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Top Dollar: Things to Do Before Selling Your Car for the Best Price

Selling a car by owner will mean spending some time getting your car ready for the world to see, but it can also be a great way to get the most money for a vehicle that has been loyal to you for years. If you truly want to get top dollar for your vehicle, here are XX things you’ll want to do to ensure those critical car buyers are getting all the information they want.

Compare Prices

Think about selling your car like selling your home. You would never put your house on the market for much more than what’s currently selling in the area, so you want to do the same with your vehicle. Look at buy owner websites or even dealerships to get a sense of what your vehicle should sell for. A great reference in the Kelley Blue Book, as they will help you value your trade based on the conditions you input, whether you’re looking for a totaled car value or one for a vehicle that’s in brand new condition. Once you have a solid understanding of what it’s worth, you can then decide if you want to sell it right away or do some minor upgrades to get more money out of the sale.

Prepare Paperwork

Most buyers are weary when it comes to buying a vehicle from someone they don’t know, as they don’t want a fast one to be pulled on them. However, if you have your paperwork in order and are willing to share this with potential buyers, it could calm their nerves. For instance, you’ll want to be sure you have the title on hand, as well as any documentation proving there are no loans or liens against this vehicle. Doing this a great show of faith that you’re being honest in the sale of the vehicle as well as its condition.

Undergo Regular Maintenance

Spending around $100 to have the vehicle properly maintained (i.e., having the tires rotated, giving it an oil change, ensuring the fluids are all there, etc.) could actually help you get a lot more money out of the vehicle. Give your car a thorough inspection on your own and see where it could value from some improvements. If you find some areas, take it to a mechanic for a quote or do some of the work yourself if you know how. If you feel as if the vehicle is fine as is, then you can put the for sale sticker on it.

Detail It

No buyer wants to come look at your vehicle and see your garbage lying around or the car with stains on the seats or reeking of smoke or other gross odors. This is why it’s very important you consider having your vehicle detailed, both inside and out. When the vehicle is clean, it gives off a better appearance that your potential buyers would be more interested in taking home.

Spread the News

If you really want your car to sell, you need to advertise in more than one place. Consider putting your vehicle on local sale websites that could help you reach people around the neighborhood. You could also look into publishing the info on your own social media sites or taking out an ad in a local newspaper or newsletter. When you push the information out to more groups of people, you’ll reach a larger audience and give yourself a better chance at selling.




  1. Mary Ambrosino says

    Important advice to follow if you want to get the most out your car.