Selling your car yourself is a sure way to get more for your asset. If instead you sell your car to a car dealer, the amount you can expect to get paid will be far lower. Even a dealer who wants to give you a fair price must sell the car again, which requires him to reduce the price he offers you by his time and services for selling the car later on. Selling your car yourself can be done safely, however, without fear of fraud, theft or scams, if you follow these 10 simple steps to selling your car quickly and safely.
Sell Your Car Quickly, Safely: #1. TITLE
Before selling your car, you must have proof of outright ownership in the form of the vehicle title. Make sure you know where the title is, to avoid an embarrassing delay once you find a buyer. The title might have any former lender information, if your motor vehicle had been financed initially but is paid off now. The top portion of the title will be signed by you when you sell your car, then given to the buyer. The bottom portion of the title will include instructions on state law regarding car sale registration (which will be discussed in step #10). You will find the VIN number of your motor vehicle on the title, which might be required when you sell your car if the buyer is borrowing from a bank that will run a title search to make sure no liens were placed on the vehicle and no accidents were reported.
Sell Your Car Quickly, Safely: #2. FREE ADVERTISING
To sell your car quickly you must advertise to a large audience. Free advertising on Craig’s List is a great place to start. Take advantage of the unlimited number of words you can use to make your car sale advertisement informative and professional. Include the year, make and model of the car you want to sell, as well as the mileage and your asking price. To really help sell your car fast, it’s a good idea to include the Kelly Blue Book value next to your asking price. This will help you confirm that you are asking a fair price, as well as prove that you are asking less than market value. And if you don’t wish to haggle with buyers, state a good price and indicate that it is not open to negotiation. Since Craig’s List is an informal sale venue, it’s also recommended to say why you are selling and add any information that will convince someone to buy your car. Don’t exaggerate, simply remember to state all the things that make your car a good deal. Be sure to include 4 photos to help sell your car quickly by showing how good it really looks. Finally, since Craig’s List is often used by less serious sellers, increase the power of your car sale ad by clarifying that you will respond to emails on the same day.
Sell Your Car Quickly, Safely: #3. PAID ADVERTISING
If advertising on Craig’s List generates a lot of interest, you will probably succeed in selling your car fast without having to pay for advertising on professional venues. However, if you are pressed for time or need to reach a wider audience, buying a one month car sale ad is a good idea. You’ll sell your car a lot faster by paying a little more to advertise in the best venues. Auto Trader is an excellent place to advertise you car, can you can opt for advertising online or in print, or both. Car Trader is another excellent venue for selling your car.
Sell Your Car Quickly, Safely: #4. FILTERING RESPONSES
Sell your car quickly but not to everyone who makes you an offer. Since the person you will sell your car to will likely be a stranger, take a few precautionary steps to avoid fraud, scams or theft. To begin with, if anyone offers to buy your car long-distance and send you a bank check refuse. The risk of fraud is too great. It’s best to sell your car to someone who will come to buy it in person. The buy should bring cash or a bank draft. If the latter, be sure to sell the car during bank business hours so you can call the bank to confirm the validity of the check (more on this in step #6).
Sell Your Car Quickly, Safely: #5. MEETING
Meet any potential buyer in daylight and at a safe location. This can be your home or office, where there are other people and you feel safe. It’s a good idea to have someone with you, like a friend or relative. Not only will this ensure your safety and make a vehicle theft less likely, but this will give you another set of eyes to judge the buyer and help you determine if this person is serious and trustworthy.
Sell Your Car Quickly, Safely: #6. MONEY
If the buyer is serious and wants to go ahead with the deal, your first concern is to be paid legitimately. There are two ways to ensure this. First sell your car for cash. Make sure to have a counterfeit detection pen, which you can find at Office Depot for the price of a cheap pen. There is no need to spend more on buying the more expensive counterfeit pen which has an ultra violet light, as this is redundant. If you car is expensive, however, you are likely going to be paid with a bank draft. Never accept a money order. Instead, a bank check should be drawn in your name. Either go with the buyer to his bank to see the check issued, or call the bank at the time of sale to confirm that the bank check is valid. Do not ask the buyer to provide you with the bank’s telephone number. Run a search online and you’ll find the number for customer service. It’s a good idea to confirm with the buyer in advance which bank he intends to use, so you can have this information with you when you sell your car.
Selling Your Car Quickly, Safely: #7. BILL OF SALE
Although a Title will change hands when you sell your car, it’s important to draw a Bill of Sale as well. Here is an example of a standard bill of sale. Make two copies, so both you and the buyer can take an original with you when you close the deal. Be sure that both of you sign and include your address and date beneath the signatures, as well as a printed version of the name.
I, (your name:)_______________________________ of (address:)______________________________________________, hereby certify that I am the lawful owner of this vehicle:
and I have the authority to sell said vehicle. I hereby acknowledge the receipt of $___________ in the form of _____________, from (Buyer’s name:)_______________________, which represents full payment for the purchase of said vehicle, which is being sold “AS IS”. I hereby state that the mileage of the vehicle at the time of this sale is ______________.
I do hereby grant, sell and transfer full ownership of this vehicle to the buyer. I certify that at the time of sale this vehicle is free from all encumbrances, taxes, fees and liens except (unless otherwise specified on the Title or listed below); and that, I (Seller) will defend and be held fully responsible for such lawful claims and demands with respect to this vehicle, should any arise.
Buyer accepts full liability for the vehicle, damages, and any third party liability incurred from the vehicle use from the time of sale as dated below.
Sell Your Car Quickly, Safely: #8. DOCUMENT EXCHANGE
When you sell your car make sure that the following documents are signed and exchanged between you and the buyer. First, both you and the buyer should sign the Bill of Sale. Check the buyer’s driver’s license to confirm his identification and offer yours to him for the same purpose. Next, sign the Tile, and have both you and the buyer sign the back of it where the Odometer statement is made. Hand the Title over to the buyer, only after the payment is made to your satisfaction. Next, below the title is a Vehicle Report of Sale form, which both you and the buyer should fill out, so you can record the sale with your local Department of Motor Vehicles. Be sure to retain this form and not to hand it over accidentally along with the title. Finally, be sure to give the buyer any warranty documents or car manuals, as well as the extra set of keys.
Sell Your Car Quickly, Safely: #9. CANCEL INSURANCE
Don’t forget to cancel your car insurance effective the date of sale. Even if you cannot reach your insurance agent the same day, the car insurance can be cancelled retroactively from the date of your car sale. If any documentation is required by your insurance company, simply provide them with a copy of the Bill of Sale.
Sell Your Car Quickly, Safely: #10. REPORT YOUR CAR SALE
Most States require that you register the sale of your car. There is no cost to you, but you are required by law to report the car sale within 5 business days of its execution. It’s likely that you can fill the report online, even if the Vehicle Report of Sale form that came with your title states that you have to come in person. It’s possible that regulations have changed since the title was issued, so run an internet query for the Department of Motor Vehicles in your area and search for registering a car sale. You can also go to a local office and do this in person, but don’t be surprised if you are asked to pay a nominal charge for this service, and to do so in cash only.