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Doing Your Homework Before Selling a Car

Date posted: 07/16/2012

by Nadia Ibanez on
in Bill of Sale

1565 Doing Your Homework Before Selling a Car When it comes time to sell your car, there’s a laundry list of things to take care of before you can put it on the market.

You have to consider -

  • Gathering all the vehicle’s documents, including the title,
  • Finding the right selling price,
  • Taking care of any last-minute maintenance issues,

- and so much more.

Below are a few tips to make the process seamless and to make sure you have all of your responsibilities covered. You might also want to check out our page titled Buying & Selling FAQs.

Gather the Paperwork

You can’t sell your car without the proper documents.

As you compile your paperwork, remember:

  • The vehicle’s title. This includes a salvage or rebuilt title, if, obviously, the vehicle was salvaged or rebuilt. The moment the buyer’s ready to drive away is NOT the time to realize your title is lost or damaged beyond use.
  • A vehicle history report. Presenting this document to prospective buyers lets them know you’re being completely upfront about the vehicle (not to mention, preventing them from having to take the extra step themselves).
  • Bill of sale. Some states require these; others don’t. The safest bet is to use one regardless of your state’s policies, and make a copy for both you and the seller.

Determine the Right Selling Price

Coming up with the golden number that will sell your vehicle quickly and will allow you to put a nice chunk of change down on your next car is one of the most critical parts of selling your car. If you list the car too high, it may take months to land a buyer. List it too cheap and you might dig yourself a financial hole.

Consider these tips:

  • Leave some wiggle room so you and the buyers can negotiate. Decide on a price you’re comfortable coming down from a bit (and determine how much that “bit” is before you put up the For Sale sign!).
  • Consider the market. Cars with good fuel economy sell quicker when gas prices are high; convertibles and sports cars sell better during summer months.
  • Don’t go it alone. Use resources like KBB and NADA to figure out your vehicle’s worth. You can even look at trading journals, dealership sale papers, and even neighbors with For Sale signs in their driveways.

Where to Sell Your Car

These days, there are so many places that you can list your car for sale. Some people take the traditional route and put up a posting in their local newspaper or around town in public spots, or even put a For Sale sign in the window. There are also a number of online sites that are geared specifically to selling used vehicles.

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About Nadia Ibanez

Since 2006, San Diego resident Nadia Ibanez has inspired others with her words. She has created content and edited copy for luxury print magazines and digital business magazines. She has written about multi-million dollar homes, local artisans, music festivals, travel destinations, health and wellness, and so much more. She has interviewed CEOs of major enterprises and has covered breaking news stories in American technology, social media, retail, hospitality, food, among others. More articles by Nadia Ibanez

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