If you are looking to sell a car in Oregon, there are some specific things you need to know to stay above board and get the most money for your vehicle.
If it’s been awhile since the last time you sold a car, you might need a quick refresher on the ins and outs of selling one. To make the process as smooth and convenient as possible, we are going to show you:
- How to set the right price for your car
- The best websites to list your car on
- All the paperwork you need
- How to build leverage for negotiations
- And much more….
Step 1: Set the Price of Your Vehicle
What is your car worth? Regardless of where you are selling your car, knowing this will help us with negotiations and advertising later on. We recommend using Cars.com, Kelley Blue Book, and Craigslist to research the best price for your car. These websites will ask you for all the necessary information. Simply fill out the form and get an estimate.
These websites use many factors to determine your car’s value:
- Condition – How well does your car run? What mechanical shape is it in?
- Geography – Certain body styles are more popular in certain areas. For example, if you’re looking to sell a car in Oregon, then a convertible will likely have a higher value in cities like Portland or Salem than in a medium-sized town like Bend or Medford. On the other hand, if you wanted to sell a pickup, the demand for practical vehicles can be much higher in smaller areas.
- Year – This is simply the model year of your car.
- Make – What brand is your car? Honda? BMW? Jeep?
- Climate – Four-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicles may have a higher value in areas with higher snowfall or steep inclines. If you’re looking to sell a car in Oregon, these types of vehicles tend to sell well for this reason.
- Model – A designation usually decided by a car’s size, design, and capabilities. (Ex: Civic, Tundra, Mustang)
- Mileage – How many miles are on the odometer?
Step 2: Get the Paperwork
Now that you have an estimate (consider it the North Star of this endeavor), it is time to collect the proper paperwork to sell your car. Since we’re specifically talking about how to sell a car in Oregon, we will look at documents which are required by Oregon state law. We’ll also discuss some other documents that can help you sell your vehicle for the best price (no matter where you live).
First, do you have your title? If you’ve misplaced it, go to the DMV and apply for a replacement. If your title is owned by the bank, you have two options:
- Pay the loan in full and collect the title before listing the vehicle. This can take 30-45 days.
- Find a buyer willing to pay for the vehicle who will then have to wait 30-45 days to receive the title.
If you choose to go with the second option, keep in mind that many people will be unwilling to pay you before receiving the title. Also, if the payoff amount for your car is higher than its value, you may have to wait until you have the money to make up the difference when you sell the car.
An odometer disclosure is required to sell a car in Oregon unless your car is more than 10 years old. You must call the Oregon Auto Dealers Association (OADA) at (800) 766-6232 to request one because you cannot request one at the DMV.
Bill of Sale
The buyer can request a bill of sale from you. As the seller, just consider it an assurance that you have proof of the sale. You can download a bill of sale here: http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/Forms/DMV/501.pdf
This is not a must, but if you can transfer your warranty to the buyer, it will likely improve the selling price of your car.
This is not required to sell a car in Oregon, but when dealing with private parties, proving the vehicle was well taken care of can help convince buyers to pay a better price.
CARFAX provides a standard report used across the car selling industry. It helps buyers review a vehicle’s history before making a purchase. Consider investing $30-40 in buying one to gain more assurance from your buyer.
You what sucks the most when buying a car? Finding out afterward that there is a monumental problem that costs thousands to fix. In some cases, the car isn’t even worth fixing. To quell this deep fear from buyers, get the car inspected by a local mechanic.
Step 3: Set Up a Listing
Now it is time to get your car in front of buyers. Setting up a listing is pretty much the same whether you sell a car in Oregon or in any other state, so this to-do this is for everyone.
First, you need to clean your car. Not just a quick clean either, you need to get deep and dirty! Vacuum, sweep, wash, polish, wax, wipe the seats, clean the dashboard, and wipe the wheels. Do everything!
A clean car is the best first step to gain a buyer’s trust.
Afterward, you need photos. We recommend taking four interior photos and four exterior photos to complete a full listing. Here’s a quick tip: take a few photos from bumper height for an attractive photo. Check out our article on how to take great photos here!
Then, create a description. Now it is time to gain a buyer’s interest. When a buyer is looking for a car, they are going to have personal interests in mind. For example, maybe they want a certain size truck bed for moving tent equipment. Do your best to list everything you know about the car. How many miles per gallon does your car get? Is there any damage? Does it fit a queen size bed in the back? Also, consider that the buyer is going to value trust. Tell them WHY you are selling the car. Reveal any accidents and modifications to the car.
