We all see the posts on social media for a 944 for sale, and whether or not we are in the market, we still read them – we just can’t help ourselves. While some provide relevant information and some great photos, many just miss the mark, and others just miss the entire side of the barn. Those who are interested in buying a 944 will be looking for specific information as is sometimes reflected in the myriad of questions that follow the post.
Here’s one of my favorites ad texts that was, of course, accompanied by three blurry photos of the outside of the car at dusk with the setting sun in the background:
Porsche for sale. You always wanted a Porsche so here is your opportunity! Clean and red 944 just needs a little TLC to be perfect. $9000 or best offer, no scammers please!
So the comments are full of questions – Interior? Year? Miles? Location? These are just the very basics.
Here at 924S944.com, we have sold a few and bought a few over the years. There is certain information that prospective buyers want to know from the beginning, like this:
- Where is the car located? City and state, please. I am in central Florida, so I am not going to Seattle to buy a car, no matter how great the deal may be. And shipping it to me from the west coast is going to be cost-prohibitive. If you’re in south Georgia, well, maybe…
- Year, Make, Model, Exterior Color, Interior Color. Just because you listed the post on a 944 site doesn’t necessarily mean that we all intuitively know what you have. There are distinct differences between years, so the exact year is important. And tell us the exterior and interior colors – don’t rely on the photos.
- Manual or automatic? The listing software sometimes defaults to automatic since that is what is in most cars today. BUT – put it in the narrative to ensure that we know whether your car is manual or auto.
- Engine? Is it a 2.5 NA, 2.5 turbo, 2.7 NA, 3.0 NA or 2.5 four-valve? The 1989 2.7 is highly sought after and the 1988 2.5 had higher compression with more power. Don’t assume that we know by the year what engine is in your car – be specific.
- Be honest about condition. It is common for the odometers to stop working, but specify mileage shown anyway. The driver’s seats tend to split at the seams. Wear on the shifter and steering wheel are common. If there is old crash damage, talk about it. If the paint is failing, say so. Rear carpet faded? Okay. Sunroof not functional? That’s okay too. Just tell us.
- Belt and water pump service. We need to know when it was done, along with whether the car is a daily driver or has been sitting in a garage for the past ten years. If you have no history on it, just say that you don’t know. Specify if you have documentation on this important service.
- Clutch and clutch hydraulics. Another popular question since getting the clutch replaced is expensive. And say if you know the clutch has been replaced and when. Include any information about the clutch hydraulics. Documentation here is also important.
- Air Conditioning. In the souther states, it gets hot and we need air conditioning. If it “just needs a charge,” have it done and list it as working properly.
- Tires and wheels. How old are the tires? There are dates on them…anything over seven years old will need replacement.
The reason that all these things is simple – buyers take the value of a good car and subtract out the things that it needs to arrive at a price that is reasonable. Without that information, this formula just doesn’t work.
Here is an example of a good listing that has the info that we need.
1984 Porsche 944 2.5 NA, black with linen interior and a manual 5-speed transaxle in the Orlando, FL area. Shows 21,000 miles, but is actually 121,000 miles. Water pump and belt service done at 101,000 miles three years ago. Clutch and clutch hydraulics replaced last November. Paint is faded on the hood and top, clear coat is showing age. Some small leakage from the power steering and also from the oil pan gasket. Air conditioning works well, just serviced. Clean carfax with no accidents shown. Tires were new in 2018. Everything works including the sunroof. Daily driver for commute to and from work. $10,000 or best offer.
This ad tells us most of what we want to know. To be really nice, it will probably need a paint job, but the rest of the hard stuff is already done. Depending on what the perspective customer is looking for, this might bring one or two or more serious individuals to your doorstep with cash in hand, and you won’t spend a ton of time answering silly repetitive questions.
One mistake, though, that is consistently made by sellers is to assume that the browsing customer will automatically know everything there is to know about Porsche 944’s and 924S’s. Our cars are drawing folks who are new to the model, so striking a balance between what we know about our cars and what the perspective buyer knows is key. Understanding that a “newbie” buyer may send the ad to a friend who is more knowledgeable about our cars for an opinion is also important to acknowledge. Hitting that balance becomes even more important.
Including photos that tell the story is another critical point. We see many ads that include photos that are “glamor shots” but don’t really do anything to help sell the car. Here is a list of photos that should be included in every 944/924S ad:
- Full front, rear and both sides
- Interior including front seats
- Driver’s seat so that the buyer can see the seams – split or not – and wear on the bolsters
- Instrument cluster with mileage
- Engine compartment
- Luggage compartment
- VIN (so buyers can run Carfax)
- Build tag in rear luggage compartment next to the tail light
- Driver’s side door panel (it wears more than the other one)
- Sunroof open (to show proper operation)
- Closeups of any damage
The idea here is not to show the whole car, but to generate enough interest on the part of the buyer to come take a look at it. If selling online where perspective buyers are not going to be able to actually come look at it in person, more photos are needed. For ideas, go to BringaTrailer.com or PCarMarket.com and see what they require in the way of photos – literally hundreds of them!
Videos of a cold start-up and/or of the car going through the gears can also be very helpful. Nothing long or fancy – just smart-phone videos so that the buyer will be even more interested to come take a look. So if you can upload videos to your listing, don’t ignore the value that they bring to the table. This video is from a 944 Automatic that we sold recently – the reason for the video is to show that while we all know that the automatics are slower, this one worked well, including smooth shifts from a standing start. It also showed full five-bar oil pressure, important to the seasoned 944 buyer. You can also see that there is no vibration in the steering wheel and no weird noises, and that the dash is in nice shape. And the clock actually works. All from a 27-second video. If the listing service or platform that you are using doesn’t allow video uploads, still have videos in hand and tell buyers that you can email videos if desired.
So best of luck in listing and selling your car. Your job as seller is to provide a lot of great information to the widest possible audience. So get busy!