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Five Things That Will Hurt a Used Car’s Resale Value

Ignoring These Could Cost You Hundreds of Dollars at Sale


Not being prepared when it comes time to sell your used car will hurt its resale value. There are five things you can do that could earn you hundreds of additional dollars on the price of a used car you are selling.

1. Not Keeping a Used Car’s Maintenance Records

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You should really keep every maintenance record from the first time you buy a new car. The same is true if you have bought a used car. Keep all the maintenance records for it from the time of purchase. Savvy used car buyers are going to know when you bought your car based on a purchase of its vehicle history from either Carfax or Auto Check. Not being able to produce maintenance records could indicate you don't maintain your used car, which is going to lower its value.

2. Children Can Hurt a Used Car's Value

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It's true - most people associate children with messy vehicles. It's almost impossible to keep them clean whether it's because of misplaced toys that melt or food and drink spills. Get your car professionally detailed before selling it if you have a family. Kids are great. Most folks don't want to own a used car where children have lived.

3. Selling a Used Car with a Mechanical Defect

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There's a legal axiom that a lawyer never asks a question without knowing the answer. Yet, people sell their used cars without knowing its mechanical condition. There are a couple of options here. The first is buying a CarMD diagnostic tool. You're going to want one as you look for used cars. Start off by using it on your own used car. It will give you a report on potential problems. Don't be surprised if prospective owners show up with one. The second thing you can do is have your used car inspected. A certified mechanic will come to your home and inspect your car and tell you what's wrong with it. You can then decide if you want to get the work done, but at least you will not what problems your used car might have.

4. Customizing Your Used Car Can Decrease Value

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Let's say, for example, you own a Dodge Neon. You've invested a lot of money into it for a huge spoiler as well as large wheels, a souped exhaust system and a special suspension. You then go to sell it and find an extremely small market for the car. "But," you sputter, "it's in perfect shape. Why aren't people buying it?" You've created a niche vehicle. And, within that niche of people who might buy it, you've narrowed things even further to people who want to buy a car customized exactly how you like it. It's difficult to sell these types of vehicles if you are in a hurry. Strip the car as much as possible when you are selling it back to its original parts if you have them.

5. Posting Videos Involving Your Used Car

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Here's something most used car sellers don't realize: smart shoppers will Google your name and car make and model just to see what pops up. For example, your buddy videotaped you racing another friend in an industrial park. That's going to show up on a search engine if your name is included. Same thing is true if you were driving the car and arrested by the police. A DWI article will include your name, as well as the type of vehicle you were driving when stopped.

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