Home Cars 20 Mistakes People Make When Selling Their Cars
Cars

20 Mistakes People Make When Selling Their Cars

Cameron EittreimJanuary 14, 2020

Selling a vehicle can be one of the most stressful things in your life. You not only want to get a certain amount for your car but want to get what its worth. When you decide to sell your car it takes some planning. There is a lot that goes into the process. If you want to make a profit on your car, it can be even more difficult. Naturally, that’s why there is so much literature on selling a car.

But if you’re not a professional salesperson can you still make a profit? Yes, but there are certain mistakes you have to avoid. Selling a car doesn’t have to be a stressful or embarrassing process. With the right set of goals, you can sell your car for a reasonable profit and not make the same mistakes that many car owners do when it comes to selling a car. Read on to find out why you don’t have to be an automotive expert to sell a car. With our advice below via Driveo, you’ll be happier that you sold your car the right way.

via AG Canada

20. Not Knowing The Value

You obviously need to know the value of your car before you sell it. If you aren’t familiar with the value of your car, you’ll be vulnerable to resellers. These are people that flip cars for a living, and they are out to burn you. Apps like Kelly Blue Book are the best way to figure out how much your car is worth. There are a few mitigating factors that will go into the value of your cars, such as mileage and body condition.

via: GM
via: GM

It’s not hard to figure out what your car is worth, and you don’t want to go into a sale clueless. Many car owners will try and sell a car based off personal worth. This isn’t the way to do it and you’ll never make a sale. You can only reasonably expect to get what your car is worth unless it happens to be a special-edition model or in high demand.

via: Suzuki
via: Suzuki

19. Spending Too Much on Repairs

Sometimes when you’re trying to gear up to sell a car, you can get carried away with repairs. Don’t spend an arm and a leg getting your car ready for the buyer. There’s no point, just sell your car as is. Doing all of the repairs that you would eventually need to do will just bury you deeper into your car. A car is like a house, and the process of selling one is very similar. If you are doing this as an investment, the last thing that you want to do is get stuck or upside down.

via: Ford Motor
via: Ford Motor

When you set out to sell your car, all you need to be focused on is that it’s operational. This means that the driver should have a reasonable expectation that they can drive it from point a to point b. Don’t spend time trying to recondition your car or fix every little thing on it. Buying a used car is just that, buying a used car. You’re not in the business of selling a completely refurbished car and the buyer should know that going into the sale.

via: Ford Motor
via: Ford Motor

18. Being Less Than Honest About the Condition

You don’t need to lie about the condition that your car is in. This is only going to cause you more problems in the long run. Be upfront about the condition of your car from the jump. Leave no stone unturned as you go over all of the defects with the buyer. At the end of the day, the buyer is there because they are interested in your car. If the radio doesn’t work, tell them. If the heater leaks it, tell them. Don’t leave things for the driver to learn about later or you could end up being sued.

via: Ford Motor
via: Ford Motor

The same goes for the mechanical issues that your car might have. Be upfront with the potential buyer about everything that your car is going to need. If you think it might need a transmission at some point in time, let the buyer know., but do it in a way that still sells the car. Being honest is oftentimes the best thing when it comes to selling a vehicle. And chances are that the buyer has already made up their mind when it comes to buying your car.

via: Ford Motor
via: Ford Motor

17. Pretending There are Other Great Offers

Perhaps one of the most common mistakes that sellers make is to lie about there being a potential sale. This is to try and pressure the potential buyer into making a purchase. Doing this is a bad thing to do, and most potential buyers can tell when you are trying to pull a fast one like this. All you are going to do is give the potential buyer a bad impression. If you are trying to push a sale on a potential buyer, nine times out of 10 they are going to realize it.

via: Ford Motor
via: Ford Motor

You don’t want to give the potential buyers a bad impression of the car. Taking the time to sell your car the right way is going to benefit you in the long run. You don’t want to give potential buyers a bad taste. So being honest about potential buyers and the drawbacks of the car will take you further in the long run.

