Selling your car yourself takes a lot more work than just driving to the dealership for a trade-in but selling it on your own will get you a higher price than trading it in. However, you’ll have to go through the hassle of advertising, taking phone calls, and showing the car.
Prepare the DocumentsWhen you intend to sell your car you should have the supporting papers ready to make sure the flow of the “buyer and seller conversation” is smooth and painless. It will help you get a good impression from potential buyers and will increase the possibility of you selling the car on a buyer’s first visit.
1. Get a Vehicle History Report
This helps increase confidence for potential buyers by proving that your car has a clean history and to be upfront about defects if any are found. You can get a vehicle history report from VinAudit. VinAudit is a first level consumer access provider for the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System, offering reports at an affordable cost.
2. Prepare The Maintenance and Service Records
Be ready to show this to the buyer so they would have a good understanding on the car’s condition. It will also back your claims of your car being in excellent condition.
3. Prepare ownership documents
Be ready with the Bill of Sale, past registration and insurance certificates or receipts in case the buyer decides to close the deal. Be prepared to show the title to validate ownership.
4. Secure a "release letter"
In case there’s a lien make sure to clear it first and secure a “Release letter” from the lender.
5. Understand your state’s regulations
The paperwork for selling a car is different from state to state. In some, transfer of ownership is as simple as entering the odometer reading, sale price, and your signature on the back of the of title while in some you are required to fill out and submit multiple forms. Get in touch with your state’s DMV to see what you should do.
Price it Right
1. Use the internet
You can find some helpful pricing structure from the Internet. You can visit reliable sites such as Yahoo! Autos or Kelley Blue Book for the current market value. Check the classifieds to know how similar cars are priced, eBay motors and Craigslist are a couple of good sites for this.
2. Get an appraisal
You can get a price appraisal from websites like CarMax or DrivebuyUSA.
3. Consider your car’s condition
Consider the car’s condition, mileage, cosmetics and upgrades if there are any. It is wise to determine the amount that you are willing to accept to close the deal so you can have your asking price a little bit above that to save some room for haggling.
1. For sale banner on your car
Create a banner and put on the windshield then, on the other windows, write the basic details about the car, like the asking price, mileage, year and model. Include your mobile number in a large print size so that the people who pass by the car won’t miss it.
2. Online classified ads
Use the internet. Take advantage of social networking sites. Take plenty of pictures and create an advertisement on your wall. It will allow you to spread the news not only to your friends and relatives but to their network as well. Create a listing on classified advertising sites like eBay Motors, Auto Trader, and also Craigslist. Be honest and detailed with your description. Include photos of spots that has dents or scratches. Though most of these sites charge for advertising, it’s worth it for the number of buyers you can reach.
3. Newspapers and local classifieds
Let us not forget about the local magazines and newspapers. They have special sections for used car advertising. It may not be as visible as the other options but it is low-cost and most of the time those who look at those sections are the people who are really in the hunt to buy a car.
Meeting Potential Buyers
1. Keep car details handy
Once you’ve placed your ads, make sure you keep your car’s specifications, mileage, and other particulars near your phone so you are ready to discuss provide the details right off the bat.
2. Screen potential buyers
It is important to screen your potential buyers. This is to avoid wasting your time on someone who is not really interested in buying or on someone who you’d rather not deal with. It is also a precaution to keep you safe from those who have bad intentions. You should ask for the person’s full name and be willing to answer all their questions. Tell them your preferred payment method and set your conditions clearly.
3. Meet the buyer
Meet in a public place and do not come alone. Bring all the documents and papers. Expect that they will inspect that before they physically inspect the car.
4. Show the car and test drive
When you do show the car, answer all questions honestly. Make sure that you check his driver’s license before the test drive and make sure that he agrees with your time limit before driving. Ride along with him and use it as an opportunity to talk about your car’s strengths. Be willing to share why you bought that particular car and why you’re selling it now.
Transfer of OwnershipTo completely transfer the ownership to your buyer, both of you should accomplish the following:
1. The buyer applies for a new title
The buyer should apply for a new title in his name, take the Certificate of Ownership (Title) and the Bill of Sale to the local vehicle licensing office and pay the required fees and taxes.
2. Report your sale
You (the seller) should submit a completed Report of Sale which releases your liability from the vehicle. You can report the sale by filling out the Report of Sale section at the back of the title. You can also go in person at any vehicle licensing office or process it online.
3. Understand state regulations
The process may vary depending on the location. Please contact your DMV to make sure that you have the correct instructions.