How to Sell a Used RV
Selling a used RV yourself can be a little daunting when you are not sure what to do. But this is a smart decision if you are willing to put in the work. You will get a better price than selling through a dealer or using it as a trade in. Selling your RV privately makes good financial sense.
It is not as easy as putting a “For Sale” on the back and hoping for the best. RVs are costly and a major investment for anyone. This is a decision a buyer cannot make lightly. Buying an RV is a big financial commitment. It could take a while for it to sell unless you do a good job of marketing and have your RV in great condition at a fair price.
So, how do you sell a used RV?
Set the Price
The first thing you need to determine is the sale price. RVs depreciate just as cars do just in larger amounts as RVs are worth more money. You need to set a price that matches the value of your vehicle that is not too high so it can compete with the other RVs for sale in the market.
Also, consider the condition of your RV when setting a price. Does it have any damage? Has it been involved in an accident? What is the condition of the vehicle? You need to take all this into account. Once you know all this, you can set a price based on the quality of your RV and how quickly you want it to sell.
Do you still owe money on your RV? If you do, you may need to use a third party to hold the buyer’s money and transfer what you still owe to the bank. Buyers are reluctant to purchase an RV without a clear title. Using a third party such as escrow.com allows you to get the title for the new owner so the buyer can release the balance of the payment to you. After all, when you trade in or try to sell your RV at a dealership, the final amount you receive is what is left over after paying out your RV loan.
Choose the Best Time to Sell
There is a lot of debate about the best time to sell but you will want to sell sooner rather than later. The longer it is on the market, the less money you will get. So, choosing the best time to sell can help you move it faster. Some things to consider include:
- State of the economy. When the state of the economy is bad, people do not spend money on RVs unless they want to live in it. When the economy is good, people have the money.
- Time of year. The time of year can influence selling your RV. Avoid selling during the holidays as people are too busy to look. Advertise in the new year as winter ends and people are dreaming of travelling the open road during summer.
- Gas prices. Gas prices can affect the sale of your RV. When they are low people will buy but they will avoid buying when gas prices are high.
Show Your RV at Its Best
There is no point trying to sell an RV that does not look its best. It puts people off and you will not get the best price possible. Check the vehicle over. To prepare your RV to show buyers:
- Detail it inside and out so it gleams.
- Do all the minor repair work.
- Check all systems, lights and appliances are working.
- Check all doors and windows operate correctly and nothing is broken.
- Replace anything that is worn out or stained.
- Empty the vehicle of all personal possessions.
- Have all the relevant paperwork handy to show prospective buyers. This includes maintenance records, your bill of sale, title and fact sheets about the RV.
- Pressure wash the generator and engine.
- Ensure the awnings are working and are in good condition.
- Open the curtains so the vehicle looks light and airy.
- Put potted flowering plants beside the entrance. Also put a plant or flowers in the bathroom and kitchen.
- Put on the heater if cold and air conditioner if hot.
- Hang beautiful, bright-colored towels in the bathroom.
- Make freshly brewed coffee and cookies to give it a sense of home.
- Play background music.
All this shows you look after your vehicle and want them to feel at home.
Once your RV is looking its best, take photos inside and outside for your marketing campaign. Ads without good photos can be overlooked by potential buyers.
Where to Advertise Your Used RV
It is costly to advertise in print media and it can take time to sell your RV so you will need to keep paying to advertise. Advertising online is the most cost-effective option. But where to advertise as there are so many options?
Websites such as Camping World, RVT.com and RV Trader are great places to start. You can also advertise on Craigslist and eBay. Cross post on as many websites as possible for maximum exposure and hopefully a quick sale.
And, do not forget to put a “For Sale” sign on your RV. And park it where it will receive maximum exposure to passing traffic.
Writing the Ad
Keep your ad simple. Instead of long blocks of text, use lists where appropriate. Check out ads for RVs to see how they are marketed for sale. It will give you some good ideas for what to include in your ad. Make sure you list all its features and any problems. Once you finish writing your ad, proofread it for grammar and spelling mistakes.
When you are happy with your ad, add some photos. Only use around five or six, and only use the best ones.
