1. CHECK UNDER THE HOOD
Even though the hood of your car is closed for the majority of the car’s life, stuff still finds a way to get up underneath. If you haven’t cleaned under your hood in a while, chances are there are pockets of dead leaves and dirt tucked into every corner of your car, hidden by the hood. If you are selling your car, you can bet your bottom dollar the buyer will want to have a look under the hood-you don’t him to see years of neglect caked around the car’s engine. DON’T FORGET: A quick check and necessary cleaning will make your car shine, even in places where the sun doesn’t!
2. CLEAN THE TRUNK
You’ve checked the unseen parts of the front-end of your car, now it’s time to check the caboose. Not only do you want to make sure the trunk is clean, but also you don’t want the person who buys your car to also drive off with your gym bag and tennis equipment, which you stored in the trunk three months ago and then forgot. Even if you just have a couple of lawn chairs or your umbrella back there, make sure to grab them before letting the buyer drive away. DON’T FORGET: any buyer will want to see the trunk-make sure it’s clean and your personal belongings are safely stored in your garage!
3. TEST THE HEATER & AC
If it is winter you probably are not using your air conditioner very often on your commutes and road trips. You might go months without even thinking about turning on you’re A/C. In the summer, the same will go for the heater. However, these cooling and heating systems might have malfunctioned for any reason during these stretches of non-use and you won’t know about it. The buyer, if he or she knows what he or she is doing, will know to check both systems, regardless of the current season and temperatures. DON’T FORGET: the buyer will check these systems, so make sure they work!
4. FILL HER UP, TOP HER OFF
If you have a good deal of potential buyers beating on your car door, then you will also have a lot of test-drives to conduct. You want to make sure your used car has enough gas in her to accommodate all of these suitors, lest your test-drive turns into an angry-walk home. Also, you want to make sure all the other fluids-wiper fluid, oil, etc-are topped off. DON’T FORGET: You want your car to be in the best shape it can be, including topped of fuel and fluids!
5. START IT/DRIVE IT
Have you started the car in the last year or two? How about day or two? If you are advertising a car and do not specifically state “does not run” then your buyers-silly them-are going to assume that it turns over and that it drives (like cars are wont to do). If you are not sure the car will turn over you should probably try it out, even if you are afraid of having to sell the car for less if it doesn’t start. DON’T FORGET: people want cars that can drive unless they are specifically looking for a fixer upper project. Make sure it starts and drives, and make sure it does both on a consistent basis!