How to sell a car in the United States?

If you sell your car privately, it will take more work than if you decide to do it through a dealer.. This statement is a reality. However, taking care of everything could be the best alternative to end up with more money in your pocket. Also, it’s also not as terrible or overwhelming as it seems. Learn below the details to sell your car in the United States.

To get started, you don’t have to be an experienced salesperson, industry professional, or car, truck, and van expert. All you have to do is find a new home for your car and this will be very easy to accomplish if you follow a few basic steps. Are you a bit lost? Do not worry! Here we will show you how to sell your car in the United States at lightning speed.

How to sell a car in the United States?

How to sell a used car? Tips and appreciation

We have simplified the explanation of the process of selling used cars in the United States so you stay up to date with everything you need to do. Let’s see what this is all about.

#1 Check the make, year and model

The easiest way to do this is by searching for the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). It’s usually located on the driver’s side dash or near the windshield (if it’s not there, open the driver’s door and look at the door latch when it’s closed). Once you have that number, use one of the free VIN decoders on the internet and it will show you all the information you need.

If you want to know more about car history, keep visiting our publication: “How to know the history of a free (and paid) vehicle”.

#2 Find the price of your car in the market

How? Using specialized platforms, such as Kelley Blue Book o National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA). Enter any of their web pages, you can select your vehicle, choose the condition in which it is, write its current mileage, list the main characteristics and let the platform guide you in the process (they are usually quite intuitive). Once everything is ready, the system itself will give you a recommended price.

To confirm this, visit classifieds websites (such as Craigslist) and search for cars similar to yours that are in your area. Compare those prices of the publications with the one recommended by the platforms and you will have an estimated amount that will represent the real value of your car.

#3 Gather the necessary documents

That is, all the documents that a potential client could require to request or confirm the history of the car. This would include maintenance records, receipts for parts you installed yourself, and your original window sticker, if you still have it. The buyer may also ask you for a copy of your personal photo ID. Grant it only if you know the buyer is serious.

#4 Take lots of pictures

If you have marks on your hood from driving more than 15,000 miles annually for the last 3 years, take a picture of it. If you’ve taken care of your 20-year-old car to the point where it looks like it just came off the dealership, take a picture of it. Is there a problem in the driver’s seat? Take a picture of him. The more and better the photographs, the more likely you are to sell your car fast in the United States. In addition, the buyer will appreciate that you are honest and transparent.

Remember that you want to convince buyers that you have their dream vehicle. To do it, give it a deep clean, polish the paint with a special cream and moisturize the rims before taking the photos. No potential buyer wants to see a dirty car. So even if yours is a clunker, try to clean it as much as possible.

#5 Find out where you would like to sell your car in the United States

Usually, you will have better luck publishing your car online than leaving it sitting on the side of the road with a “for sale” sign on the windshield, (although that might work too, at least depending on where you live). The marketplaces of pages and social networks such as Facebook Y craigslist They are good places to start because they will bring you a lot of traffic and allow you to upload a lot of photos. Your local online classifieds could also be a good alternative.

#6 Don’t forget! Write a good for sale ad

Your ad has to be as concise as possible. Clearly state the year, make, model, mileage, and overall condition of the car. Mention things to consider, such as accessories or upgrades, and be transparent about the most significant mechanical and cosmetic issues.

Don’t make such a long ad.. Remember that you are not writing a novel: you are trying to sell a car. Avoid writing everything in capital letters, take care of spelling and use punctuation marks appropriately. Think that the grammar, in this case, will be the first impression that the buyer has about you.

Do you need inspiration? Here is an example that could help you:

“Hello. I am selling my 2007 Subaru Outback 2.5. It is silver and black inside. First owner with 119,000 miles and automatic transmission. I have all the records of maintenance since leaving the dealership. Recently had work done to change the oil and new brake pads were fitted. It has a small scratch on the hood, but otherwise it is in good condition. It includes leather upholstery, rubber mats and a CD player. I’m asking $6,500, but I’m open to offers. I do not accept barters or changes. Please refrain from making such proposals. The best way to contact me is by mail or electronic messaging.

As you can see, it is a simple, detailed and respectful advertisement that encompasses the most important aspects of the car. Someone who is looking for an Outback like this will already know enough about the model and will decide whether to make an appointment to see if the one you have is worth it or not. Very long or one-sentence posts will get you nowhere. Avoid them!

#7 Prefer email communications

In our experience, it’s best to insist on talking via email first and only give your phone number to buyers who are really interested.. However, this is a personal decision. Why do we say it? Well, because you have no idea who the person you’ll be dealing with is when you make the appointment. For this same reason, also it’s a good idea to set up a meeting in a safe, public place, like a local coffee shop, for example.

Avoid giving your address, receiving strangers in your house and the like. Of course, this does not apply in all cases. If you decide to have a garage sale, people will be in your yard and you will have no choice, understandably.

Remember: It is normal for interested people to want to try the car before buying it. After all – and being realistic – would you buy a used car without trying it out? Probably not. So, what you should do is give him the key and accompany the interested party.

If you’re not too keen on this idea, ask them to give you their car key (or something of value) while you walk around the block. Just don’t forget to use common sense: If it’s a 16-year-old and you have a 700-horsepower Dodge Challenger, it’s best to suggest bringing an adult back. The same would happen if you are selling a synchronous car to a person who only knows how to drive an automatic vehicle: Respectfully propose that they go back to someone more experienced.

#8 Negotiate the sale to close the deal

Let’s go back to our imaginary $6,500 Outback example. Don’t be offended if someone offers you $6,300. Accepting is up to you, but if you want to get out of the car fast, take the $200 down payment and go home with that money. If you have time to go back through the other 10 emails you’ve received from prospects—and go through the whole process again—then wait to see if someone offers you a higher price. Of course: remember that counteroffers also exist. Perhaps proposing to go half the difference is a bad idea. At the end of the day, it would be $6,400.

You should not feel pressure to accept an offer. If someone tells you that they will give you $2,500, it is best to back off and go home. Remember that the car is yours until the papers are signed and it is your right to decide how much you want to sell it for. Certainly, it is best to close the deal in cash because it is a quick and simple process, especially if the price of the vehicle is relatively low.

When it comes to payment, you have several options. Explore them until you find the one that best suits your needs. You can ask for an agency check, a money order or even a PayPal payment. However, the agency check is the safest option.

Watch out: Don’t fall for the usual scam. That story that a cousin will send you the money by Western Union next week from anywhere is not real, so stay away from that person.

#9 Make sure all your papers are in order

To sell your car in the United States (at least in most states), you’ll need to stamp a number of pieces of information on the back of the title, such as the price, date of sale, and the new owner’s personal information. If you still have your active car loan, you will also need to pay the bank before the title is released. Some states will also ask you to provide a bill of sale.

Never hand over the keys or the title deed before you get paid, that’s asking for free trouble. If the buyer hasn’t given you the money or doesn’t have the full amount, ask them to come back when they have it available and keep the key, title, and car in your possession until then. It’s also a good idea to scan or photograph the car title signed for your own files. In case there are any legal problems, you will have proof that you have sold the vehicle.

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