Chances are your RV will most likely be the second largest thing you will buy in your life as far as price goes, second only of course to your house. Likewise, it will probably also be the second most valuable thing you will sell in your life. So naturally you want to handle the sale with care. But where do you begin?
Selling an RV is in some ways a bit like selling both a car and a house. Your RV has many house-like variables, but of course it still runs like a vehicle (hopefully it runs anyway!). This can add some complexity to the
"So how could I possibly know all the proper steps involved to sell my RV?"
Well, from setting a price to preparing the final documents, this selling guide will help you become knowledgeable enough to get the full value of your RV in a reasonable amount of time.
There are many variables that are factored into the pricing of an RV. So many, even, that it can get overwhelming for an average Joe (or Jane) to try to put a value on his (or her) own RV.
I have been around RVs and RV sales for the majority of my life and I still am not always confident in estimating an RV's value. Like the housing market, the value of an RV can change from month to month. Add in the fact that RVs depreciate like cars and you now have an overwhelming amount of information to account for. We'll break it down for you below.
Setting a price is obviously very important when selling you RV. Set the price too high and you are likely not going to get any offers. Set the price too low and you could lose out on thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars.
Many RV owners are very intimidated by this, and that is totally understandable. But don't worry, you have options. Take a minute now to learn about them and the other resources that will help you set a price so you can sell your RV with confidence.
RV consignment is always an option to consider from the get go because there's a good chance it could be the best thing for you.
What is RV consignment? RV consignment is when you have a dealership sell your RV for you; however, you retain ownership of your RV until it is sold (if it is sold). You and the dealership will agree on a price. If you agree to sell your RV for $50,000 and they sell it for $50,000, you get your full $50,000 and the dealership gets nothing. If the dealership manages to sell your RV for anything more, you still get your $50,000 and they get the rest. Consignment can often be a great option where both you and the dealership benefit. There are, however, some things to look out for with consigning your RV.
First, keep in mind that if there is something wrong with your RV and repairs are necessary to complete the sale, you will be responsible for the cost of repairs. This will be taken out of your agreed upon sale price.
Also, a consignment typically will last for a three month period. When you consign your RV the dealership will have safety and pre-delivery inspections performed on your RV for no cost. If for any reason you withdraw your consignment before the full three month period you will be charged for these inspections.
The major advantage to consigning your RV is the fact that RV dealerships have resources you don't have. You get to use their reputation and user base to aid in the selling of your RV. Also, dealerships have financing resources as well. This is a huge plus for many buyers, especially if the RV you are selling is higher end.
RV consignment is a great option if you don't have the time to deal with the selling process or if you are just not confident in your abilities to get your RV sold in a timely manner for the price you want. Seriously consider RV consignment because it very well might be the right option for you.
If RV consignment isn't for you and you want to sell your RV on your own, that's great. There are at least two things I recommend you do when setting the price of your RV on your own.
First, go to the NADA Guides website, click through to the Recreation Vehicles tab, and input your RV's information. It will factor in just about every tangible feature imaginable and give you a price range to guide you in setting your actual price.
Secondly, you should go to websites such as www.rvtraderonline.com or www.rvsearch.com to find RVs similar to yours and check out the prices they are listed at. This will give you a better feel for the price you should set when selling your RV yourself.
Are you selling your RV because you can't afford to keep it? But you still want to experience a bit of the RV life as you travel? Free-Accommodation-For-World-Travel.com has some good insights as to how you can do that by renting as you go, or even more cunningly, relocating other people's motorhomes for little or no cost.
Take this information and any information you previously had to help you set the right price for your vehicle--something slightly above what you think you can get for it, but not too high as to deter potential buyers from contacting you. This could be costly if it makes you wait too long and have to pay prolonged costs of ownership--insurance payments and interest that accumulates while you still maintain possession.
In the end, it's a tradeoff and you'll need to gauge your own situation appropriately. How much of a hurry are you in to sell your RV? Could you risk waiting a few extra months for a better deal? However you answer the important personal questions for your situation though, these resources should be able to help you. Now let's talk preparation.
The preparation you take in getting your vehicle ready can easily make or break whether you sell your RV or not.
First of all, you should make sure your RV is clean inside and out--overall impressions are important. A buyer wants to feel like they are the first owner of the RV. So make everything look clean and as new as possible.
Secondly, try to take care of all repairs before you sell your RV, no matter how small. If a potential buyer sees a couple small issues with your RV they will question if it has any more issues they cannot see without a detailed look through. (Read through our do-it-yourself money saving repair tips throughout the rest of this site, or ask us a question if you have a specific problem you could use a little help on.)
Don't give a potential buyer an excuse not to buy your RV. You will likely recover all costs of repairs from the sale anyway, because the fixes will help you sell your RV quicker and possibly for more money.
