If you’re selling your used car, you’re essentially playing the role of matchmaker: You’re embarking on the process of finding someone who will fall in love with your car and drive off with it into the sunset. It can be a difficult task to pull off, but it doesn’t have to be. There are steps you can take to make your vehicle instantly attractive to prospective buyers.
Looks aren’t everything when you’re evaluating people, but they mean a lot when you’re a buyer evaluating a used car for sale. Unlike people, cars can’t charm you with their witty banter and sparkling personalities. If you want your car to be a hit with buyers, your biggest task will be figuring out how to make your vehicle look its very best.
Here are five quick ways to make your used car for sale more appealing to buyers.
1. Get it Washed
Cleanliness is important, and it’s unlikely that you’d be attracted to someone you just met who hadn’t taken a shower in weeks. The same is true when it comes to buying a used car. A vehicle that is clean and pristine will have an easier time finding someone to drive it home.
Take your vehicle to a car wash, and have it cleaned from top to bottom. Consider getting the car waxed while you’re at it. A good wax job can make a car look newer, and this will help boost its stock on the used-car market.
2. Clean the Interior
A competent wash and wax will help your car make a great first impression, but your work doesn’t end there. Prospective buyers will also want to take a look at the cabin, and it’s important to make sure your vehicle’s interior is spic and span.
Real estate agents will tell you that dirt and clutter can kill a deal when selling a home, and the same is true when selling a used car. Vacuum your car’s interior to make sure the carpets are clean and free of debris. Use a damp cloth to wipe down surfaces such as the dash and center console to make sure dust and smudges are banished. If you have personal items in your car, remove them before you show the vehicle to buyers. Make sure that you also clear items from the trunk or cargo area. You want buyers to be able to imagine themselves in your car, and a cabin and trunk full of your personal knick-knacks will kill this illusion.
Also, we use our sense of smell when evaluating people, places and things, so don’t overlook this aspect of the cabin. Baking soda can be used to remove odors left by pets or cigarette smoke. An air freshener can also be useful. Some people are sensitive to fragrances, so if you’re going to use an air freshener, choose one with a light scent that isn’t overpowering. Citrus fragrances are usually a good choice.
3. Tend to the Tires
Properly inflated tires keep your car safe on the road, and they can also help you achieve optimum fuel economy. If your tires are overdue for some air, have this taken care of before showing the vehicle to buyers. If your tires are properly inflated, it lets buyers know that you take care of your vehicle, and this will send a positive message to them about the overall health of the car.
It’s also important to make sure your tires look clean and attractive. Tires can be expensive to replace, and if your car’s rubber looks worn and decrepit, it might lead buyers to believe that if they purchase your vehicle, they’ll have to purchase new tires sooner rather than later. Apply a paste of baking soda and water to the tires using a scrub brush. This will help remove dirt and grime, and it will refresh the look of your car’s tires.
4. Top Off the Fluids
When you’re selling a car, you want to do everything in your power to show the buyer that the vehicle has been well cared for. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to top off all the fluids. If it’s been a while since your last oil change, replace your car’s oil. Many buyers will look at the fluids when evaluating the vehicle, and taking these steps will help you make a solid impression.
5. Get Your Records in Order
Buyers shopping for a used car will want to learn about the vehicle’s history. If you’re unable to present records that share details of your car’s background, it may leave buyers feeling as if you have something to hide.
A quick way to provide shoppers with a snapshot of your vehicle’s background is to purchase a Vehicle History Report from CARFAX. This report provides details on things such as a vehicle’s accident history, and it can help put the minds of prospective buyers at ease.
Prepare for a Smooth Sale
Taking these steps to prepare your car for the sales process can make a world of difference. If your car is looking its best and your records are in order, it will make it much easier for your vehicle to win the heart of a buyer.