Here are two examples to give you some ideas:
2010 BMW 5 Series in Seattle, WA
“The 2010 BMW 535i remains one of the best premium midsize luxury sedans on the market today thanks to its exceptional ride and handling, smooth and powerful engine, premium cabin furnishings, sublime multi-contour seats, and strong resale value. Standard features of this 535i xDrive include BMW’s all-wheel drive system, a sunroof, automatic headlights and wipers, power front seats with driver memory and power headrests, leather upholstery, automatic climate control, the iDrive electronics interface, a 10-speaker stereo with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack, adaptive xenon headlights, heated seats, and a navigation system! CARFAX report shows detailed, regular service history at BMW dealerships!”
Beautiful, garage-kept 2011 BMW Alpina B7
“The car has NEVER been smoked in and is always cleaned and detailed by a premier detail company in Arizona. NEVER been in an accident of any type and is maybe driven a few times a month. This BMW has every bell and whistle that you could imagine for a luxury vehicle. I could write a whole book on what this car can do and the power it has. A few of the features are its 22″ brand new gianelle rims and tires. 590 HP with a dyno package and full exhaust with massaging, heated and air-conditioned seats. The wife and I are expecting an addition to the family, which is one of the reasons I am selling this head-turning ride.
I am in no rush to get this car off my hands.
Please call or text me whenever for more details or to look at the amazing BMW.”
Now it is time to list your car. Websites like Cars.com, Carvana, and Autotrader are all decent options. We recommend reading our review of each option:
If you are looking for a free option, you can try Craigslist, but we’re partial to our website, TRED.
Finally, when listing your vehicle, make sure to list your car for 10 percent higher than the price you want to sell it. This gives you room for negotiation.
Step 5: Show Your Car
Now it is time to find qualified buyers. All you are doing here is gauging buyer interest and finding out how they are going to pay you.
When buyers reach out to you, set up a time and place to meet in a public area.
Make sure to bring a pen, your documentation, a screwdriver to remove your license plate after selling, and a ride home if you sell the car during the meeting,
Before letting the buyer test drive the car, check their license and insurance information. Simply talk to the buyer about your car, be honest, and have him or her drive your car.
Ask about how they plan to pay for your car and do your best to find out if they are a serious buyer. If they are a serious buyer, you can refer to your research, your inspection and CARFAX reports, and more during the negotiation process. There is no need to be a fancy negotiator, you just need to be prepared.
Step 6: Sell Your Car
You made a deal! It is time to collect payment. But be careful, collecting large payments in the private market is a dangerous endeavor. But if you do it right, there is nothing to be afraid of.
The following types of payment should typically be avoided, to protect against fraud:
- Personal checks
- Bank checks
- Cashier’s checks
- …and even cash
Cash is great, but walking away from a sale with several thousand in bills in your pocket is a risk in itself. If you must do the transaction in cash, it’s best to make the exchange inside of a bank where you can immediately deposit the funds. The safest methods for payment when selling your car on the private market include Paypal, Venmo, or some other trustworthy online payment platform.
Now that you’ve worked out the details of the sale with your buyer, follow these steps:
- Sign the title and give it to the buyer. Again, if you are selling a car with an outstanding loan, your buyer must wait 30-45 days to collect the vehicle’s title.
- Complete the bill of sale – both of you will fill out a portion. Make sure to keep a copy.
- Give the buyer warranty and maintenance records.
- Remove your license plate.
- Hand over the keys.
And you are done! Almost…
Step 7: Report the Sale
Don’t forget to cancel your insurance policy. Also, if you sell a car in Oregon, you are required to report the sale to the state. You can easily fill out an online notice of vehicle sale. We recommend doing it within five business days.
That’s all you need to do… we hope it doesn’t seem like too much. When you are selling as a private party, you can sell your vehicle for a higher price than if you were to trade it in. That’s why it is worth the work. But whether you’re looking to sell a car in Oregon or anywhere else, we’d be happy to help. Cars on our website sell for 30 percent more than dealer trade-ins and 15 percent more than Craigslist ads, and we don’t charge you until your car is sold. Get a great price for your vehicle, and let us do the hard work!