No matter if you decide to trade in your car for another model or sell it to a private individual, the most important thing in making sure you get a fair price for your vehicle is preparing it before the big sale. A clean car not only attracts buyers, but also sends the message that the car has been taken care of and is in its best condition. But preparing the car for prospective buyers does not only mean going to the car wash and making it look spotless. It also means evaluating and fixing up some things, in order to improve its value and make it more appealing to buyers.
Start with the exterior
First impressions are always the most important, so make sure the outside of your car looks its best. For starters, always make sure to put your car through a car wash on the day you meet a potential buyer. This will ensure everything looks spotless and in good care. If the bodywork has any dents or scratches, these can put off buyers, so it might be better to take care of them before putting the car up for sale.
There are plenty of kits and online tutorials that can help you do this yourself, but for larger dents, it might be better to seek out a professional to take care of them. It might be worth polishing your car headlights as well, to make them look as good as possible. The process is not as expensive and it really gives a nice touch to the overall aspect of the car. Next, replace the wipes and make sure the windshield fluid is topped up.
Take care of the interior as well
Again, you can go ahead and pay for interior cleaning, but you can also do it yourself at home. First, make sure you have removed all your personal belongings from the car, to make it look as close to a new one as possible. Leave only the car papers and the bare necessities inside. Make sure to get rid of all the stains on the seats or car carpet and get rid of any unpleasant odors.
If the car carpet looks a bit worn out, buy some car mats. They are not expensive at all and ca really change the whole aspect of the cabin. Next, inspect the trunk. Make sure the spare tire and its tools are in place and remove all unnecessary items from the trunk. Give it a good clean and, if you must keep things in the trunk, place them in a box or a bag, to take up as little space as possible. Examine all the electrics on your car and make sure to change any faulty bulbs.
Consider small upgrades and repairs
While you might be tempted to fix everything before selling the car, experts recommend to not invest more than 10% of the car value, when it comes to repairs or upgrades. Take it to a mechanic and investigate all the potential issues. Chances are, your buyer will be doing this also and it won’t look good at all if you don’t know what you’re selling.
If there are issues that can quickly be fixed, fix them. If the problems require more investment, it may not be worth doing it yourself. According to vindecoderz.com, you should be open with your buyer and tell them about these issues, as they can find out about them quite easy, by just using a VIN decoder and you risk looking shady afterwards. Make sure to fix the issues signaled by the dashboard lights, as this is one of the first things buyers look at.
Don’t forget about the paperwork
If you have done any significant repairs in the last year, look for invoices and keep them in hand, as the buyer might want to see them. Keep the service history book, the car’s manual and NTC reports, as well as the registration certificate.
Having these documents in place will show potential buyers that you have been taking good care of the vehicle and that everything is in order. If you’ve done a vehicle history check, make sure to have this with you also. While buyers are usually the ones doing this, providing a history check will improve your trustworthiness and put the buyer at ease. If any documents need to be renewed make sure to do so before putting the car up for sale.
Now that everything is fixed and your car is ready to change owners, it’s time to advertise it properly. Photograph the cars from different angles, in a parking lot or some place with few distractions around, to make it stand out. Try to take the photos when the light outside is a bit softer, such as early in the morning or before sunset, to avoid any harsh shadows that may look unappealing on the car. Take some interior photos too, to showcase the details. If you have any special work done to your car, it may be worth photographing it also, as it can attract potential buyers.
When writing the advert, make sure you include all the important details in the title, such as car make, model, trim level and year. You should also make sure the advert includes information about the engine size, fuel type, gearbox type, body type, number of doors and seats, color and mileage. It may be worth highlighting the selling points, such as low mileage, special material on the seats or other features that may get the interest of buyers.
It is extremely important to price your car correctly. Look online for cars similar to yours and check out the average price. While it might be worth going a bit over the market place, as you can negotiate the price later, make sure you don’t overprice, as it can put buyers off. You can set up a price and let buyers know that you are open to negotiation, but don’t go too much under the average market price, especially if your car is in good conditions.