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20 Mistakes People Make When Selling Their Cars

Cameron EittreimJanuary 14, 2020

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.

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