Every motorhome is built on a base chassis, this is what is going to be on the V5 log book and 80% of them will be on a Fiat Ducatto – What people actually want to know is who is the motorhome builder over the top. Generally the van will help you as it will say Elddis, Auto Sleeper, Hymer, Swift or one of the many other manufacturers. Now you need to know what model it is, this can be another name, some numbers or both. If the buyer doesn’t know this you are basically only telling them that it is a BMW for example, that’s great.. but which one is it, a 1 series or a 7 series there is a major price difference between the two.
How do you know what the current market value of your van is? The easiest way to find this out is to research yourself by looking on Autotrader, eBay, Gumtree and even Facebook.
Don’t believe the keyboard warriors in the Facebook groups though, generally their opinion on how much your van is worth is way above the actual value, remember they aren’t trying to sell theirs so they can say any number to make you feel good.
Now you need to find other vans of the same age with similar mileage, history (I’ll get to this later) and toys (upgrades) on it. Try and get a good feel for what similar vans to yours are being advertised for and don’t get blinded by the high figure look for the lowest figure as that is your more realistic target.
When you have found a few check to see if they are being sold privately or through a dealership. If it’s the latter then take a few grand off your price because if you were looking to buy would you pay the same money to a private individual as you would a dealership with all the perceived security a dealership transaction comes with. Remember you can’t offer, finance, warranties, extra incentives or wrap it in an oversized red bow.
This will fully depend on what you have to sell. Something that is worth £20k is going to have a wider audience than something that is worth £120k.
There is a reason why only a handful of dealers play with the big ticket items and why they put big margins on them, it might stay on their forecourt for a year plus before they find a buyer.
If your motorhome is a big ticket, seriously ask yourself if selling privately is the right way to sell. Would a buyer have more confidence in you as a private individual or a dealership that specialises in expensive motorhomes and where would the buyer put their £60k?
We all like toys don’t we and your motorhome is probably one of the biggest you’re going to buy. However, just like any home no two are exactly the same.
Know what is on yours that could potentially add value, cab a/c, cruise control, cab blinds, corner steadies, habitation a/c, leather, cuddly toy…you get the idea.
Go round your motorhome and list every extra it has on it, the more the better but make sure you’re accurate, is it a satellite dish or a TV aerial.
BE HONEST!!! – This sounds like a given but trust me people try to mask certain things and it only wastes your time and the potential buyers time as they do get found. If it has a few stone chips or hedge marks be honest and say the more honest you are here the less ammunition you are giving the buyer to haggle with you.
Sounds simple right but if it needs £250 spending on it to get the paint right or a locker catch ordered and fitted then get this done before you put it on sale.
This may seem counter productive but it’s a bit like putting bread in the oven when selling your house, the better you can make it the more money you will get.
Again this is something that some would take for granted and we see adverts stating low mileage, most motorhomes are low milage for the age, it’s not a car and doesn’t get used as often.
Having said that if it is a higher milage than the average for its age find out why, has it been an ex-rental, has it travelled the world twice, was it used to prepare for a zombie apocalypse etc, etc.
A new engine service & MOT goes a long way. Advertise how many stamps it has in the book.
GET A HABITATION CHECK!!!!
We often get told it hasn’t had a habitation check but it’s not damp. That’s great…but how do you know? Have you used the professional standard equipment to check?
If the answer to this is no then get a habitation check done so any buying customer has confidence it’s straight when they are buying it and it reduces the potential haggle. Surely that’s worth the £300 for a habitation check.
You will be pleased to know this is a lot cheaper and easier than you think.
For the sake of a tenner go on the HPI website and pay for a HPI check it will give the buyer confidence that YOU have confidence in it.
Now I don’t mean get your Karcher out on this (Don’t use a jet wash on a motorhome but thats another article) .
Get it professionally valeted, inside and out, make it look as pretty as it can be, your motorhome is going on a date so its lipstick on, shoulders back and mirror check, it needs to look fabulous darling.
Time to get your David Bailey on. Get yourself a good camera and snap away. The more photos the better, follow the motor trades tried and tested method of the front corner with habitation door showing first photo, this is the motorhome equivalent to peeping over the shoulder, then make sure you have a virtual 360 of the motorhome. DO NOT PHOTOGRAPH ON YOUR DRIVE.
People with not so nice intentions will know what area you are in as you will have to put the location on your advert and if you do the photos on your drive you are basically showing them exactly where you live.
Internally make sure the potential buyer can virtually walk round the motorhome in photograph form. Snap anything extra and also snap the bad bits, the more honest you are here the less ammunition you are giving the buyer to negotiate with you.
So you’ve done your research, sorted any imperfections, got a service, MOT, habitation check, done the HPI had a valet and photographed your motorhome.
Well done you, now grab a brew and have a think about where you want to advertise it and more importantly how much you want to spend on advertising it.
Facebook is the cheapest way, it’s free but is that really the audience you are looking for?
eBay is a good egg for selling stuff but this will come with a cost and are you really reaching the right audience after you’ve spent all the time and money getting your motorhome date ready.
Autotrader is the choice of champions for selling any vehicle it’s where the serious buyers are looking but be warned a premium package can cost if you’re selling something thats worth £25k they will charge you just shy of £50 for the privilege.
Set a budget on how much you want to spend advertising it and stick to it.
I’m going to start this one with a big red flag.
IF YOU HAVE FINANCE ON IT MAKE SURE YOU KNOW HOW YOU ARE CLEARING IT.
After that you need to be prepared to haggle with any private sell, people love to get a bargain.
If yours is up on Autotrader for £35k what’s the minimum you would accept, buyers will often try to low ball you and offer £30k or less but you’ve already covered all bases by doing the other tips above so you have confidence that you will get a good price for it, don’t rise to this chancer know your walk away point (lowest you will go) and stick to it.
Welcome to the wonderful world of the tyre kickers.
People can be strange creatures, they will book appointments and not turn up whilst you stay in all day preparing yourself for the verbal tussle of a haggle like Tyson Fury preparing for Deontay Wilder.
People will turn up spend 3 hours going over your pride and joy with a magnifying glass only to say it’s not for them and walking away.
People will look for any little, tiny thing they can to get money off even if they seem the nicest person in the world over the phone they are trying to get it for the cheapest they can whilst you are trying to sell it for the most you can.
You’ve done all of this, spent the money to get your pride and joy ready for date night and bingo. SUCESS you’ve agreed a price with the lovely new owner of Betty (or what ever name you have called your motorhome, we all do this right? Mines bumblebee)
Now for payment, how are they going to pay you?
Some banks have limits on how much they can transfer in one transaction instantly so make sure they know how they are going to pay.
This is going to sound crazy but make sure you have the money in your bank account and cleared before you hand over the keys, don’t get complacent now remember most car accidents happen within 5 miles of the drivers home as they are beginning to turn off.
Keep your wits about you and BUY A RECEIPT BOOK!!!
Write sold as seen make sure there is no potential come back on you should in the unlikely event anything happens to the motorhome.
Last thing you need is a legal fight after you believe it has been sold.
Now it’s time to take it out of your name which is easily done with the DVLA and wave it goodbye.
You’ve sold your motorhome, I honestly didn’t know how many steps I would write when starting this article but 15 feels like a nice number to finish on.
Put in the work, spend that bit of money, be careful on who you are talking too and you will be able to get the price you are looking for.
Now to spend that cash, did anyone say upgrade!?!