Career Advice - A Community Blog

Erik Larson writes about the job market, resume improvement, and career advice

Selling Your Car: A Complete Guide

Written by Erik Larson, Community Blogger | Sep 27, 2017 7:50 PM

Many considerations go into selling a used car on any platform. You want to sell the car at the highest price possible and close the deal as fast as possible. Putting up your car for sale will lead to endless calls and messages depending on the sale option that you choose. You also have to consider the fact that some of the calls are from fraudulent buyers. The guide below will help you make the right decisions at each stage of the sale process.

Know your options

You have several options to sell a used car. Each option has its pros and cons. The first option is to sell it to a dealer or trader. The option saves the time and hustle of advertising the car and handling tens of buyers. However, you have little room to negotiate high prices since traders want to maximize their sales as well. You may end up selling the car slightly lower than the prevailing market price for the trader to make a profit.

Another option is to auction the car online. You will incur the auctioneer fee but you will sell the car almost immediately. You must have the documentation ready when auctioning your car. You can pay an extra fee to set the lowest price for the car. Another option is to sell the car privately. The internet has many trusted platforms where you can advertise your car and interact with interested buyers. The sections below are important if you explore this option.

Preparing the advert

Selling your car privately gives you the benefit of negotiating a high price. You can also sell the car fast if you advertise it properly. Your advert should contain the main features of the car including the model, year of manufacturer, and mileage. Include as many photos as the platform allows from different angles. Ensure that the information in the advert is accurate. Otherwise, you will deal with many disappointed buyers and take a long time to sell.

Leave out some details that may put off potential buyers. For instance, citing modifications on the car will make customers doubt the functionality of the car. Set a fair price while accounting for the car's depreciation. Do a fresh valuation where necessary and consider the prevailing prices of similar models in the market. If you set a higher price than your competitors have, give the potential customers reasons for the price difference. For instance, you can cite lower mileage if that is the case.

Dealing with buyers

If you choose to sell your car privately, you must be prepared to deal with all types of buyers. Some will call just to confirm that the details provided are true while some are criminals hoping to get a chance to steal your car. Get a temporary number to use until you close the deal. Arrange for physical meetings with interested in public places and within working hours. You can meet buyers over the weekend but ensure that you meet in an open public place.

Many sellers have lost their cars during test drives. Do not leave the buyer in the car alone for a test drive even for a minute. Get into the car first and stay through the drive. It is advisable to take someone with you for the test drive or inform a friend of whereabouts. Check your car's insurance policy to ensure that you are covered in case an accident occurs while the buyer is test-driving.

Closing the sale

One of the things to expect from buyers is unending haggling for a low price. Some will quote a price lower than your buying price just to see how low you will get. Prepare for these negotiations and set the lowest price you can sell the car without incurring a loss based on its valuation. In addition, avoid quoting a very low price in efforts to attract buyers. Give room for negotiations until you arrive at the preferred price. Consider the prevailing market prices as well to avoid losing buyers.

Agreeing on the price is just the first step to sealing the deal. Some buyers may try to steal from you after you have signed all the documents and transferred ownership. Get the buyer's personal details such as the home address, phone number and some ID. A genuine buyer should be willing to provide this information. For electronic transfers and cheque payment, do not release your car until the funds clear in your account. In case of a cash transaction, complete the sale in the bank.

Ensure that the buyer signs the sales contract and keep a copy of the same. The contract should include all the major details of the sale including the model of car, registration number, price, and mileage. In case issues arise after the sale, the signed contract will act as proof that you sold the car at the agreed price.

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