Aircraft Expert Resale Tips
Updated: Oct 5
There are some simple tips and tricks that can pay off in spades when you go to sell your aircraft. While some of these are not very large expenses, they will have a large impact on how your potential buyer reacts when seeing your aircraft in person.
White Is Very Different From Off-White
When most of us make the decision to purchase something, as much as we may not like to admit it, to an extent it becomes emotionally driven. You want any potential buyer to have the best first impression possible even if you're not one of those "love at first sight" believers. The fact is that people are more likely to think that something that looks clean has been taken better care of than another that does not. This same feeling extends beyond the surface. Having your aircraft professionally detailed will make a huge difference in the way it presents to a potential buyer and will pay off in dividends. You may have bought it new or understand the real potential beneath that layer of dust, but try to look at it from the buyer's perspective. If they went out to buy a second hand white Mercedes SUV, they sure would prefer that it doesn't look tan from two weeks of built up road grime the day that they show up to buy it. While this may not be a deal breaker, you can rest assured it will be used as a bargaining tool or impact their purchase decision.
Don't Overlook Tired Carpet
One of the most overlooked, but easiest things to update on a used aircraft would be the carpet. As careful as some owners may be about not spilling food/beverages or sitting down lightly and not moving around as to create creases in the leather, it is hard to keep from wearing the carpet. This is simply a heavy use item no matter how well you try to keep it nice. Thousands of steps have matted down what was once plush carpet to make it less appealing to the eye and your feet. Replacing the carpet in an aircraft can help really improve the look inside the cabin and sometimes take the aging look away by itself.
Give It A Proper Showroom
This is a very crucial thing to remember. Just like we mentioned before with the condition of the paint, this will have an impact on how the buyer feels the aircraft has been kept. You can put a Honda on a Bentley showroom, but you don't want to do the opposite. If your aircraft is sitting in an old, dimly lit hangar amongst a bunch of junk lined up against the walls, you will be hard pressed to impress a buyer no matter what you tell or show them. Even if your aircraft has tremendous pedigree and has been maintained to the highest standards, a buyer may still have little faith in the aircraft. You are much better off getting your aircraft out on the ramp under the sunlight or into a sparkling clean hangar for your potential buyer to view it. This way you are not subconsciously adding strikes against your aircraft.