Selling your car can be a painstaking process and it’s often quite hard to get the best out of your ride. But with little research and correct preparations, you can simplify the process and get the most profit possible.
Step 1: Determine Your Vehicle’s Worth
Before you decide to sell your car, you will need to find out exactly how much your car is worth, depending on the make, model and the overall condition. A good idea is to look around for other similar vehicles on sale, compare them to your ride and set an estimated worth.
Step 2: Gather the Paperwork
A better approach is to gather all the documentation you will need to finalize the deal once you have decided to sell your car.
This include the mandatory registration documents, the genuine registration book, running documents, return file etc. Always clear out any taxes pending since it’s the responsibility of the owner (you) to pay the taxes, not the one who is going to buy the car from you.
Maintenance records is a plus, not everyone keeps a complete service history of their cars. But if you do, then it’s good to present these to the new owner. Keeping up with scheduled maintenance can increase the value and reliability of your vehicle.
Step 3: Get the Car Ready
Remember a clean vehicle will always be more attractive to potential buyers, and give the impression that the car has been properly cared for. Pay attention to the exterior as well as interior of the vehicle. Get the vehicle wash and thoroughly serviced before you put it up for sale.
Step 4: Take Pictures
These days most of the car dealing is done online and taking good pictures of your car is vitally important. If you need detailed tips on vehicle photography, click here.
Be sure to take multiple shots from different angles and choose the best of your selection when you create your ad. However don’t just bulk out the ad with tons of pictures, rather you should post selected pictures in good quality of the exterior (front/ both sides/ rear), the interior, dashboard, front and back seats, engine bay, trunk and wheels. Up to 10 good pictures are more than enough for people to analyze your car.
Remember pictures doesn’t guarantee a sale, they will only help buyers reach out to you. So be honest in uploading recent pictures of your ride and never treat them in photo editing software to enhance their looks.
Step 5: Place an ad
There are many online classified websites as well as those dedicated to selling cars. Creating a good ad is a must to attract buyers, and it starts with knowing the details of your vehicle inside and out.
Since a detailed description will leave a good first impression and help you attract more buyers, you will want to make sure it’s as accurate as possible. Be sure to include the asking price, mileage, condition of the vehicle including any history of accidents or damage, modifications or upgrades that have been made, and the number of owners etc.
Step 6: Screen Potential Buyers
After you have posted an ad online, be ready to respond to incoming inquires. Answer any questions by e-mail or phone, and remember to offer test drives to serious buyers only.
Remember you will be bombarded with unwanted calls from buyers who want to make a certain commission out of the deal and will connect you to another buyer. There will also be a lot of those people who will try to buy your car cheap and then resell it at a profit. Often, they throw out a crazy low price or try to get you to negotiate before they even see the car.
Never finalize a deal with such people on phone as they tend to get you to your lowest possible price on phone, and will begin negotiation from there on once they visit the car. Remember serious buyer will be spending a lot from their hand-earned money so they will make careful decisions and might want to visit and thoroughly inspect the car, even more than once, before moving on to payment and price negotiations.
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This is also the time you’ll want to beware of fraud, so lay out your guidelines to determine legitimate candidates. Clarify methods of payment that will be acceptable, and never accept cheques or partial payments.
Step 7: A Good Place to Inspect
Park your car on a clean open spot that’s easier for buyers to inspect the vehicle all around. If it’s night time, arrange proper illumination around the vehicle so it remains well lit. Always try to answer the asked questions convincingly, remember only the satisfied one becomes a buyer.
Step 8: The Sales Pitch
This is something most sellers don’t pay attention to. Your car is a product that needs to be sold so if a buyer makes the effort to come over and look at the car, use the opportunity to place the perfect sales pitch. The best time to inform the buyer of why your vehicle would be a better purchase than others on the market is, during the test drive.
Try sizing up the driver, by finding out what they currently drive, what they are looking for in their next vehicle. Use this information to ease their concerns. Pitch the benefits of your car, such as the fuel economy, affordability of replacement parts, performance of the engine, reliability and safety features etc.
While it’s good to present the plus points of your car to the buyer, avoid the urge to ‘sell’ them the car, instead let them experience the way it drives and respond to any of their answers where necessary.
Step 9: Negotiating the Price
After you have shown and discussed the vehicle, remind the buyer how firm the price is. If it’s up for negotiation, don’t be afraid to make a few counter offers if you aren’t happy with the buyer’s price.
Related: Used Cars Will Become Expensive Too
When you negotiate, it’s a good idea to have a starting price that’s higher than what you’re willing to accept. Also have a certain amount in mind that’s your lowest acceptable price and stick to it.
Step 10: Finalize the Sale
Once a sale has been agreed upon, you will need to finalize all the paperwork. Pay orders are the most used method of payment however you should go with the buyer to his or her bank to get the pay order made in front of you. A couple of cases have occurred when the buying party handed over the pay order after banking hours and got the custody of the vehicle only to be found next day that the pay order was fake.
Related: Guide: Buying a Used Car in Pakistan
People also use online payments but then it depends on the convenience of both parties. When payment process has been completed, you will need to complete the bill of sale including transfer letter, sales receipt etc. Avoid selling cars on open letters.
Lastly, Remove your Ads
Once the vehicle is sold, don’t forget to remove the ads you posted on online platforms otherwise you will be getting calls every now & then and will have to keep telling the callers that the car has been sold.
If you are out to look for another ride as a replacement, don’t forget to check out the buyer’s guide here.
A 3d animation professional with over 20 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations & production facilities of Pakistan, an avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver writings to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com