For Sale by Owner

Tips for Selling Your Car

After getting your car cleaned and ready to sell (make sure to remove all personal items and insurance cards, registration, etc.), what information do you disclose when talking with prospective buyers? This conversation can make or break the sale.

To help, here’s some advice:

  • Be honest. Buyers can verify what you're telling them so be up front, don’t try to hide flaws. You could even provide a car history report or have it inspected by a certified car mechanic.  You don't have to disclose every little flaw, but if the buyer asks, tell the truth.

  • If the car is 18 years old, prospective buyers are not expecting perfection. Don't be afraid to reveal if you recently replaced the starter or if the air conditioning is on the fritz. If buyers are talking to you, they’re obviously in the market for an older car and comfortable with the idea.

  • Be prepared to answer, "Why are you selling it?"  Have an honest answer that is positive not negative. Saying, "I'm looking to upgrade" is much better than, "Five times in the last month I had to hitchhike home from work after the car broke down on me."

  • If you attempt to hide potential mechanical problems that eventually surface after selling the car, the buyer can still attempt to make your life hellish with repeated phone calls hounding you for money or use social media to disparage your name. Though “Lemon Laws” only apply to dealerships selling new or used cars, you’re better off disclosing known issues.

  • Make sure to meet prospective buyers in a well-lit, preferably public place (like in front of the local police department) to discourage those who want to take advantage of the situation.


In most states you, by law, must disclose whether the vehicle has been:  Salvaged, Damaged in a flood or Rebuilt. In these scenarios, this should be stamped or marked on the title either as salvaged or rebuilt. This, at the very least, helps protect you from potential down-the-road charges from the buyer that you concealed damage information since it tells them buyer beware. 


Whether selling in Atlanta, Springfield, Indianapolis, Kansas City, New Orleans, Las Vegas Columbus, Portland, Houston or Virginia Beach…here are some handy links for the State’s required PAPERWORK REQUIREMENTS, as per the “” website:












(Other State Requirements can be found there too.)


At Solo Insurance®  we shop the rates for you upfront and at renewals, always making sure you are with our best rate for your insurance needs.  Like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and Twitter @thesoloins. 


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-- Family/Veteran owned since 1994 --


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