Lastly, make sure your RV is entirely functional. Have water in the holding tanks, make sure you have propane, have a power supply connected to your RV, etc. Also, make sure you have gas in the tank, and fill it all the way up. Be prepared to show any potential buyer that everything works and your RV is functional. You might know everything works, but it is unlikely that a buyer will want take your word for it.
There are many ways you can advertise that will generate interest for your RV. A classic cheap and easy technique is to park your RV on a busy street, if you have the option. This probably isn't the best way to sell a higher end RV, but it would be a good start for most RVs.
Beyond this, you have the option of posting your RV in local classified ads. This will create a base advertising platform that could generate some interested buyers. But the tides are turning in the world, and print classifieds are quickly losing what influence they still have.
That said, the best thing you can do is list your RV online. Online classified advertising reaches across the nation. If someone really likes your RV (since you took all the preparatory steps above to make it look nice and set the price right) you will be surprised how far someone will be willing to travel to purchase it.
Okay, but where to list? There are a few online RV adverting websites that will post your RV for free, but most will charge a relatively low fee for months of widespread advertising. Below is a list of solid websites with RV classifieds that are worth looking into for getting your RV out there to potential buyers.
||Duration of Listing
|RVClassified.com||Free - $89.95||Until Sold|
|WheelbyNet.com||Free - $24.95||???|
|eMotorhomes.com||$5.99 - $49.99||1 Month - Until Sold|
|MoreRVs.com||$19.95 and up||Until Sold|
|RVTraderOnline.com||$25 - $99||2 - 12 Weeks|
|RVSearch.com||$ 59.95 - $149||4 - 12 Weeks|
|RVRegistry.com||$299 - $398||Until Sold|
It's common for some RV owners to be intimidated when dealing with potential buyers. This is normal--it's not every day you sell something of this value, and as I've highlighted above, selling your RV can be a difficult process. The close can be the most unpredictable part in selling your RV, but if you are prepared the process will be much easier.
First of all, you need to believe in the product you are selling. Believe in how valuable your RV is. This will show the potential buyer you are confident in it. Your confidence will make the buyer feel more comfortable and more likely to want to purchase your RV. This starts from the first email you send or the first time you talk to them on the phone. If your online classified listings worked well, potentials buyers you talk to could have to travel hundreds of miles to buy your RV. The relationship you make with them from the start could make the difference in whether or not they want to make the trip to buy your RV.
Be prepared to answer any questions fully and to the point. If you aren't answering all the potential buyers' questions, they may think you are keeping something from them and may just move on to another listing. Send additional pictures and details at their request and as they seem more interested. Listen for what they are looking for and tell them how you think your RV will be able to fit their needs.
Don't exaggerate any features of your RV. When they do come see your RV you want them to see exactly what you described. Don't make your RV seem better than it is because if their expectations aren't met when they see your RV in person they will very likely not make an offer.
Before any potential buyer travels long distances to see your RV you will need to make sure they know your asking price. When you feel you have shown the potential buyer enough to justify your selling price, mention your target selling price. Don't come on too strong here. Say something like, "I need to get around $X for my RV" or "I was looking to get about $X for my RV." This will establish a starting point for future negotiation and insure the buyer knows your ballpark area.
Lastly, you need to narrow down and eliminate any doubts the buyer might have before they commit to buying. If you sense some hesitation, you can ask something along the lines of: "Is there anything stopping you from making the purchase today." This is a selling technique taught and used in many different sales industries and I'm sure it has been used on you many times in your life. The key to this technique is, of course, to provide a strong counter to any objections or hesitations they may have.
If you are able to overcome their initial objection ask the question again, phrasing it slightly different. If they can't give you a reason then why they can't buy your RV, they will feel more comfortable in going ahead with an offer. Hopefully this technique will aid you in the selling of your RV and really help close the deal.
Be prepared with any documents you will need for the sell. Have the title ready and have any addition papers available for the buyer. If you owe money on your RV you will need to have additional documents prepared by an escrow company. If you don't owe any money congratulations, but you still need to make sure you are abiding by all your state's laws regarding interstate sales of vehicles if you will be selling your RV to someone out of state.
Make sure if the buyer is traveling long distance to buy your RV that they have any financing they might need arranged before hand. Be careful to avoid scams: don't give possession to the buyer until you for sure have your money. Make sure the buyer understands before they make they make the trip that they do not get your RV until you have your money, no exceptions. If they are paying by any method that doesn't give you your money immediately don't give them the title yet. Do not let the buyer talk you into anything else. Once a transfer is complete or the check clears the bank and you are sure you have your money, hand over the title and feel good about your sell.
It is not every day you sell an RV and, as you've read, it is not a simple process. Preparation is your best way to get what you want from selling your RV. You have already made the first big step in successfully selling your RV by reading this selling guide. Hopefully the selling process will be trouble free and enjoyable. May all your future sells be successful and let your selling be a positive experience. Happy RVing!
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