When it’s time to sell their cars, a lot of people opt for a private sale, hoping this will get them a higher price than trading it in to a dealer. So, if you’ve decided to take this course of action, but you’ve never sold a car on your own before, you’re surely wondering what you should do next. You’re obviously looking to get the best price for your old vehicle, but you also want to make the sale process as smooth as possible. That’s why you need to prepare yourself properly before you start looking for a buyer.
There’s no denying that selling a car privately can be a bit daunting in the beginning. After all, it’s an important transaction you’re going to make and you have to do things right if you want to get a good deal. It’s also going to take a lot more work to do everything on your own than going to the dealership and letting someone else handle the job. But if you’re sure this is the way you want to go, this guide will show you all the steps you need to follow in order to complete a car sale successfully.
Get all your paperwork ready
The first stage of the process involves taking care of all the necessary paperwork for the sale. Here are the documents you’ll need to sell your car:
- Title – this document proves that you are the legal owner of the car, giving you the right to sell it to another party. When you sell your car, you’ll have to transfer the title to the new owner by signing it. The buyer will then take it to the DMV and a new title will be released in their name.
- Bill of sale – you might also be required to make a bill of sale for your car. This is a document that transfers the ownership of a property, in this case, your vehicle, to another person. The bill of sale should include all relevant information on your vehicle, seller’s and buyer’s names, as well as payment details.
- Car records – the buyer might ask for the car’s maintenance and repair records to assess the vehicle’s condition, so make sure to have these documents on hand when needed.
Also read, How to Start Selling Products Online
Decide on an asking price
Next, you must set an asking price for your vehicle, so you’ll need to get a valuation of your car. There are plenty of online resources that can help you estimate the value of your vehicle by providing information on your car’s make and model, mileage, features, and general condition. You can also check the prices of similar cars on the local market to get a better idea of your vehicle’s value and how much buyers would be willing to pay for it. As a rule of thumb, you should set the price slightly above the market value to leave a bit of room for negotiation.
Get your car ready
If you want to make your vehicle more appealing to prospective buyers, you should work a bit on improving its aspect. A dirty and messy car is sure to turn away buyers. You only get one chance to make a good first impression, so give your vehicle a makeover before you present it to the world. Start by cleaning it thoroughly, both on the inside and the outside. It’s not necessary to remove every scratch on the car’s body (unless you’re willing to go the extra mile), but you do have to keep it clean and clutter-free when showing it to potential buyers.
Advertise your vehicle
After you’ve prepped up your car, it’s time to let everyone know you’re putting it up for sale. Don’t expect buyers to come knocking on your door on their own. You have to lure them in by placing ads on car-selling sites such as Craigslist, or Autotrader. Pay attention to how you formulate the ads and the picture you post online. Honesty is the best policy and good photos can increase the chances of finding more buyers in a shorter period of time.
Also read, How To Advertise A Local Business
Get in touch with potential buyers
At this point, you should start receiving phone calls or messages from people interested in buying your car. Since it would be impossible to meet with each and every one of them in person, you’ll have to screen potential buyers and decide which ones you should contact back. Ask for all the relevant information before you meet with a buyer, to eliminate the risk of dealing with unpleasant surprises. If the buyer seems serious, you can schedule an appointment.
Schedule a test drive
The test drive plays an important role in any car buyer’s journey, so you’ll have to arrange for a safe place to meet, where those who are genuinely interested in purchasing your vehicle can take it for a spin. It’s generally recommended to meet during the daytime, in a public location, and take a friend with you if possible. Let the buyer inspect the car and test it, and avoid the tendency to be pushy about selling your vehicle. Instead, try to give them all the details they need to make an informed decision.
With most car sales, you should expect to go through a negation stage before closing the deal. There’s no need to rush the buyer into accepting your initial offer. After you’ve disclosed the asking price, the buyer will probably come up with a different offer. It’s important to stay firm, but keep an open mind in case their offer seems reasonable. It might take a while before you come to an agreement, so give the other party time to think and also make sure you analyze your options carefully. When you finally decide on a price that works for both of you, you can get ready to finalize the paperwork and close the deal.