Everything you should do before selling your car

Selling a car can be stressful – especially if you want to get a good price but have no experience in sales. To make the process as simple and easy as possible – here is our pre-sale checklist.

1. Get it inspected

Some states require you to obtain a Certification of Roadworthiness before a vehicle is sold. Regardless, it’s a good idea to make sure the vehicle is in the right condition before you sell it. Even if there is minor damage, a buyer will have a lot less negotiating power if there is nothing wrong.

2. Clean it up

Give it a quick wax and polish to make it sparkle. Presenting a vehicle in its best possible state is paramount to getting a good price. Detail it inside and out and ensure that all personal items have been removed. Before any inspections are organised check the boot, glove box and under the seats.

3. Get the photos right

Quality photos are imperative when preparing an ad. Poor lighting, bad angles or an unsuitable setting may prevent buyers from looking at an ad. Make sure there are interior and exterior shots, which include any damage to the vehicle, so buyers know what they’re getting.

4. Be a wordsmith

Write your online ad clearly and concisely. Capitalised letters on every second word, incorrect spelling and a lack of information or detail will discourage people from contacting a seller. If your writing isn’t the strongest, ask someone to do it for you. But, above all, make sure it’s been proofread and that it is accurate.

5. Gather all the documents

Include all manuals, hand books, service books, brochures and other paperwork with the sale for the vehicle. If there is still a balance owing on the car loan, contact the lender for information about the loan payoff and procedures for obtaining a clear title.

6. Make sure it’s legal

If the vehicle is sold privately it is your responsibility to organise the application for transfer of ownership. Once you have done this, the buyer is responsible for submitting the application and Certificate of Roadworthiness at a local transport centre.

7. Get the car appraised

Before deciding whether to sell privately or through a dealership consider speaking with a used car manager. Ask for an offer, but don’t necessarily accept straight away. This offer may be helpful to reinforce a bottom line price in any negotiations with private potential buyers.

8. Find out what it’s worth

To make an informed decision about what a vehicle is worth, go online and see how much a vehicle of the same model, condition and year is selling for. This will help when deciding on price margins.

9. Time your sale

During holiday periods, like Christmas and Easter, most people are financially strapped or on vacation. For the best possible price, wait until after this time to put a vehicle on the market. 

10. Learn about private finance

Some flexible lenders offer finance on private sales – so do your research to ensure that if you get a buyer that can’t match your price; you can let him or her know about the different private finance options. It might just help get the sale across the line.

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