Things to Remember When Selling a Used Car

Get your car in as good a condition as possible before selling it.

Get your car in as good a condition as possible before selling it.

Because you are probably not a professional used car salesmen and want only to get rid of a vehicle, you might run into some difficulties if you don’t understand the ins and outs of selling a car. In the old days, people would simply put a “For Sale” sign in the car window and park it at a local store. With so much information on used cars available on the Internet, sellers need to put in a bit more effort.

Price it Right

Find out the market for your type of car by looking at online websites to see the prices people are posting for similar cars. You can also check the Kelley Blue Book to see how much your car is worth. Compare the cars for sale to yours by checking the model year, trim level and how many cars like yours are for sale. Set your price just below what others list if you want a quick sale.

Clean it Up

Making your car look good involves more than just washing it. Consider having it professionally detailed so the interior looks as close to new as possible, including a thorough vacuuming of the carpets, mats and upholstery. Detailing also involves cleaning the wheels, tires and rims. Rid the car of any dents or scrapes as best you can. If you can make minor repairs yourself or can have a mechanic fix them at a minimal cost, do so instead of explaining to a potential buyer the problems. If there are major problems with the car that you do not intend to repair, state that the car is being sold “as is” and disclose what the problems are.Keep the maintenance records in the car, ready to show a buyer.

Take Pictures

Whether you advertise your car on a paid Internet site. on a free site or on a bulletin board at work, provide at least one clear picture of the car. It is better to provide an interior and an exterior view. Do not try to conceal any flaws because that could be viewed as being deceptive, and you will likely get negative reviews on online sites as a result.

Write an Accurate Description

Include as much detail as possible in your advertisement to avoid receiving phone calls from people asking the same questions. A good example would be: 2009 Lexus ES 350 6-speed automatic V6 with leather seats and navigation system. Also, include the mileage, the interior and exterior color and any options. While you need to be upfront about problems, follow any negative statements with positive ones, recommends Logan Utsman of AutoTalk.

Test Driving

Most buyers want to test drive the car. Ask to see a driver’s license and go along on the ride. It is reasonable for a buyer to take the car to a mechanic to ensure the car is OK to buy. You can go to the mechanic with the potential buyer if you are worried he might steal your car.

Transferring Ownership

Your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles can tell you how to transfer ownership in your state. Generally, you would sign the title over to the buyer after she pays for the car. Note the mileage and the sale price. You would do this to limit your liability in case the buyer gets into an accident on the way home.


About the Author

Laura Agadoni has been writing professionally since 1983. Her feature stories on area businesses, human interest and health and fitness appear in her local newspaper. She has also written and edited for a grassroots outreach effort and has been published in "Clean Eating" magazine and in "Dimensions" magazine, a CUNA Mutual publication. Agadoni has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University-Fullerton.

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