Selling a car privately instead of trading it in when you buy a new car can be more profitable for you. Likely, you’ll command a higher price from a private party than from a dealer, enabling you to come away from the transaction with more money in your pocket. True, selling a car privately can be a hassle, but if do it right, then you can move your metal fast and move on with your life.
The following tips will help you unload your ride fast:
1. Get your car ready. Buyers want a car that is in good condition and you can condition your car to make it ready for sale. On the exterior, give your car a thorough washing and top it off with a fresh coast of wax. Pay attention to scuff marks and spend extra time on the rocker panels where dirt tends to accumulate. Inside, vacuum the seats and floor, repairing holes as needed. Wipe down the dashboard, clean the instrument panel and run your rag over the soft touch materials found between the seats, on the doors and elsewhere. If needed, rotate the tires, change the oil and replace the air filter. Follow a checklist to ensure that your car is ready for sale.
2. Price your car. Understanding the value of your car is critically important. Fortunately, you can discover your car’s book value online or by using pricing guides from Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds or NADA Guides. Localize your pricing and set your price about five percent lower than what the guides say you can fetch for your car. An aggressive price will show serious buyers that you mean business.
3. Use varying marketing strategies. Place “car for sale” signs on your vehicle, with a contact number prominently displaced. Leave your vehicle in a high traffic area such as at shopping center or near a busy intersection and place advertisements on Craigslist or a local Internet site to attract customers.
4. Begin your negotiations. Every seller has a bottom price and even your discounted price should be above that amount. Give the buyer some room to negotiate and be prepared to lop off some money to move your car. You want the person who is buying your vehicle to feel that he has come away a winner in this deal.
5. Close the deal. You’ll either accept cash or will take a certified check to complete the deal. Your state has certain requirements for handing over a title, including signing a legal document such as the title itself. If you still owe money on your car, you’ll need to pay off the lender before the transaction is finalized. Once these steps have been accomplished, then cancel your insurance.
You’re now done! And likely you came away from the deal with more money than what you would have gotten from your car dealer, giving you an important win and the satisfaction of knowing that you can sell a car privately.