There are many reasons why people decide to sell their vehicles. Some decide to its time to upgrade to a new car or are given a company car by their employer. Others are unable to drive a vehicle due to illness or long-term injury, while others may simply find they cannot afford to run the vehicle. Whatever your reasons behind selling your car, it is important to take some key points into consideration.

By doing a little research before you put your vehicle up for sale, you can ensure you get a speedy sale and that you get what your vehicle is worth. By following the right steps, you can take much of the stress out of selling your vehicle privately.

It is important when planning to sell your car on the private market to understand that it is a competition. You are competing against other sellers of similar cars to attract potential buyers to your car first rather than someone else so you can secure a sale. 

Once you keep that in mind the steps that follow make sense as you are trying to put yourself in the best possible position to attract a potential buyer. 

What Steps Should You Take?

There are a number of key steps you need to take in order to sell your car quickly and efficiently without taking a hit on the asking price. Some of the main things to keep in mind include:

Setting the Price

One thing you have to do is set the price at which you want to sell your vehicle. You need to do some research to find out the value of your vehicle, and you can also look at other similar models of the same age that are up for sale. Make sure you do not put too high a price on the vehicle, otherwise you may not get much interest. On the other hand, do not price it too low because you will end up losing money on the value of the vehicle. Take the condition of the car and any outstanding repairs into consideration when setting the price.

The best sources of information to understand and set a realistic selling price for your car is to use valuation sites like Redbook or Carsales that have valuation tools for your make, model and year of car. 

Setting a price for your car will vary depending on the condition of your car, the kilometres driven, the optional extras on your car. Further, factors that may also affect setting your price are whether the car has a full service history (FSH), previous accident history and supporting records, including if it was previously an Economic Repairable Write-off (ERW), its state of roadworthiness and even the number of previous owners.

In addition, looking at your competition, cars that are selling similar to yours, on car sales sites like Carsales, Gumtree, Trading Post and CarsGuide will help you set the right price.  If you observe that cars that are competing against you have been sitting unsold for a long time period of time it can also indicate that your their price may also be set too high.  

Likewise, if similar cars are selling quickly then observing the selling prices against your own, this should give you a strong indication as to whether you have set your price correctly. This is  especially true if you are not getting any enquiries from potential buyers.

Where to Advertise

Another major consideration is where you will advertise your car for sale. There are plenty of specialist magazines and websites as well as the local papers. Many people these days also use social media to try to get the word out about having a vehicle for sale. Of course, some of these methods may involve a cost, so you have to take that into consideration as well.

The most common and popular car selling sites are Carsales, Gumtree, CarGuide, Trading Post, eBay and with the advancement of social media, Facebook and local community buying and selling sites. 

If your selling a rare, sports car or classic cars, approaching cars clubs directly and advertising on their websites and newsletters may be a more focussed strategy but requires a lot more time and effort. Classic car magazines and online sites such as tradeuniquecars are possible sources to sell these types of cars.

Description and Photos

If you want to ensure people take an interest in your vehicle, you should provide as much detail as possible. Therefore, you should make sure you create a good, comprehensive description of the vehicle, and make sure you also mention if there are any issues with the condition of the vehicle. In addition to this, you should take photos of the vehicle both inside and out before you advertise it so that people can see what it is like.

Put yourself in the potential sellers shoes and ask what do you think they would want to know. Then tell them everything. Remember you want to stand out from your competition, you want them imagining being in your car and driving away happily.

 So put in lots of good photos, show them all angles of the exterior of the car, wouldn’t you want to know whether there were any dents or damage or the condition of the paintwork. Show them the interior, all the extras and features of the car, the kms driven. People want verification in the Ad for what your purporting to sell and the best way to verify that is with pictures. The end game is for the potential buyer contacting you first before someone else selling a similar car for an inspection. So make your Ad standout from the pack, make it individual the extra effort will be worth it.

Prepare the Car for Sale

Present the car in its best possible condition. This will also help when preparing to take photos for the car sales Ad. It may be stating the obvious but that means detailing the car before sale. Washing the car, potentially polishing it, cleaning the interior, windows, dash, carpets, cleaning and the engine bay. Impressions are everything. 

A full service history also means preparing the records and having them on hand with the car for a potential buyer to inspect to verify. This includes checking whether your car will pass a Roadworthy Inspection. Selling a car with a RWC  gives a potential buyer more confidence in the condition of your car.

 A potential service or inspection before selling the car will identify any issues especially if you alert the service centre that you plan to sell the car. This reduces the risk of any nasty and costly surprises, especially if you sell a car and then issues arise which you need to fix for the seller. This will further erode the final selling price. Doing this upfront will give you more confidence in setting the right price knowing your car will withstand any mechanical inspection and there will be no additional costs in selling the car.

Ensure you have prepared all the statutory paperwork in anticipation of a sale. A deposit and final contact of sale for both parties to sign. All the relevant State Road  Authority Transfer of Registration forms and understand the processes involved and obligations for both buyer and seller. Understand any variations and obligations regarding selling cars with private and interstate plates and potentially unregistered cars.

Dealing with Potential Buyers

You also need to brace yourself for dealing with potential buyers who want to come and look at your vehicle. Make sure you are prepared to haggle, as many will offer you a much lower price than the asking price. Don’t just buckle and end up losing money simply because you want to get a faster sale. Use tactics such as telling them that you have interest from others and try to be patient for the right buyer to come along.

Your greatest asset in the negotiation process is knowledge. Know your car, know your features, research the competition, the number of cars selling and  their selling prices. Be aware of what cars have sold recently, the price they sold for then you are in a strong position to negotiate, hold firm or not sell.

 Know your bottom line and recognise when an offer is unrealistic or when the competition is stiff or there are only a few buyers in the market for your particular car and be ready then to seize the moment and do a deal. A good deal is a win- win situation.

Social media, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and texting have changed the traditional way people may approach you when making an enquiry. Identifying who is approaching you can now be much more difficult these days.  People can text you with lowball offers and you don’t necessarily know the source, whether they are legitimate, a scammer, a potential car wholesaler rather than a genuine private buyer.

The essence to any transaction is establishing a relationship and trust. If you don’t have that sometimes things can go wrong. Know who you are dealing with, ask them questions and establish their identity. Seeing a potential buyer face to face is still the best way of having a good selling outcome. 

Remove the Stress of Selling Your Car – Turn to the Experts!

One other thing you can do is reduce the stress and hassle that comes with selling your car by turning to the experts for help and advice. At My Next Car Buying Advocacy, we can provide you with invaluable advice and assistance when it comes to selling your car. This means you can get a good price and a fast sale without any stress or inconvenience. Simply call our friendly team today for more information.

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