Whether you just want something new or you’re tired of seeing it sit there unused, selling a car is likely to cross everyone’s mind at some point. However, there are a few essential things you need to know about selling to make sure it’s a positive experience for everyone involved.

Know Its Value

While you might want to get a specific amount out of the car, you need to take the time to do some research and find out exactly what it’s worth. Sources such as Kelly Blue Book, AutoTrader.com and NADA are all great options to consult for the actual value of your vehicle. Just make sure you provide honest, accurate answers for the condition and mileage for the best results.

Create Accurate Ads

While it may be tempting to omit the fact that the kiddos have stained the seats, don’t do it. Likewise, using terms such as slight dents when the quarter panel has been crumpled is also not acceptable. While you might entice people to come and see the car, you can be sure they’ll walk away as soon as they see the reality. The same holds true for any known engine issues and the like – all things will come to light during the test drive!

Make It Shine

When selling a car, you have to take the time to make it as presentable as possible. Make sure it’s washed and waxed, and thoroughly clean the interior. Most buyers will make a decision on buying within just a few seconds of seeing the car, so you have to make sure it looks great to grab their attention.

Screen Interested Parties

When people contact you, take the time to screen them. Make sure they understand payment terms, whether you expect cash payment and whether they plan on test driving the vehicle. Once you’re sure they are truly interested, setup a time for the test drive. Make sure to ride with them – never let someone leave in the car on his or her own for any reason.

Be Ready to Negotiate

The likelihood of you receiving your original asking price is slim. Most potential buyers will negotiate to get a better deal, so make sure you’ve built wiggle room into the price. For example, if you won’t go under $5,000, set the asking price a bit higher so you can go lower for an interested party.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as 5 Essential Things to Know About Selling a Car and was authored by Valerie Johnston.


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