Selling a car can almost be as stressful as buying one – maybe it’s because it’s almost always timed with buying a new car, or because you’re parting with a vehicle you know and love. Regardless, it’s a difficult process and there’s always a big question as to when is the right time to sell your car?
So, when is the right time to sell your car?
To us, there’s only one answer to this question: when you can get the most money. Whatever your reason is, that’s fine, but let’s maximize the value of your car within the market first and foremost. When that time comes, here’s what you need to do to make sure you exit on a high-note. First impressions matter.
What You SHOULD Fix
Replace hubcaps, wheel covers, inexpensive interior and exterior plastics that are worn or missing (a/c vents, radio knobs, power buttons, etc), wiper blades, burnt out bulbs, and have the oil checked or changed. These are simple but really help the first impression.
Tires are big one – a fresh(er) pair of sneakers on a car can get you a long way. We say fresher because you can buy used tires, that’s a thing! There’s plenty of local tire shops that will gladly put on a set of used tires with 50% life left: you can spend less than $200 and get up to $1,000 more for your car when it’s all said and done in some cases. If you’re not going to replace them, for heaven’s sake at least make sure they have the right PSI.
How to Deal with Major Issues
It’s ok if something major doesn’t work on your car, however you at least find out what’s wrong before going to sell it. This goes against some people’s natural instincts: after all, isn’t telling people something is wrong going to weaken my bargaining power? Absolutely not. For example: if someone turns on the A/C and it blows hot, they’re automatically going to assume the worst and think it needs a complete overhaul, compressor and all. This will take a $1,000 bite out of your price. However, if you know for a fact that it’s just a belt, that’s a <$100 fix and can be visually confirmed with a quick crack of the hood. It’s merely a speed-bump in your conversation, with little profit lost. Be upfront an communicate clearly. You won’t fool anyone that has a trained eye.
If you have any A/C, power windows, transmission, or even engine issues it might be to expensive but you need to find out. You might be pleasantly surprised and the worst that can happen is your exit will be quicker and more profitable when you go to sell.