Navigating the world of car buying and selling can be overwhelming, especially if you’re new to the process. There are plenty of things you may worry about, like where do I even start? How do I know I’m getting the most profit possible? How can I avoid getting scammed? When is the best time to sell? Thankfully, we can help you out with that. Below you can find answers to all of your burning questions related to car selling. Follow this guide and you can get yourself the best deal possible with the least amount of stress and worry.
First, you should know the seven steps involved with selling a used car. They are as followed:
Gather all your documents
Decide on an asking price
Spruce your car up
Figure out where to list your car
Screen buyers safely
Set up a test drive
Close the deal
So, let’s get started.
What documents are needed to sell a used car?
The first step is making sure you have the correct documents in order to make the transfer of ownership a smooth one. You should follow this checklist:
Vehicle history reports
Vehicle history reports provide all the background information on what your car has been through so there are no surprises for the next owner. They let potential buyers know the accident history, mileage, and more. You can go through websites like Carfax or Autocheck to easily obtain one.
Similar to a vehicle history report, maintenance records tell the buyer how well you’ve taken care of the car over the years. They show how often you’ve taken it in for oil changes, tire checks, and other routine car upkeep services. This is crucial for potential buyers and remaining as transparent as possible about your vehicles car history can help the transition go easily.
Making sure you have your warranty documentation on hand to prove it’s transferable can allow you to increase your asking price. Manufacture warranties mean the seller backs their product and insures repairs or replacements if they break over time.
On the other hand, if you are selling your car without any warranty, you will need your as-is documentation. This means that any problem with the car is no longer the seller or dealership’s responsibility, and all costs from here on out are on the buyer.
An odometer disclosure statement is simple. It just means by law, you have to let the potential buyer know your vehicles mileage, and whether or not the odometer reading is accurate. The things required in an odometer discloser are as follows:
1.Reading at the time of transfer
- Date of transfer
- Year, make, model & vehicle identification number
- buyers name and address
- the sellers signature
- buyers signature
7.Current vehicle mileage and the time of sale
This one is easy. The vehicle title is just a document that says whoever owns the car. If you own the title to your vehicle, you’re all set. All you need to do is sign it over when you’ve found the right buyer. However, things can get a little bit trickier if you’re still making payments on yours. You would have to reach out to your bank and find out how many payments are left and what the next steps are to transfer them.
Bill of sale
This isn’t legally required, but a bill of sale is a good idea to outline the terms and conditions of the sale and put everything in writing. If anything goes wrong, or there is a dispute later on, you’ll be glad to have this to reference.
Decide on an asking price
After you’ve gathered all of your paperwork, you’ll want to set an asking price for your vehicle. There are a couple of factors you should take into consideration before doing this.
The cars appearance
What kind of condition is your vehicle in? Has it seen better days? Or is it relatively unscathed? Remember to be as transparent as possible when making note of your vehicles condition as to not create any misunderstandings later.
The features and options in the car
If your vehicle has any interesting features, such as a new sound system or a sun roof, you should play these up as they can be desirable to buyers and attract more attention. Definitely make note of any qualities your car has that can set you apart from other cars on the market.
The current marketplace demand for your car
You will need to look around to figure out how in-demand your specific car is in order to gauge a good price. Once you figure out some ball park numbers, the rule of thumb here is to list your car somewhere in between the middle and highest bids you see of your car or similar cars currently listed.
The car’s mechanical condition
Your cars mechanical condition will affect how high you are able to sell your car. Again, consider how other cars are doing on the market that are in similar condition to yours to figure out a fair price.
The car’s mileage
The mileage on your car will also affect how high you’re able to sell. If it’s over the 100,000 mark, you may find it more difficult to set a competitive price.
Looking into each of these will help you set the best price possible and attract the most buyers.
Spruce Up Your Car
The next step to consider taking is to give your car some curb appeal, which means sprucing it up a little bit. It’s important to pay attention to little interior and exterior details in order give potential buyers a favorable first impression of your car. You could have a vehicle that has been well maintained mechanically, but if it looks dirty, your value can seriously decrease.
Make It Spotless
One detail to pay attention to when cleaning your car is to get rid of any personal items. CD’s, Knick-knacks, loose change, or other car accessories can make the car look cluttered and undesirable. Potential buyers need to be able to imagine this as their new car, not your old one.
Check the Lights
Not only should you make sure your car is clean and tidy, you should also frequently check to make sure all the lights are working. It would be pretty embarrassing if you were showing your car to a potential buyer and the interior lights were broken for some reason. Pay attention to them, as well as the brake lights, headlights, and turn signals.
