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How to Sell Your RV or Motorhome Successfully

Aug 17, 2007
When selling an RV or rv bus conversion follow these guidelines to ensure your motorhome sale goes well. Sellers want maximum profit in the shortest time while incurring the least hassle and cost. The buyer wants the same. Everything you as the seller do, must be designed, angled, prepared, presented and directed at the BUYERS point of view in order to net you the best results.

The biggest problem encountered when you go to sell an rv is that there is a very limited market for such luxury purchases. Plus EVERY rv is custom. There is no such thing as a "stock" rv. This means you are selling a very particular item to a minuscule or sometimes nonexistent customer and most importantly you have to FIND that customer.

Disadvantages - never address the disadvantages listed unless the buyer brings it up. Be prepared if they do though. Sometimes it is best to simply reply using the least words possible. For example if the buyer says, "I heard that Bounder rv's were better than this Itaska you're selling" You may answer simply..."really?". Going into a lengthy defense can often just cause the two of you to spend too much time on negative issues. Of course if the buyer's information is mistaken feel free to gently and courteously disagree with them, present your contrary opinion or facts and move on. Visit the Rv for Sale Guide website for a list of the advantages and disadvantages of selling the rv yourself verses listing it with a used rv dealer.

Service Records - Many buyers feel very wary of purchasing anything without paperwork. Provide everything you have like repair receipts, title documents, service records, consumer reports, to help sell your rv.

Pricing - the buyer doesn't usually care how much you owe, so instead figure out the real value of the vehicle and adjust lower depending on how fast you want serious offers. Do not bring up what you paid for the rv unless it is relative to the current value and in your favor to do so. It is rare that an rv, motor coach or bus is sold by a private individual at a premium price. Today's buyer has substantial resources available to them in determining what they feel your motorhome is worth. Be ready to discuss this with them. Be ready to substantiate everything you say when it comes to price.

Condition - Everything should work on your rv. If something is broke, either fix it or disclose it to the prospective buyer. This will validate your trustworthiness and add value to everything you say afterwards. If possible have a quote ready to show the buyer what the repair will cost if you don't want to have it done yourself.

Get help - from a professional salesman, used rv dealer or broker if you are selling an rv for more than $30,000. Many dealers are reputable, experienced and intelligent enough to be worth every penny they may cost you in "markup". I say "may" cost you because often they can make you money. They can often sell your rv with their markup in place and get you more than you might get on your own.

Preparation - Clean everything out of the rv before showing the rv for sale. This will be especially difficult for a full-timer living in their motorhome. Full-timers should simplify and get rid of absolutely everything that is not completely necessary for day-to-day living. Put the rest in storage. That way they can see that it is not crowded. Buyers expect that the rv they buy should be ready for them to drive away because they are used to making purchases at automobile or rv dealerships where preparation is taken seriously. This helps with first impressions, which are very important. Rarely will a vehicle be purchased without a good to excellent "first look". Make sure the rv is perfect when the prospective buyers show up. Polish, clean, repair. If something doesn't work, tell the buyers upfront. Give them a copy of your descriptive list with pictures. Give them a quick tour of the rv then leave the buyers alone. This is VERY important. Buyers will often be shy about snooping around but if they are really interested, and given the chance to look at everything without you staring at them, they will be more likely to turn into a real buyer.

Buyers will often come in pairs. Serious buyers will discuss features they like, and since they have traveled to see your rv, let them spend as much time as they need to look at what they are considering. Tell them where to find you for questions and tell them to TAKE THEIR TIME. Be in the "rv sell" frame of mind but not pushy.

Marketing - take 100 photographs using a digital camera. Shoot close-ups, full views, bays, storage, engine compartments, tire depth, dash close-ups, special or significant features of the rv, upholstery, floor plans, new or upgraded items. List every feature of your rv for sale. You cannot be too redundant. If your list is long, and makes sense, the buyers will read it and be impressed or glance at it and say to themselves "hey this person is thorough and probably took care of this rv" Either way you win. List how many air conditioners you have, heating units, entertainment and electronic equipment, lighting, furniture, engine, transmission, exhaust, chassis, roof type, and flooring. Pick up a brochure from the original manufacturer for your exact rv. If it's too old for that pick up an equivalent modern version and use it to build your amenities list.

Closing the Deal - if the buyer just will not make the purchase and you have done all you can do, make sure you FIND OUT WHY! Sometimes they are just tire kickers and dreamers, or maybe they had a problem behind the scenes that came up during the negotiations. But then again maybe not. Maybe there was a real legitimate reason why they didn't buy your rv for sale. Make them tell you truthfully what you could have done differently or what you could do to the rv to help you sell it to the next guy. This is valuable information. Do not waste the opportunity to get it from them. Sometimes it is better to call them later as they will be more candid when they aren't standing in your front yard.
About the Author
Jason Odom has chronicled full time motorhome living since 2003 in his RV for Sale Guide, traveling over 40,000 miles, exploring and reporting on the most incredible secret places to camp, and virtually every aspect of rv ownership and travel.
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