rv sales

Best Tips for selling an RV Fast

Sadly the day may come when you need to sell your motor home, 5th wheel, camper or other RV. Of course you will be trying to get the most money possible back on your investment and likely would like to be able to sell it quickly and easily. Getting both the best price for your RV as well as selling it with little effort usually doesnít go hand in hand, you need to choose one or the other. Unless you are planning to trade in you RV for a new one your choices boil down to Consignment or Sell it yourself.

But first, letís talk about getting your RV ready to sell.

Preparing your RV for Sale

A term you have likely heard before is curb appeal. While this often is used for selling real estate the term fits well with selling a car or RV also. The basic idea is to get them hooked on buying the RV when they first set eyes on it. There are several factors involved with this including location, cleanliness and appearance.

  • Location: Quite frankly, if your RV is sitting behind a barn with a bunch of broken down cars around it, no matter how good it looks people are going to lose interest or not be willing to pay as much. While most of us probably donít fit this extreme illustration, it makes point. Make sure the RV is being shown to the potential buyer in a clean, attractive location that is easy to access. If you canít personally provide that environment consider finding a better location of even consigning the sale of the RV. Even if it costs you to sell if from a nice location it is likely going to be worth the effort both in the final sale amount and the speed of the sale.
  • Cleanliness: Wash the outside of the RV, maybe even polish it if it is looking oxidized. Clean the windows, carpet, cupboards, stove, upholstery etc. Make sure it smells nice when the person enters the RV. Even if the RV is older with some wear, make sure it looks like it has been loved and maintained. That goes for the engine compartment too. If you canít clean it yourself consider hiring a service to do it.
  • Appearance: Touch up dings in the paint, take a little steel wool to rust spots on the chrome and wheels, repair minor damage the exterior or exterior. If there are rips in the fabric upholstery try to sew it up. Any low cost minor repairs you can make will give your RV more sale appeal which will mean a better price and faster sale. Beware though of putting too much money into larger repairs or upgrades. If it is a larger repair make sure it is either going to increase the price you will be able to sell the RV for by at least as much as you are putting into it, or it is necessary in order to sell the RV.

If the RV is a motor home or other vehicle with an engine, it may require a smog certificate. In most states it is the responsibility of the seller to make sure the vehicle passes smog. Be sure to have this completed before you put the vehicle up for sale. You would have to lock on a price for the vehicle and then find out you need to put hundreds of thousands of dollars into a repair.

Once you have your RV looking good, itís time to start thinking about coming up with a price for the sale and finding ways to sell it. Whether you plan on consigning your RV for sale or selling it yourself you should have a price in mind, that requires some research.

For newer RVs you can go to Nada Guides RVs to get an idea of a starting price. Depending on your area and the economy the real price will likely be higher or lower than this. Either way, this is a good place to get started. Next hit up some of the local classifieds including Craigs List. This will give you a better idea of how much things are going for in your area.

Consigning your RV

Now that you have a price in mind itís time to consider whether to consign the RV or try to sell it yourself. The decision pretty much comes down to whether ease of sale or sale price is more important. RV dealers need to make money too. When they are consigning your RV they will decide what they think they could get for it and make a quick sale and then take a percentage of that when they sell the vehicle.

Consigning your RV means that you donít have to worry about strangers coming to your house, being available for people to look at the RV, and finally making sure the method of payment is valid. This is all handled by the person you consign the vehicle to. Usually you will agree on a price to start with and when someone makes an offer the dealer will call you to see if you agree before the sale is made. The dealer than takes care of all the paperwork and then possible helps the person come up with a financing company.

Sell it Yourself

The other alternative is to sell your RV yourself. This starts with advertising your vehicle. If you have a Craigslist.org city covering your area this is usually one of the best places to start. Craigslist.org is free, unlike the newspaper or other smaller classified only papers and has a huge following. Driving your RV out to a public parking place with signs on it (if his is legal in your area), is also a pretty good way to get some exposure.

Usually when I sell something I like to only take cash. If the person insists on writing a check I will agree to go down to their bank with them as I cash the check before they take possession of the vehicle. Understand that if you cash the check at your bank, you will be held liable for the money if the check bounces, cash it at their bank.

If their bank is out of town, then I will usually agree to them giving me a non-refundable deposit, and I will then hold the vehicle for a set amount of time, usually not more than a few days. The reason it is non-refundable is if the person changes their mind during the time I am awaiting for the money I may have lost a sale by telling people that it was already sold.

Be prepared to have people coming over your house to look at the vehicle. If you are not comfortable with this you might consider having someone at your house with you when you make an appointment to show the RV.

After the Sale

Once you sell the vehicle and have received the money you will need to write up a bill of sale. It is a good idea to have two identical bills of sale or make a copy for yourself of the completed bill of sale when you are finished.

A bill of sale can be rather simple. You need to state that you (your full name) are selling to the buyer (his full name) a (year, make, model) motorhome, 5th wheel etc for the price of $xxxxx.xx. If the RV has an odometer, include the odometer mileage to the bill of sale. It is also a good idea to state that the vehicle or RV is being sold as is without warrantee or guarantee.

This document should be dated and signed by both parties. If you are doing two identical bill of sales, one for you and one for the buyer than make sure both are signed.

You can also download this document from DMV to fill out and use as your bill of sale. DMV Bill of Sale Form

Once you have sold your RV as soon as possible fill out a change of ownership form with the current mileage of the RV and send that into DMV. This will keep you from being liable if the person gets in an accident after buying your RV. Personally, even if the RV is consigned, I like to do this myself to make sure that it gets done.

You can download the DMV change of ownership form here DMV Change of ownership Form and send it to:
Department of Motor Vehicles
PO Box 942859
Sacramento, CA 94259-0001


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