Learn the basics of selling a car so you can get rid of your old vehicle quickly, and make some money doing it.

Get It Together. Gather all the paperwork (like the owners’ manual, your title, warranty information and the car’s service records) into one place. You’ll need it when you’ve struck a deal, so don’t put off finding it until the last minute.

Write it Down. Make a detailed list of all your car’s options (navigation system, premium stereo, etc.) and include any extras you added to the car that would be appealing to buyers.

Set The Price. To know what to ask for your car, get on the Internet and see what others are asking for vehicles like yours. Also, look up its value in a resource like Kelly Blue Book. Keep in mind that mileage, specific colors and a car’s condition all factor into what people are willing to pay. Build a little padding into your initial asking price since most buyers dealing with an individual seller expect some wiggle room and will haggle.

Make It Shine. Before advertising your car or showing it, spend a little money and/or time (and elbow grease) to make it look its best. A good washing (inside and out) or a professional detailing job is always a smart idea. You should fix little things that can be easily repaired (like dings or a cracked side mirror) and replace any bulbs that are out. 

Get the Word Out. Many private sellers end up selling their car using online ads, so check into listing your car on sites like autotrader.com and others. And don’t forget to use social media to reach potential buyers right in your area. In any online or social media ad, be sure to include the make, model, year, mileage, condition and price; as well as at least five or six (more is better!) good, clear photos of both the interior and exterior.

Be Careful. When you get a bite, be sure you are comfortable with the person coming to your home to look at and test drive the car. If you don’t like the idea of strangers coming to your home, pick a common public place to meet that is convenient for both parties (like a mall, local university, or shopping center). If you’ve communicated through email, think about setting up a phone call first. That way, you can determine if you’re dealing with a serious buyer.

Negotiate The Price. Before you ever start a price discussion, know the lowest amount you are willing to take. Only you know what you need to get from the car, so don’t be afraid to walk away from a deal if you can’t get it.

Complete the Sale. Do a quick Internet search to find what a typical bill of sale document needs to include and create one for your sale. Both you and the buyer will sign it, and remember to make a copy so you each have one. You’ll also need to sign over the car’s title and to remove the license plate, as the buyer will need to get a new one.

If you're interested in buying a new or used car after selling, consider financing with MAX. We offer competitive auto loan rates, and our Preferred Dealers Network will likely have the exact vehicle you're looking to buy.