Sell Your Own Car in Five Easy Steps

Many ladies tend to believe that selling an old car should be left to the man of the house. However, what if there’s no one to handle such a transaction for you? What if we told you could get everything done yourself? By simply following the five steps below, you’ll then realise that nothing is as complicated as it seems

Be in the Know

The first step you need to take in order to sell your car is to know the market. Know what second-hand cars are on the market – if, for example, your car is ten years old, the market is no longer accepting vehicles older than seven years. It’s also worth noting that some car sales are seasonal. You would be hard-pressed, for instance, to find a buyer for a convertible in mid-winter or late fall, since these cars are typically associated with the warmer season. Also, you need to really know your car, its strong points and shortcomings and understand what would constitute a fair price for it. Mileage is important, of course, as are age and, somewhat surprisingly, colour..


Make Your Car Look Good

You’ve probably looked at your old vehicle and wondered, “Who would buy my car?! Look at the state it’s in!” If your car has chipped paintwork or is not spotlessly clean, you might have a very hard time selling it, but what can be done? Make sure it appeals to as many people as possible. Have it washed and detailed. Take it into the shop for a thorough servicing, even if you’re sure it only needs an oil change at the most. Repaint it, hang an air freshener to the rear-view mirror, then get ready to sell your car.

You need to know where to promote it. In this respect, the best thing to do is sell it in your local area. Place classifieds in local papers only, as its unlikely anyone will drive from hundreds of miles away just to buy your used car. Try and sell it online through specialist used car websites. Don’t hesitate to hang up an “I sell my car” sign in the window: no matter how old-school it may seem, you never know when your ideal buyer will pass by. Be creative!

Know How to Sell

The first thing you need to understand is how to write a classified advert that will draw people’s attention. Include such details as “Must Sell” if you plan to leave town and really need to sell pronto. Specify whether the price is negotiable, or if your offer is firm. Be as honest and specific as possible, but remember to keep it brief: it’s a classified you’re writing here, not a novel! Once you receive actual calls from potential buyers, pursue a sales strategy that you’re comfortable with. For one thing, figure out whether or not you’re comfortable having strangers come over at your house and if you’re okay with meeting them alone. You can always choose to meet in town, and it’s usually advisable to have a male friend or partner accompany you for the meeting. Another likely occurrence is that the buyer might want to have the car taken to a mechanic. Show them the revision report from your mechanic, if you’ve got one, but be prepared to accompany the potential purchaser to a car shop, should they ask for it. And, generally speaking, follow your gut instinct. If the person you’re trying to sell to seems at all shady or unreliable, don’t hesitate to cut the discussion short.

Dealing with the Buyer

If you find a buyer, there’s always a chance that they have a few amendments and/or objections to make before the actual purchase. The first obstacle you will need to overcome is the price negotiation. You can choose the soft approach or the hard one, or you can go along with what your buyer says. Test their attitude, approach the situation on a case-by-case basis and see if they’re willing to offer you a price you’re comfortable with. Then, bear in mind that several complications may arise. Perhaps the buyer insists on you paying for certain repair works. Get a second opinion from your own mechanic, yet be prepared to also handle such a situation by paying for it out of your own pocket.

Complete the Sale

When finalizing the transaction, it’s customary for the buyer to either receive cash or cashier’s checks. Make sure all the paperwork is in order by visiting the local Department of Motor Vehicles together with the buyer. If you still owe money for the car to a bank, locate the bank, cover the remainder of the sum and, if not possible, get a temporary functioning permit for the new owner from the DMV. Make sure you’ve removed all personal touches and items from your car before you sell it. Remind the buyer that no warranties are provided on the sale of an old car and be as open as you can about the condition the vehicle is in, to prevent future miscommunications down the line. Once it’s all over, feel free to congratulate yourself – you have managed to sell your own car!