The hardest part of owning an RV is when it’s time to let go of the home you once called. Selling your RV is just as difficult as beginning the project. The process can be daunting where there are many steps involved and can sometimes be lengthy as well as stressful. You want to sell your RV as smoothly as possible, which is why I put in some tips on how you can sell your RV the best way possible.
1. Best Time To Sell Your RV
When you ask RV dealerships, the busiest season would be spring. So it is best to start selling your RV about a month or two before the summer camping season. Also, when gas price is high, people are less interested in buying, and the opposite goes for when the gas price is low. If the economy is bad, it may not be the best time to sell your RV, while in a good economy, people are most likely to buy since they can afford it.
Make sure to advertise in the first months of the year rather than during the holidays because people are too occupied with looking for RVs.
2. Ways To Sell Your RV
There are different ways on how to sell your RV. As mentioned above, it can be challenging and might even be a more demanding task than buying an RV. When selling your RV, you would need to upgrade it so that buyers would come and be interested in buying it.
The Used RV Market
The first place where you can sell your RV is through the used RV market. Plenty of people go for used RVs since the depreciation of RV value is a significant factor that people tend to consider, which makes it hard to sell your RV. You, as a seller, need to take advantage of this fact and sell your RV without going through the hassle when selling it yourself.
Whatever way you choose to sell your RV, you would need a planned strategy. You should also decide whether you can give that time to yourself. If you don’t have the time to go through a lengthy process, then selling your RV through used RV markets is the best way to go.
Selling Your RV Yourself
Selling the RV yourself is the best option, and selling their RVs online is the most extensive option they choose. You can take a picture of every corner of your RV and proceed with selling your RV online. Aside from that, you can also create a classified ad and sell some on online websites such as eBay, Craigslist, etc.
There are plenty of online sellers at your disposal. However, it is up to you how you would post your ad. More of this would be discussed in the lower part of this article.
Selling Your RV Through Consignment with a Dealer
When you don’t have the time to deal with buyers and answer their questions or queries, consignment is the best way to go. This means that you will have to sacrifice some of the money you made when you have sold your RV. Many factors come with consigning with a dealer, such as they have a broader network.
There’s also a greater chance of selling your RV since dealers have good exposure to people who are interested and have targeted people visiting them for RVs. Your RV will sell faster than selling it yourself. Lastly, it will save you time when you decide to go through this process and will be hassle-free.
Now, consignment would mean you will get a lesser price for your RV because of the dealer’s commission. It is best to think well about the cost of your RV before finalizing it. You may want the fixed rate to be a little bit higher than what you would have kept if you have sold it yourself. Again, this would depend on you since you will have to deal with the dealers.
Make sure that you go over the consignment fees since they will vary for different dealers. Usually, these fees are around 15 percent or more, depending on the dealership you have chosen. Consignment means that you are still the owner, but you’re not able to use it or sell your RV somewhere else.
Since this is the case, you can have the option to take an RV consignment insurance while it sits with the dealer. It is a good idea since the control of the RV will be in someone else’s hand which you don’t want to risk anything. When choosing this option, you should familiarize yourself with RV depreciation rates, whether it is a class A RV or a fifth wheel.
3. Pricing and Paying Attention to Your Competition
Selling an RV is just like selling a car but in more significant amounts. You will base the price on the make and model of your RV, the number of years you have had it, and among other things. To determine the price of your RV, you can use online calculators to estimate your RV’s cost. Aside from that, you also have to check the NADA RV Guide (National Automotive Dealers Association).
The NADA RV Guide covers automobiles, motorcycles, boats, classic cars, manufactured homes, and RVs. It provides a guide to give you low, high, and average valuations on RVs. Make sure that you choose a reasonable price, so it is more likely to sell if you are selling on your own. You can also get an idea of what will be the price of your RV by approaching a dealer and getting their opinion.
You will also have to consider beating or matching your competitor’s prices and make sure yours is in a better financial, physical, and legal condition than others. If you are selling an RV that is damaged, smells terrible, and outdated, you will have a hard time finding a buying unless you reduce the price drastically.
When pricing your RV, make sure to price it a bit higher than the price you will accept. With this, you can make room for buyers who want to negotiate the cost of your RV. I will discuss more negotiating prices in the following section of this article.
4. Getting Your RV Ready For Show and Tell
When RVs are staged nicely and properly, they sell even better. Make sure to wash and empty the basement storage, keep the utilities connected, check all the systems and ensure they are working just fine, get rid of your personal items, etc. Before showing off your RV, get a deep cleaning done and depersonalize your RV.
During the staging part of the preparation, you should replace worn-out or stained items, hang a couple of bright-colored towels inside the bathroom, raise the blinds, and play soft music while people look at your RV. Putting a small plant in some places of your RV can help lighten the room as well.