Top Off Fluids
Also, keeping all the fluids topped off is a good indicator to buyers that you’ve taken great care of your car. You may not always think about it, but paying attention to this detail can suggest that you’ve been a good car owner and the car has not been neglected.
Repairs Help in the Long Run
Consider repairing any dents or scratches if you can afford to do so. This may seem obvious, but it’s worth pointing out because it can increase your car’s value tremendously.
Figure out where to sell your car
The next step in the process is to figure out how you want to sell the car. Thankfully cashcarsbuyer.com makes this step virtually painless. We take care of the hassle of finding potential buyers, and pay you the most competitive price outright for your vehicle. However, if you’d like more information on the process anyways, we’ve got you covered.
The first step to find a buyer is to decide where you want to list your car. There are many online outlets to make private car listings. Once you decide where to list, it is crucial that you carefully vet whoever your buyer is.
Screen Potential Buyers Safely
The internet is an incredible place, but it can also be used to take advantage of you if you’re not careful. It’s important to remain alert and vigilant in order to avoid scammers. Here are a few things to look out for when listing your car to sell.
Checks or money orders
Be wary of anyone offering to pay with checks or money orders, as they can be fake. If you don’t make sure the money goes through before signing over the title, you can end up giving the car away for free, which is obviously not ideal.
Another common scam is when a buyer asks you for personal information in order to ‘wire’ money. Never give away personal information, such as bank information, your social security number, or any credit card numbers, as this can be an attempt at identity theft.
Additionally, you should look out for anyone offering to pay you in installments, or a payment plan. You are not a bank; therefore, you have no way to collect if they miss payments or flat out stop payments. It’s best to just avoid this type of buyer situation unless you know who you are selling to you and can trust them.
Keep all your records
Another helpful safety tip when dealing with any type of buyer is to document everything. Keeping records of names, phone numbers and signed documents. This will come in handy if any type of disagreement arises.
Know who you’re selling to
This may seem like no brainer, but always make sure you ask for identification from who you are selling to. Verifying legal names and information can protect you in the long run if anything happens.
Set Up a Test Drive
Once you have followed all the steps above, you have found and vetted a buyer, and you’re ready to meet in person for the test drive, you are almost done, but there are a few more crucial steps to take.
Meet in Public
The most important thing to do when meeting up with a stranger is to make sure it’s in a public place, like a mall parking lot or a park. It’s safer for both parties involved if you meet in a neutral, public location, especially during daylight hours.
Also, when you meet, make sure you ask for their driver’s license and take a picture of it to send to someone you trust. This may seem excessively cautious, but it’s better to be prepared for the worse than leave any room to be taken advantage of.
Additionally, you should ride along with the potential buyer as they test out the car. Please do not let a stranger get in your car and drive away, as they may never return.
Closing the deal
There are a few things to remember when you’re finally ready to close the deal. First, figure out how the buyer will deliver payment. Cash is usually the easiest way to go, and it’s helpful if you have a bill of sale to give as a receipt.
Release of Liability
Also, fill out a release of liability form to file with the DMV. That way, if the person drives away and immediately gets into an accident, you are not responsible.
Gather Your Belongings
Last but not least, don’t forget to take off your license plate before handing over the keys and remove any additional personal items. It’s easy to forget these as an afterthought.
Other questions you may be asking yourself is when do you know when to sell your vehicle? Is there a good time or a bad time? Is there a specific mileage mark you should sell your car by?
Like previously stated, the rule of thumb regarding mileage is to sell before it reaches the 100,000-mile mark. It’s also important to note that a car loses its value by roughly 10 percent each year you own it.
Timing Is Key
The timing of when you sell is important as well. Checking out what the market for used cars looks like in your area will give you a leg up before listing. Perhaps holding off until your type of car is more in demand could help your value increase.
When is the Best Month?
Also, you might not have known this, but the weather plays a part in how well cars sell. Warmer seasons, specifically March-August, tend to be more successful times to sell, as people are more likely to be out and about and needing transportation.
However, if you are selling a car that has four-wheel drive or does well in colder climates, consider selling in the fall, when people are preparing for the winter seasons and your vehicle is more likely to be in demand.
You’re All Set!
If you follow these steps when selling your car, you can count on an easy and hassle free experience. Remembering all of your documents, deciding on a fair asking price, cleaning up the car, following basic safety rules, and closing with the right details in mind are all the tools you need to be successful.
However, utilizing our services at cashcarsbuyer.com is by far the best way to sell a used car painlessly. Visit our website for more information.