How to Sell My Car with a Car Sales Contract

Sign on the dotted line to transfer the title of your car to a new owner.
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After all your intense negotiating when selling your car, it’s time to draw up the papers and sign on the dotted line. Every state requires a sales contract between seller and buyer when selling a vehicle, according to the Cars Direct website. The point of the contract is to ensure that both you and the buyer agree on all terms and everyone knows the deal.

Negotiate the Deal

Step 1

Advertise your car for sale to attract potential buyers. Place a listing online or in your local newspaper. Or go the old-school route and park your car on a busy street with a “for sale” sign in the window. List all relevant information, including make, model, year, mileage, selling points and possible mechanical issues, for buyers to read. Include your asking price, too.

Step 2

Show the car to potential buyers. Answer questions and allow people to examine the automobile. If buyers want to drive the car, check for a valid driver’s license and then ride along to make sure they drive carefully.

Step 3

Negotiate with an interested buyer to agree on a purchase price. You may need to reduce your asking price slightly during negotiation, depending on the buyer’s position. When you come to an agreement on price, shake hands on the deal.

Create the Contract

Step 1

Draw up a car sales contract to put the details of the deal in writing. Generally, a car sales contract identifies the seller – you – by name and then lists your address, county and state. Next, write out the agreed price in words and figures, state that you have received this payment, and write the current date. State that you are conveying or selling the car to the buyer. Include the buyer’s full name, and list the address, county and state of the buyer.

Step 2

Add important details to the car sales contract. Include the make, model, year, color, body style, registering state, the Vehicle Identification Number and any accessories you are including with the car. Write the exact mileage on the car sales contract and state that the odometer is accurate to the best of your knowledge, if applicable. If you know that there is an odometer discrepancy, you must state this in the sales contract.

Step 3

List all the representations by you, as the seller, about the car. For example, include that you are the legal owner, that you have the right to transfer the title (no liens exist) and that all information provided by you about the car is accurate. Include an “as-is” clause to make sure that the buyer knows you are selling the car “as is” (without a warranty).

Step 4

Create signature lines for the seller and buyer to sign the contract. Create a line beneath the signature lines for printed names. Add lines for the dates as well.

Step 5

Make two copies of the sales contract – one for you and one for the buyer.

Step 6

Find out if you need to have your car sales contract notarized. If you live in West Virginia, New Hampshire, Louisiana, Maryland or Nebraska, you must have your contract notarized, according to the Cars Direct website. In this case, don’t sign the contract until you’re in the presence of a notary public. If you live in one of the 45 other states, notarization is optional. You can just sign and date both copies of the contract to seal the deal.

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