You are preparing for it sell your car, and you may still be undecided whether to sell it yourself or take it to a dealer, but you know you want a top dollar. Anyone selling anything in the market always hopes to get the maximum amount of money possible and selling a car usually means that you have already put a lot of money into your vehicle just to buy it and service it throughout your ownership. So how much work should you actually put into cleaning that old car before you sell it? Does it matter if you plan to take it to a dealer who can do their own detailing? Let’s dive into the options and go through the process of preparing your car for sale.
Sale to a dealer
When you sell your car to a dealership, you might think that your car can only reach the price of a new car, but car dealerships actually love to include used cars in their inventory, whether you buy a new car from them or not. Since dealers are always looking for new inventory, they would likely welcome your used vehicle to their lot for a cash offer or trade-in, giving you options. Although dealers typically detail their vehicles to prepare them for sale regardless of the condition in which they arrive, imagine a dealer looking at your vehicle in terms of the work that needs to be done before the vehicle can be sold. Every dealer knows that a car will sell faster and at a higher price if it looks clean and is free of dents and dents.
If you drive your car to a dealership and haven’t taken the time to clean it, you know that the time it takes to clean it yourself means money you’re not making from the vehicle. The dealership has to pay someone to clean the car and that comes from the profit they could potentially make. Even if you don’t take your car to an auto detailer, you should dispose of your trash, wipe down all surfaces, wash the windows, vacuum, and polish the exterior. Taking the time to do the deep clean yourself means less time the dealer has to invest in preparing the vehicle and they know that means more money in their own pocket. This then means more money for you if they make you an offer.
Instead of taking your car to a dealer, you might want to make more money from your sale by selling it yourself. Essentially, you are now the dealer who must do the job of detailing it before you sell it. If you put yourself in the shoes of a car dealership, you can imagine all the used cars lined up in the parking lot, shiny and clean, enticing people browsing to buy. In order to get the maximum price for your car, you, the seller, must either clean it like a detailing service would, or simply pay someone to detail it for you. Of course, detailing a car yourself means you get more money out of the sale, but you can save yourself a headache by paying about $100 to a detailer to do the job for you.
Once you put the time or money into cleaning, you’re giving your car the best chance of selling for a higher value, as buyers are often turned off by a dirty car. Cleaning gives the buyer peace of mind when purchasing as it gives the appearance of care and maintenance. If you need to take photos for an ad, a clean, shiny car will draw more interest than a car that looks dull or dirty. Buyers are more likely to bid higher if the car is also clean, so it’s worth spending your time cleaning it thoroughly. That means shampooing carpets and seats, applying special treatments to liven up the look of the dashboard and controls, and giving your car a good wax. Taking the extra time to touch up dents or dents also keeps your car looking fresher and means a higher price when you sell it.
The difference between older and newer models
Used cars are not all the same when it comes to selling. If you’re selling a car that’s only a few years old, buyers probably expect it to look fairly new. On the other hand, if you’re planning to sell a five or six-year-old car, buyers will be more forgiving of a few rough edges in appearance. While it’s still important whether or not it’s clean, a vehicle’s value is more dependent on its age and mileage. Although you would expect a car to sell for a higher price when it’s still in its early years, an older car that has been well maintained and has a nice, clean interior can still sell for a good price will.
Some of what influences the sale of a car is subjective because everyone has different ideas of what makes a car valuable to them, but when you see a classic car that still has its original seats and carpets looking clean and fresh is that impressive. You want to touch the fabric or leather, and being behind the wheel almost welcomes you. Whether your car is new or old, if you can make your car look as new as possible, your potential buyer will be more impressed with your car. In short, make a good impression regardless of the age of your car. Clean it up knowing that when it looks this good, someone will be genuinely pleased to see this car in their driveway.
Just like clean seats and windows, buyers notice when small things like buttons for the air conditioning or door handles are broken. These little things reduce the value of the vehicle and help make the vehicle presentable for sale. If you have a broken signal light, window that won’t open, or wipers that don’t work, take the time to fix them. Paying a few hundred dollars to fix small things adds to the overall price of your car, and whether you sell it to a dealer or through a private sale, it means a higher bid in the end. You don’t want to go overboard and fix everything – after all, you’ll probably want to sell because you don’t want to fix an aging vehicle – but if you can get away with small repairs to polish the way it looks, then spend on better ones to get offers.
What buyers will see
Remember, you want to make a good impression on everyone who buys your car. A dealer may be wiser when it comes to noticing details you may be overlooking, but a dealer also understands that you are selling a personal vehicle. They expect to do some work before they turn around and sell it themselves. Just make it worth it by getting them a clean car that they can easily refresh. When selling privately, try to see your car through the eyes of a dealer and make it shine. Head to your local auto shop and find the products that will restore the look, including repairing those little things you may have let go. You might even want to buy an air freshener so it smells as good as it looks. People tend to be swayed by the emotional response to a clean, fresh car. Get in touch and you can expect the sale to be much quicker and easier.