Selling a car in today’s market can be a daunting task for the unprepared. A whole range of little problems can pop up that make things harder than they need to be, and worst of all, lower the value of your vehicle.
Thankfully, there are steps you can take to improve your selling price, getting you the maximum return on your investment.
Step One – Do The Research
Homework is the most important step. It is all too easy to skip the process and just head to the nearest dealership, but without taking the time to research your car, the market and the selling price of your vehicle means you are setting yourself up for losing out.
Today, it is easier to research than ever. Head online, and pretend you are a buyer. Look around for what people are asking for your particular kind of car, and get an idea of the condition the other vehicles are in when you do so. Even a small amount of research can really pay off, as you can find what the local market is like. Take your time, and find out where the best dollar can be found. Then, whether you sell the car independently or through a dealer, you’ll have a better idea of the price that is most likely (and quickest) to sell while promising the maximum return.
Step Two – Get Your Vehicle Checked
If someone takes your car for a test drive, you don’t want it having any problems when you do. Every rattle, whine, and rumble will lower your chances of a sale – or just lower the price. Get them taken care of first! No one wants to buy a car if they just have to spend more money getting it roadworthy. Get it taken care of ahead of time, and your chance of a sale increases, along with the selling price. Take your car to a licensed mechanic and keep a copy of the receipt. Make sure you tackle any and all problems – don’t leave anything that ‘might’ be a problem further on down the track for the new buyer to deal with. Take care of it upfront, and keep a record. Get an independent inspection of the vehicle as well- someone accredited to check the vehicle over and show that it is fully roadworthy.
Step Three – The Money is in the Details
Either professionally or, if you feel confident enough, spend the time to get the vehicle fully detailed. Some work you won’t be able to do yourself, of course, but remember that the money you spend on the vehicles body work will be returned in an increased selling price, and a higher buyer appeal. Proper maintenance and cleaning of a vehicle will always make this easier, but it is easy enough to miss problems or minor body damage. It is recommended that you at least get a quote for a the cost of detailing on your vehicle, and as always, get more than one, and taking into account the selling price on the market of the vehicle (as noted in the first step) if the price paid will be returned in the sale.
Step Four – Show Your Work
By now, you’ve had your vehicle checked out, repaired, detailed, and you have an idea of the price you want. But none of this will mean much if you don’t have proof of it! Each bit of work you’ve done on the vehicle in preparation for sale should be kept with the date that it was done, and able to be verified. If you’ve done everything right, you’ve nothing to hide, and you shouldn’t. Transparency not only builds rapport, but also increases your selling price. Keep track of insurance claims you’ve had to make in the past with your vehicle as well, and any repairs you’ve made.
Step Five – Keep It Realistic
Keep some room for negotiation in your selling price, and keep the price reasonable. By now you should have an idea of the average price of your vehicle in the market, and with the work you have had done to it, you should also have a price in your head. Always aim to get the best price possible, but don’t get fixated. If you are going to a dealership, don’t settle for the first one, regardless of the offer made to you – search around!
Overall, be smart in your sale! With a little time and money invested, you can follow this process to get the best possible return on your vehicle. You can, within reason, get a very good return on work done – and almost certainly speed up your sale.