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Vee

E39 M5 market

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I'm looking for a bit of insight into the mindset of buyers at the moment, I have had my M5 for sale for 3 weeks or so and have been surprised how little genuine interest it's had. Only one viewing so far, the ad is here...

The eBay ad resulted in countless offers of £6-7k and part-ex's of random hot hatches. The current Autotrader ad has resulted in one message in a week. The car is superb, the downside being a bit of superficial rust in the usual places (jacking points are all good). Realistically this will probably cost £500-600 to sort properly and I've accounted for this in my valuation (with  price negotiation). I've been honest about this but wonder whether I should have been, I really don't think it should put people off but like most on here I accept that E39's and rust are pretty much synonymous. Maybe I'm being naiive, maybe buyers really do expect a mint M5 for nine grand. Am I being unrealistic in price or expectation or do I just need to sit tight and wait a few months?

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If it were me, I would sit tight and wait for a little, if this was an option of course.  Good examples are rare these days and you just need that one enthusiast who will deem the minor shortfalls as trivial.  

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I think it will take a little time to sell - not because its a bad car or wrongly priced more that its a niche market. To most its an old thirsty BMW and their £10k would go on something newer / duller.

 

As said it just takes the right person!

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I would get the slight rust sorted .... So you need not mention rust in the advert ...

 I will add .. I love the spec of your M5  and GLWTS  It only takes one buyer ... 

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Just read your ad.

 

Three things would put me off as a potential buyer:

 

1. The rust

2. The mileage

3. The handbrake handle - when little details have been skipped, it makes people wonder what else has been missed.

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I agree with others, get the rust sorted so there's no problems to mention.

 

From your pictures, a few things stand out to me (but I'm a very fussy git):

 

- The drivers door seal is badly worn, a common problem but one that's easy, if a little costly, to fix.

- The steering wheel looks a bit tatty, a good clean and wipe with some leather dye would probably help.

- The drivers floor mat looks quite grubby, give it a spin in the washing machine!

- The exhaust tail pipes should be chrome, yours look rather dull.  A going over with some fine wire wool could bring them up a bit.

- The bi-annual inspection light is on, get it reset.

 

All very minor items, but they all go to give the same impression, fix them and it will help make it stand out.  Good luck with the sale.

 

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I think you're all right, I might just sort the bodywork. I guess I was hoping that the new owner would be pragmatic and deal with the rust themselves. I naiively assumed that anyone looking at E39's understand that rust will be part of their lives sooner or later and will enjoy the comfort of taking it to their trusted bodyshop to sort. After all, most of the 'mint' M5's for sale in garages will probably have been given a cheap and quick paint job which may or may not last long.

In reality many prospective owners probably ignore good cars with minimal rust. I probably would have done when I was looking for my first E39.

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Just now, RichardP said:

I agree with others, get the rust sorted so there's no problems to mention.

 

From your pictures, a few things stand out to me (but I'm a very fussy git):

 

- The drivers door seal is badly worn, a common problem but one that's easy, if a little costly, to fix.

- The steering wheel looks a bit tatty, a good clean and wipe with some leather dye would probably help.

- The drivers floor mat looks quite grubby, give it a spin in the washing machine!

- The exhaust tail pipes should be chrome, yours look rather dull.  A going over with some fine wire wool could bring them up a bit.

- The bi-annual inspection light is on, get it reset.

 

All very minor items, but they all go to give the same impression, fix them and it will help make it stand out.  Good luck with the sale.

 

Good comment Richard, thanks.

I have already refreshed the leather and wheel with a dye kit, I should re-photograph it.

I also have a spare handbrake to get fitted when I have time, I don't have much of that at the mo TBH!

I wasn't aware of the biannual light, I'll look into it. 

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Also to add to the other thoughts, where has the car been serviced? If by BMW or recognised indie it might be worth stating that too.

 

 

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49 minutes ago, skeeterm5 said:

Also to add to the other thoughts, where has the car been serviced? If by BMW or recognised indie it might be worth stating that too.

 

 

Yes, worth adding to service history list. I did state that all work has been CPCE and my local BMW specialist.

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3 hours ago, dan101smith said:

Just read your ad.

 

Three things would put me off as a potential buyer:

 

1. The rust

2. The mileage

3. The handbrake handle - when little details have been skipped, it makes people wonder what else has been missed.

 

Good luck getting a lower milage M5 then, would you want one that has been driven, or one that has been stored.

I concur with the rust/handbrake comments though.

 

Duncan hit the nail, when stating it is a niche market for these cars, even though they have been getting a lot of good publicity in motoring mags.

