Sell Your Car Yourself in 7 Simple Steps

By carefully considering your car’s value, listing it on the appropriate platform, and separating the genuine purchasers from the tire kickers, you may easily turn your vehicle into cash.

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Here’s how you sell your automobile privately, instead of turning it in to a local or internet dealer, to minimize the hassle and get the most money.

1. Gather documentation and establish a price.

Before you put your automobile up for sale, find these things and make these repairs:

The title of your automobile. This document, often known as the pink slip, grants you the authority to sell your used automobile. Don’t sign it yet, though.

Consult your lender. To find out how to set up the sale if you are still behind on your car loan, give the lender a call. You should be able to walk buyers through the procedure.

Go online to the DMV. See what documents need to be completed in order to transfer ownership by contacting your state’s department of motor vehicles. A bill of sale is one of the many forms that can be downloaded and printed. Additionally, find out if the license plates are sold with the vehicle.

Get a history report on a car. Order an AutoCheck or Carfax report in advance to provide to potential purchasers. Numerous possible queries, such the number of owners and incidents, are addressed by this.

To determine a competitive “asking price” for your used automobile, you must first determine the approximate worth of the vehicle. Check the worth of your automobile using Edmunds or Kelley Blue Book, and see what comparable cars are selling for in your area. Make sure your pricing is within the range of a decent deal, but a little more than the current market worth. Therefore, you may set the price at $4,750 if the pricing guide indicates that your automobile is worth $4,200. This gives you some leeway in negotiations.

Take care not to round up to the next $1,000 for automobiles that cost less than $10,000. Therefore, listing an automobile for $5,100 when its actual value is $4,200 would be incorrect. Many consumers will never see your ad because they have set search engine limitations of $5,000 or above. Additionally, there is a psychological distinction between $4,900 and $5,100 that may deter some purchasers.

2. Get an online backup option

Your automobile is really only worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it. Obtain offers for your automobile from nearby dealerships or online from CarMax, Carvana, or other significant online auto purchasers to provide a starting point for your talks. Online cash offers to buy your automobile in its whole are usually valid for a week.

Dealerships’ offers will accommodate both since they anticipate having to spend money reconditioning your automobile and then price it to make a profit. However, it’s helpful to know that you have options in case serious customers fail to show up.

3. Improve the curb attractiveness of your vehicle

Adding curb appeal to your automobile is the greatest method to sell it. You want a potential buyer to declare, with just one glance at your automobile, “It looks great!”

It’s not necessary to fix every single ding and scrape; instead, just give the car a wash and vacuum, and get rid of all the debris that has gathered over time. It is a good idea to give newer, more costly secondhand automobiles a professional detail. However, the automobile will take longer to sell for a higher price, and the new car’s sheen will fade after a few weeks.

As a potential customer walks up to the vehicle, opens the door, and climbs into the driver’s seat, pay close attention to every aspect that they will observe. You want that good feeling to stay with her while she sits in the car and tries to imagine it being her own.

4. Make sales-oriented advertisements

Having a number of high-quality images of your automobile can help it stand out from other used vehicles up for sale and instill trust in the customer.

For the optimum lighting, take a photo of your automobile parked in a lovely spot right after sunset. Take shots of the automobile from different perspectives as you go around it. Snap photos of the trunk, rear seat, and driver’s seat inside. Skilled vendors additionally incorporate pictures of the engine, tires, and odometer to display wear depth and current mileage.

5. Carefully vet callers

You may avoid a lot of hassle and wasted time when selling your used automobile on Craigslist or AutoTrader by vetting potential buyers before speaking with them. To sell a car discreetly, think about using a different email address and obtaining a free Google Voice phone number.

You should anticipate receiving a lot of calls if you have a popular automobile offered at a low price. However, leave the calls on voicemail and check them later to determine who should be contacted. Watch out for purchasers who seem to be phoning through several postings. They’re most likely attempting to “flip” used automobiles, which involves purchasing them at a discount and then reselling them for a profit. Before they even view the automobile, they frequently make a lowball offer or try to get you into negotiating.

When a buyer appears credible, give them a call again and be prepared to go over the vehicle’s year, make, model, mileage, and condition. You can typically tell throughout your conversation with them if they are serious about purchasing your automobile.

6. Schedule a trial ride

Set up a secure meeting location and show them your pre-owned vehicle. This may take place at a nearby coffee shop or a mall. Try to bring a buddy along if you can. Some cities are establishing secure venues for the meeting of buyers and dealers.

Allow them to have a test drive, but accompany them as they will likely require instructions if they are not familiar with the region. During the test drive, resist the need to “sell” them your used automobile by just answering any questions they may have.

The buyer is responsible for covering the cost of any mechanic inspections they want to have done. Should they come back with an extensive list of issues, you may need to reduce your asking price. But don’t worry about everything on the list; instead, focus just on issues that need to be resolved right now.

7. Seal the agreement

Hopefully, the potential buyer will start haggling over the price of your used automobile after the test drive. Let the initial offer come from the buyer. If he asks, “What’s your best price?” for instance, you may respond, “Well, I think my asking price is fair.” You might, however, make me an offer.

To make sure there are no misunderstandings, negotiate calmly and state the amounts again. Make sure the buyer is ready to pay with cash or a cashier’s check before you accept a contract. You may need to terminate the account with your bank if you still owe money on the loan.

Usually, you will provide the buyer with a bill of sale along with a signed and dated title. To demonstrate that you no longer own the automobile, you will also need to file a “release of liability” document in several states.

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