Buying a car can be complicated, but selling a car can be just as big of a headache, especially if you are trying to sell it fast. One good benefit of the slowed economy is that people are tending to purchase used cars instead of new. This is a great advantage for those who are looking to unload a used car.
Here are some simple tips to navigate selling your car.
1. Get it in tip top shape.
Think of selling a car like you would sell a house: you want it cleaned top to bottom for the prospective buyer. A clean car will sell quicker and for more money than a dirty one. Take care of the obvious physical looks: wash the car and detail the inside. Next, make sure all of the parts work. Fix any windshield cracks, broken parts and other problems. Without fixing these, the worth of you car will drop significantly. And do not forget to take a look under the hood. If you have an oil leak, take care of it or disclose it. A smart prospective buyer will take it to a shop to get it looked over anyway.
2. Find out what it is worth.
The next step to selling your car is to find out what your car is worth. This will depend on the year and make of the car, how many miles it has and if it has any broken parts. If you have invested in the car, say, put in a new stereo system, that will probably add value to your car. For an official look at what your car is worth, check out Kelly Blue Book or NADA. These two nonprofit car valuators assess the value of all used cars and can give you a price range for what your car is worth.
3. The next step is to list your car.
There are a lot of options for listing your car: put a sign in the windshield with your phone number or put an ad in the classifieds. You can even go as far as auctioning off the car on Ebay (good luck with that one.) Another option is to trade in your car to a dealership.
4. Know how to negotiate.
Car buying has become a negotiator’s game. The price on the car as seen as a suggestion, and the buyer will try to knock it down as much as possible. To be a strong negotiator, know what the car is worth and what you are willing to part with. The theory for a seller is to start the number high and meet in the middle. The buyer will be the opposite.
5. Take it to the bank.
Once you have agreed on a price, figure out payment. Do not accept a personal check. To be safe, go to the bank and get a certified check before the buyer drives off with your car. Some banks will transfer over the title. If not, visit your county DMV to make the exchange.
Oh yeah, don’t forget to search for cheap insurance when you are getting a car. Getting a used car could increase your car insurance premiums.