7 Costly Mistakes to Avoid When Selling a Car

The volume of used cars sold from the year 2000 thru 2015 has averaged over 40 million per year across the United States. That figure is telling of the fact that many see a lot more value in purchasing a car used over new.

When selling a used vehicle, sellers may be wondering how to go about it in a way that maximizes the value they’ll get.

To help ensure the best outcome, below is a list of costly mistakes sellers should avoid when selling a car.

1) Not Having a Complete Online Description

When selling a car directly to a buyer, sellers will likely be using an online platform to showcase their vehicle. It’s important when doing this that sellers have a complete description of the most important aspects of their vehicle available.

Having a complete description will not only get sellers more offers quickly, but it will also increase the likelihood that offers will be from legitimate people.

Always include the following in a car’s online description:

  • Vehicle condition
  • Accident history
  • Number of owners
  • Mileage
  • Recent work performed on the vehicle

The above bullet points are the primary building blocks of a car description that will maximize your sales leads.

2) Not Reasonably Optimizing the Vehicle’s Condition

It’s usually not worth it to have a car undergo costly repairs prior to selling unless it’s a classic vehicle. It is worth it to give a car a good wash.

Getting a car into its best reasonable condition can cost sellers next to nothing. Doing it can dramatically increase the amount a private buyer is willing to pay though. Therefore, it’s best sellers don’t skip out on giving their car a thorough cleaning prior to selling.

3) Not Showing off Service Records

If a seller has been diligent about scheduled maintenance, they’re in the minority. This is absolutely something that should be shown off to prospective buyers.

Knowing that service has been maintained on a vehicle will instill extra confidence in a buyer, both private and dealership, and they’ll likely pay more.

4) Not Protecting Themselves Against Fraud

When selling a car to a private buyer, fraud is a possibility. Sellers can reduce this risk by taking simple precautions.

For starters, always meet buyers in a public place. Also, never accept payment methods that can later be rescinded such as a private check.

5) Not Knowing Their Car’s Value

When selling a vehicle, sellers should know roughly what their car’s value is. This information can be found through services like Kelly Blue Book and True Car.

Knowing the value of a vehicle prior to selling can help manage seller’s expectations. It can also protect them from getting low-balled by buyers.

6) Taking the First Offer

If a seller is planning on reselling a car to a dealership, it’s worth shopping around multiple offers. Many times a seller will find that one dealership is willing to pay thousands more than another.

This potential makes talking to 2-3 parties well worth their time.

7) Not Reviewing Their Sales Contract

Once a seller has agreed to sell to a used dealer, they’ll need to sign a contract. Sellers should read this closely to see if they’re getting what was verbally agreed upon.

At the end of the day, all that matters is the sales contract. Ensuring it reflects expectations can save sellers from getting taken advantage of.

Wrapping up Costly Mistakes When Selling a Car

Selling a vehicle can be a tricky process that requires a lot of attention to ensure the best outcome. Putting into practice the tips above as a seller will help to create conditions in which sellers can maximize their profit when selling a car.

For more tips and information on vehicles, check out the US Auto Repair blog. Also, if you’re in need of mechanical services, find an excellent mechanic near you through US Auto Repair’s verified directory.

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