Once, selling your car was easy. Simply put an advertisement in the newspaper, place a sign in the window and wait for the calls. Selling your car today is much more difficult for sellers. Potential buyers can compare your vehicle with others online, taking into account everything, from price and mileage to condition, equipment, etc. Smartness is key if you want to sell your car at a fair price in today’s market. You should not only follow our advice (see 8 tips to sell your car yourself), but also consider making a good first impression, and even the weather.
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First Impressions Count
A clean and polished car will fetch you more money. Although washing a car is an obvious task, many people forget to detail their car when selling it. You should also give your car a good wash.
Apply wax to the paint job.
Polish chrome surfaces. Take care to verify that a chrome part you are using is chrome. Metal polish can damage chrome plastic parts.
You should power wash your wheels, as well as the inners of each fender and the undercarriage. You should only power wash your vehicle when it is cool. If your brakes are hot, you can damage your brake rotors.
To polish your wheels, use a combination of wheel cleaner and tire shine. However, you should wipe your tires clean with an old rag before driving. You risk letting the tire shine “goop”, which can get on your car, while you drive.
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You can use an interior cleaner to polish up your car’s plastic parts. However, just as your tires, you should take some time to wipe these surfaces down with a towel. It is not fun to grab the door handle and get greasy hands.
Spray Febreeze or another air freshener under the floor mats, and underneath the passenger and driver seats. The car will smell great but not overwhelming.
For removing gunk from two pieces of plastic interior, a toothpick works well. Be gentle. This task can also be done with pressurized air.
Do it professionally if you have the money. It is important to park your car in a place that has windows open for at least a day after it has been shampooed.
Last but not least, clean your engine. You can use a little engine degreaser, but not too much. Many sellers don’t clean their engines at all. People might assume that you are hiding something if your engine is sparkling. It should be clean enough to allow someone to open the hood and inspect it without getting too dirty.
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Leave a paper trail
A solid paper trail is important in an age where wrecked cars can often be restored to make them look new. Although you may not have been very meticulous in keeping track of records, it is time to start gathering all information. It can be a big help to show a potential buyer that the car was recently serviced or repaired.
The records don’t need to be provided in a specific format. A folder containing well-organized paperwork is sufficient. This is true for both selling your car privately and trading it in at the dealer. Buyers want to know the history of your car. They’ll pay more if they can.
Check out the Weather Forecast
Buyers can be fickle and it’s impossible to predict whether they will ignore a vehicle or jump on it. However, it is interesting to note that certain cars sell better in particular weather conditions.
Post your classifieds when it is sunny, clear, and pleasant if you are selling a convertible. Make sure the car is visible from potential buyers. Surprised at the number of weekend drivers who stop by to take your car for an inspection? Post ads for used cars with four-wheel drive in the winter and early spring, especially after heavy snowfall. When school starts, put up notices for sedans, minivans and other family-friendly cars.
These tips are simple but you may be surprised at how many people don’t use them. It’s easy to get a higher price and faster sales by making your car appealing to buyers and knowing its value. When you write an ad, think about who you are selling to. Be open to negotiation and remember that your potential buyer may feel differently.