via: GM
via: GM

16. Taking the First Offer

Oftentimes we are desperate to make a profit. But one of the easiest mistakes that car owners make when it comes to selling a car is to take the first offer. Don’t settle for less, because you might get a better offer down the road. Selling a car is like fishing, and you want to fish for the right buyer. If you get desperate and need money in a hurry, selling your car might not be the best option. You’ll always end up taking a loss this way, and nothing is worse than having regrets about a car.

via: GM
via: GM

When you sell a car, you want to take the time to get an offer you are comfortable with. Settling for the first offer that comes your way is never a good thing to do. If you are in a tough financial situation then selling your car might not be the right answer. A car is one of few assets that you can keep around for a long time.

via: GM
via: GM

15. Failing to Clean It

The fact that many car owners do not take the time to clean their car out is astonishing. How do you expect to sell a car on the open market if it’s dirty? Part of the fun of buying a new car is experiencing the clean feeling that comes with it. You’ll have such an amount of pride when it comes to your car. Even if you are selling it, you’ll still feel good about it being clean.

via: GM
via: GM

If you want to get the best possible price from your car, you need to take the time to clean it out. This means vacuuming the interior and making sure that most of the car is cleaned out. A clean car is almost like having good curb appeal on a home. You’ll attract more buyers and you’ll get more for your car in general, which will make your wallet happy as well.

via: GM
via: GM

14. Settling for a Bad Trade-In

Just because you are desperate to get into a new car doesn’t mean that you need to settle for anything. Oftentimes dealerships will offer you little to nothing for your car in a trade-in. Because shoppers are wanting to get into a new car, they’ll often take the deal. These trade-in deals are awful and you are getting nowhere near what your car is worth. It’s better to sell the car and then take the money to the dealership instead. Oftentimes you’ll get a much better offer from a private party who wants to buy your car.

via: GM
via: GM

All a dealership is going to do is sell your car at auction. Settling for paltry dealership offer is no fun, and you’ll be unhappy with the result even if you get a new car. No one wants to be stiffed when it comes to buying or selling a car. Taking the time to sell your car instead of taking a low trade-in offer is the way to go.

via: GM
via: GM

13. Not Considering Sales Tax

Yes, cars have sales tax on them. Even a private party sale is going to end up paying sales tax when the car is registered. If you are selling a high-dollar vehicle there is a good chance that you’ll want to factor this into the pricem, because either you or the buyer is going to end up having to pay that amount. If you are going to be making a good profit on the vehicle, there is no reason why you should have to wait to pay the sales tax. Just get it done and out of the way because it is going to benefit you and the buyer.

via: GM
via: GM

In some states, the amount of sales tax on a car can be quite high. Taking the time to factor that into the price is a must. You don’t want to get stuck with a tax bill over a car that you got rid of a long time ago. When you factor in your tax debt to the situation, you’ll have a better chance of selling your car and having a happy customer.

via: GM
via: GM

12. Missing Out on Free Advertising

Back in the old days, you had to sell your car by having a sign in the window of it. Or there was the option of placing it in the classifieds. Nowadays, however, there are so many free ways for you to advertise your car. The Facebook marketplace, Craigslist, and many others. There is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to sell your car. Many sellers miss out on the free advertising now available, and this isn’t doing you any good. You want to be able to get a fair amount of money for your ride, and the right advertising can do this.

via: GM
via: GM

There are even apps such as Offer Up which give you a direct link to buyers. You’ll get fair offers for your car and you can even negotiate a price. When it comes to selling your car the right way, this is an important thing to do. You want to be able to access the largest pool of buyers so that you can make a profit. Many sellers are missing out on all of these free advertising options.

via: Hemmings
via: Hemmings

11. Writing a Bad Description

Look, no one is going to want to buy your car if you are just trying to rush it. Take the time to write a thorough description of your car and all its benefits. A good description will answer most of the questions that a potential buyer would have about a car, thus getting rid of any confusion that the buyer might have. The same thing can be said for failing to properly advertise your car. If you want to get a seller who is going to pay what you want, the right description will make all the difference.

