Under The Hood

What to Expect When Selling your Car Privately

You could be selling your car for any number of reasons. Whether you're trying to build up your savings before a major life event, or you're ready to upgrade to a new vehicle, you've got a couple of options for how you want to sell your car. Depending on the quality and condition of your vehicle.

Cars ideal for dealer trade-ins are usually popular models that have been equipped with high-tech features that are still a commodity on the market. It also helps if your car has low mileage and is still in mint condition. If your current car does not meet these criteria, you might want to consider selling it privately.

So, let's take a look at what you need to sell your car privately.

(Pssst! If you're worried about the workload, skip ahead to the end!)

Determining your vehicle's value

No one knows your car better than you. There are plenty of outlets for researching your car's value and learning what sellers with similar vehicles are listing them for, don't be afraid to Google, Google, Google. Of course, unless you're a mechanic, assessing the worth accurately maybe a bit of a stretch but, hey, that's what mechanics are for. For the uninitiated, Kelly Blue Book is a great, accessible way for car owners to determine the worth of the car.

Since most of us aren't mechanics, it helps to know that when you list your car on SwapMotors.com, you can schedule a time for a mechanic to come, inspect your car at your home or while you're at work, whenever is convenient for you.


Gathering the paperwork

No matter how you choose to sell your car, no one can save you from gathering the paperwork (but if you sell with SwapMotors.com, we'll fill out the paperwork for you). So let's get started on what all you need:

  • Title: Once the deal is complete, you'll need to sign the title and hand it over to the new owner.
  • Maintenance records: Keeping up with scheduled maintenance can increase the value and reliability of your vehicle. If you've kept all of your maintenance records, great. If you haven't, you can get them at the dealership or mechanic who handled your services.
  • Bill of sale: A bill of sale is used to document the terms and conditions in the event of a dispute, and can release you of certain liabilities.
  • Release of liability: This form will keep you from being liable for any damages incurred after the vehicle is sold. Without it, there could be a dispute over accidents or other events that occur before the vehicle is registered under the new owner.
  • Warranty documents: If the car is still under the manufacturer's warranty or an extended warranty, you'll want to have these documents ready to provide to the new owner.
  • As-is documentation: If there are no warranties, make it clear that the potential owner will assume all responsibility for repairs and damages once the vehicle is sold. You can sometimes include this on the bill of sale.


Preparing for sale

Now that you're organized, you'll need to prepare the car for sale. Be sure to clean the car inside and out. Your goal is to impress potential buyers, so don't skip out under the floor mats. When the car is so fresh and so clean (clean), take some photos for the listing.

All of this is a lot of work, we know! The good news is that Swap Motors will prepare your car's listing for you, complete with photos, videos, paperwork and price evaluation.


Finding places to sell

There's no shortage of options to sell your car privately. If you're not in a hurry to sell and you've got time to field emails, screening out non-serious buyers and used cars who are trying to scare you off the internet.

OR, you could use Swap Motors and we will list your car in our marketplace where only buyers who register and verify themselves are allowed to make offers.


Negotiating the price

Once a sale has been agreed upon, you'll need to finalize all the paperwork. If you accept a cashier's check, go with the buyer to his or her bank to get your money. When payment has been completed, you'll need to:

  • Complete the bill of sale
  • Sign over the title
  • Fill out the Release of Liability
  • Submit this form to your state DMV if required
  • Provide warranty documents, if applicable
  • Provide copies of maintenance records
  • Be sure to black-out personal information to avoid identity theft
  • Include any additional transfer paperwork your state may require
  • Hand over the keys!

Lastly, don't forget to remove your vehicle from your insurance policy.

Of course, you could live in the present and utilize modern technology and let Swap Motors save you time, money and a gigantic headache. Visit www.swapmotors.com to learn how you can sell your car in our online auction or list it for private sellers and make more money. We make it easy to sell your car. Trust us!