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Wilson's Auto Restoration Blog

9 Ways to Help Get Your Classic Car or Truck Ready to Sell

There are many reasons that you may want or need to part ways with your classic car or truck.  We certainly hope it is to make room for a new classic to add to your collection.  Regardless of your reasons to sell, we want to offer some advice to help you get ready.

Many of our tips require research, doing some work and even investing a little more to make sure you get the best selling price possible.  Here are 9 things you can do to get your classic car or truck ready to sell.

  1. Determine the Value. Get a professional appraisal. It is worth spending the money to know ther true value of your collector classic.  Professional appraisers are much more familiar with the market and can give you a better idea of what your vehicle is worth.  Plus, it will install confidence in the buyer if they see the price was set by an expert in the industry.  There are also online tools like the NADA Guides and Hagerty’s Valuation Tool that can help you figure out a starting price.
  2. Fix Minor Repairs. Having your classic in tip-top shape will help ensure you get the best price when selling. Fixing minor issues will increase the overall value of the car and make it more desirable to buyers, ultimately letting you set a higher asking price.
  3. Give a Full Disclosure. This means telling buyers the good, the bad and the ugly. Not only will it put the buyer at ease knowing you are an honest seller, but it will also keep you from having any post-sale issues if any problems should arise that you have already notified them about. The more you can tell a buyer about the car, the better chance you have of selling it.  Having a full history about the car is almost priceless.  If you have any other paperwork, make sure you present that to the buyer too.
  4. Make it Shine. This should be common sense but showing a clean vehicle will help you get top dollar. This includes cleaning the interior, the trunk, degrease the engine as well as polishing the chrome and waxing the paint.  Consider using a professional detailer.  It may cost you a couple hundred dollars, but the pros are efficient and usually can do a better job than your average Joe.
  5. Advertise. Most classic car sales begin on the Internet. Websites like ClassicCars.com and AutoTrader Classics are great places to showcase your classic car or truck.  Local print ads can also be a decent way to get the word out.  Try your local paper or a classic car publication.  It’s all about having the right ad in the right place at the right time. Be sure to create your ads with keywords that will help justify the price you are asking. “Super Clean, “One Owner”, “Fully Restored”, etc. are just a few ideas to keep in mind when describing your classic car for sale.  You should also include as many pictures as you can.  At a minimum you should include one shot of each side of the car, one of the interior and one engine shot.
  6. Always Be Accessible. If a buyer can’t get ahold of you, you are going to have a hard time selling your classic car or truck. You need to be available, accessible and prompt in returning messages.  It’s a good idea to place  your phone number and email address in all of your advertising.  Check voice mails and email regularly so you don’t miss the sale.
  7. Be Careful Using For Sale Signage. If you decide to put a “For Sale” sign in your classic, be sure to remove the sign at night and always display it in a safe location. For Sale signs are notorious for attracting crooks.  It is likely that you won’t be around to check on the vehicle regularly and criminals know this and often take advantage of the siting target.
  8. Use a Broker Service. It is certainly advisable to hire the services of a broker if you are selling a high-priced classic. They often have sellers in mind for your valuable collector’s item.  Make sure you get all terms and conditions in writing including their marketing plan, time frame and the commission percentage they are expecting to make from the sale.
  9. Look Out for Bad Guys! Unfortunately, there are bad guys out there waiting for the perfect chance to attack.  That is why you always need to keep the original title, registration and other original paperwork in a secure location.  Make sure you block out title numbers and addresses on any copies otherwise this information could be used against you to obtain a duplicate title.

It is never easy to part ways with a vehicle you have bonded with.  Again, we hope that the reasons for selling are positive.  Follow these steps to make the process as painless as possible and get the most out of the sale.

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