via: Chrysler
via: Chrysler

Although you might think that the car will sell itself, it takes a bit of enticing to get a buyer onto your listing. The first mistake that sellers make to not put enough information in the description. The better description you have on your listing, the more likely your car is going to sell without issue. There will be fewer questions that you’ll have to answer and the overall process will go much smoother.

via: Plymouth
via: Plymouth

10. Poor Quality (or Not Enough) Photos

The advent of the smartphone has been a blessing for taking photos. But one of the problems with photos is that low-quality images will potentially deter buyers from your listing. You want to make sure that the images positively reflect the way that your vehicle looks in real life. The same thing can be said for other types of images such as on a real estate listing. If you look at the vehicle images on most of the major auction houses they are very high quality. The car is usually placed in an open setting.

via: Plymouth
via: Plymouth

You want to showcase your car’s paint job as well as any accessories. The better your car shows, the more likely you are to get a buyer for it. You will feel like it’s an uphill battle when you decide to sell your vehicle, and the right photos make it easier. Take the time to shoot some great photos that showcase every aspect of your vehicle. You’ll be happier that you took better quality photos in the meantime.

via: Plymouth
via: Plymouth

9. Not Being Prepared

Perhaps one of the most evident problems that people have with selling a car is not being ready to show it. If you have a buyer who wants to see the car, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be shown. Some buyers don’t clean the car or have it show ready in time. Then others start to have sellers remorse before the car is sold. You want to be ready to sell your car at any time. If you want to sell your car for a reasonable price, keeping it ready to showcase the car at any time is essential.

via: Chrysler
via: Chrysler

Showcasing the vehicle is one of the most important parts of the sale. If the car is displayed in a way that shows off the car’s positive elements, the buyer will be more persuaded to make a purchase. Buying a car should be a fun and exciting experience, and this naturally means the excitement of coming to see the car as well.

via: Chrysler
via: Chrysler

8. Mishandling Paperwork

When it comes to selling a car, there is one aspect many sellers tend to overlook. The paperwork. Selling a car is an in-depth thing to do, and it takes a level of knowledge to do it the right way. Paperwork is an important aspect that you need to pay attention to. In states like California where smog is a requirement to sell a car, paperwork is an essential part of the sale. You cannot legally sell a vehicle unless the paperwork is in order. Make sure to take time and examine the title.

via: Chrysler
via: Chrysler

The title should be signed and notarized in all the right places. You’ll also want to make sure that you have the chain of ownership if the title is not in your name. Making sure that your paperwork is in order is not hard when it comes to selling a car. But it is a tedious task that you need to make sure is in order before you ever list the vehicle for sale. Having your ducks in a row will save you money and headache in the long run.

via: Chrysler
via: Chrysler

7. Bad Pricing Strategy

A lot of sellers tend to overprice their vehicles during the listing process. Even if you think that your car is worth a lot of money, you don’t need to get greedy. Using Kelly Blue Book to get the correct resale price is the first step in making an adequate sale. But you also need to take the time to check the real-world value of your car. Check to see what kind of damage it has and also what comparable models are going for as well.

via: Chrysler
via: Chrysler

Price your car fairly and attractively to get a buyer. The bad pricing that many sellers use when they are listing their cars is the reason that you’ll see the same car on the market for weeks. There are many different ways that you can find to price a car the right way. Doing it balanced is the best choice and price your car accordingly based on features.

via: Chrysler
via: Chrysler

6. Incomplete Service/Maintenance Records

Keeping records of your maintenance is one of the important steps in selling your car. The first thing that a wise potential buyer will ask for is the service records. If you have maintained your car correctly then you should have service records dating back to when you first bought the car. These records should consist of everything from a simple oil change to major work. Let’s say you had to have the transmission replaced. Good service records will show this.

