Selling a used car quickly doesn’t require a dealership and a shady used car salesman, you can sell your private car pretty quickly if you follow the same process dealers do.
1) Detail the car A clean car is much harder to sell then a dirty one. This is the easiest fix and makes a huge difference. But don’t just wash it, make sure it’s detailed. If you have the money to do so, take it to a professional, but you yourself can do a decent detail job. Just make sure the car is waxed, vacummed, the dust is all wiped off the dash, and spend some time cleaning the details of your car. For example, when you open the door, look around the frame. Dirt builds up there, and that’s one of those little things that when clean make a car look almost unused.
2) Fix obvious problems Many states won’t let a car pass inspection with a “Check Engine” light on. Any lights on the dashboard are a big warning sign for a potential buyer. Even if you know it’s something stupid, that’s all the more reason to get it fixed. Same with slow power windows, squeaky breaks, bad windshield wipers etc… Get that little stuff fixed that a non-mechanic would spot easily.
4) Write your ad as a story Most car ads I see just tell features of the car. That’s great for someone who knows exactly what they want, but many people are just looking for a used car and are open to different makes, models etc… So if you are selling an old hatchback, maybe talk about how great it was for hauling stuff in college, or what a great road trip vehicle it is. If it’s an SUV talk about how great it did in the big snowstorm or how many times it took you camping.
5) Be honest Being up front and honest is the best way to get people’s trust. A lot of people look at who the previous owner was as much as the car itself when they are buying. Buyers are very suspicious of hidden problems, so if you point out the little ding right away, that shows you are honest and are probably not hiding a huge problem.
Finally, be patient! Some people try to sell their car for a week and then just trade it in. Sometimes it takes a little time for the right buyer to come along. Set a time goal in advance, and stick to that goal.