Your automobile is a valuable asset, even if you think it’s getting old, your car may have far more value then you think, if you know how to sell it.

Whether you’ve decided to trade up for a newer model or you just want some extra cash in your wallet, if you’re selling your car, you need to make sure you get a fair price for it. It’s easy to find information and advice on not being taken for a ride when buying, but the selling process needs to be taken just as seriously. Here are some important guidelines for getting a price you’ll be happy with.

Know the Value

The internet makes it easy to find out how much cars like your own are selling for. Have a search around classifieds websites and find real examples of your model in similar condition, and work out the average asking price. While this is no guarantee of the figure you’ll receive for your own vehicle, it’s a good starting point.

One option to start is Kelly Blue Book. KBB reports far market prices for new and used automobiles of all types. For used automobiles, KBB provides a range that you can expect to get depending on the condition of your car. This data is based on actual transactions of what others are paying for a vehicle and adjusted regularly as market conditions change.

Check the Demand

Understanding the price you can get is only half the story.

If you find plenty of examples of your car being sold at similar prices, then it’s a good sign that the model is popular and the prices are fair. However, if it’s hard to find similar autos to your own for sale, then it could mean there’s little demand for your kind of car, and so prices may be pushed lower. On the other hand, it could mean you’re sitting on a rarity and can charge a premium.

Know Your Car

It’s a great help to put together a full history of your car, including previous owners, servicing records, and so on. Make this as complete as you can so that you can answer almost any question that may be put to you. It can help to use services such as Carfax or Autocheck to fill in any blanks, and also to have a solid written record. Make sure you’re aware of any defects or negative points your auto has so that you can explain them, but also make a list of its positive points so that you can point these out when negotiating a price.

Fix Minor Problems

Every little niggle and defect on your vehicle will reduce its attractiveness. If there are a lot of minor problems, it can easily look like the car has been neglected, and this will greatly lower the price you can realistically ask or even block a sale altogether. Fix up everything you can without spending a fortune, just to give a good impression to potential buyers.

Check the Small Things

For the same reason, it’s a good idea to carry out small servicing jobs such as changing the oil, topping up the cooling system fluids, and checking the tire pressure. A keen buyer will check all these things before making a final decision, and you don’t want to provide any excuse for them to haggle the price down or even walk away completely.

Contact A Car Dealership

Many new car dealerships will give you considerable trade in value for your vehcile. For example, Toyota’s website is known to offer KBB value for your used car trade in. Nissan offers a find a Nissan dealer tool in order to find the closest dealership near you, which you can contact in person to get a trade in offer.

KBB’s value should be a good starting point for negotiation of a used-car sale between a private buyer and seller. Of course, keep in mind that this value is an “as is” value that does not include any warranties. The final sales price depends on the car’s actual condition and local market factors, and what the dealer is looking to offer you.

First Impressions Count

Unless you’re selling at a real bargain-basement price, presentation still counts for a lot, and it’s worth giving your auto a thorough clean, polish, and detail both inside and out before trying to sell it. Pay someone to do this – the results will be far more impressive, and it will be worth the small expense when it comes to impressing a buyer and encouraging a sale.

Take Plenty of Photos

While your vehicle is still clean and shiny, take as many pictures of it as you can, from lots of different angles. Don’t worry about being artistic, just show off the car and its condition the best you can. These pictures will be very useful if you decide to sell your car online, but also for sending interested people more details by email. Giving potential buyers a clear idea of what they’re dealing with before a visit saves everyone’s time.

During a Sales Visit

When someone comes to look at your car, don’t try and pressure them into buying – unless you’re an expert salesperson. It’s just going to put people off. Be helpful and polite, but let the viewer take the lead, and don’t try and rush them. They’ll probably be viewing several vehicles before making a decision, so there’s nothing to be gained by trying to hurry them along. On the other hand, don’t give in to pressure yourself. There’s no need to accept any offer you’re not happy with, so don’t be afraid to stick to your guns no matter how persuasive a haggler you’re confronted with.

Even if you’re keen to dispose of it quickly, you wouldn’t let any other valuable asset go for a knock-down price, so why not get the best deal you can for your old car? Approach your sale with care and preparation, follow these tips, and you’ll increase your chances of selling at a fair price to satisfy everybody involved.

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