Selling your old car might seem easy enough. All you need to do is place an ad, field a few calls, allow some test drives, strike a deal with the buyer who makes the best offer, and sign the papers. Sound simple? Unfortunately, putting the process in action is often harder than it might seem.

Take heart, though. If you’re planning to sell your used car, there are a number of things you can do to finesse the process. Here are just a few:

  • Paperwork – Before you advertise that you are selling your car, check to make sure you have all of the necessary documents on the car. If you have an unpaid balance on your car loan, make sure you know how much needs to be paid off. This means that the potential buyer will be writing two checks – one for you and another to the bank for the car’s remaining balance. Make sure to comply with state requirements, such as emission tests, before you sell your car. Also, ensure that the car’s title is available and ready
  • Condition – You need to assess the car’s condition. You might have to make some repairs before you sell it. If there are broken items, you will not be able to command a top price. Spending a little time and money to recondition your car will be a good investment that can be easily recovered with a strong asking price.
  • Time commitment – Interested buyers will want to inspect and test drive your car. Between preparing the car and engaging prospective buyers, selling a car is no small time commitment. Make sure that your schedule will allow you to deal with potential buyers the moment you start advertising your car.

There are many things to consider when you decide to sell a car yourself. If you are up for the responsibility and time demands, you will be poised to make much more money than if you just traded it in to a dealership.