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How Not to Sell Your Car - The 7 Deadly Sins
Deadly Sin 1 - Not doing research
This is the actual source of much of the difficulty with selling your own car. Research is the reason the car dealer has the advantage. He knows his business. The private seller usually has little to do with car prices until they want to sell their car. The main benefit of research is that you will know a realistic price that you can charge for your vehicle. This means that you will most likely sell it more quickly and easily. A dealer sets his price by charging whatever the market will bear. Proper research will allow you to quickly estimate the market for your vehicle in a private sale.
Deadly Sin 2 - Listening to unfounded advice
This follows on a little bit from No. 1. There's often financial pressure at the time of selling a car - which leads others around the seller to give their opinions as to the price or the desperation to sell. It is often given with the best intentions. If someone is giving you advice as to the value of your car you shouldn't necessarily ignore it but it is best to do your own assessment. If you do your own quality research you will find that you are less likely to be concerned about doomsayers.
Deadly Sin 3 - Not preparing your car for sale
It is amazing, but some people will try to sell a car with a full ashtray of cigarette butts. At the very minimum you should vacuum the car and give it a wash. If you really want to maximise your price putting some time into the presentation of the vehicle is essential. The best way to approach this is to imagine you are the buyer. See yourself viewing the car for the first time. What impression does it give you? Now make a list of things that you can inexpensively fix or handle and attend to them. Properly detailing your car is highly recommended.
Deadly Sin 4 - Trying to hide known faults from a buyer
Well it's fairly clear that this is dishonest and should not be done. Some states actually have laws which hold you liable if it is found that you sold a car with known faults. A used car may have some faults. The best way to handle this situation is to know exactly what the fault is and how much it will cost to fix it. You can then reflect that in the price you ask for the vehicle. The principle is to repair only what will be paid back in the sale price.
Deadly Sin 5 - Selling to a professional buyer
There are people that make their living buying cars at bargain prices. For this reason you should learn to recognize them. They will make you a very low offer. The best way to protect yourself is to do the research step thoroughly and be prepared to say no. They are basically trading off the fact that most people don't really know the market and are sometimes just desperate to sell.
Deadly Sin 6 - Not doing your paperwork
You absolutely must complete all the DMV or vehicle authority paperwork to fully transfer the title. Otherwise you may receive parking tickets or other nasties from the other party.
Deadly Sin 7 - Letting yourself be bullied by tyre-kickers
Many buyers will make a list of all the things they have found wrong with the car and then tell you the price that all this costs to repair. Don't assume that their figures are correct because they appear to be an expert. It is often the case that if they are truly an expert they know how to get the repair done themselves for a much cheaper price. You will find that two of these experts have two totally different ideas about the price. As you can see, it gets back to research again - if you have priced your car correctly - you won't be overly disturbed by tyre-kickers.
Graeme Sprigge is the webmaster of SellMyCarForCash.Com, a website dedicated to enlightening you on how to get the most for your car in a private sale. The site is is constantly expanding and includes more great articles, some of which are available for reprinting in your ezine. There is a lack of unbiased information on the net in this are so this site aims to fill the gap.