Whether you're looking to unload your car quickly or get the best offer for it, it's smart to start with a little preparation. KBB.com is here to help, with tools and information for every step of the process: from determining your car's value to setting your asking price to getting a firm online offer.
Many people overlook this step until the very end, but the selling process really starts with rounding up your paper work. The car's title, service records and original sales paperwork are the big three.
Here's why: While you may already know the basics (year, make, model, current mileage), you'll need to know your car's style (not just a 2003 Honda Accord, but a 2003 Honda Accord LX) along with optional features like keyless entry, a CD player, leather seats or navigation system. Options can bump up your car's resale value, so be sure you have a complete list. If you want to see if you missed anything, check your original sales documents or the window sticker.
Finally, gather up as many maintenance receipts as you can find. "These days, regular oil changes are an even better indication of good upkeep than tune-ups," says Dan Ingle, Kelley Blue Book's Vice President of Vehicle Valuations and Industry Products. "If you changed your oil every 3,000-8,000 miles, in keeping with the manufacturer's recommendations, that's a good signal to a buyer that the car has been cared for."
Next Step 2: Know Your Car's True Condition
If you don't have your service receipts, ask your dealer, regular mechanic or oil change center if they can print a statement that summarizes your visits. This kind of information reassures a buyer that the car is in good shape, which can help you get a higher price.