What Not to Do When You're Selling Your Car

Here is a list of the most common mistakes we’ve seen, which we highly recommend you not to do if you really want to close that sale sooner rather than later.

What Not to Do When You're Selling Your Car

We’ve analyzed our marketplace to provide a series of tips and best practices on how to sell your car. In this process, we’ve also come across some innocuous mistakes that sellers occasionally make. Here is a list of the most common things we’ve seen, which we highly recommend not to do if you really want to close your sale sooner rather than later.

Bad Photos of Your Vehicle

In the age of smartphones and photo apps, this one is almost inexcusable. Photos are the first thing buyers look at when they come across your car’s ad—whether it’s here on Instamotor or on other sites. We've seen photos that are too dark or too blurry, making it hard to see the details and the actual condition the vehicle. Sometimes photos are taken inside a garage or in a parking lot with other cars right next to it, confusing buyers on which vehicle they should focus on. Remember, your car is the star here. Make it shine. Take better photos and make sure your car is the focus.

Here's an example. Which car is more inviting for a test drive based on the quality of the photo?

Your listing should include photos from different angles—front, side, back, and more importantly, interior photos. Interior photos can give potential buyers a sense of your vehicle’s condition, and what’s features and options are available. Oh, and remember to remove your personal items and give your car a good wash—messiness is unattractive.

For more tips on how to take the best photos when you sell your car, follow our guide here.

Missing A Detailed Description

Now that buyers are looking at your listing (because of those amazing photos, duh), it’s time for them to learn more about the car. Does it have the right features? When was the last time it was serviced? What did you like about your car? Why are you selling the car? We’ve seen it here on Instamotor—listings that include a description about the car, it’s options and condition sell much faster compare to the ones that don’t have any information. This is your chance to do the selling, so be descriptive and clear about why this car is great, and maybe even what wasn’t ideal. Which leads us to the next point.

Vehicle Misrepresentation

Be honest about the condition of your car. Was it in a minor accident? Are there some scratches and dings on the bumper? Are there any mechanical issues that the buyer should be aware of? Be transparent within the listing description and while fielding buyer questions. If you’re unsure about potential repair requirements or cost (unless you’re a certified mechanic yourself), it would also be best not to offer an opinion, as you could potentially be responsible for legal fraud claims or negligent misrepresentation down the line if something were to go wrong with the vehicle after the sale. Just be truthful and recommend the buyer to get the vehicle inspected by a certified mechanic.

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Not Responding to Buyers

If a buyer reached out to you, it is important to respond within a timely manner. Remember that an active buyer is browsing other listings too! If they don’t hear back from you then they will move on quickly to the next one. Depending on where you are listing your car for sale and what your contact method is, remember to check your phone/email/messages regularly so you’re not ignoring potential buyers.

Rude or sarcastic comments

Be polite and respectful. If you think someone is low-balling you with an offer, don’t take it personally, that person might just be inexperienced and doesn’t know what the fair price is. You’ve done your homework but not everyone is as prepared as you are. A potential buyer may have lots of questions, so be prepared, be patient and be knowledgeable about your car. Just remember the end goal is to find a new home for your reliable 4-wheel-friend that’s been transporting you around everyday.

Refuse a mechanical inspection

It is in the buyer’s best interest to have a certified mechanic to inspect the vehicle before purchase. While it may seem like a bit of a hassle, refusing one would make you come off as dishonest, and wonder if your vehicle has issues that you’re not willing to disclose. As a seller, you are not responsible for the cost of the inspection. However, if you’re motivated to sell faster, providing the proof of inspection to the buyer may help you speed up the negotiation process.

Remember, listing a car for sale here on Instamotor is completely free. So if you have any questions, we're here to help!

Julia MakJulia Mak

Marketing @ Instamotor. Dog lover, NBA fan, nerd at heart.