Should I repair body damage or sell car "as is?"

I have a 2006 Honda Civic LX 4 dr sedan with 45,000 miles that I am trying to sell, as I’m getting a new car. The problem is I have several dents and scrapes on the car. I’ve gotten estimates and it will cost ~$2800 to fix the body damage. Other than the body damage, which is only cosmetic, the car runs great and has been well-maintained. Should I fix the damage and then try to sell the car or should I try to sell “as is?” I’m wondering if I’ll make the money back if I fix the car or if it’s better to try to get what I can for the car as it is. The KBB value for this car in “fair” condition is $10,610.

Skip it. Look for a buyer who wants a Civic and either doesn’t care about the cosmetics, or can fix them himself for $500. You shouldn’t even have to discount the car by $2800. Shoot for $10K and settle for $9500. Don’t be surprised when you get it. Don’t mention the damage in the ad, but tell each caller about it after they call because of the LOW price. See there, you just made an extra $1700 and didn’t have to do anything.

Sell it asking the fair condition price.

You will never recoup the $2800.

Thanks for your advice! You really think I can get $10,000 for it? I’ve already listed it on Craigslist for that price and there have been no takers after 1 week. Of course I mentioned the damage, maybe not the best idea… I was hoping to maybe attrack a buyer who does body work and would think it was a good deal. The dealer wanted to give me $4000 on trade-in!! That’s just crazy. Do you think I’d have been luck listing it elsewhere?

Craigslist seems to be where the public is turning for EVERYTHING today. My local paper used to carry a full page of car ads, grouped by price up to $6000, on the weekends. They are lucky if they have 1/4 of a page these days.

Repairing the body will not pay for itself. Sell it “as is.”

Keep it on Craigslist. You just need to be patient–I have sold just about everything I have ever tried to sell on Craigslist. Sometimes it takes a day, sometimes a month, but there is always someone out there looking for what you have.
Some tips
–Take some good pictures and post them in the ad
–Be up front about the cosmetic damage
–Be reasonable and willing to negotiate
–Personally, I would not expect much more than $8000 private party sale

Thanks for your advice. $8000 sounds like a more reasonable expectation for this car. Sadly, body damage is very expensive to fix. Otherwise, it’s a great dependable car.

Here’s how to determine what your car is worth:

Finde the value in clean condition. The subract off the repair costs, including the $2800 for body work. that’s what the dealer does when they evaluate your car. Then they take off the overhead involved in processing hte car and selling it. If the dealer is offering $4000, htey must have found other things it needs besides the body work. You can try to sell it for $10,000, but don’t be surprised if you don’t get it.

No, it was just the body work. Mechanically it’s in good condition (as determined by my Honda dealer just last week) I think they didn’t want to deal with the car and also were trying to sell me another one. Plus it wasn’t a Honda dealership. I suspect if I took it to a Honda dealer they might make me a better offer. Though, you are right I should expect much less than $10,000 for the car.

Put a for sale sign in the car and drive around as you always do. Also put a phone number on the sign that you don’t mind strangers calling. Make sure you have a price in mind when they call.