Edited by vanhool
Didn't finnish with my comments

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Things have changed dramatically over the years. Back in 2012 I bought an 02 in 118k for £6900 and sold it in 2014 for £7500 on 127k. Asking prices have been raising in a big way but the actual money changing hands for cars? I'm not so sure.

 

As mentioned above its a 160k example so its getting up there and whilst its had a large amount of work done its quite a large amount of money for a private buyer to stump up for what is a higher mileage car. I'm not saying the lower mileage ones are any better but dealers these days offer more protection than ever due to the new rules that came in fairly recently where as buying privately still carries all the risk.

 

The other problem again is now so many people have 10k in cash knocking around, many many people would need to buy on a loan or with a card etc and dealers can offer this. I will echo your thoughts on autotrader though, its dead for the private seller IMHO. I had my Range Rover Supercharged on there on a £60 advert and not a single call or email I couldn't believe it! Eventually sold it through Facebook!

 

Ebay full of the half price brigade, but more specialist websites such as pistonheads can be good for cars like an E39 M5.

 

Its all been said above but take some new pictures with the little bits tidied up, perhaps take it for a full detail it is amazing how good they look after that and it really makes a potential buyer the car has been kept in a showroom like condition all its life. 

 

Lastly the wording in your add, in all honesty I could cut the waffle out. There is no need to explain about the lack of notchiness in not having a short shift kit. Just say "Upgraded Genuine F10 Illuminated gear knob" and also the list of work done on that big service. "Extensive preventative maintenance performed, rod bearings, timing chain guides etc etc by renowned specialist phil crouch. " The problem is people just don't read the wall of text.

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Im in the market for an E39 M5 ( Black) . The mileage would be high for me , maybe for others too so I'd cut straight to emphasize the service history. In addition to the above I personally dont think cars look well photo'd on grass. I'd take it to a nice location with a nice tidy background. Gives the right impression.  Good luck !

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It's a lovely looking car and is one of the better colours. Personally I find the price high considering the mileage and some of the items that others have pointed out. 

 

If it was closer to me I'd definitely have had a look. 

 

Good luck.

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I think you are stuck between a rock and a hard place at the moment...

 

Prices have been going up and some buyers will be wary of a rising market. 

 

You've highlighted that the car needs a few bits attending to... personally I think you may best getting those sorted, at least cosmetically....

 

People are also wary of the mileage, there are a few E39s kicking around that went / are well in to the 200k+ miles... but there are a lot that didn't make it there.... 

 

Re- shoot some pictures when we get a bit of sun, as LMB can look stunning when fully polished -  Perhaps have a play with a photo editor...

 

Also what's occurring with the rear bumper? It looks like it's bowing upwards in the centre...Is it an optical illusion? 

 

Rear pipes, as Richard says a bit of wire wool with Autosol should do the trick with a bit of elbow grease...

 

Gently go over the steering wheel with something like Doktor Power magic eraser... not too vigorous though, I used it on my last car when the steering wheel got a little tired looking...

 

Don't be afraid to get some close pictures of the side panels and show how good the paintwork is... Oh what about the engine bay? What's it looking like in there..?

 

This was my steering wheel after a going over with a bit of a Doktor Power eraser... IIRC the mileage was in the region of 140k at the time I took the pictures...

 

DSC02751Medium.jpg.e10fa2ef6b7d710aee94246a1ac1d487.jpg

 

DSC02749Medium.jpg.225fb1f729aec04f32995ac4f98b6efa.jpg

 

LMB my 2nd favourite colour after Velvet Blue....

Edited by Seesure

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Condition (rust, few interior bits) and mileage put me off. Yes, everyone saying prices are rising and the model will become a classic but anything that gives the impression of being a wallet draining experience before it becomes a weekend play thing is to be ignored.

 

I feel the pictures are purposely lacking in detail (close-ups) is likely because it's a bit rough.

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I have to go with the consensus. I was debating getting an E39 over an E60 though I had a change of heart. E39s though are on the increase price wise for low mileage excellent examples in the right colour (yours is right for me) with a wallet full of history. Yours (once those niggles are sorted) ticks 2 of the 3 boxes, the mileage being the big one that can't be addressed;  so it's going to have to have something real special about her to make her stand out to a prospective buyer. 

 

But I think your biggest issue is that I sense uncertainty in the economy, people are easing off unnecessary spending and are starting to tread water and watching the pennies. The pool of prospective buyers for such kit is small to start with and I suspect it is getting smaller as we speak.

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On 24/03/2018 at 9:37 PM, adamhearn said:

Condition (rust, few interior bits) and mileage put me off. Yes, everyone saying prices are rising and the model will become a classic but anything that gives the impression of being a wallet draining experience before it becomes a weekend play thing is to be ignored.

