How To Sell Your Car

Thinking of selling your car? You can sell it yourself. You may think selling your car privately is complicated and time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be.

You can be in control of the sales process from start to finish. Your car. Your price. Your profit. All it takes is a little preparation and organization. Here’s how to do it!


Assess Your Car’s Value

First, you’ll need to figure out exactly how much your car is worth. This figure is not determined by guesswork, but rather precise evaluation.

Find out how much your car is worth with these resources:

This is a big factor in determining whether to sell your car or not, so make sure you do your homework.


Gather The Paperwork

In order to do this by the book, you need to get your paperwork in order. It should come as no surprise that there’s a lot of documentation required to sell a car. Here is an overview of the main documents you’ll need:

  • The title – To sign and hand over to the new owner
  • Maintenance records – To increase the value and dependability of your vehicle
  • Bill of sale – To document the terms and conditions of the sale
  • Release of Liability – To keep you from being held liable for any damages after the sale
  • Warranty documents – If applicable, provide the new owner with the manufacturer’s warranty or an extended warranty
  • As-is documentation – If there are no warranties, document that the new owner will assume all responsibility for damages and repairs (sometimes included in the bill of sale)

Remember, each state has its own requirements for paperwork, to be sure to check the details in your state.

In addition to official documentation, you should also know the car’s history and be able to provide as much information as possible to potential buyers.

Prepare Your Car For Sale

Now it’s time to get your car physically ready for sale. Take some time to make your car look its best. This way it will look more attractive to potential buyers. A clean car gives the impression that it has been well taken care of.

Here are a few ideas to get started:

  • Clean the interior – Vacuum the floor, seats, and trunk. Clean out the ashtrays. Remove any clutter. Replace or clean old floor mats.
  • Clean the exterior – Wash and wax the exterior to really make it shine. Don’t forget to clean the rims and the tires. Wash the windows too, inside and out!

Once you’re done, give your car a photoshoot! Make sure you take photos from several different angles, highlighting the features of the car. Great photos will make your listing stand apart.


List Your Car For Sale

Time to get down to business! How will you reach people interested in buying your car? By listing it in places where people are looking to buy cars!

There are several websites where you can list your car for sale. Here are some popular options:

You don’t have to limit yourself to online listings necessarily. Offline listing ideas may include:

  • Local newspapers
  • “For Sale” window signs
  • Other free publications

When creating your listing, put some thought into the way you present your car. This is the content people will review to determine whether or not they are interested. Make it count!

At a minimum, you should include the following in your listing:

  • Asking price
  • Mileage
  • Vehicle condition
  • History of accidents or damage
  • History of modifications or upgrades
  • Recent repairs
  • Number of owners
  • VIN number (for potential buyers to access a vehicle history report)

Take a look at other car listings for additional ideas of things to include.

Screen Potential Buyers

In the same way that buyers screen sellers, you as the seller will need to screen buyers too. Be sure to take steps to protect yourself and your property from dishonest buyers and scams.

Here are a few tips to help:

  • Never hand over the title and keys without securing funds first
  • Have a friend or family member accompany you when meeting the buyer
  • Be clear what forms payment you are willing to accept (cash is king)
  • Get the buyer’s full legal name

Also, don’t be afraid to ask potential buyers questions. The more you can learn about their driving situation and what they’re looking for, the better you can use that information to ease their concerns.

Close The Sale

If the potential buyer has taken the time to come and see the car, don’t blow the opportunity. Have an honest conversation about the car and how it may fit their needs. Be sure to highlight what makes your car great such as its reliability, safety, size, fuel efficiency, or other positive qualities.

When it comes to price, be clear if the price is firm or negotiable. If it’s negotiable, have a minimum amount in mind that you are willing to accept. Don’t go below this number! Walk away if you have to. It’s customary to start high with the asking price and make a few counter offers. Hopefully you can come to an agreement that works for both parties.


Final Thoughts

Selling your car can be overwhelming at first, but if you are prepared it can be a great experience. When it’s all said and done, hopefully your car has a great new owner and you have some nice pocket money!

To get the best return on your car, make sure you are taking good care of it. Bring it in for regular oil changes and other important maintenance. Drop by Express Lube today!


Resources For Selling Your Car