You have probably noticed if you recently checked the car dealerships and the car sales websites: As of right now, used cars go for top dollar. Maybe you have decided to cash in on your used vehicle, and finally, treat yourself to your brand-new dream car; or maybe you and your partner have decided to downsize and sell one of your cars—either way, this is definitely a prime time to sell your used vehicle! Naturally, to maximize your profit from this endeavor, you might ask yourself which steps to best take, and in which order to take them. We are here to help! What follows are our tips on how to prepare your used vehicle for sale, and how to maximize your profit from it.

Step #1: Find out Your Car’s Current Resale Value

When you are planning to sell your vehicle, this should be first on your to-do list. This way, when you drive onto a dealership’s premises or post your vehicle for sale online you can have a ballpark figure in your head, for which you are willing to let go of your car. You certainly do not want to find out two weeks later that you should have received $3,000 more for your car! The typical places to check about your car’s worth are the online Kelley Blue Book (,, and the online Nada (National Automobile Dealers Association) Guides ( After this step, to make your life easier, you can check the websites of used car dealerships and receive a quote for your car. Their quotes are usually valid for several days. For example, check out the following dealerships for a price quote: Another advantage when buying a car from the above-mentioned dealerships is that their cars usually come with a 5-year warranty, meaning the dealer will take care of repairs (check the contract for which repairs) during the 5-year span. This could potentially save you thousands of dollars!

Step #2: Gather the Necessary Paperwork

How much paperwork you need to gather depends on how you are intending to sell your car. You need fewer documents if you are working with a dealership since they already have a lot of the necessary documents on hand. In this case, you need to collect your:  

  1. Car title; you will sign your title and hand it over to the dealership when finalizing the sale.
  2. Warranty documents; if your car is still under any kind of warranty, this will increase your car’s value, and you will want to show proof of this to the dealership. 
  3. Maintenance records; Detailed maintenance records can also increase the value of your car. Missing records can be requested from the responsible auto mechanic before showing the car to a potential buyer.

If you are selling the vehicle to a private party, you will additionally want to prepare a: 

  1. Bill of Sale; there are many Bill of Sale templates available online. Make sure you pick one for your state as requirements differ from state to state. Additionally, make sure that your Bill of Sale includes an “As Is” clause, which transfers all responsibility for damages and repairs to the new owner after the sale of the vehicle.
  2. Release of Liability form; if an accident occurs before the car is registered with the new owner, you (the previous owner) are not liable.  

Step# 3: To Repair or Not to Repair – That is the Question

If you are planning to trade in your car for another one at a dealership, then it is best to fix only the minor repair issues. These would be, for example, broken light bulbs, including the interior dome lights. Make sure you had a recent oil change (or get the oil changed) since this will not only ensure the oil is clean, but also nice and full. There is no need to tackle major repairs if you are going to do business with a car dealership (through trade-in or sale) because the car dealership can repair major issues for a much lower cost than what it would cost you to get it repaired. Of course, it will somewhat lower the trade-in value of your used car, but never as much as if you took the car to a repair shop before trading it in. The reason why you repair the minor issues is that this shows that you took proper care of the car during your ownership, and therefore that the car is likely to be up-to-date on all its oil changes, filter changes, etc.

Step #4: Clean It Up 

Cleaning your car is an important step in the selling process. By presenting a clean car you are showing potential buyers that you have been taking proper care of the vehicle, and therefore are likely to have been attentive to repair issues as well. In contrast to this, present a soiled car filled with weeks-old fast-food wrappers, and people will have a hard time believing that you have been changing the engine oil and replacing the air filters regularly. 

Of course, you could burden yourself with the hassle of cleaning your car inside and out — or you could come to our detailing pros here at Magic Hands. Relax, sip a hot cup of coffee, and read a magazine, while we make sure your car looks its very best inside and out! Thanks to our experience, high-end equipment, and professional supplies, the job will be done in a fraction of the time that it would take you at home! We at Magic Hands have many detailing services available, but for selling your vehicle, we recommend the M.A.D. Plus, which consists of everything that comes with the M.A.D. Clean (interior: vacuum and wipe-down; exterior: pre-rinse, bug removal, wash, door jams cleaned, exterior windows cleaned, and tires dressed) plus the following: interior cleaning of center console and cockpit, interior windows, and up to four rubber mats; exterior application of spray wax after the pre-rinse, bug removal, and washing.

To find out about our affordable prices according to car size, and about additional services we offer, please visit our website at

Step #5: Show Off Your Beautiful Car!

The decision is yours: Are you planning to advertise your car online on a car selling platform, to sell it to a private party, or are you eager to drive it onto a car dealership like CarMax or Carvana, to sell it or trade it in for something else? If you are planning to sell it to a private person, then your next step would be lots of picture-taking of the in and outside of your vehicle and then uploading it to the online platform. Typically, photos that potential buyers will want to see are of the dashboard, the seats, the floor mats, the trunk, the wheels, and the hood.

Of course, if you are driving it onto a car dealership, you can skip all the photos, and head on over there! Make sure, you have all the previously mentioned important paperwork with you, and remember the ballpark figure you already looked up for your car value. Or better yet, look up offers from the comfort of your home at the different dealership websites, and head to the one with the best value (keep their different warranties in mind).

We at Magic Hands wish you the best of luck with your sale and hope we were able to assist you in making it a successful business transaction. When you are ready, give us a call at (407) 777-1281 to schedule your car detailing with us, so that you can make the most out of selling your vehicle! 

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