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How to sell your car in just a few days

Updated on May 1, 2012

You have decided to sell your car. Great! Now you need to know how to get top dollar for your car. The easiest way to get rid of your car is to take it in to a place like carmax. They will offer you a certain amount for your car even if you aren't trading it in to buy one of theirs. The downside is they are offering you an amount they know they can profit off of. However, much can be said about quick and easy. If you have the time, though, these simple steps will help you sell your car for top dollar without the help (or cost) of a dealer.

1. CLEAN the car. Don't expect someone to buy your car for top dollar if it has stains, bird poop, and a funky smell. The first step is to wash your car with a good car washing solution. Get your hands dirty (don't go through a drive-thru car wash). Don't just wash the paint. Go ahead and get the wheels scrubbed clean, and windex the windows. After you wash it, it's time to detail it. Begin by waxing the car with a good wax like Carnuba, Turtle Wax, or Mother's. Now the intricate work begins. Start cleaning the inside. You will want to get every nook and cranny clean. Q-tips are great for getting in the tight spots. Finish off the inside with some Armor-all. Last, but not least, spray some Febreeze Auto in the car to freshen it up. If you really want it to shine, buy soe tire shine. It will make your tires look wet and shiny.

2. Take good pictures. People want to see the car without leaving their home. They won't drive 20 minutes to see a car they haven't atleast seen a few pictures of. Make sure you take pictures of the inside and the outside from multiple angles. *Denote defects in the pictures. If people feel you are honest and forward with the defects, they are more likely to trust you as a seller. 8Don't take photos at night. An hour before sunset is a great time to let your car shine in the photos.

3. List, List, List. Post your car for sale on websites, bulletin boards, and anywhere else you can. Craigslist is free, easy and powerful. Don't let that be your only plan though. Print some flyers with the photos and info. Post those flyers at the library bulletin board, and your local college bulletin board (college students are always looking for used cars). The listing must be complete with all the important information. Let them know the Year, Make and Model of the car. Be sure to put the correct mileage, condition, and engine specs on there as well. Most importantly, put a price and a way to contact you.

4. Be patient. Don't expect people to knock down your door to buy your car. If they do, you've listed it too low, price wise. Expect some people to test drive and walk away. Expect some low ball offers. Patience will help you wait for the right buyer. Be willing to negotiate, but not too much. I will usually allow 10-15% to be taken off my price, but not too much more.

Use these simple principles and you can sell any used car for a good price. However, don't be surprised if you fall in love with your car once it's clean, waxed, and smells fresh.

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