The cars details (make, model, year, etc.), including mileage. Be accurate about mileage, because a buyer will double check.
Your contact information. You want people to be able to reach you, so give an email address if you dont answer your phone often.
You want to write a short, accurate description. If it is too long, then no one will read it and they probably wont buy your car. Make sure to include the following information in your description:
With luck, the potential buyer will agree to your advertised price. If not, you can negotiate. Hopefully, you left some room in your advertised price so that you can come down. Remember that you dont have to sell the car. Only accept a price that you are comfortable with.
Dont accept any check for more than the sale price. Often, this is a scheme to get you to refund the surplus. Only later do you discover the entire check is fraudulent.
any phone numbers the buyer doesnt know about
When scheduling a test drive, remember the following tips:
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For example, the buyer might get the car inspected and find problems. If you disclosed any problems ahead of time, you built trust with the buyer.
If they say no, then be on your guard.
Take out any junk or stored items from the trunk. Ideally, you should have an empty trunk to show the potential buyer.
The cars overall general condition.
Replace a cracked windshield. Although replacing the windshield isnt necessarily cheap, potential buyers overestimate how much it will cost to replace one. Accordingly, they will try to lower the purchase price. Replace the window yourself and reap the benefits.
Be wary of using an escrow service. An escrow will hold a check and then release it to you when you deliver the car. However, the escrow could be fraudulent. If the buyer wants to use an escrow service, then thoroughly research the company. Better yet, dont use an escrow.
The bill of sale document records the transaction, and usually includes information about the vehicle, the buyer and seller, and the purchase price.
You should keep copies of the title and bill of sale for your records.
Consider getting the car inspected.
You can increase your cars value by making repairs. Some repairs wont cost you much but can boost the selling price for your vehicle. Consider the following:
Never go down all the way to the buyers offer. For example, you might have advertised a car for $10,000. The buyer offers $8,000. Go down only in $500 increments.
Many people are selling their used cars on the Internet. Advertising on Craigslist, eBay Motors, and is a great way to find potential buyers. After selecting a website, you should clean your car and take pictures, which you can post online. When someone contacts you, you can offer a test drive and then negotiate the sales price. The process for closing a sale differs depending on your state, so you should check with your motor vehicles office for the precise steps to take.
Ask another person to go along with you so you arent alone in the car with a stranger.
Generally, you can leave the inspection to the buyer if you have a good idea of the cars condition. However, there are a couple advantages to getting the car inspected yourself before listing it for sale:
You should ask the potential buyer if they want to test drive the vehicle.
Remove dents. It only costs about $100 to remove a few dents from your car, but buyers will certainly notice.
Your states DMV office might have a sample bill of sale you can use. Alternately, you candraft your own.
The asking price. Realize that some buyers want to negotiate, so you could list a price slightly higher than what you are willing to settle for.
There are several websites that are dedicated to bringing buyers and sellers together. You should visit each website to compare and to check how other people advertise their cars. The following are some of the more common websites sellers use:
Make sure that your car insurance covers other drivers.
You probably shouldnt choose a national sale unless you have a rare or classic car. A national sale will be more of a hassle.
Check whether a personal check is fraudulent. You can visit check whether a check is legitimate. This website was created by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
If someone contacts you about the car, then make sure to respond quickly. Dont wait more than 48 hours. A day is preferable. When you call, make sure to gather important information:
Also, you wont have to rely on the opinion of the buyers mechanic. Youll have your own mechanics opinion about the value of the car. This can help in negotiations.
If someone makes a low offer, ask them to give you reasons why. Someone negotiating in good faith should have reasons for their offer. If they cant give a reason, then they may not be a serious buyer.
Once you and the buyer settle on a price, you need to make sure that you receive safe payment. There are many people out there trying to trick you, so you should do the following to protect yourself:
Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered.
In most states, you need to transfer the car by filling out your certificate of title. Check with your states motor vehicles office. Generally, you need to complete and sign the back side of the Certificate of Title and hand it over to the buyer along with a bill of sale.
After you choose an online website to advertise on, you should create an online account and upload your description and pictures. If you need to pay a fee, then you can typically pay with a credit card or debit card.
If the seats are stained and you cant get the stains out, then think of purchasing seat covers.
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Always be careful of anyone who wants to buy the vehicle without looking at it first.
On eBay Motors, you can typically post an advertisement for free. However, you will pay a fee based on the listing price if the car sells. For example, if you successfully sell a vehicle for $2,000 or less, then you will pay $60.
Before taking pictures, you should wash and wax your car. Clean all windows and wipe the interior surfaces. Also vacuum the car to pull up all the dirt on the floors. If you cant take the time to clean the car yourself, then use a professional detailer.
Craigslist allows you to post for free on the for sale by owner site. It allows you to sell within a certain geographic area.
Make quick and easy cosmetic fixes.
Replace burnt out lights. These can be replaced easily and cheaply.
Also remember to cancel the insurance on your car. Contact your insurance agent.
their contact information (phone, email)
To protect yourself from scammers, you should ask questions when you respond to any query. For example, you should ask the caller whether they have financing already lined up.
Vivid color photographs can make your car worth every penny that you advertise it for. Park your car in front of a neutral background, so that the viewer will focus on the car. You can park in front of a brick wall or a garage, for example. Then take photographs from a variety of angles. Make sure to photograph the following:
If possible, get cash. You can also accept a cashiers check, which you validate at the buyers bank.
Kelley Blue Book charges fees based on how long the ad runs and the number of photos you upload. Its fee structure is similar to Autotrader.com, since they are owned by the same company.
It might be difficult to meet the buyer, and you might not want to accept a check drawn on an out-of-state bank.
Price is key. Its ideal to ask for an amount that is a little high so that you can come down when you negotiate. Look to see what similar cars are selling for in your area. You should also check the cars book value, using Kelley Blue Book or the NADA guide. You want to find the retail value, which will depend on the following factors:
Also ask what the buyers needs are. They might not have read your ad carefully and want something your car doesnt have.
The Internet can reach millions of people in other states as well as in other countries. You should decide whether you want to sell locally or nationally. Your decision will impact which websites you list your car with.
Some websites will allow you to post an ad for free, whereas others may charge fees. You should research how much you must spend on advertisement before creating an account and posting on the website.
Depending on your state, you may have to turn in your license plates to the DMV. At the same time, you can cancel your registration. The new owner must then register the vehicle in their own name.
Confirm that the payment is legitimate.
You should also file a release of liability with your motor vehicles office. This release protects you in case the buyer doesnt change the car title to their name. There should be a form you can pick up from your states DMV office.
Remove personal information from service records.
Agree to meet during the day at a public location, such as a mall or a bank. You dont know the other person and shouldnt meet a stranger in an isolated part of town. Also make sure your route is in a populated area so there will be other drivers on the road. You should insist on going along for the test drive.
The buyer might want to see all service records on the car. You should go through these documents first and black out any personal information. You can use a thick black sharpie marker. You should remove the following:
States have different requirements for how to transfer a car. In many states, you must draft a bill of sale and a release of liability when transferring a car. You should check with your states DMV.
Fix scratches. You can seal up scratches using home kits which are available for purchase at a hardware store.