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  • HOW TO SELL YOUR USED CAR

    Used cars are normally worth more if they are sold by owner instead of being given up for trade-in. Selling your used car is easier then it seems. Here are some guidelines to selling your used car and getting what you want for it.

    1. Set a fair price for your used car. Don't get greedy. Do a little research and see what other used cars similar to yours are being sold for. Once you know what other cars similar to yours are selling for, you will have a good basis for what you will be able to get for your car. Know that you may not be able to get the price you are asking but if you're reasonable, it should come close.

    2. Set aside a sales budget of about $100.00 - $150.00 to advertise the sale of your car.

    3. Start advertising the sale of your car. There are so many ways to do this. All newspapers have classified sections that are relatively inexpensive to advertise in. There are also numerous car trader magazines that are printed and sold as just classifieds for car sales. These are widely read and will be one of your best bets. Internet classifieds have become very popular and can reach a wide area of people for a small price. Yahoo even has a free classified section for anything you are selling. Use your sales budget to get your vehicle advertised in as many of these as possible. The more people who are interested, the better price you will get. Don't advertise in just one or two sources and expect to sell your car right away. Also, don't advertise for just a few days. The ad will need time to circulate in order to generate interest. There are also sales areas in certain parking lots where cars are parked together in a row all day with for sale signs in them. Do this at your own risk. These places generate a lot of traffic but they may be unsafe if you're not near by and you may receive a ticket if its not allowed in that area. Another way to advertise the sale of your used car is to create your own web page advertising your car. Business card pages are single pages that are simple and don't cost too much to register.

    4. Get your car cleaned up and do any minor maintenance that may be necessary. Don't let a potential buyer be discouraged by a headlight that's out or a filthy car. Fluid top offs, minor repairs, inflating the tires to specs, and changing lights that may be out are small steps but can get you a better price. When a person sees this it shows them that have been taking care of your car.

    5. Buy a maintenance log, gather all of your maintenance receipts and put together a presentable maintenance log. Any potential buyer who is a smart car shopper will want to see how the vehicle has been maintained. If you know you had something done but you don't have the receipt and you're unsure of the date, log it and show the buyer that you had it done but you can't remember exactly when. They will appreciate your honesty. An added bonus to any potential buyer is any warranties you have on something you have put into the car. If you recently put tires on the car and they came with a warranty, give that warranty to the buyer when they buy the car. This will be a great bonus to the buyer and they may haggle the price less.

    6. Make up a flyer, preferably color, about your car. Give all details, a photo of the car, your name, address, and phone number. These flyers can be given to any potential buyers or anyone you may be talking to who seems interested in your used car. This way they won't forget what the car looks like and they will have your name and phone number handy. Make quite a few of these flyers so you won't run out before you sell the car. These flyers can be posted on sales boards that can be found all over the place.

    7. When people reply to your advertising and want to come see your car, be careful and make sure you meet them in a populated area in good light. If its at your home, make sure your driveway is well lit and let one of your neighbors know that for the next week you will be having people look at your car. This way if anything happened, the neighbors will know that there have been strangers there to see your car and this information could be useful.

    8. When allowing people to test drive make sure you know they have a license first. If they are unlicensed and they get in an accident, the insurance company will put this as your responsibility.

    9. When a potential buyer tells you that he is very interested and would like to buy your car, he needs to leave a deposit if he would like you to hold the car for him. Be sure to tell him that even with the deposit, you will only hold the car for a certain amount of time and the potential buyer has to be back by that day with the money to buy the car or you will consider selling it to someone else.

    10. When selling your car, make sure to write out or type out 2 identical bills of sale with all the important information on them for each one of you to sign. Once both parties have signed both, each person would get a copy. Also make sure that all promises and agreements are listed and signed.

    11. Make sure all paperwork is filled out completely and taken care of. Don't leave any loose ends. The title will need to be signed by both parties and transferred within 15 days.

    When selling your used car, patience is definitely a virtue. This is not an overnight process so be patient. Because the process of selling your used car takes time, make sure you start the process early so you don't get desperate when you want to get into that new car. Once you start getting desperate, its guaranteed that you will not get anywhere near the price you are asking and will end up settling on an OK price just to get rid of it. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to sell that car. If you haven't found the right new car yet and you get an unbelieveable offer on your used car, it might be in your best interest to sell it. If you don't and you don't get any offers even close to that one, you'll be kicking yourself in the end. If you sell your car and are without a back-up vehicle, renting a car for a while might be your best option. Places like enterprise.com now offer special rates for certain amounts of time. If this happens, check out sites like enterprise.com and figure out how much money you would be spending on a rental. It your rental car price is less than your profit off your used car, go for it. You might even be able to rent the type of car you're considering buying and you'll be able to test it out for a few days.