How To Close The Deal When Selling Your Car

You've got a buyer for your car, but they might be on the fence. What can you do to mitigate their concerns and close the deal quickly?

How To Close The Deal When Selling Your Car

You’ve had your used car listed for sale and today someone is coming to check it out. You’ve had several conversations with them over the phone, they’re showing a lot of interest and so you’ve scheduled a time for them to come over for a test drive. It's hard to sell a car privately, so at this point you're ready to close the sale.

They test drive the car which performs exactly the way you said it would, and upon exit of the vehicle, the buyer seems apprehensive about some minor flaw. Maybe the windshield wipers are too noisy, or one tire is a single psi lower than the others. Whatever it may be, you know the car is performing as you described it so there’s no reason for the buyer to be skeptical. What do you do now? How do you close the car sale?

Don’t Get Defensive

If the buyer comes at you with accusations, don’t get defensive. Try to understand the position they are coming from, and respect them as a person. The buyer is about to drop thousands of dollars on a vehicle which they really don’t know a lot about. You might have told them it has a clean title and has been in a fender bender, but they don’t know how hard you drove it or what state the engine is in. No one can know unless you tore down the engine just to find out. Even if you told them how you used to drive it, just remember that the buyer has no reason to trust you based on your words.

Stay Calm While You Negotiate

Next, calmly tell them those idiosyncrasies are nothing to worry about. Tell them the wipers are noisier not because of some default of the car, but because the wiper motors use more amperage than other cars. Or maybe the one tire has less psi because it’s been in the shade while the rest have been in the sun, and you know that heat causes tire pressure to increase.

If you get defensive and say there’s nothing wrong without explaining why, it could make them suspicious or worse yet, turn them off. If you show that you understand where they’re coming from and explain why, they’re more likely to trust you and stick with the sale.

Here’s how the dialog could go if you're defensive:

Buyer: The car feels good, but the transmission seems to shift pretty rough.
Seller: That’s just the way these cars are, there is nothing to worry about.
Buyer: I’m not comfortably getting this car.

Now approaching it from a level of understanding and respect:

Buyer: The car feels good, but the transmission seems to shift pretty rough.
Seller: Yeah, I know that’s what I thought too when I first got it. I even had it looked at, the mechanic said it was fine.

The difference is staggering. By simply approaching the buyer’s concerns with a level of understanding, you are showing them that they are not being ridiculous and that you understand their concerns. If you have them available, service records can help when you are trying to gain the trust of a buyer. If you show the buyer your service records, they know you are meticulous when it comes to taking care of your vehicle, and they will then know it’s been in good hands for the duration you’ve owned it.

Get a Mechanic Inspection

If none of this helps ease their mind and say they want to take the car to a mechanic, absolutely say yes. There’s nothing more suspicious than a seller who refuses to allow their car to be looked at, especially if the buyer agrees to pay for the inspection. If you’ve been honest the entire time about the condition of the car, then it shouldn’t be an issue. If you’ve lied, then that’s too bad for you.

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Be flexible

Another thing to be aware of when closing the deal is the price you’ve set. Typically the buyer will want to talk you down and this shouldn’t be a surprise. Of course, the buyer will aim to save some money, wouldn’t you do the same? Understanding the buyer filters down to the price as well. If they are put off by the dings and dents, have done their homework and come at you with a reasonable offer that’s lower than you wanted, don’t become defensive. Realize why they want to pay less, and then try to negotiate from there.

Finally, acknowledge that the buyer may be skeptical of you because of how much fraud there is in used car sales, and don’t take it personally. There are a lot of scammers out there. Listing a car on Instamotor can help to alleviate some of that concern because every car listed comes with a free vehicle history report, and our team is actively monitoring the marketplace to weed out any scammers, spammers and bad actors.

The Instamotor TeamThe Instamotor Team

Not your typical used car salesman. Our team is here to provide honest and transparent advice about car buying and selling.