3. Show Your Car
If you've done all the previous steps, you should receive a number of calls about the car. Now someone wants to see it in person. Bear in mind that when you sell your car, people will not only be evaluating the car, but also the person who owns it. Buyers will feel more comfortable if they know you took good care of the car and answer their questions openly. Make sure the car has been washed and that you've removed all your belongings from the inside. It is also a good idea to have your maintenance records ready to show interested parties.
Potential buyers will want to test-drive the car. Ride along with them so you can answer questions. Some buyers will want to take the car to a mechanic to have it inspected. If you have a report from your mechanic, this might put their doubts to rest. But if they still want to take the car to their mechanic, this is a reasonable request.
4. Negotiate Your Best Price
It's not uncommon for people to ask you for your "best price" or try to negotiate before they've seen the car in person. If you give out a number first, they may try to lower the price even further once they've seen the car. Try to avoid these situations by letting shoppers know you would rather negotiate after they've seen the car.
When a person test-drives your car and likes it, you can expect him to make an offer. If the offer is well below your asking price, you will want to either hold firm with your asking price or make a counteroffer. An easy counteroffer is to meet the would-be buyer halfway or slightly increase the offer made to you. Give the negotiation process some thought ahead of time so you won't be caught unprepared when the time comes.
In some cases, the buyer might want to have an agreement that is contingent on you performing repair work. This can lead to misunderstandings down the line, so avoid such deals if you can. The best thing to do is discount the car so the buyer can handle the repairs on his own.
5. Finalize the Deal
The laws governing the sale of motor vehicles vary from state to state. Check with the governing agency in your state. Most of this information is now available online. When selling your car, it's important to limit your liability. For example, if the buyer gets a parking ticket or is in an accident, you may be held responsible. Most states have a release of liability form that you can fill out to prevent situations like this. This article on closing a used car sale has more detailed information and a handy checklist.
Once you have the money from the sale — and it's customary to request a cashier's check or cash — sign the title over to the buyer or provide them with a bill of sale. Finally, remember to contact your insurance agent to cancel your policy on the vehicle you have sold.
6. Make It Easy on Yourself
Occasionally, unexpected bumps arise in the sale process. You can handle these easily if you are dealing with a reasonable person. As prospective buyers contact you, use your intuition to evaluate them. If they seem difficult, pushy or even shady, wait for another buyer. With the right person, selling a used car should be simple and easy.