How to Sell a Car
April 13, 2020

How to Sell a Car

Selling a car is less complicated than you think

Assuming that your objective is to receive the most money for your used car, sell it privately…period! Selling a car on your own will ensure you get the best value for it.

Here are some tips:

Collect your paperwork in advance

– Locate your title if it’s not an e-title.

– Prepare a bill of sale to include the year, make, model, VIN, current mileage and include a clause indicating that you are selling the vehicle referenced in “As-Is Condition”. Even if the vehicle has some manufacturer warranty time/miles remaining, selling in as-is condition protects you.

– Organize service records you may have collected over the years. While lack of service records is generally not a deal-breaker, they’re reassuring to a prospective buyer.


– Set a reasonable asking price with the thought of negotiating. Buyers will always try to negotiate when buying retail, or privately.

– Research what comparable vehicles are selling for on craigslist and to determine fair market value.

– Contact Athena at to find out what the wholesale and retail value of your car is currently.


– Wash, wax and vacuum. Make it shine to add curb appeal.

– Photographs are key. Consider what’s in the background. Shoot full frame pictures of the front (centered), front corners, sides, back, control panel with ignition on showing odometer reading, drivers side cockpit showing controls and front seats and same for the back cockpit if it’s a sedan. If you’re not limited on photos, consider the wheels/rims, hood up engine and trunk. If video uploads are available, shoot a short clip of the car starting.

Selling platforms

– and eBay – list in your local area

– NextDoor app

– LetGo app

Making the sale

– It’s a good idea to use your selling platform’s anonymous email feature until you’re comfortable with a potential buyer. Always use caution and be wary of fraud, bait-and-switch, and offers that exceed your asking price.

– Ask if they are a dealer and if so, proceed with caution or simply pass. One way that dealerships generate leads is by offering to buy your car in exchange for you buying a replacement vehicle from their inventory. Not cool!

– Expect some flimflammers, low-ballers and let-downs. Stay strong and positive.

– People like doing business with a seller they trust so be honest about the condition of your car – the good and the bad. It’s best not to waste your time, and others.

– Set up a test drive at a public location, perhaps a grocery store parking lot with surveillance cameras. Consider bringing a friend along.

– Before the test drive, take a photo of the person holding up their valid driver’s license.

– Don’t jump at the first offers…develop a relationship with potential buyers. They’ll appreciate your earnest interest in making it a good fit for them and you’ll get that feeling of satisfaction knowing you’re being up-front and honest.

The finish line

– By this time, you’ve developed a relationship with the buyer. Complete your bill of sale, sign it, and make sure your buyer signs it. A witness signature is not a bad idea.

– Cash or a banker’s cashier check is good, especially if you know the bank. A quick trip to verify its authenticity is a good idea.

– Very important:  Sign over the title ONLY when the deal is done, and money collected.

Selling a car is not difficult and can be fun. With a little patience and minimal effort, you can get top dollar for your car.

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