*Image from carfindservice.com
Here are the 7 steps I usually take to sell my used cars.
Step 1: Clean interior and exterior of your car
First of all you must give your car a nice car wash and clean every square inch of your car inside out. This can take up to hours but it will increase the chance of success and value of your car. Plus make sure your car smells good before you show it to anyone. Bad odor or smoke’s smell can turn a potential buyer off. Don’t forget to pop your hood and clean the surroundings of your engine. You want your engine to look clean as possible.
Step 2: Determine the condition of your car
After a nice shower, you can then determine if your car is in fair, good, very good, or excellent condition.
Here is how KBB.com determine your car’s condition:
3% of all cars we value meet this criteria. This car looks new and is in excellent mechanical condition. It has never had paint or bodywork and has an interior and body free of wear and visible defects. The car is rust-free and does not need reconditioning. Its clean engine compartment is free of fluid leaks. It also has a clean title history, has complete and verifiable service records and will pass safety and smog inspection.
23% of all cars we value meet this criteria. This car has minor wear or visible defects on the body and interior but is in excellent mechanical condition, requiring only minimal reconditioning. It has little to no paint and bodywork and is free of rust. Its clean engine compartment is free of fluid leaks. The tires match and have 75% or more of tread. It also has a clean title history, with most service records available, and will pass safety and smog inspection.
54% of all cars we value meet this criteria. This car is free of major mechanical problems but may need some reconditioning. Its paint and bodywork may require minor touch-ups, with repairable cosmetic defects, and its engine compartment may have minor leaks. There are minor body scratches or dings and minor interior blemishes, but no rust. The tires match and have 50% or more of tread. It also has a clean title history, with some service records available, and will pass safety and smog inspection.
18% of all cars we value meet this criteria. This car has some mechanical or cosmetic defects and needs servicing, but is still in safe running condition and has a clean title history. The paint, body and/or interior may need professional servicing. The tires may need replacing and there may be some repairable rust damage.
That’s KBB guidelines. My guideline is a little different and more simple.
Excellent: I only consider a car to be in excellent condition if they’re year 2007+ with less than 50k miles. The reason why is because at 60k miles most cars require some sort of maintenance that can cost over $500. I would not consider a car in excellent condition if I have to pay at least $500 anytime soon.
Very Good: If your car has 50-90k miles, you may consider your car in very good condition if you have done all the require maintenance at the dealer only. I usually prefer dealer parts over aftermarket because they tend to last longer.
Good: Anything over 90k+ miles, the best condition it can be in is good. Car parts tend to get old and break down at around 100k miles. Which eventually will cost you at least couple hundreds of dollars to fix (unless you’re driving a Toyota or Honda .
Fair: If you car runs but shakes, makes noises, needs new tires, needs paint job or body is banged up your car is for sure in fair condition. So please don’t list your car in very good or excellent condition if you have any of these problems.
Step 3: Determine the value of your car
Now you need to determine the value of your car. I usually use KBB.com or edmunds.com/appraisal/. Select your car year, make, model, option then select private party value. Here you will know how much you car is worth.
Step 4: Take detailed pictures or a video of your car
Take at least 8 pictures of your car from the exterior and interior. I prefer recording a video of your car instead because a video is the best way to showcase a product online. You can save time from buyers asking for more pictures and questions. Please be honest and take pictures of the bad things about your car too. This can save you time presenting your car to buyers. You don’t want someone to come and take a look at your car and then realize your car is not worth buying at first.
Step 5: List your car online and know the price you should list it for
There are websites where you can list your car online for free including: cars.com, autotrader.com, oodle.com, craigslist.org or if you have a video you can list it on shopvido.com. Make sure you put all the detailed description of your car in the listing. This can save you time from buyers calling or emailing you asking too much questions. These are the mandatory things you need in your listings:
Year, Make Model, Engine Type, Mileage, Asking Price, Auto or Manual, % of tires thread left, Accident history, pictures or video of your car, contact number or how you would like to be contacted, any maintenance the car needs and any problems the car currently has. You should list your car price based on the private party condition it is in. If your car is in good condition, list it in good condition and expect someone to pay somewhere between fair and good for your car.
If your car is below $10,000- expect to sell your car within $1,000 asking price range. So you should list it at least $500 more from the amount you want to sell it for.
If you car is over $10,000 – expect to sell your car within $2,000 asking price range. So you should list it at least $1000 from what you want to sell it for.
The reason why is because not many people have more than 10,000 cash to buy your car. Cars that are value over 10,000 are harder to sell nowadays. Which mean you will get less # of offers. It’s simple supply and demand. More offers, you can sell your car for alot more.
I also noticed that fuel efficient cars are easier to sell and sometimes for even more than what it is worth (ex. Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Prius, etc). Gas is expensive now and everyone is trying to save every penny they can.
Step 6: Show your cars to potential buyers
Now you get to show off your clean car to potential buyers. Do not accept phone offers. These are people who are typically not serious in buying your car. Only deal with people who actually met with you and took a look at the car. Those are your serious buyers.
Step 7: Sign the Bill of Sale
Find the right buyer and let your baby go. After you both agree with the price and terms, sign the car bill of sale and collect the money.
I might have forgotten some important things. Please contribute. Thanks guys!