We understand an aircraft is a major financial commitment, so we want to help you protect your asset and get the most money you can when you decide to sell, not to mention the fact that we love seeing well cared-for birds! Check out these eight steps that can increase the value of your aircraft while helping it stand out among the rest of the planes.
Take it to a reputable service center
Making sure all scheduled maintenance is done by a reputable service center will give you and any possible buyers peace-of-mind. By doing maintenance at a factory or factory-certified service center, you ensure your mechanics have access to the latest information, training and best practices available. Most manufacturers require a rigorous application process for their certification.
Keep it in the hangar
Just like your sports car, a sun-drenched airplane likely will end up with damaged paint and extra wear and tear. Salt air, rain, snow, sun and deicing chemicals are not friendly companions to an aircraft. An aircraft that’s always been hangared is less likely to have corrosion or other weather-related damage—and therefore is more valuable in a resale situation.
Keep detailed logbook entries
Detailed and orderly aircraft records usually signal a well-preserved plane. An aircraft with sketchy, out-of-order logs immediately raises red flags to any potential buyer. It also makes certain FAA certifications more difficult to achieve. Even older aircraft with higher total time are more attractive for charter use or purchase if detailed logbooks, maintenance information, drawings and other records are available.
Take care of the paint and interior
One of the first questions we hear about a plane we have listed for sale is “What’s the status of the paint and interior?” Remember just because you don’t mind an outdated paint job and worn interior, doesn’t mean a buyer won’t. It’s important to have the interior of your aircraft detailed regularly. Some owners even go so far as to have a “no shoes” rule, or a similar policy about red wine or ink pens on board.
Hire a good management team
We’ve heard horror stories about management companies losing records, cutting corners on maintenance or neglecting to tell the owner about damage that’s occurred on an aircraft. Choosing a company or knowledgeable individual to manage your aircraft is crucial. And when you are ready to sell, we advise having open communication with your team so that no showings or negotiations are compromised by someone with his own agenda.
WiFi is one of the few aircraft upgrades that will give you a positive return on investment. In today’s day and age, WiFi is desirable on private aircraft, especially those that will be chartered. If you’re selling a popular charter plane (Lear 45, Lear 60, Citation Excel, Citation Sovereign, Challenger 601-3A, GIV, Challenger 300, among others) with detailed logbooks, fresh paint and high quality WiFi, the plane’s total time won’t matter nearly as much.
Get relevant certification
Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) Part 135 certification is attractive to some buyers who plan to charter the aircraft. Not only does this section of the FAR require stricter operations standards, it necessitates certain maintenance standards, fireblocking in the cabin, and other safety measures. However, FAR Part 91 flight rules for private aircraft, with no commercial operations, may have fewer hours and less wear on soft goods like carpet and leather.
Choose the right broker
I may be a bit biased, but this is the most important step of all. What’s the point of getting a new paint job, enforcing a “no shoes” policy, and keeping detailed logbooks if you end up hiring someone who doesn’t know what he’s doing? A good broker will have important connections in the industry, will know exactly how to market your aircraft, and will expertly navigate the various steps in an aircraft transaction. For more on how to choose the right broker, read our blog post on the topic.