Decide if you want to sell or trade your car

To decide whether to sell or trade-in your car you need to determine approximately how much your car is really worth as well as the difference in sale or trade-in value. First, gather all of your important car documents, such as the original sales papers, any service records, and the car title. Make sure you have an accurate list of all of your car’s extras options like a navigation system, a sunroof, or leather seats. Extra options can increase your car’s resale value.

Next, figure out your car’s condition. Be realistic about it — even brutal. Maybe your car has been your baby and you’re emotionally attached to all of her flaws, but for this step, you need to act like a potential buyer, not an owner. How are the tires? Have you really gotten your oil changed every 3,000-5,000 miles? Are there any dings or scratches on the body? Go over your car with a fine-tooth comb or, even better, ask your mechanic to do a pre-sell inspection and print out the results for you. A professional will find cosmetic problems that you’ve missed and will be able to check the engine as well.