When it comes to selling a used car the market is huge. Believe it or not, many people prefer the more economical route of buying a used car. However, selling used cars can be an art.
Below are the steps I have used to maximize the money I get when selling used cars
Clean the car!
Be sure to clean your car. Consult our series on car detailing to make it look its best. Wash and wax the outside of the car. The better the car looks, more valuable it will look. It also is an indicator as to how well you may have treated the car previously.
Don’t ignore the interior!
Potential buyers will likely scour every inch of the car inside and out. A dirty interior will surely turn off most buyers. Vacuum the entire car including the carpet, seats, mats and doors. Wash out any stains that may be present. Take a towel with a quality interior cleaner and wipe down all of the hard surfaces inside the car being sure to not leave any streaks behind. Don’t ignore any cracks or crevices! Each extra little touch you add will make the car that much better. A better looking car usually sells for more and far more quickly, and time as they say, is money!
Check the Tire Pressure
Be sure to check the tire pressure on all of the tires including the spare. Make sure the air pressure is within spec of the vehicle’s recommendations.
Check the Features of the Car
Ensure that all the cars features are in good working order. Check that the air conditioner is operational, the radio functions, all speakers are intact, the alarm works properly, and any other features your car may have are functioning properly. If the car’s features are damaged, not functioning or are otherwise non-operational, it is wise to have them repaired. Features that do not work will certainly lower the amount for which you will be able to sell the car.
Replace windshield wipers
While not 100% necessary, I have found that if windshield wipers had not been recently replaced that when the car is held for sale that it is a good time to replace them. Potential buyers always seem to appreciate small touches such as that.
Check the Cars Vital Fluids
Engine oil, transmission fluid, windshield wiper fluid, radiator coolant, power steering fluid and brake fluid are all easily checked by lifting the hood and checking the dip stick. Add additional fluid if any of the cars vital fluids appear to be low. If you do not trust yourself to do this, a quality mechanic should be able to easily perform this for a nominal fee.
Gather the facts
Your vehicle, just like all vehicles, has a VIN number associated it. The VIN number will allow anyone to obtain the history of a vehicle. Purchasing that vehicle history report and sharing it with any potential buyers is a sign of honesty. This upfront honesty is sure to increase the credibility of both you and the quality of your vehicle.
Find Comparable Current Sales – Do your research!
Go online to a site such as Auto Trader and locate cars similar to yours that are up for sale. Use the information found looking at comparable vehicles to determine and support the selling price.
Price the Car
After locating comparable sales go to a site such as Kelley Blue Book to find out the estimated value of your vehicle. This will help you to determine if you have the car priced well or not. Note that even if you feel your car is in “excellent” condition, pricing your car too high might hinder potential buyers from making an offer.
Get the Cars Paper Work Together
Put together a packet of all of the vehicles current information. This will include the cars current registration and any other important documents. This will avoid a scramble when you have an interested party to gather all of the paperwork and ensures that you have all your ducks in a row. All potential buyers will appreciate this organization.