Question about selling my BMW...

Hi,
I'm looking to sell my 2002 325i (in So Cal). According to Kelly Blue Book and AutoTrader, the value is roughly $20k to $23k in a private party sale.
Its a popular configuration: Titanium Silver, black leather, sports & premium packages.
Now, I've never sold a car before, and my parents usually hold their cars til they go below $10k. So we were wondering if there was any difference between selling a $10k toyota/honda and a $20k BMW? Like in terms of how the transaction goes? Or do people just show up with certified checks?
We were also wondering if there is anything like the buyer saying he wants to get the car checked out by his mechanic or the BMW dealership? Obviously he pays for that inspection if he wants one, but is this a common practice? I'm not exactly going to let the guy drive off with my car.
I'd like to save the hassle by trading it in, but I would assume I'd loose $4k which is definitely not worth it to me to save the hassle.
The car is fully serviced, but I never kept all the tons of paperwork because its all saved at the dealership. Should I get a print out from the dealer as proof?
Do you think this car will be easy or difficult to sell?
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"Nobody" wrote

That's a 330i price range, IMO. Check out Edmunds.com's TMV for more realistic values on your car.

My friend just bought a Passat for $15K. It was a private party sale. He got a check from a financing institution (CapitalOne). Gave it to the guy selling the car and waited until the check cleared before he picked up the keys from the previous owner. Not sure if that's normal practice, but that's how it went.

You make an appointment, and you go for the inspection together with the buyer.

Yes. A smart buyer will want to see service records, and most likely the dealer will not release those records to him, since he's not the owner of the car (yet). So, you should get it to make the buyer more at ease, knowing that all the service was done as needed.

It all depends on your price. :) Out here in FL, a nicely loaded '02 330ci can be had for around $22K or less.
Pete
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Thanks pete, responses inlined:

I checked Edmunds, and it pretty much confirmed what KBB said. $20,803 for a private party sale. I should also mention that this car is low mileage. 45k. Well, low for a 2002 which they say the average is in the 60k range.

Is this common practice though? I mean, I'm not going to make an appointment and go to the dealer for every customer that wants an inspection. I could see people doing this on older cars, but...

Well, the service records would also show some stuff that I'm not required to disclose, like 3/4 of the window regulators being replaced under warranty, etc. I have kept up all the service, although last time I went in, they "suggested" I have a few systems flushed.

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    Inspections cost money - a casual looker isn't going to want one, only a serious buyer will; you'll pretty much have sold the car when you do this, unless something's seriously wrong with it (unlikely).     As for payment, always verify any certified checks you get, even if it means waiting until business hours to do it - lots of forgeries out there these days. I work in banking, and occasionally see some fraudulent cashier's checks - they're damned good.     And the replaced window regulators is a good thing, since anyone looking for a 3-series that's done a bit of research will already know they're iffy.     epbrown -- "Everybody wants a normal life and a cool car; most people will settle for the car." Chris Titus 2003 BMW 325i Black/Black, 2003 BMW Z4 Black/Black
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"Nobody" wrote

Do you still have a little bit of warranty left? If so, it's worth more to the buyer.

Well, it's up to you how much effort you're willing to put in to sell the car yourself. It's definitely more convenient to just trade it in, but as you noticed, not as profitable. But your time is worth money too, so you have to decide what makes more sense. Personally, I would not dump $20K into a used car without having it thoroughly inspected, especially if it's no longer under warranty.
I could see

Actually, older cars = less money involved, so people usually aren't as dilligent about having it properly inspected.

Well, it's up to you how honest you want to be with the buyer. If the buyer has a friend at the dealership, he can probably find it all out for himself knowing the VIN. The guy that bought my old A4 off me actually went through the trouble of searching all the internet forums where I posted and found all my posts about all the problems and mods that I had done during my ownership. But I didn't mind. I'd rather have him know the full history before sinking his hard-earned money into it. I was actually kind of impressed with the dilligent research he had done. :)
Good luck with the sale.
Pete
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'Flushing' both brakes and cooling systems is part of normal BMW servicing. Replacement parts under warranty make no difference to the value of a car.
--
*Letting a cat out of the bag is easier than putting it back in *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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Nobody wrote:

You agree on a price and take a deposit contingent on a satisfactory inspection. That way you know the buyer is serious about it before you go through the hassle of inspection. Of course, since they are paying out-of-pocket for the inspection I would assume they are pretty serious anyway.

Ummm, no. You should reveal all of the service records. There is no requirement or no-requirement. A suggestion to have things flushed is not a big deal. These things are a requirement at 2 year periods anyway. You either did them on schedule or you didn't.
WRT the price question. The Edmunds, NADA or KBB price guides are just that: guides. If you want to make a quick painless sale you price it to move. If you want to squeek every last penny out of it and don't mind a bunch of tire-kickers coming around then you price it higher and expect everyone to come over and try to haggle you downward.
--
-Fred W

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That's very silly of you. A full service history is vital to get top price - in the UK at least.

I would - if you can.
Don't you guys have service books that get stamped and details of services recorded? However, even with that, it's worth getting an A4 folder and keeping all receipts etc on your next car. It costs next to nothing and can only add to the value.
--
*Microsoft broke Volkswagen's record: They only made 21.4 million bugs.

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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Sadly service history seems mostly irrelavent in the US. I've probably bought 25 used cars over the years, exactly three of them came with any sort of service history, a 79 Peugeot 504 where the original owner kept every scrap of paper ever related to the car and kept records of the fuel used for the 20 years he owned it, a 92 Volvo 745T that actually did have it's service books with all the stamps, and my '92 Saab 900T Convertible - no dealer history on that one but the owner kept a nice logbook of what he had done to it and a thick folder of receipts.

You can. In fact if the servicing was done at a dealership you can probably get the printout from ANY dealership.

Very rarely do people bother over here with haviing the service books stamped. I used to make a big deal of it when I had a new Golf TDI - the service writers at the dealership thought I was a little wierd.I also do keep all my reciepts for all of my cars.Makes a difference to ME, but not to the average buyer. Cars that go through auction (most everything sold used at a dealership) almost never have any of the books with them anyway.
Kevin Rhodes Westbrook, Maine 91 318is
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I have 4 old cars, one came with 2" of service records going back to the original sale. It was the nicest of the car in appearance and I couldn't find anything wrong with it and I'd had of of these cars before and knew what to look for. Later on when I spent the several hours to read all the service reports I found the ones for accident damage and rust repair and the head rebuild that was supposed to be a new engine.
OTOH the other 3 old cars I have came with exactly zero records and have been mush much better than I'd hoped them to be. And were an order of magniture cheaper.
Go figure.
--
Need Mercedes parts? http://parts.mbz.org
Richard Sexton | Mercedes stuff: http://mbz.org
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If it was claimed to have a 'new' engine I'd certainly require proof.

Ignorance is bliss?
--
*Don't squat with your spurs on *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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