6 Tips for Selling Your RV
So you're ready to sell your RV. Maybe you're ready to move up, downsize or switch
from Class C to Class A. Maybe it's time to trade in that Pop-up Trailer for a Van
Conversion or a 5th Wheel. No matter what the reason, keep these tips in mind to
help you get the maximum dollar for your sale:
Tip #1: Setting the Price
Setting the price is arguably the most difficult (and most important) part of
the selling process. We all want to get top dollar for our RV — but keep in mind
that your RV is only worth what someone will pay for it. If the Price it too high,
you'll have few prospects, and most likely a lengthy (and costly) sale. Few people
take into consideration the costs involved in carrying your RV month after month.
Don't forget that every month your RV sits unsold, you are incurring monthly cost
of ownership, depreciation, interest, insurance, etc. — and fair market value is
dropping as your RV ages as well.
Setting the price too low can mean a quick sale, but can leave you kicking yourself
when you find out how much money you've left on the table. The solution is to determine
the "Fair Market Price."
A good place to start is the NADA website.
This site allows you to enter information about your RV and then gives you a low
retail and average retail.
Next, it's time to take into consideration several additional factors:
- Overall condition: Are there water leaks, discoloration, dents, paint chips
or other structural imperfections? Has your vehicle had all regular scheduled maintenance?
Do you have the service records? Do all of the appliances work?
- Mileage: If it is a Motorized unit, does it run as expected for a vehicle
of its age and mileage? Is the mileage above or below the average for a vehicle
of its age?
- Accessories: Consider everything that came with and has been added to the
unit - awnings, satellite dishes, solar panels, A/C unit, antennas, special mirrors,
etc. - and how valuable those items might be.
You'll need to add value or deduct value based on the above factors.
Lastly, it's time to turn to the classifieds and compare your RV to other vehicles
of the same make, model and age. Keep in mind that the actuals may be well above
or below the Nada guides-and that these are the prices that your potential buyers
will be comparing your price to.
Tip #2: Pre-Inspection Provides Buyer Peace of Mind
A recent development in private party sales, sellers can now have their RV pre-inspected
and given the seal of approval before starting the sales process. The Inspected
& Protected program, offered by RVSales.com and their participating service
dealers, starts with a comprehensive, 80-point inspection. Once inspected, recreational
vehicles receive the Inspected & Protected Seal of Approval-plus 90-day/3,000
Mile mechanical breakdown protection, providing potential purchasers the confidence
that the RV is in good mechanical condition.
Not only does it give the seller a leg up over the competition, but having your
RV inspected in advance means that you'll avoid having to negotiate the inspection
"as part of the deal."
Tip #3: A Show-Ready Shine
Much like preparing your home for an "Open House," make sure that your RV is shined
up and ready to show. If possible, make all repairs. Replace worn carpet, clean
drapes and make sure the appliances shine. Also take note to make sure that the
rig has been aired out and that there are no unpleasant smells.
Tip #4: Getting the Word Out
Thanks to the Internet, you can now reach significantly more prospects than ever
before — and at a reasonable cost versus typical print advertising. The Internet
allows you to target RV-specific sites. RVSales.com makes it possible for you to
list once and be seen on over 800 websites, plus with multiple ad options you choose
the ad type that's right for you: limited run, or run until your RV sells. Compare
this to local newspaper advertising that needs to be renewed on a weekly basis,
or even RV specific publications that are renewed every two weeks.
Be sure your ad clearly identifies make, model, year and mileage, and make sure
to include multiple photos... A picture's worth a thousand words — buyers have a
hard time visualizing, and photos will go a long way towards getting the call.
Tip #5: Closing the Sale
Closing the sale starts with the very first contact you have with your prospective
buyer. That means the very first phone call or email — this is where the true selling
starts. Be responsive. Your prospect is most likely inquiring about several RVs
at the same time. Check your phone messages frequently, and if you've provided an
email address, make sure to check there several times a day as well.
Remember that, for most people, a purchase of this size is the second largest purchase
of their life after their home — and it's not unusual for real prospects to contact
you several times with lots of questions before committing to come see your rig.
Keep a positive attitude, don't oversell, but do let your pride in your vehicle
be heard in your voice. Answer questions concisely and completely, but be sure to
listen well — what they say may well help you identify the items that are most important
When you feel the time is right, start asking the prospect to take the next step
and come see the rig. Take him on a long test drive, and consider letting him "camp"
in the rig overnight. Just making the offer lets your prospect know that you are
confident they will like the rig.
Finally, ask for the sale.
Tip #6: Take the Puzzle Out of Paperwork
Nothing can muck up a perfect sale quicker than unprepared paperwork. Make sure
you have a clean title on your rig available at closing. If you still owe money
on your RV, make sure you've had the appropriate paperwork prepared by an escrow
company or lawyer to process the sale.
If you own your RV free and clear, be sure to have a proper bill of sale made up
and ready to sign. There are numerous sites on the Internet that allow you to download
official forms for a nominal fee (usually $10- $20 dollars), or you can check with
you state DMV. Another option is to go to a free site such as http://www.autocrisis.com/billofsale.phtml, where sample forms
are available. Be sure to check with your state to make sure your bill of sale form
is in compliance, as well as any additional forms such as transfer of ownership,
It goes without saying, however — just as a reminder — do not give possession of
your RV to the buyer until you have secured funds or have cash in hand. One of the
most common, and safest, ways is through a Bank Wire Transfers, followed by cashier's
checks. If you take a personal check, be sure to check with your bank a make sure
that it has cleared before handing over possession of your rig.
One last note: if the buyer is arranging financing, make sure that he has been provisionally
approved before he comes to purchase the rig. This will save you both time and frustration.