When a life change occurs and your car situation doesn’t fit the bill, you may find yourself asking “how do I sell my car fast?” But selling fast is only half the battle – you should also be asking how to get the money you deserve on the sell. To help you along the journey, we pulled together six tips that will get that cash in your pocket without leaving money on the table.
It’s only worth what someone will pay for it.
Kelley Blue Book estimates may make you drool, but the reality is that it doesn’t often reflect the marketplace, especially when selling to a dealer. NADA is considered more realistic (meaning it’s usually lower). If instant estimates don’t satisfy you, one of the most straightforward ways is to search some of the many auto sales websites (Autotrader, Cars.com, Edmunds, etc.). You can put the make, model, condition, mileage, and zip code to see what others are listing similar vehicles for. eBay is another good tool for determining demand.
Pro Tip: When searching eBay, click the “completed listings” box, which will show you cars that sold, and, just as important, cars that didn’t sell. Weigh all these factors together and come up with your best price guesstimate.
First impressions matter.
Don’t let the potential buyer guess about its condition and never purposely lead them astray. Take well-lit photos both inside and outside the vehicle, as well as under the hood. (The VIN number is also a good idea.) Don’t hide any defects or damage; instead highlight them so there will be no surprises. Here are a few tips for showcasing your car so that it pops off the page for potential buyers.
Pro tip: According to research from eBay, internet listings with 40+ photos are 70% more likely to sell than those with fewer photos. A little extra time up front is worth the pay off.
The right paperwork goes a long way.
Have a copy of service records from your dealer or local mechanic. Type in your VIN at Carfax or Autocheck to get a complete listing of all accidents, as well as recall or warranty information you can give to your buyer. By providing this information, you are saving them money and instilling confidence that they’re not buying a lemon.
In a perfect world, you probably keep these in the glove compartment of your car or in a file cabinet in your home. If you don’t have them, call up your dealer or mechanic; many will give you records for free or for a small fee. Again, it’s little touches like these that can help with a quicker sale for more money.
You don’t have to settle for less.
Another temptation is to just avoid the hassle of dealing with private buyers and driving to one of those “Cash 4 Cars” sales lots or getting an instant offer online. Yes, while it’s very quick and easy to walk away with some bucks in your pocket, the truth is that you are leaving a ton of money on the table! These types of places will give you the LOWEST value for your car they possibly can.
Pro tip: Car prices are regional and seasonal. You’re likely to get less for your convertible in the winter or for your 4-wheel drive in a big city with lots of stop and go traffic. Evaluate if waiting for the right timing is worth the wait.
There is a downside to Craigslist.
I know what you’re saying: “I want to sell my car for free and if I sell my car on Craigslist I don’t have to pay any fees.” While the upside is that it is free and popular with many buyers, it’s also a haven for flakes, fakes, and thieves. Your inbox will be swamped with offers and you’ll spend a ton of time trying to weed out the bad ones. Some may waste your time, some may not show up at all; you also run the risk of theft and/or assault.
Take back control and get what you deserve.
The truth is, you have more options than choosing between doing all the hassle yourself or getting less than you deserve for your car. Tred makes it easy to find a buyer willing to pay the real worth of your car and will even manage all the test drives and paperwork for you. Are you in a hurry to sell? Get started now.
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