4 Things You Should Do Before You Sell Your Car

4 Things You Should Do Before You Sell Your Car

Let's face it - selling your car can be both emotional and stressful. Between memories, milestones and gathering of paperwork, the thought of selling can be overwhelming. It’s a legally binding deal, and if done right, you can turn a nice profit.

To help get you started, we’ve broken down four key things you should do before putting your car on the market.

Gather Paperwork

You’ll be handing off this car to another owner, so it’s important for them to know what work has already gone into the car. When was the last oil change? Have you ever purchased new tires? How about those brake pads? Having all of these key documents together will not only help you sell the car, but the new owner will appreciate the transparency you’re providing them. Experts recommend having the vehicle history report, maintenance records, warranty documentations, as-is documentation, odometer disclosure, title, and bill of sale ready to go.

As a best practice, these documents should always be scanned and digitally stored, as it protects you from future liability. In particular, the bill of sale is important to scan and keep.  We recommend scanning it with an easy-to-use scanner like the ScanSnap iX1500—which also has a direct-to-cloud scanning feature that makes it easier and faster to scan everything digitally!

Fix the Small Stuff

It’s important to make sure your vehicle is in the best condition it can be in. Let’s face it, who wants to buy a dirty car? Important places to clean inside the car include the seats, steering wheel and dashboard.

In order to spruce it up a bit, consider purchasing new floor mats and even possibly seat covers. The overall goal is to make the car look as new as possible to really sell it! Polish the steering wheel and dashboard and pop in an air freshener. As for the outside, a good scrub and polish goes a long way. Consider also repainting over chips and scratches in order to make the car look less dated. Scrubbing the tires clean will give it the extra shine it needs to get as much money as you can! Check your car’s lights and fluid levels to make sure everything is in good shape.

Also consider throwing in any extras perks you might be able to provide, such as owners manuals. For extra points, you could even provide a digital file with the car’s history scanned and archived. The ScanSnap iX1500 can again come in handy here!

Do Your Homework

It’s important to know how much your car is really worth before putting a price on it. Closely assess your car for dents, dings or other blemishes. That will help you get a good sense of its overall condition. Next, use online appraisal tools to determine what price range you will fetch in its current condition. You can also take your car to a dealership to be appraised, to see how the two prices stack up. Once you’re comfortable with a price that fits not only your needs but the cars worth, it's time to tee it up for sale!

Create Your Sales Strategy

Remember that timing is everything. SUVs and trucks tend to sell better during colder months when drivers are dealing with snow and iced roads. Sports cars, convertibles and compact cars tend to sell better in the warmer months when the weather is nicer for cruising and gas prices tend to be higher. You should also decide if you want to sell to a dealership, which will likely offer a more straightforward process—or if you prefer to sell to a private buyer, which will likely give you a higher profit.

So, are you ready to sell that car of yours? Following these simple steps should help you feel prepared to get the best deal possible.