SELLING A CAR > How to Get Your Car Ready to Sell

How to Get Your Car Ready to Sell

Maximize what you can sell your used car for. Don't sell it cheap

Getting a Car Ready to Sell

There are a lot of things to do to get your car ready to sell. You are going to apply a little psychology here. You want to steer the potential buyer to choose your car. Read on and I will take you through the steps I have used to get my cars ready. We car-crazy folks sometimes go overboard, but you want to sell your baby for the most money you can.

Detailing Your Car

Don’t try to sell a filthy car. No one will want to buy it. The first thing you need to do is make sure your car looks its very best. This is done by detailing the car. Auto detailing is a process that involves washing, polishing, waxing, proper glass cleaning and even leather care. You can get a real rundown on my methods for doing this yourself in the auto detailing section here on my site.

If you don’t want to spend the day prepping your car, then it’s time to take it to an automotive detailing shop. You need to do the detail because people are so visual when it comes to making a purchase. If it looks shiny and new, they will often buy it on the spot. Clean cars just sell faster. If it’s clean, then it has been maintained – at least that’s how people think. Having sold about 40 cars, I have learned a lot about the process.

Determining the Asking Price

Now before you put your car on the market, you need to look into pricing. I like to look at Craigslist. You can see what people are asking for cars just like yours and in your area. I am like everyone else out there because I want the most money I can get. Hey, you need to buy that next car. I compare the prices people are asking for and figure out the average price. I don’t want to be the highest or the lowest, but I want to be toward the top.

One trick I use is to price my car a few hundred dollars above my real price – but be careful not to price it at the top of the other cars. This is where some psychology comes into play. Buyers want to get your car for the lowest price. If it’s a little high, they can make an offer and feel like they are getting a deal. Folks like to negotiate a little.

Preparing Your Car

There are some important things to do to get your car ready. No one wants to buy a car with bald tires, burned out lights, cracked windshields … the list goes on. I always make sure my tires are not worn out, which means buying a new set if I can afford it. Make sure that all of the car’s systems are working. Check out everything and fix anything that isn’t working. If you can’t afford to get the car fully up to snuff, you should ask a little less for it to attract buyers.

Advertising Your Car

You can probably guess where I advertise my cars. Yes, I do it on Craigslist. It is free and widely used by car shoppers. Another option is AutoTrader. The idea is to cast a wide net. Make sure you take some time and write a good ad for your car. List the features, options, and any recent things you have done like new tires and parts. You want your car to sound really appealing. Also, take some good pictures for your ad. They really are worth a thousand words.

What to Do When a Potential Buyer Comes to Look

Ok, you have a person interested and have set up a time to show the car. The idea is to show it off. I like to demonstrate that everything works – from the headlights to the heater and everything in between. Most people don’t want to buy a broken car.

Now comes the test drive. Never let someone take your car out by themselves. Think about it – there are some bad apples out there. You don’t want someone to simply steal your pride and joy. Always ride along, and bring your friend with you in the car. One other thing to do is to mention in your ad that you want to see cash in hand before you will even show the car.

The Sale

Once you have shown the car and any negotiating has been done, it is time to get the money. I only accept cash. You have to protect yourself from getting ripped off. Never take a personal or cashier’s check – they can be faked. Keep it simple and only accept the greenbacks!

Now you know how I sell and market my cars. I have had almost too much practice on this. Don’t leave any money on the table by accepting a lowball offer. Always look out for yourself.

One last thing: Some of us are not comfortable with people knowing where we live. It is often a good idea to meet in a public place with other people around. Always have someone with you when you are showing the car. This just gives me a little piece of mind. Now get out there and make some money.

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