Tips for Selling Your Car Yourself
How Would You Use Your Tax Refund? | CarMax

October 2016

Selling a car by yourself can be a hassle. According to a CarMax poll, waiting to find a buyer is very stressful. But if you do choose to sell your vehicle on your own, here are some important things to keep in mind:

  1. It may be difficult, but try to set aside any sentimental value you think your car may have and be objective about the car's condition, especially if you use online research sites like Kelley Blue Book to obtain a value for your vehicle.
  2. Remember that you paid a retail price for your vehicle, which includes extras like the warranty and other fees, which will likely not be included in any offers you receive when you sell.
  3. Take good care of your car and retain all of your maintenance records. A complete paper trail of service and repair receipts serves as proof that you cared about your vehicle and its operation. If you’re lucky enough to have a mechanic you trust, the shop ought to be able to provide you with a printout of your service history.
  4. Keep your car clean and treat it to regular vacuuming, washing, and even waxing. Drive carefully and avoid accidents. This extra attention will pay off when it’s time to sell.
  5. Consider taking multiple photos of your car for when you’re selling online.
  6. Compose a simple but comprehensive ad that addresses mileage, service history, price, and any parts you’ve replaced (including tires).

The CarMax poll asked people about the worst parts of selling a vehicle. Here’s how they responded:

Answer %age of Respondents Number of Respondents
It takes a very long time to find a buyer 31 percent 1,061
Tend to get a lot less for it than expected 17 percent 572
I hate the whole negotiation process 15 percent 525
It takes a long time for the buyer to come to my house 8 percent 282
The person you sell it to calls with complaints 8 percent 262
I have to keep the car clean at all times 7 percent 252
Buyers back out 6 percent 223
Receiving phone calls late at night 3 percent 113
Advertising ends up costing a lot more than I thought 3 percent 91
Potential buyers showing up unannounced 2 percent 72 
TOTAL 100 percent 3,453
If you choose to undertake this process, be patient — your buyer will make themselves known to you in time. Good luck!

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