You’re selling your car. You figured out a price you think is fair and now you have some people responding but they’re not offering you what you want. What’s up w’ dat!? It’s a fair price! Why don’t they just pay it!? Well, listen up ‘cause this is complicated. The folks responding to your add want to hang on to as much of their money as possible. Just like you want to get as much as you can for your car they want to pay as little as they can. Not cool, unfair, life sucks. But not really. It’s kind of a game and if you approach it that way it’ll be a lot less stressful and a lot more fun.
The rules of the game are easy: I’m willing to sell this thing for price X but I’ve told you I want price Z. You’re willing to pay price N but you’re offering price L. Neither of us know the bottom line number the other is thinking or the range at which we’ll settle. On your mark, get set…
I’m talking to the seller here. Hopefully you’ve made the car as pretty as possible. Hopefully you did your homework and determined a reasonable rage of pricing at which it should sell. Hopefully you priced the car higher than what you would actually accept and hopefully you know about any issues the car has that might come up in the course of your negotiations. But vital to the game is that you don’t love the car so much you’re not really ready to sell or you’re not desperate to be rid of it as soon as possible. Either of these conditions ruins the game and you lose.
The first condition thankfully doesn’t happen all that often but I was once trying to work a deal on a chrome plated steaming pile of Yugo. This car would barely start and would have had to be towed back to the shop but the seller wouldn’t come off the high initial price he set. Pttffft! He probably still has that rust bucket. If you’re that kind of seller you had best be selling collectables or high-end sports cars, even then there has to be room to maneuver.
The second condition where the seller just has to sell it Right Now! should just the first offer and run. A buyer will see it right away and low-ball the heck out of them.
No, the best position to be in is where you don’t have to sell the vehicle right away but you also don’t want it just gathering dust. When you’re in that position as a seller, that’s when you can negotiate in good faith and make the most from your sale.
Here’s what usually happens: The potential buyer checks out your car, says she looks pretty good and asks what you really want for it. You say yeah, it really is pretty good and you want what your add says. The buyer says he saw a little of this and that and offers a price to you. If that price is considerably more than what you really expect to get you can agree or you can come back with a price somewhere below what you originally asked but higher than what the buyer offered and higher than what you’d really settle on. You get the idea. If you stay friendly you have a way better chance of coming out ahead.
To sum it up, make your product (the car) presentable. Know what it’s worth and your bottom line. Don’t be afraid to walk away from a bad deal. You do those things and you’ll be fine.
Next I’ll go over what the MVD needs to complete the sale.
From your Local Mechanic, All Tune and Lube Total Car Care Tempe. Complete Auto Repair and Maintenance