Many reasons cause you to start thinking of selling your used – When you’re tired of the car, or your family size goes up (or down), or it just doesn’t feel like fun to you anymore – it’s time to move on. From here, you have two choices: use your car as a trade-in on your next car and probably sell it below it’s real value. Or sell the used car to someone who wants it more than you do and, with any luck, make a nifty profit.
There probably aren’t half as many articles out there about selling your vehicle as there are ones on how to tell you to buy one. Many of us aren’t car salesman but all of us should know the basics of getting a car prepped for sale. When the time does come to buy a car, we should know a little bit about what we’re doing. We’ve highlighted simple steps that should help get your car ready for sale and keep you focused on what attracts potential buyers.
Get the Word Out
The first order of business when you sell a used car is to tell the world your vehicle is for sale, through a newspaper or magazine classified ad, or through or online via ediaro Automobile among others. Whatever you do, take an enticing photo of the car. To increase its marketability, you can browse automotive magazines for suggestions of flattering angles of the cars they showcase. In your advertisement, state its features, mileage and wear as honestly as you can. Name your price in the advert in order to attract earnest shoppers when you sell a used car.
Preparing Your Car for Sale
Make it Look Good. This is an obvious one. The car needs to look good (inside and out) and it should even smell good, or at least not smell bad. Think of it this way: People are trying to visualize your car as their car. If you have a books scattered in the backseat, yoghurt stains on the dash and a sticker that tells everyone which club you are supporting, a potential buyer will have a hard time changing gears from “their car” to “my car.” Spending a little time cleaning up your car will make a good impression and can help you sell it that much faster.
To sell a used car, make your vehicle look as pristine as possible. If it’s an old model and you expect to make a lot of money on it, invest in a complete inside, outside and under-hood detailing by a professional detailer.
If your car is an older vehicle, take a Saturday or a Sunday and do your best with the exterior paint finish (wash and wax), the wheels and wheel wells (car wash detergent, and a strong stream of water) the chrome (polish), the carpeting (vacuum and shampoo), and the upholstery (household cleaner and/or spot remover.) Don’t forget the headliner.
Pump up the tires to their recommended inflation level, and be sure to wash the brake dust off the wheels when you wash the car. If the tires are worn, you can expect the buyer to ask for a deduction in price, or you can buy a new or slightly used tires to help sell the used car. Remove everything from the booth, clean the entire booth interior mat, and also remember to check if the spare tire, wheel and jack are all there and in good shape.
Clean under the hood with a steamer or a bucket, soap and a hose. Be careful of the electrical and electronic parts, which are very allergic to water. Make sure the battery is clean and fully charged, and the oil and filter have been changed before you show the car to its first potential buyer. A dipstick full of dirty motor oil is an absolute turn-off to a potential buyer.
Showing it Off
Once you’ve been contacted about selling your used car, make arrangements to meet the potential buyer in a safe, neutral place like a shopping center or a Petrol station. No one needs to see where you live in order to buy your car. Make it after work or on a weekend morning so there’s plenty of time for inspection and driving and nobody’s in a rush to get back to work. Be prepared to host more than one person, from a whole family, to a buyer and a mechanic when you sell a used car.
Hold on to the keys of the buyer’s vehicle and jot down the Number plate, just to be sure about your buyer returning with your vehicle (that’s if you’re not following the buyer in the car). If you feel comfortable, don’t accompany the buyer and his entourage on the test drive, so they feel completely free to discuss the pros and cons without you. Agree on a time period for the drive before they leave.
When it’s time to sell the used car, there’s very important paperwork to attend to in the form of the vehicle’s title, registration, Number place, insurance policy among others. Do your homework prior to selling your used car. Go to your nearest motor vehicle license office or Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to make sure you know what all of the legal requirements for a vehicle sale are in your jurisdiction. Inquire about the steps to take for transfer of title, payment of fees and sales taxes.
Payment of fees and taxes can be part of your final sale negotiations with your buyer if that will seal the deal when you sell the used car. Be sure you understand all of your legal obligations in a sale. Ensure you notify your insurance company, car financing agent/Bank of your intention to sell the used car and have the insurance canceled as soon as the funds have changed hands. Check to see if you are entitled to a rebate.
Get All the Paperwork Together. This is one of the most important steps if you still owe money on the car. Make sure to contact the lien owner and find out the details of selling your car. If you owe a fair amount of money on the vehicle, find out if you owe more on the loan than the car is worth. If that’s the case, paying off the loan and selling the car later may be your best bet. If you own the car, selling it is going to be a whole lot smoother. Having the proper documentation ready for potential buyers will show them you’re on top of things and will help make the sale go faster.
