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3 Tips on Selling Your Plane

Updated on February 12, 2016

You are ready to sell your plane—perhaps for a more expensive model with more bells and whistles or because additional finances, in the here-and-now, are a must. Let’s face it, selling an airplane caters to a niche market. Finding enough people with enough money to make that kind of purchase isn’t as easy as selling an automobile. But whatever the reason might be to sell your aircraft, there are three things to keep in mind that can help you to more quickly transfer ownership to a new pilot.

1: Establish a Realistic Asking Price

Wouldn’t we all enjoy attaching a price to something of value—as high as possible—knowing we would receive that price? As we all know, sales of any kind does not work that way. When selling your plane, be as competitive as possible and make sure the asking price is commensurate with the plane’s true value. It’s wise to get an appraisal from vRef or Aircraft Blue Book. Have a professional determine your plane’s worth; and you can do a bit more homework by browsing the internet’s aircraft-classified sites to find planes that are very similar to yours as well as their asking prices.

If your plane is not realistically priced, you will be setting yourself up for frustration and end up doing one thing that will be painful—lowering the price, perhaps continually. Your airplane could remain an albatross around your neck for quite some time. It all boils down to: how does the price of your plane compare to similar contenders; and how badly do you want to part with your aircraft? If your plane has not sold in at least 3 months (whether or not you have had offers), it’s time to lower the price.

2: Advertise with Multiple Photos

Whether one wants to meet someone for the first time from a dating site or whether one wishes to purchase an airplane, an ad without a photo is virtually DOA—dead on arrival. We are, all, visual; and any convincing text regarding your aircraft without a photo will end up eliminating those people who refuse to do business, sight unseen. It only makes sense to add a visual to support the written details. In sales, emotion plays a major role with buying and selling; and photos can do much to stimulate those emotions.

Display your ad and photos on sites such as PlaneViz, ASO or aircraft organizations and pilot boards. Include pertinent information that YOU would want to know if you were buying a plane: year, make & model, total time, engine time and asking price. Be sure to include a clear description of the avionics and equipment—it’s what pilots would want to know.

3: Use an Aircraft Broker

If you decide to enlist the services of an aircraft broker, you will instantly be in the company of a professional who possess the knowledge and experience germane to your specific type of plane. That type of expertise can greatly expedite the sales process.

Aircraft brokers have a good deal of history regarding buying, selling, maintaining, repairing and modifying aircraft in addition to a myriad of legal issues that are part of the sale and purchase procedures. They, also, have the insight you would want regarding what needs to be repaired or simply checked to ensure a timely and successful sale. The detailed logistics involved with the sale of a plane can be completely transferred to an aircraft broker. Finalizing the sales/purchase agreement, facilitating the pre-purchase inspection, managing the entire inspection process and test flight and more can all be taken care of via a broker! If you want fast results with minimal stress, this experienced professional can be a most-welcomed ally!

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