If you want to get top dollar when selling your car, you need to be aware of the current prevailing market value and understand what factors are affecting value deprecation. Not to worry, OfferMORE is here to help you get the best deal and sell your car for the highest possible return.
We believe that regardless of how you plan on selling your used vehicle, vehicle presentation is key. You must keep in mind that some dealers will give you a lower appraisal based on dirt and grimes in and outside of your vehicle. Since some stains and issues aren’t easily fixed, some inspectors will simply give your vehicle a low rating if they see such issues.
OfferMORE is always happy to get every customer the best offer for a used car, SUV, or truck in Pinellas County. Below, we are listing some important tips and tricks that will help you get higher appraisals for your used vehicles – from the simple cleaning of your car to fixing some dents in the bumper.
Keep Your Car Interior Clean
Remove the junk.
The first thing you should do when preparing to sell your used vehicle is clean up all the visible junk in the interior. Empty the glovebox and any other compartments. Check the trunk and compartment and make sure to remove any grimes and dirt.
Remove wires and mounts.
Car chargers and phone mounts are necessities in vehicles these days. However, if you are planning to sell your car, you must make sure to clear all of these out. Wires can be unsightly and will contribute to lowering your vehicle’s appraisal. GPS mounts coming off from vents, dashboards, and windshields should also be removed. Make your dashboard as clean and clutter-free as possible.
Vacuum the interior.
Aside from wiping down seats and other surfaces in the interior, thoroughly vacuuming is necessary. Clean under the seats and every nook and cranny that the vacuum can reach. If you frequently take your pet with you, make sure that no pet hair remains inside. The carpet should also be cleaned. If vacuuming is not enough, shampooing and washing the carpets should do the trick.
The stickers you add to your car’s windshield and interior surfaces might be cute to you, but they are sure to lower your vehicle’s value. Make sure to remove all of them and clean the surfaces before you go to the dealer.
Make the interior odor-free.
As much as you can, make the interior of your car smell good. If you think there’s no untoward odor, then avoid using any spray. Strong odor inside a car usually sends inspectors red flags and will significantly lower the car’s value. If there’s an unusual odor, start by looking at the source of the odor such as opening all the doors and airing the car out.
Clean the Engine & Fill Fluids
It should be obvious, but most people will take their cars to the dealers with low fluids. Avoid getting lower appraisal by simply inspecting and replenishing the fluids in your vehicle – from wiper fluids to the coolant.
Clean the Engine.
After you’ve cleaned the interiors of your car, make sure to check and clean the engine first. You can get some engine cleaning products from your local auto store. Get as much grease and grime off the engine. Make sure to use the proper product and always read the instructions on how to use them correctly.
Keep the Interior Clean
Wash your car.
You wouldn’t believe how much a simple and thorough washing of your car’s exterior can help you when you sell. When doing so, make sure to park in the shade to avoid direct sunlight which might cause a chemical reaction to your cleaning products and ruin the paint. Use soapy water and a sponge and remove as much dirt as you can. Rinse every 5 minutes to prevent soap stains.
Clean those door jams.
It’s as simple as using a damp cloth and wiping dirt away from the areas around the doors. When you do so, you are helping to show that your vehicle is in great condition.
Wax the surface.
If you use a clay bar to clean the exterior of your car, don’t forget to wax the surface after. Use a good quality carnauba wax to easily bring out the shine on your vehicle’s paint.
Before you go to the dealership to have your vehicle appraised, make sure to get everything prepared. Check for any dents and scratches. If they are fixable, make sure to fix them first. Scratches and dents can cause a vehicle’s value to drop. You should also at least do your own research and know the estimated value of the vehicle you are selling. Software such as the Kelly Blue Book can help you.
You should also prepare the car title and all the other documents that you will need to present to the dealership. Prepare a printed Carfax report if you can in case some private buyers want to see them. Filling up the tank and changing the oil can also help you get a better appraisal value for your car.
Check the tires, air conditioning, windshield wipers, lights, and headlight. If you take your vehicle to the dealer with bald tires, you can expect these to affect the value. Defective air conditioning and other important parts such as wipers and lights are also a no-no.