Sell It Yourself Successfully.
Obvious, right? Never underestimate the power of a first impression. Buyers aren’t expecting a fully detailed, spotless, sparkling vehicle but your vehicle’s appearance does indicate to buyers how well you took care of it. So, give it a thorough cleaning, vacuum everything and don’t forget the trunk. Clean windows inside and out. Use upholstery and carpet cleaner where needed. One thing that makes nearly all buyers cringe (and then run) is the smell of cigarette or cigar smoke. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to get rid of. You may want to consider taking your vehicle to a professional detailer for help.
Generally, buyers are more interested in the outside of a vehicle than the inside. Use touch up products on nicks and scratches. Wash and wax it. Do the common sense stuff to prepare your vehicle to sell but don’t over-invest. Expensive items like new tires might help you sell it faster but usually won’t bring a higher selling price.
Price It Right
The key here is objectivity. It may be special to you but in the end the market will determine how much your vehicle is really worth. There are a number of online tools you can use to help you set your asking price. Most of these tools base value on overall vehicle condition ranging from poor to excellent. Remember that a very small fraction of vehicles meet the criteria necessary to be considered excellent. The vast majority of vehicles fall into the average category. Refine your evaluation by looking at similar vehicles in your market. While national averages can be a good guide it’s important to be aware of what people in your market are paying for vehicles like yours to get a better sense of what you should ask and expect to get. Remember, most buyers are looking at the same sources and websites you are and they’ll expect your price to be within the established range in your market.
Advertise. Advertise. Advertise. With Lots Of Pictures
CarSoup.com is a great place to list your vehicle – a basic listing is free. Enhanced sell your vehicle packages come with a variety of helpful tools and the ability to add plenty of photos. Most buyers ignore ads that don’t include photos. The number and quality of your photos makes a big difference. Wait for a nice, clear day, take your vehicle to a local park and find an attractive background. Photograph the vehicle’s exterior from a variety of angles: front, back, profile, and three-quarters. Get close-ups of any features you wish to call attention to. Be sure to include shots of the interior.
Take a minute to craft your ad’s copy. The first couple lines of your ad need to grab the reader’s attention. Emphasize the features and characteristics that made it a great vehicle for you. When appropriate, mention your reasons for selling the vehicle. If you’re a stickler for maintenance, let buyers know about it. Make sure you include make, model and accurate mileage info.
Above all, be honest about the vehicle’s condition and history. If there was or is a significant problem with the vehicle take the high road and disclose this information right up front. Be proactive and spring for an independent history on your vehicle. A “clean” report means your vehicle hasn’t been in a flood, rebuilt after an accident or subject to a lemon law complaint – three big concerns for used car buyers. If your vehicle is honestly evaluated, priced right and presented well and it’s more than likely you’ll find interested buyers right off the bat.
Provide Maintenance Records
Grab all your receipts for maintenance, oil changes and any repair bills. Arrange them in chronological order and have them readily available. Use your ad to let potential buyers know you’ve got all the records to prove you’ve properly maintained the vehicle and have dealt with any mechanical issues.
Be Ready To Sell
A solid vehicle, priced right and well-presented is likely to get attention right away. Be prepared to make it easy for potential buyers to contact you. Respond to calls and emails immediately. Decide ahead of time where and when you’d like to meet potential buyers to show the vehicle. Always accompany potential buyers on test drives. Check with the DMV for your state’s rules on transferring vehicle ownership and make sure you’ve got a free and clear title. You may run into a potential buyer who will want an independent mechanic to look the vehicle over. Provided the buyer is willing to pay for it this is a reasonable request. However, you should plan to drive the vehicle to the shop.
Close The Deal
You’ve got an interested buyer, the process is moving along nicely and it’s time to close the deal. Many buyers will try to negotiate a better price. You may want to concede a few dollars to wrap up the deal but if you did your research up front and know you’ve priced the vehicle right you should expect a reasonable offer – so stick to your guns. You should plan to receive payment in cash or by cashier’s check. If it’s a large sum you may be more comfortable meeting the buyer at your bank to complete the transaction. Have your title available to sign over along with a bill of sale to provide a record of the sale. Make sure all your personal items have been removed from the vehicle and remember to let your insurer know you’ve sold the vehicle.