When selling your home, it pays to spend some time giving it curb appeal. When thinking of selling or trading your car, you should spend some time giving it similar “curb appeal”.
One of the easiest things to do to your car before taking it to the dealership or posting it on the numerous car sites out there is to wash your car. Hopefully, this is not a new concept to you and your vehicle, and you’ve done this routinely to remove bugs and other corrosive elements, like pollen, salt, tree sap, and so on. Cleaning up the outside will give folks an excellent first impression of your vehicle.
If you’ve not been great at washing your car, you might have spots that might take a time or two to wash out. As you continue to run it through the car wash, remember that this will help you get a better price as you negotiate. You can also “pre-treat” spots before running through the car wash. There are several car surface products on the market to help with any stubborn areas.
Don’t forget your tires. It’s worth the extra cost to get the additional tire treatment so both your tires and hubcaps shine. When folks see a clean, gleaming car, they immediately (rightly or wrongly) think you’ve taken excellent care of your vehicle.
DON’T FORGET THE INSIDE
Don’t stop with just the outside. A person looking to buy your car will look on the inside too. Vacuum the inside. Remove any stains on the mats. Some car washes provide mat cleaners. If yours doesn’t, a professional washing machine should be able to handle carpeted mats. (Don’t use your washing machine. Mats are too heavy for non-commercial use washing machines.) Any other fabric or material should just be wiped off, so you don’t damage them.
Your upholstery also will need your attention. Vacuum it as well and use a stain remover to get out any lingering spots. If you have leather seats, pick up some leather treatment to make it shine and make the leather lines look better.
Lastly, clean your windows, dash, and doors. You’ll need to have some supplies on hand to reach those hard to get to spots. Supplies like Q-Tips, foam brushes, paper towels, microfiber towels can help you clean vents, cup holders, trim pieces, and so on. Paper towels and microfiber towels are good for the dash and the windows.
A good, thorough cleaning before trying to sell can help increase your car’s value, and if you’re trying to sell it yourself, help it sell quicker. Use the same principles as “curb appeal” to help put your vehicle in the best light when selling.