.
Get ready to show your car.
When selling your car “as is” the offers you receive will be reflective of its condition. It always pays to spend some time getting your vehicle ready for public viewing. You can wash and detail your car yourself or have it done professionally. The benefit to having your car detailed professionally is that it can be done quickly with little to no effort on your part by a professional auto detailer. You can have the car detailed at your home or in the parking lot at work. If you can, remove small scrapes, scratches and dings. Replace burnt-out bulbs and fuses, and ensure that all items, including audio and navigations systems, are in working orderAt this time have all overdue maintenance work done. The most important being, oil, battery, and air filters. Check that the battery, hoses, belts, brakes, suspension, and other components are in top order. Provide copies of your repair invoices if available. Offer a comparable vehicle history report to show to buyers that your car is in good condition.
How much is your car worth.
Have you been thinking “what is my car worth?” There are several online tools to help you decide your vehicles value. You can try websites like Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds that will give you guidance on what your car is worth. You’ll get three prices, including a trade in, private party, and retail value. Services like CARFAX Vehicle History Report takes your vehicle’s history into account. Not only will Carfax show your vehicles history but also give you a value based upon it. It’s also a good idea to go on Craigslist and look for vehicles similar in make, model, year, miles and condition to get an idea of what other owners are asking for the same vehicle.
Now that you have an idea of your cars true value, you need to decide the lowest number you would sell it for. You will not display or share this number — it is the lowest price you’re willing to accept for your vehicle.
Pricing your car or truck isn’t easy but with the tools we mentioned above you should be able to get a pretty good idea. When you decide upon a price, avoid round number like $8,000. Choose $7,995 instead because it sounds better to car buyers. Most automotive retailers use this pricing strategy for one reason, that it gives the impression of a lower price. Most of the time you get paid the five dollar difference anyway.
Market your car.
When creating an advertisement, offer complete details about your the car. The more details you supply, the better. You should include the make, model, and year of the vehicle. Also include its mileage, trim level and special options. Make sure to include features such as navigation, rear view camera, and parking sensors as they will help you get more money for your car.
Include as many photos as allowed, including interior, exterior, under the hood, trunk and cargo area. Make sure to include your terms of sale and forms of payment accepted upfront. Review your competitors ads for additional ideas on how to create yours. Make sure to include you phone number and or email address.
Displaying your vehicle.
Now it’s time to show your vehicle to prospective buyers. Place your vehicle in a high traffic area with a “for sale” sign inside the car. make sure to supply a contact number, and the cars asking price. Heads up you’ll get your share of spam calls and and dumb questions. You will get a lot of calls with people asking you what is your lowest or best price. Unfortunately most people will be hesitant to make an offer and will expect you to lower your price from the start. Depending on the vehicle and its desirability you may have to make the first move. Remember its better to have a “bird in the hand than two in the bush.” What this means is its better to make the sale for a little less than you hoped for than waiting for the last dollar.
When a buyer inquires about the vehicle, engage them in a conversation to determine what they’re looking for. If you’re not comfortable with this individual, go no further as you are not obligated to them. When it comes time to meet a buyer and test drive the vehicle, always meet in a public place. Ask for a valid driver’s license, insurance card, and ride with them. Explain the vehicles features and answer their questions to the best of your knowledge. Never give your keys to a stranger as it may be the last time you see your car.
Make a deal.
Only negotiate with buyers who express a real interest in your vehicle. Ask them if they are financially ready to make a deal that day. There is nothing worse than having to show your vehicle over and over again to potential buyers who aren’t ready to purchase your vehicle that day. Its pretty standard that if the person doesn’t buy your car that day you will most likely never see them again.
When showing your vehicle negotiating will start immediately. A buyer’s offer will most likely be far lower than your asking price. If you feel that you’re being lowballed, don’t be afraid to say so. When they make offer that is within your selling range, counter with a higher price. If both parties flexible, then a deal may be reached. Remember “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”
The buyer may want to have a mechanic inspect the vehicle before making their decision. This usually doesn’t work in your favor. The mechanic may find a problem(‘s) leading to the buyer expecting a lower purchase price. If you do decide to let their mechanic inspect the vehicle make sure its at their cost. Not OK with the inspection then show copies of the repair records and a CARFAX Report. Explain that the vehicle is being sold “as is” without warranties of any kind.
After you receive payment, clean out the car including personal documents and insurance cards.
Last but not least.
After you’ve been paid. Make sure to cancel any ads pertaining to the sold vehicle to keep from getting any further phone calls.
You may need to file certain Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) documents, depending on your location. Also you may be required to turn in your vehicle’s license plates to the State DMV. Make sure to transfers the vehicles title in to the new owners name. This should release your liability in the vehicle at the same time. Releasing your liability in the vehicle is very important. Doing so will keep you from having to pay any parking tickets that the new owner may get prior to registering the vehicle in their name. Also if the new owner doesn’t assume liability by registering the car in their name, then get in to a hit ad run accident. You will be held liable for any damages or injuries resulting from the accident.
Lastly, contact your insurance company to ensure coverage is discontinued after the new owner leaves with the vehicle. At the same time review your policy to ensure it meets your current needs.