Prove You’ve Maintained the Vehicle
Usually, sorting through car maintenance records on your vehicle might not be fun. But if you have documentation of major and minor repairs on the vehicle, you can prove two things to potential buyers: The vehicle they’re considering purchasing has been properly maintained, and documented maintenance usually means less money for repairs later. Show a potential buyer all the maintenance records when they come to look at the car, or at least let them know you have them if they want to see them.
If the car needs work and you’re selling it that way, get a quote from your mechanic and include that with the paperwork. This eliminates a guessing game between you and the buyer as to how much a repair is going to cost and how much the car is worth.
Watch How You Drive
If you’re selling the car yourself and not through a dealer, many people will put their car advertisement online (such as on ediaro Automobile) and maybe even put a “For Sale/Buy Me” sign on the car window. If you’re advertising your car while you’re driving it around town you should be mindful of how you’re driving. If a potential buyer sees you cut someone off, drive erratically or simply drive too fast, they may be less likely to call. Buyers want to know you’ve taken care of the car they’re buying; letting your road rage show isn’t going to support that idea.
One of the most important details of selling your car is to be open and honest with potential buyers. In the past, it was more difficult to determine how much a vehicle was worth, if had been in any accidents, etc.
Know what your car is worth as well and what you’re willing to sell it for. In some cases, the buyer may want to bring along or take the car to his mechanic to have it checked out. Don’t take this as an insult; most people don’t like making a big purchase without an expert opinion. If you’re not willing to let them have the vehicle checked out by a mechanic, the odds of you selling the car will drop dramatically.
Always remember to be patient with the selling process. If your price is reasonable, the right buyer will come along. Preparing your car for sale doesn’t have to be a frustrating process. Just clean up your car as best as you can, stay organized with the paperwork, and be honest with potential buyers.
A better way to buy used cars
At ediaro.com, we always knew there had to be a better way to buy and sell your new and used cars. A platform that would make the process easy and fun. So we created ediaro Automobile, and we’ve started to dynamically changing the way Nigerians buy cars since we launched it.
Transfer of Funds
Be prepared when you sell a used car for some degree of haggling and hesitation. Don’t go beyond your preset haggling limit, take your time and don’t get frustrated.
Never, ever accept a personal cheque from the buyer. Insist on cash, a Bank Draft or a wire transfer of funds into your account before signing over the title to the buyer when you sell a used car (thanks to the recent introduction of the cashes initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria-which makes wire transfer more stable and widely used). Once the funds have been deposited to your account, you can sign over the title, cancel the insurance on that vehicle and begin the search for your own next car.
Common-Sense Advice for Sellers
Selling a car you find online (such as ediaro Automobile) is a lot like selling a car through a classified advertisement in the newspaper. In either case, use your best judgment.
- Confirm contact information. Be particularly wary of buyers willing to purchase your car sight-unseen, especially buyers located overseas. Always verify the buyer’s street address and telephone number.
- Secure payment first. Do not transfer the title until you have payment in hand at the agreed upon price.
- If you are trading with a Cheque, verify that a certified Cheque is genuine. Before you deposit a certified check, verify authenticity with the issuing bank-not just your bank. Make sure the account contains sufficient funds and the issuing bank guarantees payment on the check. It may take 2-3 days (t+2) before the Cheque clear. It hasn’t cleared just because your bank has accepted it and credited your account.
- Beware of overpayment or other complicated payment schemes. Don’t agree to any plan where the buyer asks to send a check for more than the sale price and requests that the seller refund the difference. And be suspicious of any buyer who proposes making payment through a friend or agent of the buyer.
For over 5 years ediaro.com (a member of Fladio International Nigeria Limited) has provided web solutions and advertising for public and private sectors. Our main division is Computer and Information Technology. Thanks to our flexible approach towards the development of new solutions, we have often been at the inception of digital revolution and incorporating the most recent technologies. When you partner with ediaro.com, you are associating with one of Africa’s best company for your ICT needs, we are the 1st Nigerian Company listed on the Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS) ECOBIZ computer session in 2010. Focusing on quality, reliability and design of our products and services has brought us customers and partnership with local and Multinational Companies such as United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), Interswitch Limited, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc among others. Our current customer portfolio covers individuals, companies and Government agencies across the globe including Nigeria, India, United Kingdom, Mozambique and United States of America.