WHEN IT’S TIME to find a new home for an old ride, these five steps can help make your transaction a smoother one:
- Perform an assessment. Often we get used to a broken mirror, torn upholstery or a small oil leak, but those problems can lower your car’s value. Painstakingly document everything busted, nonfunctional or unsightly. Then decide what should be fixed to get top dollar.
- Fix what’s crucial. Before selling, it’s ethical to make sure the vehicle is safe to drive. This means checking any safety features such as air bags and inspecting brakes, tires, steering components, suspension and drivetrain to make sure they’re all in order.
- Make it shine. Give the car a thorough cleaning — carpet, upholstery, dashboard, storage bins, glass, trunk, under the hood, wheel wells, rims, tires and, of course, the body. You’ll want it looking good for photos, and a clean car sells for more than a dirty one.
- Get it listed. Use TrueCar or a similar website to develop a list price, but build in about 10% on top of what you really want — buyers love negotiating. List with the USAA Sell My Car service to get an obligation-free quote. Your description should include the make, model, year, mileage, service history and any problems.
- Close the sale. Consider lowering the price if the vehicle stays on the market more than two weeks. Be sure to have the title in hand. You’ll need to document the mileage and sign the back in order to transfer the title to the new owner.
Access the USAA Car Buying Service for benefits including savings on new and used vehicles.
USAA Car Buying Service provided by TrueCar, Inc. USAA Bank receives marketing fees in connection with the Car Buying Service.
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