How to sell your used car | 4 basic steps

These 4 steps will point you in the right direction

Need to sell your used car, but feeling overwhelmed by the idea? Try breaking it down into these four basic steps, and it won't seem so complicated.

Step 1: Prep

Get your paperwork in order, making sure you have the title, bill of sale, and a small check if necessary in your state. Clean your car inside and out. This is a simple thing that can make a huge difference in sale price. Take great pictures. Remember, you're competing against all the other cars for sale out there. Take photos of the outside from a few angles and some clear shots of the inside. Make sure they're not blurry, too dark, or too light.

Step 2: Price 

Use online resources to figure out the fair market value of your car. Enter your vehicle's information and take into account any repairs that are needed. Now you know how much to ask for when placing your ads.

Step 3: Placement

Place your ad online. You can list on multiple sites, if you can afford to pay multiple fees. Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are free, however. Choose which ad package fits you and your budget. Some include extra photos, car facts profiles, longer run times, and more. A great tip is to add the story of why you're selling the car or what the car has meant to you. Buying and selling cars can be an emotional process. People connect with a good story.

Step 4: People

Now it's time to meet potential buyers. Best to meet in a public place like a bank during the day and have a friend with you. Check the potential buyer's license to make sure it matches the person in front of you. Prepare to answer any tough questions about needed repairs or issues. You should be honest. It's ethical, and since you've priced and described the fairly and accurately, it shouldn't be a surprise to the buyer. The buyer might ask for an independent mechanics inspection. That's a reasonable request, if you can accommodate it, but the buyer should pay for it. If interested buyers want to take a test drive, be sure you go along with them.

Found a final buyer? Congratulations! Accept only cash or a cashier's check from a known local bank. To be extra cautious, get cash from the buyer at your bank and deposit it right away. Make sure you and the buyer fill out the relevant paperwork including a bill of sale. You can get a template for a bill of sale on the vehicle licensing office website, and you're done.

When you break the process down into prep, price, placement, and people, it's not so overwhelming after all. Good luck!

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