via: Chrysler
via: Chrysler

Your service records will also be a positive selling point. Potential buyers will have a piece of mind with getting the service records. If you have purchased a car that doesn’t have well-kept service records, you should still keep your own from that day on. You can show potential buyers that you took initiative to take care of the care. If you want to get a fair price for your car, the right service records will make a difference.

via: Honda
via: Honda

5. Failing to Screen Inquiries

Don’t waste your time with lookie-loos. What does this mean? You’re going to get a large percentage of potential buyers who are not serious. The best thing that you can do is take the time to screen these buyers first. You want to eliminate anyone who is not serious because you could waste of time. Taking the time to screen your potential buyers will save a lot of headache in the long run. You can do this just by gauging the questions potential buyers are asking.

via: Honda
via: Honda

You’ll have a lot of car “flippers” who are trying to lowball your sale so they can resell the vehicle. You want to avoid these types of potential buyers, which is important. Don’t lose your sale because you are dealing with a non-serious buyer. Doing this will end up saving you money and time in the long run.

via: Honda
via: Honda

4. Meeting Up with Potential Buyers in Insecure Places

Websites like Craigslist have made the process of selling a car potentially dangerous. The problem with places like this is that you can end up being robbed, or even the victim of a worse crime. When you set out to meet a potential buyer, make sure that you are going to meet in a public place. Grocery store parking lots, malls, and just about any other open area are fine, but you never want to sell a car at night. The first problem with buying a car at night is because it can be dangerous and the potential buyer really can’t see the body.

via: Honda
via: Honda

When you go to sell your car you want to gauge the potential buyer. There will be times where you’ll go to someone’s home to sell a car. But with the right knowledge ahead of time, you’ll be able to make a safe sale. Remember never to carry cash on you for the initial sale and never try and sell a car alone. If you use these tips, you’ll have a great experience overall and get your car sold in no time.

via: Honda
via: Honda

3. Mishandling the Test Drive Appointment

When you get into the process of selling the car, the most important part is probably the test drive. Your potential buyer is going to want to take a test drive. Before you even let someone behind the wheel of your car you need to make sure they are licensed. There are a lot of people who will buy a vehicle without a valid driver’s license. Remember that you are on the hook for a car until the new buyer transfers it into their name. The test drive appointment should go smooth without a hiccup.

via: Honda
via: Honda

Take the time to make sure that your car is in smooth running condition. This is the part of the sale where your car needs to impress the driver. Taking the time to check all of the fluids and make sure that the car is running smoothly will ensure a sale. You are bound to have a potential buyer who is very finicky and the operating condition is crucial. You want to make sure you have a smooth test drive.

via: Honda
via: Honda

2. Giving Out Personal Information

Personal information is an important part of the buying process, but you want to limit what kind of personal information you are giving to potential buyers. You always have to be cautious of identity theft and how it can affect you. You should only have to give out a signature when you sell a car. The buyer won’t need any other information from you after this because you’ll be off of the hook for the car. You are selling the car as-is, which is why you don’t want to give too much information to the potential seller.

via: Honda
via: Honda

You also want to make sure that you take the time to clean out the glove compartment. Make sure that any type of personal mail is gone from the vehicle. You don’t need to leave any insurance information in the vehicle. The risk that you could get your identity stolen from leaving documents in the car is quite high. Taking the time to give the potential buyer limited information will save you in the long run.

via: Honda
via: Honda

1. Getting Scammed on Payment

Finally, payment is an important aspect to go over when it comes to selling a car. If you are a private seller you want to make sure that you only accept cash as a form of payment. Too many times, sellers are ripped off by accepting an alternate form of payment. Taking a personal check can result in the check getting canceled. Taking a cashier’s check can result in the same thing and money orders need to be verified. The best option when it comes to selling a car is by accepting cash because you’ll have a much safer transaction.

via: Honda
via: Honda

The process of selling a car doesn’t have to be hard. When you take the time to make sure that the sale is smooth you’ll have a much better process. Cash is the safest way to make a payment when you are selling a car on the open market. Unless you are using a consignment company, a cash sale is going to save you a lot in terms of headache.

Advertisement
Please wait 5 sec.