EDIT - Thanks for all the replies everyone. I got all I needed. It’s easy to see that I very seldom sell (or buy) a car.
My wife has a CTS with every bell and every whistle. She’s thinking of selling since we’ve downsized big time (I traded my Tahoe for a Rogue for instance). The problem is the Blue Book value for this thing is like $17K. The thing only has about 20,000 miles. It still has the “new car” small and is in showroom condition. I’m pushing to ask more. I’d think at least $19K. She’s doesn’t think she’d get it and is unwilling to even ask. I thought I’d consult the experts. You guys. What are your thoughts?
I am not sure why you think there are used vehicle selling experts here and if there are they have no idea where you are or what the market prices are like. Blue Book is usually higher then actual prices.
If you have a Carmax dealership near you they will make an offer that is good for 7 days . Also do your on research on dealer web sites and vehicle selling sites.
The market IS what the market IS. You can’t change what people want or what they are willing to pay.
If she lists it for $19K and it doesn’t get any people coming to see it because it is over the range and you drop the price after 2 weeks. People will recognize the re-listing when you drop the price and they will continue to wait for another drop later on. If it lists for $17K and sells in a week, you’ll very likely get asking price since it is so nice.
I sold my motorcycle and Honda S2000 exactly that way and got asking price for each. I overpriced my previous Mustang and ended up selling it to CarMax for much less.
You have an 8 year old luxury car that isn’t a Lexus. You’re lucky it’s worth as much as it is.
That said, you should absolutely ask more than book value for it so that people can be talked down to book instead of you being talked down to below book. But like @Mustangman said, you don’t want to set the price too high because then people will decide you’re out of your mind and not bother calling at all.
Were I in your shoes I’d do a very thorough evaluation of the car – as an example, it’s exceedingly rare for a car with 20,000 miles on it to be in “showroom” condition. Unless you’ve hired the detailers that work Pebble Beach, there’s very probably a paint chip somewhere, or stretchmarks in the leather, or something else that drops it below that level. You need to be brutally honest here, because if you gloss over imperfections because you like the car, the buyer will find them and that will be their opening to tell you it’s not anywhere near showroom condition and you need to drop the price a lot right now or they walk.
Then I’d take the high-side private sale price from Kelly Blue Book, add $500 or so to it, and list it with the intention of being talked down to somewhere in the value range KBB listed.
You don’t provide enough information. There are several different options available that make big difference. Is it AWD? etc. The more you provide, the better the answers. Pricing is always regionally influenced. As pointed out, the risk of going too high initially may lose potential buyers interest and they don’t come back.
The blue book price, if done correctly, is factoring in mileage and condition. If you are getting $17K then that might be the ceiling as Cadillac’s aren’t really most popular with used car buyers, for example in comparison with a Corolla or a Camry.
I am not saying you won’t sell, but it might take more time.
When I price my cars, part of the thought process depends on how fast I want to get rid of the car. Sometimes I have the replacement already and want the car gone fast not to pay insurance, registration, car wash, etc. Sometimes I decide that I might sell a car if I get X amount otherwise I will keep driving it. You have to decide where you stand here.
For a 2011 CTS Premium with 20k miles, loaded nav, leather,etc. (even with the rear seat entertainment screens) Retail value is around $15k. That’s what a dealer would ask for. Trade in value is around $12.5k. Which means that private party value would be somewhere between that. Probably around the $14k mark. This is per NADA, in case you were wondering.
Even at $17k this thing is grossly overpriced IMHO.
Edmunds says a Premium AWD chock full of options in outstanding condition is worth $13,000 as a private sale. Take $3000 off if the mileage is normal. No matter what you say, I’d say your car is more likely in clean condition, and you can take another $1000 off.
The Guides like KBB, NADA Black Book and Edmunds are a good place to start but remember that they’re just “Guides”, based on varying sources of information. Even more important to the value is the Condition and “Outstanding” generally means a car that looks, feels and drives like a new car sitting on the dealers lot.
i.e. Professionally detailed inside and out, absolutely no dirt, scratches or dings, meticulous dealer maintenance records, State inspected and ready to go. The car is 8 years old so do you have new name brand tires on it? If not, it’s not “Outstanding”.
Once you’ve got it in the correct category it really comes down to how long you want to wait to get your price?
In the Luxury segment, my experience has been that anything with a BMW / MB tag goes quickly, followed by Accura / Inifinity / Lexus, with Cadillac / Lincoln / Genesis bringing up the rear so you’ll probably be waiting for a while for that buyer who’s willing to pay top dollar for your particular Cadillac CTS.
As far as your selling strategy, it’s a personal decision depending on how long you want to wait to sell and how much effort you’re willing to make?
For a Used Car dealer, dealing with the public, answering phone calls, showing cars and advertising are just part of the job so they can wait for their price but for most Owner sales it’s a different story.
But on the plus side, unlike the Dealer, all you need is one buyer so good luck.
The only thing I could figure is that OP has a CTS-V and didn’t realize the difference between that and a regular one when posting. But that still doesn’t work because a V should be worth more than that. Low 20’s the last time I looked.
If the OP can afford to let the car sit for… maybe… a few months, it might be possible to get someone to pay the price that he wants. However, the bottom line is that it is only worth what people are willing to pay, so…
A clean 2011 CTS-V with 20k miles on it would push into the lower/mid 30’s retail, and easily high 20’s for trade in value. They are desirable cars. But a regular CTS with the 3.6L? Chances are that there won’t be hordes of buyers knocking down the door.
Is your wife going to get another car if you sell the Cadillac? If she is not going to replace the Cadillac, that’s one thing. However, if you and your wife are going to still have two vehicles, why not keep the Cadillac?
We downsized once when my wife took a job at another institution and we bought a Ford Tempo. It was reliable and with its front wheel drive had good traction on snow covered roads (this was in 1985 when most cars were rear drive). Three years later, we upsized to a Ford. Taurus. We hardly noticed the difference in gas mileage, but there was certainly a difference in comfort when we took road trips.