Whether you’re selling your car to a private buyer or trading it in, you want to recoup as much money as possible. But how do you know you’re getting the best deal?
As with buying a car, preparation is everything. The more you know about the process and the market value of your vehicle, the more confident you’ll feel going into it. Confidence and knowledge usually lead to a more successful outcome.Keep reading to learn how to research your car’s value, prepare it for sale or trade-in and end up with a satisfying deal.
Know the market: What price point are similar vehicles selling for? Kelley Blue Book is a reliable source for estimating your car’s value. You can also browse listings on Craigslist, Autotrader and Facebook Marketplace to get a sense of the market.
Is your make and model in demand? Current listings will show you whether there is already plenty of inventory for similar vehicles to yours. If not, you may be able to command a premium if your type of car is in demand.
Make sure your car is clean and presentable. If you want to get the best possible price for your vehicle, you should make it look as attractive as possible.
Check the rules for a private sale in your state.
Take quality photos of the interior and exterior.
Write an honest description of your vehicle’s condition and options. Show your car and allow test drives with safety in mind. Meet in a safe area and bring someone else with you. Gather the relevant paperwork such as your car title and service records. Accept only trusted forms of payment such as cashier’s checks or P2P payment apps.
Consider fixing mechanical problems beforehand or they will reduce your car’s trade-in value. Shop around for the best value. Get offers in writing from several different types of dealerships. Negotiate the trade-in amount in a separate transaction. This will prevent the dealer from tying the purchase price of your new vehicle to the trade-in value of your current one.
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