(NC) --You've found a vehicle that is right for you, and you're ready to talk with the seller about a potential agreement. When it comes to negotiating the price, the key is to settle on a deal that will benefit both parties. Here are some things you should keep in mind before you commit:
Do your research. Check out the Canadian Black Book, use the value finder tool on AutoTrader.ca, or check out listing sites and classified ads to see what the average price of that vehicle is.
Take into account other factors that influence the selling price. You'll want to consider: age, mileage, the wear and tear both inside and out, how well it was cared for, any flaws or mechanical issues, the car's accessories and added features, and any upgrades that have been made.
Get the CarProof report. This will tell you if the vehicle has ever been in accident, if there are any outstanding liens on the car and it will give you insight into the registration and branding history. If the report does reveal a prior accident or damage, check to make sure the vehicle has been properly fixed. This can also be a negotiation point with the seller.
Take the car for a pre-purchase inspection. Get an independent, licensed mechanic to give the vehicle a detailed inspection. Bring the CarProof report with you as you'll want to verify that any accident damage has been repaired.
Know your budget. Before going to the sales office or meeting with a private seller, determine what amount is the highest price you're willing to pay for that particular vehicle.
Have confidence in your offer. When you make your offer to the seller, say it with confidence. Be assertive and state the offer in a way that shows you're serious.
Be respectful. Don't give a lowball offer – you'll risk insulting the seller and they probably won't want to negotiate with you any further.
Check your emotions. When you're bartering back and forth with the seller, don't get angry, pushy or arrogant and take caution if you find the seller acting this way. Keep in mind that the goal of the negotiating process is to find a fair price that you both can be happy with.
Don't rush the decision. If the seller makes a counteroffer and you'd like to think about it, that's okay. However, know that the seller may have other potential buyers and you could risk losing out on the car if you wait.
Be prepared to walk away. There are plenty of options out there when it comes to buying a used car. Don't get too attached to the vehicle if you and the seller can't come to a deal.