Updated: May 23, 2022
I am a car guy and because of this I love to buy and sell cars as I cannot afford to just keep buying cars. So how do I sell my cars quickly without losing money? It may take a little extra work but its worth the time.
Fix the little things
The first thing I do is make sure all the small issues on the car are resolved, if its not a major expense and you know how to turn a wrench it may be worth your time to just repair the problem, for example if your window switch doesn't work it may be a 5 minute job and a $20 part but to your next buyer this could be a deal breaker. Think about it this way, do dealerships typically sell cars with neglected issues, no because they know it can effect the sell. If the issues are rather large or you do not know how to fix them just make a note of the issues and move on to the next steps.
Clean your car
If you want top dollar for your vehicle it must look top dollar and this happens with a full detail. I detail my cars top to bottom including the exterior with a paint correction, the full interior and the engine bay. I know this can be expensive if you pay for it but I personally do it myself over the weekend. If you would like to see which supplies I use please feel free to see my blog post on detailing supplies. Make sure to tend to every detail. With a proper paint correction and engine detail your paint and engine bay should look almost new unless you have some major cosmetic issues. If you don't want to do the work the cost of the detail will be made up with the higher sell value of the vehicle.
Take Good Pictures
Now that your car is in working condition and looking amazing take high quality photos showing every angle of the car including the engine bay and interior. I usually take 3/4 front and rear shots (taking the photo in kneeling position and from a vehicle corner). If you have any issues you can take photos to show the problem as well.
Make your listing
With all your prep work done now its time for the listing. Start by checking your cars value by comparing it to other cars being sold on different platforms such as (Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, Craigslist, Kelly Bluebook). When listing exposure is key so I list my vehicle on all free platforms (Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, Craigslist) and if its a high dollar car I would consider paid platforms (Ebay, Cars.com, Autotrader) as well. When making your posting I do my title in all caps so the font appears larger than other listings. I also use my best photo (typically front 3/4 shot) for the main picture. In the body of the posting I provide all info about the car (year, make, model, transmission, mileage, title status, current tags), then I provide any details such as modifications or problems. Please be honest about the vehicle issues because it will just reduce buyers that will waste your time or show up and try to lowball you because you weren't completely honest in your listing. The more information you provide the less questions you will receive and it will allow you to work with the actual potential buyers. Lastly on the posting I put the price, I don't put obo (or best offer) or firm as you could potentially be lowballing yourself or steering buyers away that your inflexible.
Meet your buyer
Once you have your potential buyer I typically set the meeting in a public place to make everyone feels comfortable and to provide protection. No one wants to steal a car in front of a Walmart or a McDonalds. Also if you have an issue you have less of a chance of someone showing up on your front door step for some random reason. I also bring someone with me to provide a ride home, to also help if an issue arises and to also count, inspect and hold the money as you can get distracted. When it comes to negotiation the further someone drives to come look at the car the more likely they will have the full asking amount with them. Typically people don't drive 2+ hours to buy a car they don't have the money for (although it does happen). Use this to your advantage when standing firm on your price. With these methods I typically sell most of my cars the same day or first week of the listing and for my asking price or very close to my asking price. Good Luck