Ensure a good sale

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The time to buy is now. But what do you do with your old vehicle? Do you trade it in, or do you sell it? There are pros and cons to each. Compare them, and should you decide to sell, here are some tips.

Learn as much as you can about the market. What is selling most? Family sedans, trucks and vans usually sell fairly easily and quickly, whereas vintage vehicles and sports cars can be tougher to sell. Check the classifieds in your area and see what’s selling and what it’s selling for.

Price your vehicle right. Find out the fair value of your vehicle, taking into account its condition and mileage. Then, check what vehicles similar to yours are going for in the classifieds. Set a reasonable price slightly higher than your target price. That way, you will allow for some wiggle room. If you would like to get $10,000 for your vehicle, for example, set the price at $12,500.

Present your vehicle in the best light possible. Pretend to be a buyer and take a hard look at your vehicle. Inspect everything possible and take a test drive, making notes of all issues. Then, arrange to have your vehicle professionally inspected and get a copy of the inspection report. Review your notes and the report and make whatever repairs you can.

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Finally, give your vehicle a good cleaning. If you can afford it, you might want to have your vehicle detailed. To alleviate any buyer concerns later, gather all maintenance records, along with the vehicle history report and the inspection report, and stash them somewhere in the vehicle.

Create an effective ad to sell your vehicle. Include all the pertinent information — year, make, model, trim level, mileage, color, condition and price. Give an indication of your stance on the price — Must Sell, OBO (or best offer), Asking Price or Firm. Post your ad everywhere — in newspaper classifieds, online classifieds, social media and message boards. Include photos of your vehicle, if possible, and a phone number or email address where you can be reached easily. Spread the word that you are selling your vehicle and put a “for sale” sign in the window.

Show your vehicle well. Be respectful of any potential buyers that contact you, but don’t arrange a time for them to see your vehicle unless you are sure they are serious. Never sell your vehicle sight unseen. If a buyer makes an offer without seeing your vehicle, turn it down. They need to see what they are getting to reduce the risk of complaints later.

You may have serious buyers come to your home or ask them to meet you at a local business. If you do the latter, make sure you bring the title along in case you sell the vehicle. Remember, just as you will be evaluating the buyer, they will be evaluating you. Be honest and forthright. If there is a problem with the vehicle, say so. Offer to go along on test drives to answer any questions about the vehicle’s performance and history. Present all of the data you have gathered about the vehicle.

Make a good deal. Research your state’s rules for the sale of a vehicle beforehand and follow them to the letter. Figure out how much below the asking price you are willing to accept and never go below that figure. Negotiate a price only in person after the buyer has seen the vehicle.

Sell the vehicle as is, not contingent on repairs, else you could wind up losing money. Once you have the cash in hand, sign over the title and complete any further paperwork to ensure you are no longer liable for the vehicle.

Selling a vehicle takes time and effort. Make sure you are prepared to do the work. If you’re not, you might want to consider trading in your vehicle. You might not get as much for it as you would selling it, but you will certainly have fewer hassles to deal with.

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