Getting the Best Value for Your Car

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Whether we like it or not, many of us have to sell our cars at one point or another during our lives. If this is you, here are four great tips on getting the most out of this process.

Proper Maintenance

If you ever need to sell your house and speak to a real estate agent, one of the first pieces of advice he will most likely give you is to make a few essential repairs. It will not only add value to your property but also make it more appealing to prospective buyers.

For instance, if you live near the ocean and your home has become a fertile breeding ground for insects, it would serve your best interests to hire a business specializing in termite and other pest control services.

The same goes for your car. If the oil is leaking, the tires are flat, or the windshield is broken, fix it before you offer it to potential clients. Few things turn people off more than being offered a vehicle in bad shape.

Take Good Pictures

A good picture is a very subjective matter. If you ask 100 different people, they will give you 100 different answers. Some might focus on lighting, while others think clarity is the most important thing.

Still, when you are trying to sell your car, here are a few pointers to consider:

  • Make sure the vehicle is clean. No matter how skilled you are as a photographer, a dirty car will look, well, dirty.
  • Don’t be dishonest. If the car has a small scratch on one of the doors, either avoid taking pictures of it or show it. But don’t photoshop things you cannot hide in real life.
  • Take enough photos of both interiors and exteriors. Once again, vacuum the inside and wipe whatever you need to wipe. Remember also to include pictures of front and back seats, the steering wheel, and the dashboard.
  • Flatter your car. Even if you are Brad Pitt or Gisele Bundchen, you still need a good photographer to get your best angles. Your vehicle is no different. If the right side looks nicer, focus on that one. If it is the front, then go to the front. The process is pretty straightforward.

Aside from a video, good pictures are the best promotional tools you can have. So make them count.

man inspecting a car

A Car, Not Your Car

Once again, let us go back to real estate, namely residential properties. One term often used in the industry is depersonalization.

For those of us unfamiliar with this word, it means making the house neutral. This is accomplished by removing everything that relates to your unique individual taste in home decor as well as personal items like family pictures or that little Buddha statue the Dalai Lama gave you on your latest trip to Tibet.

Unless you are Vin Diesel and you are selling your 1970 Dodge Charter R/T or Ayrton Senna, and you want to get rid of your Honda-powered, McLaren MP4/4 Formula 1 championship car, you do not want buyers to know who you are simply by looking at your vehicle.

In fact, what you want is the exact opposite. You want people to imagine themselves driving the car. You want them to picture a lifetime of adventure, family trips, taking the pet to the local beach, and driving their kids on the first day of school and after their college graduation.

Do the Research

There are plenty of ways to sell your car. You could post it on a few reputable car dealership sites. You could look at your phone and make a list of all the people in your social and business networks and call them one by one. Finally, you could visit a car dealership near your house or office and ask about the possibility of either selling your car or having it exchanged for another one.

Regardless of which one you select, you will find there are both advantages and disadvantages. But you will not know about them unless you do the research. While a website might be the most suitable option for a specific car at a specific moment, if one of your friends or kid brother is looking for a vehicle, then that is the path you should take.

Doing your due diligence will also help you set the right price, one that is reasonable to prospective customers and acceptable to you and your financial needs. The last thing you want is parting ways with your baby and not getting the best possible return.

Four useful tips on preparing your car for sale are investing in necessary repairs, taking quality pictures, making sure the car is neutral, and doing your due diligence.

By doing this, you will improve your chances of getting what you think your vehicle is worth.

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