Selling your care made easier with these helpful tips
Tuesday, 03 April 2012 by Keith Bahlmann
Selling a car is not always so easy. Vehicle owners are well aware that a new vehicle's value is drastically diminished the moment it is driven off the dealership's lot. As a result, sellers often don't know where to begin when the time comes to sell their vehicles.
Vehicle owners typically put a car up for sale because they feel they can get more for it from a private citizen than they will get from a dealership as a trade-in. But before listing a car or truck for sale, owners should consider a few factors.
Vehicle owners typically emphasize sale price more than anything when they decide to sell their car. Though sale price bears considerable weight, guides such as the Kelley Blue Book, which sellers and buyers can access for free online, will likely dictate the sale price, even if the seller feels such guides undervalue their vehicle. Buyers know all about these guides, and will be reticent to pay more than what these guides suggest is the value of the car. But there is always room to negotiate. Sellers should, if the car is in pristine condition, set a sale price above the suggested value so, if buyers do want to bargain, the sale price ends up being closer to the suggested value and not substantially below.
Make the vehicle a better buy
Particularly in today's economy, buyers are looking to get more and more for their money. This actually helps sellers, as buyers are now more inclined to buy a used vehicle because it might prove a better value than a brand new car that immediately diminishes in value the moment buyers sign on the dotted line.
That said, there are numerous ways sellers can increase their vehicle's curb appeal. First and foremost, sellers should always address any mechanical issues before putting a vehicle up for sale. For example, if the car is having transmission troubles or the brakes are wearing down, don't put the vehicle up for sale until those things are taken care of. If you don't want to fix problems, then you must disclose this information to prospective buyers, which will certainly reduce the amount of money you will get for the car.
When addressing what's under the hood, change the oil, replace the air filter (which often improves the ride considerably), check tire pressure and inflate the tires as needed.
Aside from mechanical issues, another big plus to potential buyers is a car that looks good. Home shoppers don't want to buy a dilapidated shack, and car buyers don't want to buy a car with a bad paint job and a cracked windshield. Such things suggest to prospective buyers that you didn't care enough to maintain the vehicle, and they will certainly assume you neglected what's under the hood as well. Get the vehicle detailed and wash it at least once a week until it's sold.
In addition to addressing the exterior, clean the interior as well. Vehicle owners tend to live in their cars, and it shows. Clean coffee stains from cup holders and remove all trash from the vehicle, including anything that has accumulated under the seats, in the cushions and even in the trunk over the years. Remove all excess items from the trunk, as buyers are typically impressed by a spacious trunk.
Once stains and trash have been removed, shampoo the carpets and seats and vacuum the car thoroughly. It's amazing how easily a vehicle's interior can be transformed with a little elbow grease, and buyers are always impressed by a clean interior. And don't forget to hang a pleasant -- but not overbearing -- air freshener from the rearview mirror.
Prove your maintenance record
Sellers who have diligently kept records of their vehicle's maintenance should present these records to prospective buyers. This will indicate you were a responsible owner and give buyers a feeling of security about the purchase. If you did not keep records but strictly adhered to a maintenance schedule, contact the auto body shop where work was performed to see if they have any records. Most records are stored in a computer system, so this isn't necessarily a long shot, especially if maintenance was performed at a dealership.
Selling a car won't necessarily be easy in the current economic climate, but sellers can employ a host of strategies to make their vehicle more appealing to prospective buyers.