Have your vehicle detailed before selling

Side view of black car

First impressions are everything.

Think about it -- when you prepare for a first date, a job interview, or selling your home, you try to make the best impression you can.

Why should selling your car be any different?

After all, you’re trying to get the most money possible, so it pays to make sure you – and your car – look good to prospective buyers.

A professional auto detailing job isn’t free, but it could be the best $100 you spend. Making your car look as good as new can go a long way in attracting buyers and prevent them from presenting low-ball offers.

A $100 detail job on a vehicle you’re trying to sell for say, $7,000, is less than 1.5% of the total cost of the car. Now your $7,000 car could probably be listed for $7,500 and prospective buyers would have fewer reasons to haggle you down if it’s looking to be in pristine condition.

Also keep in mind that people subconsciously judge a condition of the vehicle by the little things. They may not come right out and say it, but if they are looking over your car and you could write your name in the dust on the dash or if there are soiled floor mats and the like, it says something about how you may have taken care of the car.

It may turn them off, or prompt them to offer much less than you’re expecting.

But show them a car that’s sparkling inside and out and they will get the impression that you babied the car the entire time you had it.

Now don’t get me wrong, you can clean a car yourself and save the money. That’s true. If you have the time and energy, by all means go for it.

But you have to ask yourself what your time is worth. Do you want to spend the better part of your Saturday cleaning all of the fossilized French fries crammed into places you didn’t know even existed, or catch the game with some friends while somebody else does the dirty work so you can make a few hundred extra bucks come sale time?