Selling a car is often more lucrative than trading the vehicle in at a nearby dealership. While a trade-in might be easier, selling is likely to bring back more money.
But before a seller puts a vehicle on the market, he or she should know pre-owned vehicles typically don't sell overnight. However, there are steps sellers can take to increase the chances their vehicles will be sold sooner rather than later.
Honestly evaluate the vehicle: The first thing a seller must do is make an honest assessment of his or her vehicle. Especially in the current economy, consumers are going to exercise due diligence before spending any money. That said, sellers must recognize this and evaluate their vehicle honestly. Does it have any lingering mechanical issues? How popular is the make and model of the car? Mechanical issues must be addressed, or owners should make such issues known when speaking with prospective buyers. If the make and model of the vehicle is currently en vogue, it should be easy to sell but sellers might not get the most money for the vehicle if the market is currently flooded with similar models.
Be fair when determining the asking price: Asking for too much won't get the car sold. When determining a fair asking price, among the things to consider are the mileage, the vehicle's condition, any special features, the type of driving the vehicle typically gets and gas mileage. A car that gets great gas mileage might be more valuable to prospective buyers, while one with considerable mileage might push buyers away. Take all of these things into consideration when determining the asking price. And don't forget to consider any upgrades you made to the vehicle. For example, if you just purchased new tires, that should be worth something in the asking price. In addition, Kelley Blue Book or a website such as Edmunds.com can provide a good measuring stick for a vehicle's value.
Perform a little cosmetic maintenance: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and in this case the beholder is the prospective buyer. Buyers will almost certainly want to look under the hood, but they will also want a car that looks nice in the driveway. Get the car detailed, including a wash and wax, before putting it up for sale. Clean the vehicle's interior as well. When all of the cosmetic maintenance is done, take the car in for a tune-up, including an oil change and even some new filters.
Be patient: The current market is difficult to predict. When selling a vehicle, patience is imperative. If the market is slow at first and offers are lower than you expected, wait it out and keep the vehicle in good shape until the right buyer comes along.