10 Common Mistakes You Should Avoid When Selling a Used Car

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Buying a used cars in sacramento can be a big decision for someone, so it makes sense that selling one has the potential to be equally stressful. Having your strategy well worked out and everything in place is going to make it a much easier process for you and the buyer.

Unrealistic Expectations

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You may have already lined up what you want your next car to be, so you may have a figure in mind that you need your car to sell at, but is it realistic?

You need to find out what the Blue Book price is for your car, and base it off of that. If you know the car is not in the best of condition, or you are needing to sell it quickly, this may affect the price. There are also people who are going to want to haggle with you, and though they may not give you exactly what you want, it may be wise to take it.


Incomplete Description

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If your car has issues that are not obvious, but which are going to become apparent soon after purchase, the buyer needs to know.

Likewise, if there are extra things that you are providing with the car people need to know. If there is any personal experience with the vehicle that you have had that makes it a selling point you should share that.

You need to adopt the viewpoint of the buyer and answer any questions they might think of before they even think of them. Why are you selling? How many owners? People care about this kind of thing.

Low Quality Photos

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Your car may be a very good example of the make and model, but if no one can see that in the photographs, then it isn’t going to come across, and people are likely to be less interested.

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If you are unable to take a good photo yourself it isn’t going to hurt to ask a friend to help you out.

Also, any spots of damage that you have are worth being upfront about, and photographs allow people to make a judgment as to whether or not they are interested in.

Slow Or Unfriendly Response To Inquiries

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Some people when they reach out to you may be testing the waters, so you should treat every communication as a potential sale. Being polite and getting back to people communicates that you are interested in them and you are interested in selling. People don’t want to feel like they are wasting your time, or wasting theirs.

Don’t assume just because someone is asking a lot of questions that they are a tire kicker. In the same way that you want to find out about a car when you are buying, others are going to want to qualify whether your car is worth buying.


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Being unwilling to shift on your price may drastically limit your selling options.

It is not that anyone is expecting you to be out of pocket at the end of the sale, but sometimes, being willing to drop your price a little bit is going to grease the wheels.

Also being willing to answer questions and maybe let the interested buyer go for a test drive might be the degree of flexibility it takes to make the sale.

Dishonesty About Price Or Vehicle Condition

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When you quote someone a different price than what they have seen in the ad it is unlikely to go down too well and is going to be a source of suspicion.

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Likewise, if someone turns up and they see damage on the car or wear and tear that you haven’t disclosed, they are not going to trust anything else that you tell them about the car. If someone is buying a particular make and model at a certain price they are going to have done their research, and they are going to prefer that you be upfront about everything.


Lack Of Knowledge About Your Car

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You need to know as much as you can about your car. If you have ever been to a lot you will see that a good salesman knows everything about the vehicle, and you should not b able to catch him flat-footed.

If you were buying exotic cars, he would know about exotic cars, likewise if you were buying American made.

Knowing what you are talking about and being prepared for the kind of question a buyer might have builds confidence.

Dirt And Grime

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If a potential buyer turns up and they see a vehicle that looks dirty it communicates not only that you might not be the most careful owner, but that you aren’t trying to impress them in any way, and don’t really care about the sale.

The buyer seeing a badly presented car may start to wonder what else you have neglected on the car.

Not feeling that you care about selling the car, may also send the message that you are not going to be an easy person to buy from.

Incomplete Paperwork

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When a buyer comes to check out the vehicle they may bring someone to check it out, or they may be qualified to do it themselves. Even so, they are going to want to see all of the paperwork that you have so that they can get the full picture of the car’s history.

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Not having all your paperwork may raise red flags, and even if it doesn’t, it is likely going to slow down the sale until you have everything gathered together for the transfer of ownership. Having all the legal rudiments in place is good practice. It protects you as much as the other person.



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Sellers are sometimes the victim of fraud, because they are only human, and trust the wrong person. If you get a bad feeling about the person that you may be selling to, it pays to go with that gut instinct.

If you are still determined to sell to them make sure you get the money upfront or use a payment method that guarantees you against fraud. Document everything.

The best thing to do in this kind of situation is to not sell to anyone you suspect might be dishonest.

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In Conclusion

Doing some research to make sure that you have all your bases covered is always a wise move when there is money involved.

You want the sale to go as smoothly as possible, and the handoff of the vehicle and the money to be a done deal when you shake hands and the car drives away.

Being prepared for any eventuality is half of the battle. Having someone with experience on hand is not a bad idea as well, but if you are the main person handling the sale you want to have all of your ducks in a row, and the above pointer will help with that.

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