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How to Sell a Car at an Estate Sale

shutterstock_304345109According to EstateSales.org, the average amount of goods sold at a sale tops $8,300. Crowds flock to estate sales to pick up deals on everything from jewelry, housewares and even cars. But preparing and presenting your goods properly can mean the difference between getting low-balled and having the negotiating power to command top dollar. For a high ticket item like a car, follow these tips to reap estate sale profits.

Upgrade Your Tires

New tires can give your vehicle a fresh update and give buyers peace of mind that your car is safe and ready for the road. You don’t have to spend a fortune for a tire upgrade either. Solus KH16 Kumho Tires, sold on TireBuyer.com, are affordable, come with some great safety features and offer negotiating leverage when someone comes to look at your sale.

Replace the Lights

Investing in new lights is an inexpensive way to increase the value of your car. According to Kelley Blue Book, lights are important to the buyer and are easy for the owner to install. For an added boost, consider LED lights for a long-lasting alternative to the traditional option. Remember you can go beyond replacing headlights and taillights and add fresh bulbs to your dome and interior lighting.

Touch-up the Paint

A new, long-lasting and professional paint job can cost as much as $20,000. A less expensive option that lasts a few years could run a few hundred dollars. However, for minor scratches and chips, pick up a paint restoration kit retailing for less than $50, and a factory-match touch-up paint pen runs around $15. With the combination of buffing pads and some elbow grease, you can turn back the clock on your car and keep it looking almost new again.

Know the Protocol

If the car is in your name and has no liens on it, then grab the title and get ready for your estate sale. But if a death is involved, you’ll need to take a few extra steps in advance and establish your authority to handle the sale. As the executor of an estate, ask for several copies of Letters Testamentary from probate court. This entitles you to handle transactions and other actions on behalf of the estate. You’ll also need copies of the death certificate on hand. When it’s time to sign over the title to your new buyer, bring your paperwork to the title office as needed. Or call and ask if it’s allowed to simply sign your name and “executor” on the back of the title at the time of sale.

Hire a Professional

It’s possible to prepare and sell your car at an estate sale without any outside help. But an experienced seller or service in the estate sale business can help prepare your car for the best price, deal with the logistics and take the details off your plate. Look for a seller experienced in big ticket items and vehicle estate sales and ask what his or her commission is. Most companies charge 25 to 40 percent. Negotiate for a lower rate if your vehicle doesn’t sell right away and put even more money back in your pocket.

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