25 Car-Selling Secrets Only Dealers Know

13. Show Your Personality

If people are looking to buy a car from a private seller, one possible reason is that they want to avoid a smooth-talking car salesman. By coming across as a person as much as a seller, you can make your buyers more at ease with you, suggested CarSalesProfessional. It’s a business transaction, but that doesn’t mean you have to be strictly business. If a buyer sees you as a person as much as a seller, they might like you more — and possibly give you a better offer.

14. Make Minor Repairs

Many professional car salesmen will have minor service done on a car before selling it. A quick oil change and engine cleaning can do wonders for a car’s presentation. By spending $100 — or just doing it yourself — you might be able to quickly up your cars value, thus making a cheap fix a good idea in many situations. Cars.com recommended looking at your car’s Kelley Blue Book value, and determining whether the money and work you put into it will upgrade the value enough so that you make the money back.

15. Gather Your Documentation

When a buyer comes to look at your car, they want to see all the documentation there already — including the registration, title and servicing paperwork. Before showing your car, you should have this all gathered and available. If you have everything available beforehand, you’ll be seen as a straightforward seller.

16. Screen Potential Buyers

While it’s not likely that you’ll become a victim of fraud from selling your car, there is a risk. Before you meet with the buyer, get their full name, and make sure they know which methods of payment are acceptable. This can help prevent any scammers from trying to avoid payment, or defraud you, reported Kelley Blue Book.

17. Only Accept One-Payment Offers

It’s generally a bad idea to allow your buyer to pay in installments as opposed to putting the money all down at once. Unless you draw up a legal contract, they might still fail to pay you the rest, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Either way, it’s a risk that you shouldn’t take.

18. Negotiate the Price

In your ad, specify how concrete your price is — whether it’s up for negotiation, and if so, how much. Even if you say it’s not open for negotiation, it’s possible the buyer will try to negotiate anyway. You should be prepared for this and be ready to counter their offers with your own, advises Edmunds.

19. Be Open About Everything

It’s best to be open with the buyer about past or potential problems with the car. The consumer can find out just about anything about the car whether or not you tell them, so it’s typically to your advantage to be upfront with them. This includes why you’re selling the car, as well as how often you drive it and any other important information.

20. Time Your Sale With the Market

You should be familiar with what will happen to your car’s value in a volatile market. This might affect when you want to sell it. There’s a potential for certain segments of the automotive market to outperform others on resale values, said Steve Szakaly, chief economist of the National Automotive Dealers Association. For example, Szakaly said demand for light trucks and SUVs remain strong, which will contribute to high resale values on those vehicles.

21. Meet in a Public Place

You shouldn’t meet with a potential buyer at your house. Instead, it might be best to meet in a public place — a parking lot or some other neutral location. This way, your home address remains unknown, thus eliminating the possibility of car theft while you’re out, according to Kelley Blue Book.

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