Adding some freshly baked cookies or freshly brewed coffee in the kitchen for people to eat and drink while checking out your RV is also a great way to reel in some buyers. Aside from that, leave a beautiful bouquet of flowers on the kitchen table for aesthetic purposes. Ensure to degrease and pressure wash the RV’s generator and engine.
Like I’ve said above, remove any personal belongings on your RV. It’s the same as selling your home, and you want the buyer to take pictures themselves in your RV easily. When you have your small knick-knacks or pictures, they might hinder them from taking the pictures they want.
Thorough cleaning is the key, and this is the best time to hire professional carpet cleaning or residential cleaning company. With this done, it will provide your RV a fresh new look and become spotlessly clean for the buyers to look at. If any repairs need to be done, get them replaced or fixed. Now, if you are not able to do the proper fixes, be prepared for a lower price because the buyer will want to negotiate the repair costs into the price.
Gather all your RV paperwork, including warranty, owner manuals, and more, when you first bought your RV. If you are unable to find these documents, you can reach out to the manufacturer or dealer and see if they are able to provide them to you.
5. Staging of Your RV is the Key
Another important factor that you need to consider is how you present your RV. Just like selling your home, you always want to impress your buyers. You want to place your RV in a lovely setting with a pretty lawn so that the buyers can imagine how the RV is going to look when it becomes their own.
You can drive your RV to a park if you don’t have a lawn of your own. Make sure to place your RV in an attractive area and not a place that looks abandoned. Aside from that, you can drive your car to a nice campground or park it on the driveway of a friend that has a beautiful home.
Staging is the key when it comes to attracting buyers. You can place an RV mat on the entry steps, and these can be bought at your local stores or online. Adding vases of cut flowers and scented candles in different parts of your RV can be inviting, and styling your dinner table with a setting that includes great-looking dishes and folded cloth napkins can help with your RV’s overall look.
In your bathroom, you can add potpourri and unused soap as well as shampoos for the overall look of the bathroom. Make sure that the mirror is spotlessly clean. If you had your furry friend traveling with you, ensure that the odors are removed. When it comes to staging, you have to remember simple design is appealing to a wide range of people.
6. Creating Your RV’s Advertisement
The most common knowledge when it comes to selling anything, a house, a car, or other belongings that you may have, is to place an ad. Make use of online options for advertising rather than printing them since it can be costly. There are tons of good opportunities online for potential clients to view your advert. You can also post indications for sale on the window for sale with phone numbers and pricing.
As mentioned above, you will be taking pictures when it comes to your ad. It is best to use a nice camera to take the photos and store them on your computer. After that, make sure that you choose the best pictures. It is also good to note to keep your ad simple and use lists instead of paragraphs or wordy descriptions.
Also, look out for your grammar and make sure your ad is correct. It would be best if you also placed a ‘For Sale sign on your RV, which is readily available in local stores or online. With these signs, you can write the make, model, year, and mileage of your RV, which can be helpful information for prospective buyers.
On top of the money, this is one of the factors that you would need to consider when selling your RV. Crappy ad is not going to attract buyers and generate their interests. These types of ads are people who post RV for sale with only one picture and only minimal description that tells you nothing. You want to avoid this when you are posting online.
A well-written ad should explain why you are selling your RV since this is the question that most buyers ask. Highlight any unique features that your RV has. Be honest to your buyers; if there are any repairs or issues that need to be fixed, mention them. It goes the same way if you have been meticulous about maintaining your RV and mention any maintenance records as well.
When describing your RV, make sure you don’t lie or be evasive. Often, buyers check the RV history, and when they find something that you fail to disclose, there’s a huge chance that the sale might not happen. Explain how you would accept the buyer’s payment, such as cash, wire transfer, etc. Now, whatever happens, make sure that you do not accept personal checks and only certified checks.
Any modifications on your RV should be mentioned as well. Use proper capitalization in your ad and avoid capitalizing all of the words or sentences because this makes it difficult to read. If your RV is still under warranty or has an extended warranty, include that as well.
However, you have to be careful because some warranties are not transferable, and you can check this with the RV’s manufacturer. Lastly, you need to make sure to mention the price of the RV correctly and disclose if your price is negotiable or firm.
Some of the RV selling websites you can place your ad on are Craigslist, RVclassified, eBay, RVonline, RVtrader, and Social Media platforms. You can post your ad on countless websites but don’t post them on all of the sites since managing can be an issue. When posting on a lot of selling websites, it will not give you a buyer quickly. However, when you place a detailed ad and sites that are easy to handle, you will find your RV’s next owner for sure.
When choosing your ad, you need to select an ad package that is best for you. The most significant deciding factor when creating an ad is how long you would like it to run. If you want the best amount for your RV or are concerned your RV might not be in high demand, it is good to select a package that will run the ad until it sells.
On the other hand, if you want to get an average price for your RV and confident that you are going to get a quick sale, you want to consider running your ad for a lesser time. With all of this in mind, you can successfully sell your RV in no time.
