There’s no doubt that a clean will car experience a smoother sales process. And just as equally, an unclean car can be hugely destructive to the process. As a matter of fact, some car insurance companies are known to label cars “totalled” due to horrible odours that they deem to make a car uninhabitable. What would usually be a turn off for potential buyers in terms of smells and looks can quickly be turned into an advantage by a good cleaning and a few other fixes. First impressions are important, doubly so when it comes to selling used cars. Read on and give yourself that advantage. Here’s what to do before you sell your car:
1) Clean or Replace the Floor Mats
Floor mats are one of the first things that meet a person’s eyes once they open a cars door. So it makes sense to start our “what to do before you sell your car” journey here. Prospects can get a good reading of the condition of your car or rather how well you keep your car by analyzing the state of your floor mats. Floor mats that are horribly disfigured or have holes in them are a bad sign. If you don’t feel the need to replace these with new ones then giving them a good wash is a must. Sometimes a wash can actually make a mat appear more worn out as discolouration takes place and the mat begins to curl. In that case, it would be wise to buy new mats. They are fairly cheap and can be found starting from around $20.
2) Clean Your Cars Engine and Other Under the Hood Items
Any sane prospect will check under the car’s hood before engaging in any form of negotiation. If your car’s in good condition then naturally, cleaning your under-the-hood components will make these parts look close to new. This can really sway a buyers perception as the majority of the cars important components are located here.
3) Don’t Add any Flavoured Scent Air Freshners
Prospects may be alarmed if they are met by a flavoured air freshener hanging from your rearview mirror. They might suspect that you are trying to mask a foul smell. Instead, it would be wise to use a carpet cleaner for their generic smell or anything that can replicate the smell of a new car. Avoid fruity smells such as “strawberry bubble gum” and the likes.
4) Clean the Cars Body
Having perfect paint on your cars body can account for a 5%-10% increase in price. But engaging in a compounding or polishing job may be too costly and can result in diminishing returns. It may however be feasible in some instances.
Washing and waxing your car, however, is perfectly reasonable. While getting your car waxed by a professional might be a little costly, doing it yourself is actually quite cheap with car wax costing as little as $15.
5) Basic Interior Car Detailing (Situational)
Now if you have covers on your car seats (as all good car owners should) then skip this section, because it’s going to be as simple as removing those covers and voila! Brand new seats.
In the case you don’t have covers on, then a basic interior car detailing service is in order. This includes services like an interior vacuum, exterior polishing, wheels wash (DIY: how to clean the rims of your car), a body wash, interior vacuuming, window and glass cleaning, but above all else car seats removal and cleaning. Costing around $50 to $125 for an average-sized vehicle, this is a worthwhile investment for someone who’s about to sell their car. You’ll be surprised how a good car detailer can make what was once a horrendous interior look pretty much, brand new.
It would be wise to not cut corners with this one and look for a cheap service as there are many ways this service can go wrong and in the process leave your car’s interior worse than what you originally started with. That’s not to say that there aren’t any good cheap detailers out there. Mobile car detailers, ones that come to you with their vehicle and get cleaning where you are, are usually future car detailing shop owners who are just at the start of their journey. If they display all the right signals of being competent, then by all means go for it. Signals can include things like 1) a good social media presence with many displays of finished jobs, 2) good customer reviews, and 3) an accountability system such as “your car squeaky clean or your money back!”.
If you’re feeling brave and decide to clean the interior of your car on your own, here’s a detailed blog on how to clean your car interior, and here’s one specifically about how to clean car seats at home with removed seats.
What to do Before You Sell Your Car: Financial Planning
Be aware of how much you’re putting into the car versus how much you are expecting to get in return. Investing $1,000 in fixes and repairs for what would be a $500 increase in selling price is illogical. To explain that further, if you’re expecting to sell your car for $5,000 in its current condition and a $1,000 investment will bring its selling price up to $5,500 then, by all means, sell the car as it is and forgo the extra costs.
What to do Before You Sell Your Car: Tips and Tricks
- Ensure that you wash the car as close to the display date or the test drive date as possible. This way you don’t risk the car getting dirty again while you wait.
- Ensure that you don’t display the car on the same spot it was washed at as evidence of a recent car wash can be clearly seen in such areas. Although you aren’t trying to hide anything, it might seems so to the weary car buyer. And can you really blame them?
What to do Before You Sell Your Car to Sell Your Motors™
If you’re getting ready to sell your car, then know that we provide a service that makes things immensely easier for you. It goes like this: we buy your car from you in under 30 minutes. That’s not a slogan or a sleazy play on words. It’s simply our business model. From a car inspection to you giving us the keys and us handing you the cash, it all really just takes 30 minutes. It’s just that simple. We buy any car and we do it quick. Click on the following link to try our free online car valuation calculator and we’ll ring you up. Alternatively, you can call us directly at 04 330 1030