 

I feel the pictures are purposely lacking in detail (close-ups) is likely because it's a bit rough.

A tad unfair I have to say! The interior is really good, apart from a mismatched handbrake lever - as I said the leather has been refreshed. It certainly isn't rough, far from it in fact. With the odd rust blemish sorted it would be superb.

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8 hours ago, Hoopyfrood said:

.... it's going to have to have something real special about her to make her stand out to a prospective buyer. 

 

But I think your biggest issue is that I sense uncertainty in the economy, people are easing off unnecessary spending and are starting to tread water and watching the pennies. The pool of prospective buyers for such kit is small to start with and I suspect it is getting smaller as we speak.

The mileage doesn't help although the pool of cars with low miles is getting smaller. I think I'll enjoy the car for a bit longer with a view to sorting the rust and few other bits, then make a concerted effort to sell in a few weeks or months. That's what I'm telling my better half anyway ;)

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7 hours ago, Vee said:

A tad unfair I have to say! The interior is really good, apart from a mismatched handbrake lever - as I said the leather has been refreshed. It certainly isn't rough, far from it in fact. With the odd rust blemish sorted it would be superb.

I didn't mean to offend. I just gave you my honest opinion based on the photos alone (specifically the wheel shows wear on the right hand edge, the handbrake lever being wooden, the mats don't look cleaned/prepped for sale and the scratching around the light switch are the items that I considered lowered the finish level to where I said the "few interior bits" put me off.

 

Of course it's an old car and it will show battle cars. A few years back [when I should have bought an M5] they could e had for £6/7K in better condition with much more palatable mileages. Of course the market is different now :)

 

GLWS nonetheless.

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The market is all over the place at the moment... this one has just popped up on the Facebook buy/sell group...

 

Is it me or am I wrong to think that £16.5k is a lot for a 17 year old car that is a normal run of the mill vehicle - accepted that the mileage is lower that average.

 

I'm glad I'm not in the market at the moment for a car as I don't think I'd be looking at another E39 M5... 

 

Seems like now would be a good time to invest in a crystal ball to see what the future holds for these cars and their status etc as possible classics...

 

Capture.JPG.63773e891628de26cb25f54c863caa42.JPG

 

 

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On 04/04/2018 at 9:21 AM, Seesure said:

The market is all over the place at the moment... this one has just popped up on the Facebook buy/sell group...

 

Is it me or am I wrong to think that £16.5k is a lot for a 17 year old car that is a normal run of the mill vehicle - accepted that the mileage is lower that average.

 

I'm glad I'm not in the market at the moment for a car as I don't think I'd be looking at another E39 M5... 

 

Seems like now would be a good time to invest in a crystal ball to see what the future holds for these cars and their status etc as possible classics...

 

Capture.JPG.63773e891628de26cb25f54c863caa42.JPG

 

 

What a lovely car, in the perfect spec ;)

The E39 M5 market is a strange one. Lots of demand for sketchy £7k cars from boy racers tempted by the power/cost ratio, or enthusiasts happy to pay £12k plus for near perfect cars.  Cars in the middle ground in average condition with average miles are in less demand. A shame really because let's be honest - 140k+ miles is pretty normal for a 16+ year old car and a well looked after one will prove just as reliable. 

A chap at work said yesterday that he struggles with E39 M5 values because he remembers when they could be picked up for £5-6k. Bit of a weird one that but there are certainly a few old cars that fetch good money that I feel the same way about.....'fast' Fords for example. 

I'm going to spend a bit on mine and enjoy it for a bit longer I think, it isn't exactly a hardship because my options for a replacement aren't exactly inspiring. I mean what else can you buy for £10k that even comes close?! 

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1 hour ago, Vee said:

What a lovely car, in the perfect spec ;)

 

I'm going to spend a bit on mine and enjoy it for a bit longer I think, it isn't exactly a hardship because my options for a replacement aren't exactly inspiring. I mean what else can you buy for £10k that even comes close?! 

 

LOL - looking at the spec it is almost exactly the same as my previous one - except that mine had extended leather and the blue inserts...

 

If it were me with your car... I'd run it until it dies of natural causes and then either park it up under cover and keep it for a few years to sell on e-bay as a "barn find" or break it and sell the parts separately.  

 

And you are right about what else you could buy.... my current one was £7.3k in 2014 with 112k miles on it which have now hit 171k and I think that's why I'm struggling to get to grips with current prices as I'm comparing to what I paid for both of mine...

 

The first was 3 years old and cost £22.5k with 29k miles on the clock in 2004... So when I see a 17 year car with virtually the same spec and 112k miles it doesn't compute in my mind...

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