Sell It Better

Some tips for selling your car

So you want to sell your car. Great! Put a “For Sale” sign in the window with your number on it, sit back and let the calls — and eventually the cash — roll in. Ha! We wish selling your car was like that. Unfortunately it’s just not that easy. There are lots of tiny steps along the way to a sale that often slow the process down. Here are some things to know before selling your car, so that the sale goes through seamlessly.

  • Nail The Timing. You might not have considered this, but when you sell your vehicle matters. As NBC News notes, don’t try to sell a motorcycle in the dead of winter. Instead, set it up for sale in the spring, when people are getting excited about hitting the open, warm-weather roads. Timing matters just as much if you’re looking to sell an SUV. Sell them in the fall, as more people are looking for heavy-duty vehicles to tackle the incoming winter.
  • Be Fair. Use Kelley Blue Book to find the value of your vehicle, and then be honest about its condition. The more accurate your price the more likely you are to get a quick sale.
  • Get Your Papers in Order. Before listing your vehicle, make sure you have the title, the bill of sale and all maintenance records on hand. If you’ve misplaced the title, many times a bill of sale will suffice. If you’re not sure what you need, check your state’s DMV site.
  • Take Plenty of Pics. Just like selling a home, you want as many pictures of your car as possible to appear with your listing. If you have a couple photos of the car’s exterior and that’s it, you can likely forget a sale.
  • Vet All Buyers. When you do get an offer, Google is your friend. Research the buyer for any potential red flags. Be upfront about what form of payment you want and make the car-cash exchange in a public place with several witnesses. Don’t leave such a big transaction up to chance.

Chris O'Shea

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