Make a video of your RV to show people around. Make sure you only talk about your RV in the video and not why you are selling it. Add video to your ad and post it on Facebook and other social media sites and RV forums. Videos are a great selling tool to pique people’s interest and can help sell your RV quickly.
Be Upfront and Honest
Be upfront and honest with potential buyers about the RV’s condition and any existing damage. When you are selling an RV, it is a matter of building trust so always answer a buyer’s questions honestly. Do not hide problems, existing damage or other drawbacks with the vehicle.
Buyers want to build a rapport with you as the seller and will respect you for being honest. They are much more likely to do business with you if they sense you are being honest and upfront about any damage and flaws.
It also saves a whole lot of problems later and does not waste a buyer’s time if they come to look at your RV and find it not as advertised.
Quick Selling Tips
Once you advertise your used RV, use these eight tips when talking with potential buyers:
- Have the information you need handy so you can refer to it when a buy makes an inquiry.
- Be friendly and honest about your vehicle.
- Do not sound desperate to sell.
- Encourage people to look at the RV in person but this may not be possible if they live out of state.
- Do not offer to help finance the sale. This can be a big mistake.
- Get all the buyer’s personal information before signing any paperwork or contracts.
- Have the correct sales paperwork available and know what it means and how to fill it out.
- Let people know you expect a substantial deposit if they decide to buy your rig.
Keep Everything Above the Board
It is easy to sell a used RV when you have a clear title using DMV paperwork and a standard sales agreement. But it gets more complicated when you are still paying off a loan so you may need the assistance of an attorney or you can use escrow.com.
This can be a catch 22 situation. Financial institutions will not release the title until the loan is fully paid and you cannot pay off the loan until you sell the RV. Buyers will not want to hand over money and drive off without the title. This can be a disaster for them if you do not send the clear title on and can make or break a sale. But it is also a tough ask to expect your buyer to wait for the title after they pay you the money.
What is the solution? You may need to spend the money for a lawyer to hold the buyer’s money while you pay off the loan and wait for the title. The simpler and more cost-effective solution is for the buyer to deposit the purchase price into escrow. The money is only released when you fulfil the terms of the contract and the agreement between the two of you.
Also, contact the DMV in your state to find out what paperwork you need and the fees for selling your RV. And, if the buyer asks you to falsify the sale price to avoid paying too much sales tax, say no. It is against the law.
Escrow Makes Selling an RV Easier
Using escrow when selling a used RV is simple commonsense. It protects you and the buyer. You can sell the vehicle without worrying about getting paid and buyer can be confident they are buying a great vehicle as advertised especially if they live miles away.
Escrow.com is the only licensed escrow service to use to protect both parties in a buy and sell transaction. The buyer transfers the purchase price to escrow.com and it is not released until both parties meet the erms of the contract. This makes it easier for a buyer to buy a used RV from another state. And, it gives you peace of mind the buyer will not run off without paying. And where you need to pay off a loan to clear the title, it is a safe way for the buyer to protect their hard-earned money.
Each party is equally protected. Give the buyer possession of the RV only when they escrow the full payment. Ideal for shipping across the country with the buyer releasing payment once they receive it and the title, and check the RV is in the condition expected.
Escrow.com tracks delivery to ensure it is delivered according to your agreement and contract of sale. You never have to worry about getting paid.
Escrow works in five easy steps to guarantee safe online transactions:
- Buyer and seller agree on terms.
- Buyer pays Escrow.com the purchase price.
- Seller ships the RV to the buyer.
- Buyer inspects and accepts delivery.
- Escrow.com pays the seller.
Selling your used RV will take time, patience and persistence. It is a process that can be either quick or drag out over time. While selling it yourself can appear daunting, it is simple if you follow our advice.
The most important thing is to be honest with potential buyers. And if you still owe money on the vehicle, you will need to use a third party to hold the buyer’s money while the loan is paid out. Once the buyer receives the RV and has checked it out, they authorize escrow.com to release the funds to pay your loan out. Once the buyer receives the vehicle title, they authorize the release of the rest of the funds.