(BPT) - Thinking about selling or trading in your old ride? It can be hard to say goodbye but consider this: used cars are currently in high demand and your pre-loved pal could be worth more than you think. As you prepare to sell your car, there are a few easy steps to follow to ensure you’re fully prepared before handing over the keys. Not sure where to start? Here are three tips to make selling your car hassle-free.

Step 1: Find out how much your ride is worth

The first step to selling your car is knowing its value (and no, we’re not talking about the sentimental kind). Start by getting an appraisal. CarMax, the nation’s largest buyer and seller of used autos, has an online appraisal tool that gives you a real offer for your car in less than two minutes. CarMax offers are good for seven days, so you have time to think it over and compare options. While it can be tempting to pick up your new car and trade in your old wheels all in one stop, take the extra step to get multiple offers — this will help you feel more confident in the value of your car and your decision to sell.

Step 2: Explore your options

When it comes to saying goodbye to your old ride, you have three choices: sell it yourself, trade it in at a traditional dealership, or sell it directly to a retailer that specializes in buying and selling used cars. Leaning toward selling it yourself? This takes the most time — from research to advertising and negotiating — but can leave you with a solid profit at the end of the day. Trading your car in at a traditional dealership may eliminate some of the stress of selling it yourself, however, you’ll want to do your homework so you can spot if the dealer tries to inflate the price of the new car or lowball the offer on your trade-in. Selling to a used car retailer like CarMax guarantees a no-haggle, fully transparent experience where you can get a fast, customized offer in-hand. CarMax will buy your car even if you don’t buy one from them.

Step 3: Have your paperwork ready

Not sure what to bring with you? While requirements may vary by state, you’ll likely want to have a valid, state-issued ID, your current vehicle registration, and all keys (or fobs) in-hand when you’re ready to sell. You’ll also want to have your car title or payoff information handy — and don’t forget, all titleholders should be present!

We all know a vehicle becomes more than “just a car.” From road trips with the family to picking up that special someone for a first date, our cars play a big role in our lives. While saying goodbye may be bittersweet, it opens the door to new memories in the making — so whether your next car is new or new to you, the future is an open road!

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