Looking at a 2004 Avalon XLS, what's your opinion regarding value

Hey Folks,
I’m considering 2004 Avalon XLS, 185,000 miles, good ride mechanically, know the original owner, exterior cosmetic damage on bumpers but rides very well. Looking for a fair value. I know the seller personally, want to give them an honest offer. Any suggestions?

No one on the web can answer that . Location by markets make a difference . You can use things like Kelley Blue Book web sites and get an idea of value .

Actually the fair price will be if the price you will pay matches the price they will accept.

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A good way to ruin a friendship is to buy / sell a car to them. If you do want to continue pay a mechanic to check the car over to avoid any $$ surprises


KBB is just too much of a range. I’m in NYC. Just looking for ball park figures anyway

:slight_smile: I hear ya but I’m ready to accept that. Agree regarding mechanic consult.

Then look at the online selling sites for your area . Also find a site that asks for your Zip Code . Any 16 year old vehicle will have a broad range of prices .

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…that’s a good thing to know regarding range. Thanks

$4,000 is about what sellers of similar cars are asking around here. Right at the upper end of KBB and Nada’s range.

What’s important isn’t what people are asking. What’s important is what they’re actually getting. I see people asking absurd prices for nearly used-up cars and trucks all the time. Also, I sometimes see people post a car for sale at a super-generous price because they want the car gone so they can stop paying insurance for it, or simply have nowhere to park it.

The point that I am making is that using Craigslist ads as a method of valuing a car for sale could lead to a very incorrect assessment of what the car is worth. A pricing guide such as KBB will give a reasonable range based on the equipment level, mileage, and condition of the car you’re looking at.

I was working off what Autotempest pulled up from Cars.com and the other sites within the Seattle/Tacoma market for these cars. Don’t know what these are actually going for though.

The range is listed because used cars sellers have different expectations for price and the urgency of the sale. Also, the listed condition may not be the real condition. Brakes and tire are often ignored when the owner assesses the condition, and replacing brake pads and tires is a big part of the sales price on an older car.

If I’m looking at used car prices, I value the car in near perfect condition given it’s age (near perfect body and paint, no replacement parts needed), then start subtracting for any work needed. If it needs new tires, knock off about $600, new brakes all around maybe $500. You have time to check this car out since a friend owns it. Get it checked by a mechanic you trust, including cost to fix anything it needs. Since this is a friend, you might share how you came to the offer you make.

My sis just sold her Avalon. She didn’t know I was interested.

According to NADA (for my area), Trade in value on a car in “average” condition is about $1900. Private party value would be a bit higher, probably around $2400.

My method of determining value is to find out what the value of car in very good condition would be. Then start deducting based on how much it would cost me to repair whatever flaws I deem important enough to fix, then base my offer on that, being as transparent to the seller as possible. This applies to both private party and dealer sales.

like that methodology

likewise here. Thanks

question regarding your logic based on trade-in value… The $2400 is based on observations in your area or would you say a ~25% over average trade-in is a good ball park figure to start determining private party value?

The $2400 figure was based on what the car in “clean” or very good condition ( everything works, less than typical wear for age/mileage, no repairs needed) would be for trade in value. I figured for a private party sale, you expect more than trade in value, but less than retail. $2400 would be a fair price for a private party sale of a 2004 Avalon XLS with 185k miles with some cosmetic damage, (it’s also assuming working A/C, power accessories, etc.) in my arear. If you live in NYC, you might want to consider going up to $3k, after the car gets a clean bill of health from an independent mechanic of your choice.

I would offer 2500 and go as high as 3000

Having been in similar situation. I think the seller has to put a price on the car. I ask them how they want to sell it, trade in, craigslist, etc and then have it valued they way they like. Maybe they think their car is worth much more than what you think it is worth. You offer $2500, they sell it to you and then they resent you for that. When they give you the price, have the car checked and then either buy it or move on. These are always tricky transactions.

There are several on-line sources …Cars.com…Edmonds.com…KBB.com…Autotrader.com…just to name a few.

Average out what you find from all three. It’ll be close