Selling Your Car: How to Pick a Price

Aug 12, 2020 2 min read

When it comes to selling your used car, the most important decision you need to make is the listing price. If the price is too high, you could deter potential buyers. But pricing your car too low means you could miss out on the opportunity to put more cash in the bank. Here’s how to gauge how much your car is worth and how to settle on an asking price.  

Determine Your Car’s Value

The first step to pricing your used car: Determine how much it’s worth. While you can list your car at any price, it’s unlikely a potential buyer will pay more than it’s worth. And considering your car’s resale value has likely dropped over time, it’s important to determine how much it’s worth at the time of sale. Kelley Blue Book (KBB) is a free resource that uses your car’s features and other factors — like your location and its age, mileage and condition — to calculate its estimated value. Be honest about the condition of your car and its features when using KBB to get an accurate value.

Research the Market

Now that you have an idea of how much your car is worth, explore the market to determine whether you should price the car for more or less than its estimated value. If your car is valued at $7,000, but similar cars in the same condition are selling for $9,000, you may want to list the car for a higher price. Likewise, if similar cars are selling for much less than your car’s estimated value, you may need to consider offering a lower price.

Search the listings in your area on websites and apps like Craigslist, OfferUp, Facebook Marketplace and Autotrader to get a feel for how much cars like yours are selling for. Then, adjust your listing price as needed so you’re getting the best return based on market value.

Account for Negotiation

Very rarely will a seller offer the price you’re asking for, even if you price your vehicle at what it’s worth. After all, they want to get a good deal on a used car as much as you’d like to get a great offer. For this reason, it’s a good idea to include room for negotiation when pricing your used car. For example, if you know you won’t take less than $5,000 for your car, list it for more. When a potential buyer offers a price lower than your asking price, you’ll be more willing to negotiate and, thus, more likely to close the sale.

Consider Your Timeline

Do you need to sell your car quickly? If so, you may want to consider motivating potential buyers by listing your car at a lower price point, even if it’s less than what your vehicle is really worth. If your car is priced high compared to similar cars on the market, buyers looking for a good deal may consider similar, lower-priced options first, which means you could be waiting longer for the right buyer to come along.

Stay Covered

Protect your car’s value with the right auto insurance coverage. Contact your Farm Bureau agent today to find out how you can get the right auto insurance for your needs.

Want to learn more?

Contact a local FBFS agent or advisor for answers personalized to you.