How To Sell Your Car
28 August 2014 - Autotrader
Selling a car privately will take you a little more time and effort, but that time and effort could earn you money. Follow the steps below to ensure your car sells quickly, and for the highest price possible.
Price Your Car
Setting a competitive price that reflects the real value of your car will make your ad more attractive to buyers. To determine the right price for your car:
- Use the internet to find out what other people are asking for the year, make and model of the car you’re selling.
- Consider the mileage, condition and options of your car.
- Factor in what you’ve spent on maintenance. If you have records showing new parts, regular tune-ups, upgrades made to the interior, then you may be able to increase your asking price.
- If you have an extended warranty, check to see if it’s transferable. If so, you may be able to ask for more money than a similar car with no warranty.
- Leave some room for negotiation – buyers will want to negotiate with you.
Create the Ad
You’ll want to attract potential buyers by giving them all the specs and highlights of your car. However, make sure the ad is accurate and truthful. The key elements of a successful ad are:
- Competitive Pricing
- High Quality Photos
- Detailed Car Description
Once you’ve created an effective ad as per the detailed guidelines below, post it for FREE on the motors.mega.mu website.
After setting a competitive price as described in the section above, make sure you take high quality photos and provide a detailed description of your car to set your ad apart
High Quality Photos
A good quality photo goes a long way. Wash your car and make sure it’s the only item in the photo. Always take a clear photo at a good angle. Also include as many photos as possible.
- Use a good camera; remember that photography is a powerful sales tool.
- Choose a good location
- Be aware of what could be included in the picture
- Move the car so it’s the focal point in the picture
- Make sure the background is clear of other items
- Make sure the lighting is good – avoid shadows
- Photo selection
- Listings with photos drive more interest
- Make sure the photo shows:
- Special features of vehicle
- Interior – instruments
- The more photos the better. According to research, the top 14 shots buyers look for when evaluating a car are:
The Top 14 Photos Essential For Evaluating a Vehicle
Driver Side Interior Angle (57%)
Front Exterior (55%)
Driver Front Angle (53%)
Passenger Front Angle (53%)
Driver Side Exterior (53%)
Passenger Side Exterior (51%)
Driver Side Interior (49%)
Rear Exterior (47%)
Passenger Rear Angle (46%)
Engine Bay (46%)
Back Seat (43)
Driver Rear Angle (41%)
Percentages shown indicate how many respondents selected a particular photo as essential
Detailed Car Description
The more information you provide, the better. The minimum information you should include is:
- Exterior colour
Other details you could include:
- Engine capacity
- Power options like windows, locks, seats, etc.
- Air conditioning
- Service history or previous number of owners
Don’t forget to include the car’s location i.e. the name of your city or town.
Remember - the ad description is your silent sales person! Tips for writing great ad copy:
- Realization – use words to instill mental ownership of the car, you’re not limited on space.
- Description – take the time to sell the features e.g.:
- Saying “auto transmission” vs. “smooth shifting automatic transmission”
- Features - include as many features about the car as possible
- List the features, modifications and highlights of the car
- Be complete, you don’t inadvertently want to leave out something that might be interesting for a buyer
- Vehicle History – describe the car’s history in detail, including maintenance when possible
- Reliability – this is a key decision making factor for buyers. Focus on this will help improve leads
- Inspection – mention if the car has had an inspection (e.g. a 110 point inspection has been completed)
- Include details for service records
- Warranty information – mention if the car has any factory warranty left
Finally, post your FREE ad on the motors.mega.mu website.
Prepare for the Sale
Spending some time and effort on your car can increase the amount buyers are willing to pay. Even if your car is in excellent working condition, little things can turn buyers off.
First impressions count - make sure your car is thoroughly cleaned, inside and out. Be sure to vacuum all carpet areas. Also:
- Clean the glass and mirrors, inside and out.
- Clean the engine with a de-greasing agent - most buyers will want to have a look at the mechanical area.
- Make sure all fluids are topped up and the tire pressure is at the correct level.
If you don’t want to undertake the clean-up yourself, you can get it professionally cleaned. Showcase the car to at its best for maximum results.
Close the deal
The way you communicate with buyers could go a long way in helping you sell quickly. While buyers are evaluating the car, they’ll also be thinking about whether or not they feel comfortable negotiating with you, and trusting you. Be as open and honest as possible, and make buyers feel at ease. Remember that you’re asking them to make a big financial decision. Here are some important points to think about:
- When prospects call, be honest about any issues with the car and all of its features. You’ll save yourself a lot of time by making sure anyone who makes an appointment with you knows all the details and is still interested in buying.
- Make sure you set specific appointment times and ask for a phone number where the person can be reached.
- Schedule appointments when you have enough time to talk to the buyer and allow them to take their time with the inspection and test drive. A buyer who feels rushed might be reluctant to deal with you.
- Buyers will want to look at the car during daylight hours, so be prepared to invest some time on the weekends.
- Prepare your “commercial” for the car – be prepared to talk about its good points and its history.
- You may want to have someone with you for safety when prospective buyers come to see the car, and to go on the test drive with you. Never let someone take your car for a drive on their own. You also want to make sure that this will not cause a problem with your insurance company (often the case with motorcycles).
- Ask to see their driver’s license –if they don’t have one, they should not be driving your car.
- If the buyer wants to take it to a mechanic, don’t be concerned – this is a sign of a serious buyer, and it’s the buyer’s responsibility to pay for the inspection. Be sure to go along, or if you don’t go, check out any claims that seem unlikely.
- If a prospect wants some time to think about buying, you may agree to hold the car for 1-2 days, with a deposit. If they don’t buy, you can keep the cash in exchange for keeping it off the market. If they do buy the car, you will be expected to subtract the deposit from the final selling price.
- While you’re holding the car, keep phone numbers of any other callers – you may want to contact them if your prospect doesn’t close the deal.
Buyers will expect to negotiate with you. Know what the minimum price you’ll accept for the car is, but don’t reveal this information.
- Don’t negotiate until the buyer makes a serious offer. They’ll likely start at the wholesale price for the car, and you can explain that you expect to get more because of the way you have maintained the car, etc.
- Don’t be desperate to sell – give the impression that you can wait for the best offer.
- Get full payment, and don’t accept a personal cheque. Ask for a certified cheque, or cash.
Finalize the sale by completing and submitting documentation as required by State