Setting the right price for a used car is almost an art a blend of research and intuition.
Set the right price and you will quickly get the full value of your car. Set it the wrong way and you’ll wait weeks for a call or e-mail from a buyer.
Your goal is to list your car at a competitive price, but one that’s on the high end of the price range. This allows you room to negotiate and still wind up with a good chunk of change. So decide where you want to close the deal and work backward from there.
Say you want to sell your car for $5,000. You should list it at about $5,750. With more expensive cars, you need to leave more room, so to get $15,000, you should list the car at $16,500.
There are plenty of tools and resources for finding the sweet spot for pricing your used car. Here’s a step-by-step guide to this important process.
1. Consider the market. Is your car in demand? Can you ask for top dollar? Is this the right time to sell it? Here are a few general rules to help you answer these questions.
Family sedans, while boring to many car enthusiasts, are in constant demand by people who need basic, inexpensive transportation.
Getting a good price for a convertible or sports car depends on the season in which you sell it. Sunny, summerlike weather brings out the buyers. If you sell in the fall and winter, prepare for the process to take longer.
Trucks and vans, which people often use for work, sell quickly and command competitive prices. Don’t underestimate their value.
Collector cars take longer to sell and are tricky to price. However, these cars can bring good sale prices — if you find the right buyer.
Take into account any other market conditions that might have an impact on your car. For example, if your car gets good fuel economy and gas prices are high, you will be able to ask more for it than when gas is cheap. Similarly, selling a supersize SUV for top dollar is going to be tough if gas prices are sky high.