Are you looking for information on how to sell a car like a genius?
You may be ready to sell your car but you don’t have the guidance to seal a deal successfully. Look no further! Here you’ll master the art of selling a car without making a single mistake.
If you are not confident about your sales skills, don’t worry. This step-by-step guide teaches novice and savvy sellers what a succesful sale should be all about.
Buckle up and check our simple steps on how to sell a car privately.
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Step #1: Gather your paperwork
The process of selling a car starts with having the right documentation handy. Here’re the items you need to gather before putting your car on the market:
- Car title: This document, also known as the pink slip, gives you the legal right to sell a car. Your name should be on the title to be considered the legal owner FYI.
- Are you selling a car with a lien on it? If so, be prepared to pay off the loan. Otherwise, contact your lender and arrange the sale together.
- Contact the DMV: You should reach out to a clerk to verify the status of your car. And ask if there is any other document you need to keep handy based on your profile.
- Get a vehicle history report for major transparency: This document protects both, sellers and buyers, from confusions and misunderstandings about your car. Get one!
Step #2: Choose an offer price
The next step is to determine the value of your car so you can set an offer price.
If you aren’t sure about the estimated value, look it up on websites such as Edmunds or Kelley Blue Book.
Those sites offer comparable listings for similar or even same vehicles in local advertisements. Make sure you set a competitive asking price.
A good technique is to set the price slightly above the current value. Yet, be careful with setting your price. Your goal is to set a price that attracts potential buyers, rather than pushing people away.
For example, a reasonable price-setting technique is to set a $1000 increase depending on the value of your vehicle.
Anything above that could discourage buyers. Keep in mind that buyers are getting savvier with many online tools in hand.
Step #3: Fix your car immediately
If you haven’t fixed your car yet, you better think twice.
You don’t want a potential buyer to walk away from a deal for a visible maintenance issue that could’ve been fixed with anticipation.
Of course, you don’t have to agree to an expensive upgrade just to make your car look high end. Your car could look like a great offer by just arranging a professional detail with your local mechanic.
In addition, watch for maintenance issues that are hard to spot. The more attention you pay to details, the more chances you’ll have to sell your car at reasonable price.
Not to mention that first impressions last a lifetime. Fix your car in advance and show people your car represents a great deal.
Step #4: Create an ad that converts
You certainly don’t need to hire a photographer to shoot the best car pictures.
Just take your time and play with your camera. Not to mention that you are not required to buy an expensive professional camera to take photos.
Use your smartphone to take sweet pics of the vehicle from the best angles. Get the best lighting… And take your time for once!
Your pictures should let visitors see the exteriors as well as the interiors. Savvy sellers take pictures of the odometer, the tires, and the engine for a deeper look.
To place a successful ad, consider the following platforms:
- Craigslist: The easiest choice for a free interaction. But watch out for those little scammers.
- Autotrader: At a $25 dollars rate, things can be a little pricey and that’s fine. But this site attracts serious buyers from all over the country.
- eBay Motors: Use this site to auction off your vehicle or set a reasonably affordable ad.
- Speciality sites: Use a niche site if you are selling a rare car, including classic vehicles.
When setting your ad, use keywords that offer an authentic description of your car. Consider the following:
- “Just passed smog test,”
- “Crash-free vehicle,” or
- “Newly purchased.”
Do you know any other keyword? Let us know in the comments below.
Step #5: Screen prospects with caution
Be professional. Create a separate email account and obtain a free Google voice phone number to interact with potential buyers.
Your goal is to have a smooth transaction. And that also includes avoiding unnecessary after-sale calls.
If you are about to close the deal, keep an open mind to other callers. Send them to voicemail and check those messages in privacy. You don’t want to miss on a better offer for agreeing to a transaction with the first caller.
Once you picked your client, review all the basic details for a second time. Get a sense of what they are looking for and prioritize their needs.
There are buyers who are constantly seeking for the lowest price to suit their agenda. That’s why screening callers is vital to say the least.
Step #6: Arrange a test drive
The process of selling a car also demands safety owing to physical encounters between strangers.
If you are planning to meet a potential buyer, choose a safe location and bring a friend with you.
Browse for safe locations in your area and arrange a test drive while setting your own rules.
When allowing someone to test your car, you should also join them to guide through the experience.
Try not to voice your selling speech. Let the driver get familiarized with the vehicle and be prepared to answer their questions.
If a buyer wants to further inspect your car with a mechanic, let them do it as long as they pay for the service.
Worst case scenario, they’ll come back with a checklist of maintenance issues. And that may force you to reduce the selling price.
But not every item on the checklist must be something to be worried about. Concentrate only on the ones that can be easily fixed or jeopardize safety.
Step #7: Seal the deal
If a potential buyer ends up loving your car, be prepared to close the deal.
You should stick to your price, especially when everything worked out just brilliantly. If the person asks you again for the asking price, voice your initial price confidently.
It’s also advisable to be open to negotiations so asking for an offer in return is crucial.
Avoid misunderstanding by repeating the final price and agree to a payment method. If you haven’t paid off your vehicle yet, refer to your lender. They’ll be able to assist you in the process.
Fill out the title, sign it, and hand the buyer a Bill of Sale for a smoother transfer of vehicle ownership.
Some states also required car owners (sellers) to fill out a “Release of Liability” form to report the transaction. Double-check with your local DMV agency.
If you lost your title, do not even panic. Contact your DMV agency and request a new title. Importantly, cancel your insurance and start browsing for a new car if that’s your wish.