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Sell Your Vehicle: Top Ten Tips

Well, the time has come to sell your vehicle, maybe you have already bought a new vehicle, want to get a new one, or you have one too many. Whatever the reason, you have decided that you are going to sell your vehicle privately. Why not? There are many platforms out there, like Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, Kijiji and others, where you can post your vehicle for sale.

The best news is, most of them allow you to post for free!

The bad news is, that it can be tricky to sell your vehicle and there are many things that if you overlook, people will pass over your ad without even giving it a second look.  
To help you succeed, here are the top ten things to help you sell your vehicle faster.  

sell your vehicle privately

1. Clean it up.

If someone looks at the pictures of your vehicle and it does not look clean, then they are discouraged from buying it. Think of it this way, would you want to buy a car that looks like it was never kept well? It does not take much to give a bad impression. All it takes is one or two wrappers, or a few discarded receipts, and a bit of bird poop to make it look bad. So before posting it, make sure to give it a decent wash inside and out. Or, you can take it a step further and have it professionally detailed.

Selling your vehicle privately, steps to take

2. Take good pictures.

You do not need to hire someone or even have a great camera. Most phones do the job fine. The trick is to make sure you have enough good photos that show someone, who has never seen your vehicle, what it looks like, and what kind of condition it is in. Start outside at the driver’s front corner and rotate around to take photos of the outside from each side. Take good shots of the interior as well, showing seats and the dash. If there is any damage, take a picture and show it.

3. Be honest.

If it has a ding, scrape or torn seats tell people about it. Nothing kills someone buying your vehicle more than them thinking that you tried to hide something from them. If you hide damage, they will wonder what else you are hiding and not buy your vehicle.

be honest about blemishes on the vehicle when selling it

4. Get the facts.

Purchase a CarFax, it tells you the history of the vehicle, including how many owners its had and if there are any accidents, which typically decrease its value. If there are no accidents, a CarFax is a great thing to have. You can get one through CarFax or ICBC.

5. Give the details.

The more you can tell the better. Don’t just post “2016 Honda Civic”. Note the trim level, if it has been kept in a garage, has low kms or has had no accidents, these are things that will help you sell your vehicle quicker. If you service it well and can prove it, say so. If you check the oil regularly and make sure everything is taken care of, say so. The more you can show that you cared for your vehicle the better the chances of selling it.

Also make sure to give the correct odometer reading, if it is a manual or automatic transmission and what features and accessories the vehicle has. If it has a backup camera, or you put an aftermarket stereo in it, tell them.

provide all the details, accurate odometer , condition, wear and tear are very important

6. Sell your vehicle.

There are a few different ways to get the value of what you should price your car at. You can look at the Canadian Black Book or search online what the same vehicle is selling, but this will only give you a rough idea of what your vehicle is worth. Just because someone has a similar vehicle posted for 20,000 dollars, does not mean yours is worth that much. How many kms the vehicle has, the technology and features it has, any accidents and many other things play a part in the value.

Also consider that when you look at used vehicles sold by a dealer, that these prices are higher because they are professionally reconditioned. A person selling their car privately is not obligated to do a safety inspection and fix things before they sell the car. A dealer is, and so they often put hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars into reconditioning a vehicle before they can sell it.

When pricing, it is best to follow the rule of, “It is always easier to lower your price then raise it.” Once you have done some research and have an idea of an appropriate price range, start on the high end. If no one contacts you after your ad has been up for a few days, then consider lowering it.

7. Get it inspected.

You could bring your vehicle in to Steve Marshall Ford Lincoln, or another certified shop and have a “Used vehicle inspection” done. This is the same as a “pre-purchase inspection” which is a vehicle inspection performed by a licensed mechanic or auto technician, to determine its cosmetic, mechanical and safety condition. The technician will pinpoint any existing conditions and highlight potential issues that could arise in the future. This way, you are able to communicate exactly what might need addressing and attention to a person that will buy your vehicle.

Getting your vehicle inspected before selling can help you to share the correct details about the condition of your vehicle

8. Take a few deep breaths.

People will tell you they are coming to see your vehicle and never show up or they will offer you thousands less then you listed the vehicle for, pointing out that someone is selling that same car for much less. They will ask if you are going to give a warranty. This is the nature of selling anything online. Just accept it. It is not uncommon for it to take six to eight months, and maybe more, to sell a vehicle

9. Pay it off.

If you still owe money on your vehicle you need to pay it off before selling it because not doing so could lead to some serious repercussions on your part.

10. Make it someone else’s problem.

Instead of going through the trouble to sell your vehicle privately, you can bring it to us here at Steve Marshall Ford Lincoln, or another reputable dealer. Will you get as much as you could selling it privately? Probably not, but you have to ask yourself if the small difference is worth all the work that you have to do. Selling a pre-owned vehicle is a lot of work and it takes time. If you want to save a lot of time and headache, bring it in to Steve Marshall Ford Lincoln and let us make you an offer.