7. Post A Video of Your RV
Posting a video of your RV is an excellent idea, especially when you have got the equipment to do so. Instead of a video explaining why you are selling, you can talk about your couch or your unique bedroom setup. As they say, a video is worth a million words, so it is best to add a video on top of the pictures you’ve taken.
Provide your prospective buyer a video tour of both the outside and inside of your RV. Reach out to a friend for help so that they can hold the camera while you do the tour and talk about the features of your RV. Now, practice makes perfect, so take a few videos first and practice a few times. Move the camera as smoothly as possible and avoid any jerks.
Open any cabinets, compartments, etc., that you may have in your RV. Make sure you let them see that they are functioning correctly and how much storage they have. Capture the cockpit area, dashboard, controls, and other parts of the RV that you want your buyers to see.
You need to make sure that you upload a good quality video so that every nook and cranny of your RV is visible to your prospective buyers.
8. Getting Your RV’s Paperwork Ready
If you do not have a clear title, you will need the help of an attorney. They can help you with the standard sales agreements and DMV paperwork to sell. Buyers wouldn’t want to drive an untitled RV, but it will provide them a sense of security when you have an attorney to help you.
Ensuring that your RV’s paperwork is ready will make the process of turning it over to the new owner smooth. It will also help buyers feel complacent in buying your RV with proper paperwork. They wouldn’t have to worry about anything.
9. When It’s Time to Close the Deal
One of the most crucial parts of selling your RV is the buyer taking it for a test drive. At this point, you should ask the buyer if they have any other questions and if they think it suits their purpose, have decided, and ready to make a deal. Negotiating is always part of the selling process and keeping them open is essential. Don’t agree or disagree too quickly with the buyer.
When a buyer is low-balling you, say no but if it looks like it’s an offer that is close to what you want, then go with it. During this process, you would need patience and time. Chances are, you are not going to sell your RV to the first buyer that reaches out to you. It may take a few days, weeks, or even months to sell your RV.
During the negotiation, keep the bottom price you have in mind and take the offer that is closest to yours. When you get dated, signed, witnessed binder and cash, you have got a deal. When all the negotiations are done, request a non-refundable down payment since you will lose all potential buyers while waiting to close the deal.
Never get frustrated, and always stay the course. Remember, as long as your RV is priced right, a buyer will come along soon.
10. Time to Deliver Your RV
During the delivery day, you should accompany the buyer to the bank, lawyer’s office, and the DMV to make sure everything is done correctly. Once the buyer drives your RV away, you have the money that you need, which is a good feeling. The buyers will also enjoy the same benefits you have enjoyed over the years you have owned your RV. It’s time for them to start their own adventure in their new ‘home’.
11. Other Tips To Take Note of When Selling Your RV
The following may seem obvious, but there are a lot of factors when it comes to the selling process where many RV owners struggle with. Plenty of people have trouble parting with their RV, feeling comfortable with the selling process, and choosing to do so at the wrong time.
Timing is Everything When Selling an RV
Just like selling your home, timing is everything when selling your RV. As mentioned above, the spring and summer months are traditionally the time to sell your RV. However, RV’s can also sell during the winter, but it is slow going and doesn’t always result in getting the best price.
When choosing to sell your RV on your own, every opportunity for sale will start with a phone call, email, or text message. Expect plenty of people to contact you, and you will find people who are not good leads. Having said this, make sure to treat every inquiry as if the buyers are standing there with cash at hand.
The first contact you have with a prospective buyer qualifies them as a good lead. Find out what’s the most important for them, whether it is the RV experience or their realistic price range. Consider offering to let the buyer take a look at the RV personally, take them on a test drive, and let them do a trial camp in your RV.
Once you see that they are interested, it’s time to make the offer. It would help if you are not shy about your price but also not visibly offended by what you think to be a low offer and best to keep your emotions to yourself. The offer is just a starting point. When a buyer makes an offer, it is a sign that shows they like your RV.
Don’t give up on someone because you don’t like the price that they offered. The best way to go about low-price offers is to identify what is motivating the low offer. This would then lead to the negotiating process, which I’ve mentioned above.
Alternatives to Selling Your RV
Now, you may have changed your mind when it comes to selling your RV or may not be as ready as you thought you are, or maybe you think it is too expensive to maintain. You can consider renting out your RV on different websites. You can earn thousands of dollars per month. Renters will take care of all the insurance and put you in contact with RV enthusiasts who are willing to pay for your RV.
We can all agree that selling an RV is no walk in the park, just like buying it. Following the different tips above is the best way to have the smoothest selling process. Make sure to have patience and timing in mind during the entire process. Take the time to prepare your RV, price it right, find the right place to sell it, and negotiate properly. In no time, you can sell your RV. It can also make the entire process less daunting than any stories that you’ve heard when selling an RV.