Top 10 things you need to know before selling your Volvo
1. Gather Information. Whether you're looking to unload your car quickly or get the best offer for it, it's smart to start with a little preparation. You need to visit websites like eBay, AutoTrader, KBB etc.. to determine your car's value to setting your asking price and getting a firm online offer.
Many people overlook this step until the very end, but the selling process really starts with rounding up your paper work. The car's title, service records and original sales paperwork are the big three.
Here's why: While you may already know the basics (year, make, model, current mileage), you'll need to know your car's style (not just a 2003 Honda Accord, but a 2003 Honda Accord LX) along with optional features like keyless entry, a CD player, leather seats or navigation system. Options can bump up your car's resale value, so be sure you have a complete list. If you want to see if you missed anything, check your original sales documents or the window sticker.
Finally, gather up as many maintenance receipts as you can find. "These days, regular oil changes are an even better indication of good upkeep than tune-ups," says Dan Ingle, Kelley Blue Book's Vice President of Vehicle Valuations and Industry Products. "If you changed your oil every 3,000-8,000 miles, in keeping with the manufacturer's recommendations, that's a good signal to a buyer that the car has been cared for."
If you don't have your service receipts, ask your dealer, regular mechanic or oil change center if they can print a statement that summarizes your visits. This kind of information reassures a buyer that the car is in good shape, which can help you get a higher price.
2. Condition. Know your Volvo's condition. You may think your car "drives like new" and shines like a baby seal, but its value will depend on its actual condition, so you'll need to be both knowledgeable and realistic about it. Owners tend to overestimate the value of their car, which can lead to unrealistic expectations. If you ultimately set your asking price too high, you'll probably have more trouble selling it. Consider going to your mechanic for an assessment. He/she can identify problems with the engine, plus things you may overlook, like a broken tail light or features you don't use. A pre-sell inspection can be worth the investment because: You'll arm yourself with the information a buyer will find if they do their own inspection. A recent inspection will put buyers at ease and may even head off a buyer's need to have the car inspected on their own
3. Trade or Sell. Once you know the true condition of your car, the next step is to decide whether to sell it yourself or trade it in to a dealership -- since the value of your car varies depending on which method you use. There are pros and cons to each option:Why Trade It In?
Why Sell It Yourself?
4. Increase Value. Whether you sell your car yourself or trade it in to a dealer, you will want to do the little things - and maybe fix the big things - to boost your car's value.
7. Screen Buyers. Unless you hire a broker or have a friend who owes you several favors, you'll need to meet prospective buyers and set up test drives. This can be daunting, so it makes sense to look through all the candidates online first, then call the ones that seem promising. That initial phone call is the best way to put both parties at ease.
8. Test Drive Sell. Before the test drive, anticipate a potential buyer's questions about your car. For example, if you're asking more for your car than others in the category, be prepared to explain why. Special features, complete maintenance records, and any recent upgrades are all logical explanations of a higher price -- especially when you can back it up with the paperwork.
Don't forget: the extra effort of selling your car yourself is generally worth 15-25% more than the trade-in value at a dealer. But if you find that the process is taking too long or is more effort than you're comfortable with, you can always choose to trade it in. Or you can go the quickest route and get an instant online offer through AutoTrader.com's Trade-In Marketplace (with no new car purchase required).
9. Negotiate. At the end of the test drive, remind the buyer of the car's asking price and how "firm" that price may be. This is also the time to revisit any remaining warranty or extended protection, or whether you're selling the vehicle "as is."
10. Complete the sale. Once the buyer has fallen in love with your car and you've agreed on a price, the smartest next step is to accompany the buyer to their bank for a cashier's check. This will help protect you against any fraud. Once payment is complete, take the following final steps: