Figuring out how to maximize your profit from selling a used car can be tricky, especially when you’re in a hurry to get it sold so you can purchase that new model you’ve had your eye on for quite some time. Put some considerable thought and effort into preparing your used car for potential buyers and you could walk away with a lot more cash on hand than you anticipated.
Prepare the Car With a Good Cleaning
Nobody wants to buy a filthy car with potato chip crumbs in the carpet and upholstery that smells like mildew. Thoroughly clean the vehicle inside and out before showing it to any potential buyer. First impressions are everything, so you don’t want to ruin your chances of making a good deal simply because you failed to vacuum out the floorboards.
Doing this yourself will save money, but if you don’t have the time or equipment, invest in a professional detailing. Once the inside of the vehicle is spotless, finish it off with a run through the car wash.
Choose an Effective Method of Selling
If you choose to list the car yourself, take time to create a persuasive online ad complete with several photographs. Highlight the best parts of the vehicle and be honest about any shortcomings it may have.
Before trading in a used car at the dealership, which almost always means you’ll lose money, contact a company that specializes in buying used vehicles. There are numerous companies that provide cash for cars upfront, making it easier than ever to get the money you need right away.
Repair Minor Issues
You may not even notice that small crack in the windshield anymore, but potential buyers will. Chipped paint, cracked mirrors, missing floor mats and broken sun visors are just a few things that you may think give your used vehicle character, but others won’t see it that way. Making these kinds of repairs is ideal before listing your car for sale.
Replace any burned out lights, top off fluids and make any minor cosmetic changes if possible. Doing so will cost some money but generally means you can up the asking price. You want buyers to know this vehicle has been well taken care of.
Those blacked out rims, smoked tail lights and other styling modifications may have been a labor of love, but not every buyer is interested in mods. The majority of buyers want the basic stock model version of your vehicle and not the one you’ve personalized. You can always sell these pieces separately since there are always buyers looking to save by purchasing used body kits.
Organize the Car’s Paperwork
Assuming you’ve held onto maintenance and service records, now is the time to sort through them and organize them in a file folder. Forbes recommends you do this with all of your car-related paperwork, even paperwork you received when you purchased the vehicle.
Make sure you have the title, insurance papers, and any repair invoices ready for the buyer to review. If you don’t present the information the buyer is looking for, you may lose the sale.
Image credits: FreeDigitalPhotos.net / Boaz Yiftach