Selling your car can be stressful. Obviously you want to get the most money possible from your investment, and it seems like no matter how you’ve treated your car, it’s depreciated unrealistically in value. At the same time, it’s extremely difficult to get what you want for your car, as there is probably at least a little wear and tear.

In these tough economic times, it’s more important than ever to be able to properly establish your car as a viable sales point, and no matter what people tell you, you can always get more than some people are willing to give you for it- because face the facts, everyone is out to save a little money here and there, and they’re more than willing to attempt to save it on you- and take your valuable investment as their own. We’ve compiled a list of 11 of the most effective techniques out there to sell your car for the most possible, to get the most out of your investment.

Without any further ado, here our our top 11 tactics to help you avoid making mistakes when you’re selling your car:

  1. Sometimes it’s Best to Use Your Car to Get a Better Car Through a Trade In:

If you’ve got an older car that’s harder to sell, sometimes it’s best to just throw in the towel and use a dealer to help you get your money’s worth out of it, especially if you know that your car has some problems, need some repairs, or has cosmetic damages. Remembering that dealers have more resources to deal with these situations is important in the long run.

  1. Make sure that you Know the Facts About Your Car:

It’s hard to sell something if you don’t know how much it’s worth. In all reality, some of the hardest things in life are deciding on prices of items. Do research on your car, and figure out exactly how much your car would be worth to sell. Take everything into account- does your car have leather seats, heated seats, a sunroof or other features? All of these features play into how much your car is truly worth, and looking into these details is an absolute must.

  1. Find the Dealer MOST Interested in Your Car:

This might seem simple, but it’s more complicated. These days, practically any auto sales location will buy your car- especially if they have a wide variety of locations where they could place it. They’re more willing to work with you if you find a location where your car is a great fit. If it runs great, is older and has very few miles, try taking it to an used car lot before you take it to the big brand manufacturer. If the manufactured car dealership is willing to budge a great amount (like $500) it’s clear that they weren’t being honest with you. A used car lot is perfect because they’ll just take your car, park it out front and mark it up- and hand you more for your trade in than a place that will transport it to another location.

  1. Don’t Show a Dirty Car- Make Sure You’ve Cleaned it Out:

People like their new property to be nice and shiny. Take every opportunity you have to make your car shine. Get an auto detailing kit at the local supermarket and take auto wipes to your dash, the glass speedometer, and any other surface that might have collected dust. Vacuum out the upholstery and clean up stains, pick up all the little crumbs and dirt. Go to the max- wash and wax, clean the tires and the wheel wells, even lightly clean the engine compartment. This little cleaning can get you as much as $500 for your trade-in or private party sales.

  1. List all the Details- Don’t Leave Anything Out:

People LOVE features, they want the information about what they will be able to do with their cars, like having power windows, and the size of their engines. This includes power locks, stereo, new repairs, and all the details on the tires and how well the air conditioning and heater work- everything. Look up your car’s specifications on the internet to get a full list.

  1. Selling Your Car to an Smaller Car Dealer Is Nearly Always a Better Opportunity than the Big Box Stores:

Finding an interested buyer can get you the most for your vehicle- especially if you find a buyer that’s really interested in your car. It’s important to do your research and find the most capable dealer when it comes to giving you the best price- obviously these are the best places to spend your money and sell your cars.

  1. Don’t Feel Obligated to Fix Anything:

It’s completely up to you whether you decide to fix all repairs or just fix any major issues. Obviously, little cosmetic repairs could add a goodly sum to your total selling price, so it’s sometimes advised to spend the money fixing the little things, but unless your tires are completely bald, or if a repair seems to costly, just mention it to the new buyer so that they know the problems that exist with your old car.

  1. Work On Your Sales Pitch:

Make sure that you can answer any question about your car, and don’t fumble on the details. Knowing everything and having all the facts are essential to the overall process of selling your car. If it’s got excellent features, flaunt them! Take the time to turbo-charge your knowledge, it makes the process that much easier.

  1. Sell and Buy at the Right Time:

Don’t feel obligated to sell if the price isn’t right. If you’re never going to get what you want, spend some time with repairs, and clean it up, making it look nice. These little repairs add a lot of value, and as prices fluctuate, you’re more likely to get what you want out of your used car if you wait a little bit while selling it. In the end, it pays to be patient.

  1. Don’t Refuse the Sale Because You Don’t Like a Car Dealer:

This might seem like a no- brainer, but if someone is offering you what you want, cash-in-hand, don’t hold off because you don’t like them, or you’d rather sell your car to someone else. There are a million cars out there that a potential buyer could pick up, and if you aren’t getting yours off the market, they could easily pick up another without any loss to them. Sell your car when the opportunity arises to get the most money.

  1. Be Prepared to Show Your Car:

Don’t try and sell your car without having it with you. If you go to the dealership, and they give you an offer, they’re just making it up, because they can’t see the vehicle, so they don’t know the ACTUAL value of your vehicle. Numbers are just numbers if they can’t see what you’re offering.

It can seem difficult and confusing to sell your car, but don’t get lost in translation. It’s easy to get the wool pulled over your eyes, especially when it seems like everything is against you- just take your time, do your research and make sure your facts are all straight and everything will work out fine, and you’ll maximize the value of your property easily and effectively with just a little bit of basic work and effort. Private dealers are more likely to help you out than the big guys- no matter what the smiling salesmen say.