Selling a car in New Jersey can be a complicated and frustrating process. This is in large part because the laws governing these transactions are in place to protect both buyer and seller.
However, with careful planning, that complexity can be removed so you can sell your car more quickly.
What can you do to help make your deal go through smoothly? First and foremost, you should have a long-term plan. Selling a car is very competitive in New Jersey because the laws are demanding and strict. The selling process involves many parties, including the seller's lender, insurance company, banks, and title sellers.
First impressions go very far when selling a vehicle, so make your car look like it just came out of a showroom. If you have the means, think about getting it professionally detailed as they will not only wash and wax the exterior of the car, but they’ll also clean and vacuum the interior of the car as well as clean and remove excess grease and oil from under the hood. Once the car has been professionally treated, make sure to snap some good photos of the car. Get some up-close shots as well as some that are slightly further away. You’ll want to showcase how clean the interior and engine are while not placing too much emphasis on any imperfections the car might have. These photos can easily be taken with a mobile device as long as you have adequate lighting. Take photos from all different angles and do your best to make your potential buyers feel like you’ve taken extraordinary care of the vehicle.
You’ll need to get qualified eyeballs from serious potential buyers, your best bet is to create listings in several car marketplaces that have a proven demand for buyers. Some of these marketplaces require a listing fee (ranging from free to $79). They include sites like Facebook Marketplace, Autotrader, Car Gurus, eBay Motors, Carvana, and as a last resort, Craigslist. If your car is properly priced and you have listings on these sites, you could start receiving inquiries from serious buyers within minutes.
While you can't stop the buyer from looking around at other cars, you can control what they see when they come to look at yours. It's essential to have your car clean and in top condition. Again, you don’t have to send your car to a professional detailer but investing a couple hundred dollars to have the exterior, interior and engine thoroughly cleaned could make you an extra few hundred dollars on the back end. Your prospective buyer will get a sense that the vehicle has been extremely well cared for and that it’s a vehicle that will have high demand in the car market.
Conversely, if you’re selling a vehicle that is dirty and the engine is greasy, your prospective buyer will have many doubts, fears, and concerns about the condition of the car. Doubts and fears bring people to negotiate down your price and it just gives them an excuse to justify a lower offer.
For you to feel confident about your asking price, make sure you research other vehicles on the market that are the same exact year, make, model, trim level, mileage, and condition. This way you’re comparing apples to apples. The value of vehicles do change from market to market so comparing prices in direct market will give you the best sense of what your vehicle is worth. If you’re looking for a fast sale, provide a slight discount or incentive. Otherwise, stay firm on your pricing.
New Jersey requires a vehicle to be inspected before it is sold. For used cars, you’ll want to take the car to a dealer or certified mechanic for an inspection. Of course, there will be an associated fee, but getting an opinion from a mechanic could give you insight as to concerns a buyer might bring up. You can also drive your prospective buyer to an independent mechanic or appraisal company and have them inspect the car on your behalf as part of the sale process. There could genuinely be something that needs repair and handling it before the buyer ever becomes aware is another way to ensure they feel they aren’t purchasing a vehicle with looming problems.
If you want to sell a car in New Jersey, you must have the vehicle title under your name. If it was previously financed through a bank or other lender, you’ll need to make sure the loan was properly satisfied and that they transferred the title to your name. If the lender has failed to send you the original title, then you’ll need to get in touch with them and request that they do so. To get a replacement, you can get in touch with the NJ MVC to request another copy of your title. Without the title you won’t be able to make a legal sale as the DMV will need a signed title to transfer ownership. The title should also be free of liens and encumbrances that would prevent transfer of ownership. It’s always a good idea to provide your prospective buyers with a Carfax report which can be obtained here.
Once you and the buyer have agreed to move forward with the sale, you’ll need to provide a bill of sale as this is something the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission requires. You're still required by law to give a clean, unencumbered title to your buyer, but the bill of sale can be a very simple document (even handwritten) stating the parties involved, the date, vehicle make, model, VIN, and mileage. Make sure to also include the sales price and any other information you feel necessary. Once you've signed the title and completed the bill of sale, you can head to your local DMV office where the seller should pay for title and registration and you, as the seller, should return your plates. For your convenience, you can also schedule an appointment online. To make the process move more efficiently, you can complete a NJ Universal Title Application prior to arriving. If you want to sell a car in New Jersey, this must be done immediately after you sign the title and complete the bill of sale.
If you’re looking to purchase another vehicle and maintain the same license plates then you’ll need to transfer the plates to the new vehicle. This is straightforward if the new vehicle is registered to the same name and is in the same vehicle class. You can easily do that by visiting a local DMV office. If not, you’ll need to register for new ones. In either case, you’ll want to remove your plates so that your information is no longer associated with that vehicle and that there is a clean transition of ownership.
The new owner will need to pay a licensing and registration fee to register new license plates under their name. The buyer should take the title and bill of sale with them as documentation that they are the new owners of the vehicle.
Selling your car in New Jersey can be a little intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be something you dread. Instead, make the process easier and get a higher offer by selling your vehicle online to WhipFlip.
Our process is a simple 3-step process where we give you an instant offer by inputting some basic information about your vehicle. If our offer sounds good to you, simply upload a few photos of your vehicle using our basic tool and we’ll confirm our offer. We’ll even come to your home to pick up the vehicle, sign any necessary paperwork, and take it off your hands. You’ll never be asked to handover the keys or title until you’ve received instant payment and the money is in your account. It’s that simple, try us today!