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There are more options to selling a used vehicle than ever. There are even websites that will make you an offer online based on its year, make, model, mileage and condition. You will still likely do better by selling your car to an individual, however, as long as you take at least some of the following steps.
Get it Detailed
Have your car detailed inside and out. A shiny, clean car looks well cared for and can make an impression. If you don’t want to pay someone to detail your car for you, look up car detailing tips and do it yourself.
Get the Engine Cleaned
Older cars can especially benefit from an engine steam cleaning. If you want to go the budget route, purchase some degreaser and wipe down the larger, more visible parts of the engine yourself.
Change the Oil
Even if a potential buyer isn’t particularly mechanical, they may decide to check the engine oil. Black, gritty oil on the dipstick could sabotage your sale. You may even decide to proactively show them the oil as long as it is clean.
Replace Worn Tires
If you have a tire or two that are visibly worn, especially if worn unevenly, it will indicate that not only will the buyer have to invest in new tires immediately, but there may be other issues like needing a wheel alignment. Buying a couple of inexpensive new tires can resolve the issue.
Gather Mechanical Records
The more mechanical documentation you can show a potential buyer, the more confidence they may have that issues the car had have been addressed.
Collect Some Comparable Car Prices
Perform your own due diligence by looking up cars of similar condition and mileage. Price your vehicle competitively and be ready to show these comparable prices to potential buyers.
Take Lots of Photos
Take lots of interior and exterior photos to forward to any potential buyer before scheduling an in-person visit. The photos can minimize wasting time with some prospects and may encourage others by demonstrating you have nothing to hide.
There is no question that selling a vehicle to a private buyer can take a little more time, and you are likely to get some no shows. If you are going to do it, do it right to maximize your return.
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