How To Determine The Right Asking Price When Selling Your Vehicle By Owner

Selling your vehicle by owner can be the best way to collect the maximum amount of money for your used car, truck, SUV, or other vehicle, especially if the vehicle is several years old or has over 100,000 miles. The first step in this process is to determine an accurate book value for your automobile. There are 2 main pricing authorities relative to car book values, Kelley Blue Book values and NADA price guides, so the first step is to lookup the book value for your vehicle and be sure to specify that you are selling the vehicle yourself. You will need to know all of features of the vehicle such as the year, make, model, style, engine size, and main options (power windows, sunroof, etc). You will also need to decide on the condition of your car (excellent, very good, etc).

Once you have selected all of the relevant options and determined an accurate value for your vehicle, the next step is to determine your sales strategy. There are two basic approaches in terms of pricing strategy. The first approach is to “pad” the determined value of your vehicle in order to allow for the fact that the typical buyer will want to negotiate you down to a lower price. The amount of padding that you add depends on how patient you can afford to be. The second approach is to set your price at exactly what you determine the book value to be and then be steadfast in sticking to your asking price.


While padding your asking price is the more common approach, setting a hard price can work. For example, in 2005 I was looking to purchase a car for my daughter that was for sale by owner and I found a listing for 1997 Dodge Intrepid with 114,000 miles and the seller was asking $2275. I had looked up the book value on the car and found it to be $2500 but upon inspection, the car needed 2 new tires. When it came time to negotiate, I asked the seller if he would take $2000 for the car, but he stated that he had done his research and the car’s book value was $2500 less $225 for 2 new tires and said that $2275 was exactly the amount that he would sell the car for. I bought that car at his asking price, because it was a reasonable price for the car, so I can unequivocally tell you that setting a hard price can work, but if using that approach be ready with the details of how you determined the price. It probably also helped in my case that my research matched up identically to the buyer’s research.

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James Famuliner recommends using Car value lookup or Vehicle book values to find the value of your used vehicle.Author: James Famuliner

This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 28th, 2023 at 3:51 pm and is filed under Real Estate. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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