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10 Mistakes That Can Ruin the Sale of Your Personal Aircraft

So, you’ve decided to sell your personal aircraft. Congratulations! This is a big decision, and one that comes with a lot of paperwork, research, and thought. But even if you’re prepared for all of that, there are still some things that can trip you up and ruin the sale.

We have compiled 10 common mistakes that could possibly botch the sale of your personal aircraft, and how you can avoid them.

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    Not Knowing Your Aircraft's Value

    Before you list your aircraft for sale, you need to know how much it’s actually worth. There are a few different ways to do this: you can look at recent sales of similar aircraft, get a fair market appraisal from a reputable aircraft sales company or appraiser, or use an online tool like Aircraft Bluebook.

    Once you have a good estimate of your aircraft’s value, you can set a fair asking price and not encounter possible disappointment down the road.

    Not Setting Aside Sentimental Value

    On the flip side of understanding your aircraft’s value, listing it at an unrealistic price is also a mistake. If you overprice your aircraft, potential buyers will be turned off, especially if they’ve already done their research and know what it’s actually worth.

    Not only that but overpricing your aircraft could also mean that it will take longer to get offers and sell, which the longer an aircraft stays on the market, the more it could reduce the value of a plane as potential buyers could get the impression the aircraft has issues.

    You could also get overwhelmed with offers of negotiating the price. So do your research by looking at websites with private jets for sale to get an idea of market prices, remove emotions and sentiment from your perceived value, and set a fair price. Even after all of that, be prepared to negotiate.

    Failing to Disclose Problems or Damage

    If there are any problems or damage with the aircraft, no matter how small, be sure to disclose them upfront. If you try to hide these issues and the buyer finds out about them later on, it will not only reflect poorly on you but could also void the sale entirely.

    So be honest about any and all damage or problems, no matter how minor you think they may be as they will more than likely turn up during a pre-purchase inspection.

    Not Getting Annual Inspections & Maintenance

    An annual inspection is usually required by law for most general aviation aircraft, so if yours is due (or even close to due), be sure to get it done before listing the aircraft for sale. This will show potential buyers that you’ve kept up with maintenance and may help increase the value of the aircraft in their eyes. Also, if your cycles and engine hours are high, you could consider a TBO extension to add value to your aircraft and increase the lifetime of your aircraft’s engines.

    Most aircraft keep their maintenance logs with known companies such as CAMP, TRAXXALL, Flight Docs, AVTRACK, and others to make showing aircraft maintenance records easier to obtain.

    Get more information on extending the life of your aircrafts engines with TBO Extension

    Not Properly Preparing Your Aircraft For Marketing And Showings

    It’s important to make a good first impression when selling your aircraft. If you are using a brokerage to represent your aircraft, check with them to make sure they use professional photography when listing your airplane online and in magazines.

    We would also recommend having the airplane professionally cleaned inside and out before any potential buyers come to see it. Also, have any cosmetic damage repaired or touched up and make sure all the avionics systems are in working order.

    Not Lining Up Contingency Buyers

    Aircraft sales are never a done deal until the money is in the bank. We have seen deals fall through at every stage of the process. For this reason, it’s important to always have contingency buyers in case your primary deal falls through.

    Continue advertising your aircraft until the deal is done or at least disclose the plane is under contract but that you are accepting contingency offers. By having a couple of these buyers lined up, you increase your chances of successfully selling your aircraft.

    Not Being Available For Showings

    If you are selling your aircraft yourself, you need to be available for showings when potential buyers want to see it. This may mean giving up some of your personal flying time or making yourself available on short notice which could be difficult with a job or family.

    If you are using a broker, they will handle the scheduling but you should still be prepared to answer questions and provide additional information if needed.

    Not Being Flexible On The Price

    As we mentioned earlier, aircraft sales are all about negotiation. If you are not willing to negotiate on the price, you may miss out on a sale. It’s important to have a firm number in mind that you are not willing to go below but be prepared to negotiate anywhere above that.

    Not Being Prepared To Answer Questions

    If you are selling your aircraft yourself, you need to be prepared to answer any and all questions that potential buyers might have. This includes questions about the aircraft’s history, maintenance records, damage history, and anything else they might want to know.

    If you are not comfortable answering these questions or don’t have the information on hand, you may want to consider using a broker who will act as a buffer between you and the buyer.

    Trying To Sell The Aircraft Yourself

    Selling an aircraft is not a simple task and to get the best value for your plane, it’s usually better to let an aircraft broker represent you or sell to an aircraft acquisition company. If you are not comfortable with negotiating or won’t have the time to properly show the aircraft, you may want to consider those options.

    Avoid The Headaches Of Selling A Personal Aircraft Yourself Or With A Broker

    Selling an aircraft is a big decision and there is a lot to think about and plan for before listing your aircraft for sale. Be sure to do your research and consult with experts before making any decisions. If you prefer to skip the headaches of selling your aircraft yourself or the time involved in brokering a used plane, we invite you to read more about Sky Aviation Holdings’ aircraft acquisition program. We would be happy to give you a no-obligation cash offer for your plane today!

    Get a no-obligation cash offer on your aircraft today

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