Selling your current vehicle so you can buy another one is a stressful process that takes energy. And if you’re going to put forth all this time and effort, you want to make sure you’re getting top dollar for your car.
When it comes to selling your vehicle, you have options. You can sell it yourself, hire someone to sell it for you, or simply trade it in and take whatever the dealer gives you. And as you explore your different options, you’ll come to realize there’s a wide range of valuations. If you want to get top dollar for your car, there are some specific tips and tricks you should use.
1. Know What Your Car Is Worth
You can’t get top dollar for something if you don’t know what it’s worth. Whether it’s an antique candlestick or a used Mercedes, an accurate understanding of valuation is paramount to a successful sale.
Kelley Blue Book is known as the most reliable pricing guide in the industry. Always start by pricing your vehicle out with this tool and use it as a guide in all of your pricing and negotiations.
2. Take Advantage Of Dealer Incentives
You have to be very careful with selling your car to a dealer. When they buy a used car, they have to take into account all of the costs they’ll incur, as well as the markup they need to make in order to turn a profit. All of this affects the price they offer you.
That being said, there are times when selling to a dealer can be good – such as when they’re offering incentives for trading in and buying another vehicle. In these cases, you may get an added boost based on the fact that you’re buying your new car from them.
3. Do A Private Party Sale
The best way to sell your vehicle is through a private party sale. The old school way of doing this was to take out an ad in the classifieds section of the newspaper or park your car on a busy street with a for-sale sign in the window. The new way of doing a private party sale is to use an online platform like Swap Motors, which lets you list your vehicle in an online marketplace or sell it in an online auction.
4. Keep Service Records
When doing a private party sale, you need to be focused on reducing friction for buyers. One of the things that scare prospective buyers the most is a lack of knowledge about the vehicle and what it’s been through. By keeping service records, you can show buyers exactly how the car has been cared for over the years.
5. Spruce Up Appearance
You don’t have to get your car in perfect condition to sell. People buy used cars knowing there are going to be some nicks and dings, as well as some minor issues beneath the hood. However, you can create a positive first impression by really sprucing up the appearance. Spending $100 to have the car vacuumed, washed, buffed, and polished is well worth it.
6. Leave Room For Haggling
The final tip is to leave room for haggling when you set your sale price. You don’t want to overprice your vehicle (which will limit inquiries), but you also don’t want to start at a disadvantage. People expect to negotiate a price and you need to account for this.
For example, if you know your car is worth $15,000, don’t start at that price. It’s better to start at something like $16,500, which gives you a little wiggle room to come down.
Don’t Rush The Process
It’s never a good idea to back yourself into a corner where you have to sell your car within a limited timeframe – such as 24 to 48 hours. When you put yourself in a situation like this, you lose leverage. Instead of being controlled, you’re frantic.
Slow down and avoid rushing the process. By moving in a calm, calculated manner, you can make smart decisions that benefit your wallet and allow you to maximize your money.
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