How to successfully sell a business or private aircraft

Legacy Business Jet

Get the selling price right

Problems can arise when aircrafts advertised for sale are wildly overpriced and end up costing a pretty penny in ongoing advertising as no-one’s interested. On the other hand aircrafts can be undervalued which leave owners quickly relieved of their asset, but out of pocket. When setting a price, it’s vital to do your research on the competition and be honest with your pricing. This will determine whether or not your aircraft will sell, and will also impact the length of time it remains on the market.”

You may have the best private aircraft in tip-top condition with immaculate records, superb maintenance and avionics upgrades showcasing the latest features and benefits, but if it is not priced properly then it really doesn’t much matter because buyers who perceive your aircraft as overpriced, won’t even call.

 What you originally spent on the aircraft, the sum total you’ve invested since you bought it, what you owe on the aircraft, and what others may be asking all have no bearing on what your asking price should be.  The asking price should reflect the age of your aircraft compared to others you see, total time, overall condition, maintenance status and what similar aircraft are currently selling for or have actually sold for.    Unfortunate are the owners who overpaid for their aircraft (or who have invested way too much in it) and are holding on to the hope that some other poor sucker will come along and overpay too.

Hire a Good Aircraft Broker

A good aircraft broker will have an in-depth understanding of the market and will help you accurately value your aircraft based on recent sales and comparable aircraft currently on the market. He or she  will also help develop a strategic marketing plan that identifies the target market and reaches all potential buyers within that market directly. Moreover, they will deal with all the advertising, advise on any offers received assist in contract negotiations and deal with all the paperwork. Better still, the seller’s broker will be a physical presence at key points throughout the process, providing oversight from the initial discussions all the way through to closing.

Maintain Positive Cash

It  is important to keep a positive cash position in any aircraft you own.  Owners who are highly leveraged often have a difficult time selling a plane for what it’s worth.  They have enough cash flow to service the debt, but not enough cash to actually sell to repay the debt.   Over the years I’ve seen far too many people turn down a slightly lower price than they wanted only to have the next offers come in even lower.  That, folks, is a tough and unenviable position to be in.

Bottom Line

Price the aircraft appropriately and you will most likely be rewarded with a shorter time to sell, more offers to consider, and with any luck, a higher net sales price when all factors are considered.
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