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Essential Tips for Selling Your Car

posted by Chris Valentine
These Essential Tips for Selling Your Car will move your vehicle in no time

Photo by CC user Kodenamezeus on Wikimedia Commons

Selling your car can be a tricky situation. Whether you’re trying to get rid of an extra clunker, or you’re looking for a way to trade up to a new model, there are several important factors to keep in mind. With a little time and effort put in before listing your car, you can ensure you’re getting the best deal possible.

Understanding Value

The first thing you’ll want to do is learn the value of your vehicle. Consult a value estimate site, mechanic, or dealer to give you a good idea of what your vehicle is worth. When using a value estimator, be honest about the state of your vehicle. If you choose to take your car to a dealer for an estimate, keep in mind that it’s in their best interest to give the lowest price possible as dealers are looking for profit margins above everything else.

Consider Your Market

Once you have a general idea of your car’s value, consider your market. Are you selling a family sedan or a work truck? A speedy convertible or a minivan? It’s important to consider who would be interested in purchasing your vehicle before listing your vehicle. A good way to determine your selling opportunity is by taking a look at similar listings in your area and noting the type of cars being sold and their respective prices. Keep in mind that dealer prices are likely to be much different than private seller listings.

Spruce Up Your Ride

Now that you know where you would like to list your car and the price you’re looking for, it’s time to give your car a good top-to-bottom sprucing. You can take your car to a professional for a full detailing, or you can take the do-it-yourself approach. A professional will be able to clean up your vehicle quickly and offer high-quality options, however, they may charge more than you are willing to pay. You may even consider making any low cost repairs, topping off fluids, and keeping a full tank of gas in order to provide the best value to your buyer. It helps to think of the time and money you put into this part of car sales as an investment that ensures you’ll get the best deal for your car.

Pricing Decisions

Next comes the tricky part— deciding your price. Before anyone makes an offer on your vehicle, consider the lowest price you’re willing to accept. Is your car a “must sell” that you’ll accept a lower bid on out of the necessity to sell? Or is your vehicle so clearly worth your asking price that you’re willing to wait for a potential buyer? Learning some terminology at this point is helpful. “OBO” listings imply you’re willing to negotiate on price while “Firm” listings convey less enthusiasm for offers below your selling point. A vehicle history report may help reassure any buyers that your vehicle is in good condition, especially if you’re making a private sale. This can also help you when it comes time to negotiate your asking price.

Finding Your Buyer

Finally, now that you’re ready to sell your car, it’s time to make your final decision: whether to use a car buyer like Car Buyer USA or make a private sale on a site like Craigslist. There are pros and cons to each method that depend on what you’re looking for. Private sales can usually afford you more profit if you find the right buyer. However, these sales are tricky and it can take a great deal of time to find a buyer willing to pay a firm asking price with no negotiation. If you’re looking for a quick, easy sale, you may have better luck with a car buyer. An official buyer can pay you the same day you make your sale and will typically work with you to ensure the selling process is convenient for you. Car buyers may pay less than what you could make from a potential private sale, but they also take much of the legwork out of the negotiation process by offering up-front payment and fewer questions about your vehicle history.

Selling your car is a large undertaking, but with the right preparation and the right buyer, it can be a smooth, efficient process that gets you the top dollar for your vehicle.

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