6 Tips for First-Time Car Sellers

Understanding the private party car sale process is one of the most important things you can do when selling a car for the first time. If you're not clear on the steps, rules, and requirements, you could end up with a lower price than you wanted. You might even risk legal problems. Here are six important tips to consider when you're about to start the private party car sale process.

Tip 1. Know What Your Car Is Worth

If you've never sold a car before, you might not be clear on the value of the one you have. But you can get a fair price for your car when you know what it's worth and set your asking price correctly. Too low, and people will think something's wrong with the car. Too high, and they won't be interested in it at all.

Fortunately, there are plenty of options to find out what your car is really worth. Then you can set a price and feel confident that you're going to get a price you and the buyer can both feel good about. You don't have to take the first offer that comes to you, either. You can wait and hope for a better one. That's especially important if you don't feel like the first offer was a fair one.
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Tip 2. Make Sure the Title Is Clear

Having a clear title is a big part of getting a car sold the right way. The private party car sale process requires you to pay off the lien on the car before the title can be transferred. It also has to be cleared with the other party if there's more than just your name as owner of the car. Getting those kinds of issues handled before trying to sell the car is often easier.

In some cases, though, you might not be able to pay off the car unless you sell it. That can be done, but the lien will still need to be paid before the title officially transfers to the buyer. You'll basically be using the buyer's payment to you to pay off your lien, and then the title can be cleared and transferred. Make sure any potential buyer know you have a lien on the car, so they understand the process.

Tip 3. Get Your Car Looking Great

The better your car looks, the more likely you are to find a good buyer for it. That includes both the interior and exterior of the car and also extends to things like the quality of the tires and the cleanliness of the engine. Buyers don't expect older cars to look showroom new, but they do expect them to be in good shape. The better your car looks overall, the more attractive it is to a wider variety of buyers.

People who maintain their cars are usually good at making sure those cars run well and don't have problems. That's the kind of person you want to be in the private party car sale process. It will attract more buyers if they feel they can get a good deal on a car that's been cared for well and carefully.
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Tip 4. Don't Let Buyers Low-Ball You

You might be eager to sell your car and excited that someone wants to buy it. Just remember that this is a business transaction, and you need to get a fair price for your vehicle. You can always give someone a discount if you really want to, but don't let a buyer make you feel bad or guilty and use that to talk you into getting a better price on the car you're trying to sell.

You don't have to sell to any particular buyer, even if they're insistent or tell you that you'll never get what you want for your car. Most buyers who go through the private party car sale process are good people, but there are always some who just want to get as low a price as possible by whatever means necessary. Be wary of them, and don't be intimidated.

Tip 5. Fill Out All the Paperwork

Make sure you and the buyer fill out all the required paperwork properly. If you don't, that could lead to problems for one or both of you. There are legal issues and insurance concerns that could come from that, and neither one of you wants to deal with those kinds of things. The title can't be transferred unless all the information is included.

Check with your state, as each one has its own guidelines for the ways titles and other forms need to be filled out, and the information that you have to include. Many buyers and sellers even complete the paperwork at the title office, to make sure nothing is overlooked.
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Tip 6. Sell Your Car Through a Trusted Platform

One of the easiest options for you as a first-time car seller is to use a quality, trusted platform. With PrivateAuto, you can do everything from advertising your car to finalizing the sale with PrivateAuto Pay, their integrated banking option. You won't have to worry about missing a step, or risk dealing with buyers who aren't serious or don't have the funds for the sale.

Buyer's funds are verified through the site, and buyers can even apply for financing to make a vehicle purchase. The private party car sale process has never been easier for a first-time car seller. Sell your car with PrivateAuto today, and see how stress-free private car sales can be.