Tips and Tricks for the First-Time Car Seller

Whether it feels like you’re saying goodbye to an old friend or finally unloading the perfectly-good, but not “you” car, the time has come to bid it adieu and put it on the market, and up for sale.

It’s important that you get a deal you deserve and that you have an easy, trouble-free transaction.

Tips and Tricks for the First-Time Car Seller

Before you do anything, it’s important to get a professional valuation of your car. And don’t worry about building costs to you, as you’re preparing to sell. You can easily get free car valuations by Sell My Car.This company gives you “an estimated market value of your car – based on industry sales data and the information” you submitted. All the initial contact can be made online. You book an appointment – you get to choose the time, date and location – all for your convenience. Sell My Car does a thorough inspection and will make an offer to buy your car (be sure you arrived prepared, with the right paperwork, too)

Here are the things a buyer will want to know about your car:

  • When was it built (not just the car’s year, but when it was actually built)?
  • How many owners has the car had?
  • What’s the mileage?
  • Who owned the car and how often did they drive it?
  • Has it been in an accident?
  • Is there a clean title (meaning you own the car outright, and do not owe money to the bank and hold the owner’s paperwork)?
  • Do you have the history of the car’s maintenance and repair?
  • What area was the car driven? (Bear in mind that particularly wet and cold climes or very hot ones do impact a car)

It is common practice in Australia to “haggle” over the final price. Traditionally, a buyer will ask you for 10% to 15% less than your asking price, so be sure you keep that in mind when you’re selling your car.

Regarding the car itself, keep in the best condition possible. Before you “show” it to a potential buyer make sure have not only washed the car, but thoroughly detailed it. Clean, wipe and vacuum. Be sure the windows are crystal clear, inside and out. When someone is test-driving your car, don’t forget there is a psychological component. You want the car to be as appealing as possible. Don’t try and hide any dents or scratches. If they are visible, show them. Show the buyer that you’re honest and open. If a portion of the car has been resprayed, let them know.

Include in your initial ad and mention in your meeting with the potential buyer, any after-market additions that have been made to the car, and what you may or may not be including (things like front and back seat or steering wheel covers, a car cover, etc.).

Don’t rush a buyer – it’s off putting. Unless someone genuinely expressed an interest previously and are actually planning on returning, don’t tell the buyer about it.

If you’re planning to buy a new car after you sold the old one, make sure that you understand the different factors involved in buying.

In case you’re selling the old one to purchase a new car for your daughter or son, TeensGuideToMoney.com offers a list for the young, who need to understand the financial responsibilities associated with a new car.  Another money-centric site tackles the same topic, but rather than gear the article towards teens, it’s a more general piece, suitable for adults.

About Tina Roth

Get to Know Me Better. Hi, I'm TINA! I am a financial planner, blogger, and freelance writer and digital marketing consultant. The idea of starting a finance blog has been hitting me for long; I took it seriously after falling into a spiral of finance debacles and recovering from it. Here I write about personal finance and money management tips.

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