August 20, 2014 | bevel wise
This article is the first of several in our series dedicated to providing tips and insight on commonly discussed items within the aviation industry. To provide a professional insight to each topic, we’re partnering with experts from around the industry to provide their thoughts and experiences on how they’ve overcome common obstacles. We encourage you to get involved with us and if you have a topic idea, don’t hesitate to contact us on Facebook or Twitter, we’d love to hear from you!
You’ve done it. You’ve made the decision to sell your aircraft, and while you may be selling to make room for something bigger, or you’re ready to leave the flying world completely; your decision may be based on the belief that you’ll be able to sell your aircraft relatively quickly.
Unfortunately, the reality of a quick sale can be somewhat of a long shot considering many factors including how many used aircraft are already on the market. Fortunately, with a bit of work and careful planning, it’s possible to shift the odds into your favor and secure a buyer even in this crowded marketplace.
Today, we’re going to take a look at three things you can do before even listing your aircraft for sale that can boost these odds, and to help us out we’ve partnered with Brett Palmiero, a Regional Sales Associate from Cessna who has 18+ years of experience in supporting new and used aircraft sales. Let’s get started!
Prepare Your Aircraft for Sale
It may sound like a selfish plug, but one of the first things you should do is clean and refresh your aircraft before listing it. This doesn’t always mean you need to invest in repainting your aircraft; however, a full interior detail and exterior wash coupled with the polishing of a aircraft’s brightwork (if equipped) can go a long way to increasing your aircraft’s curb appeal and to help it stand out.
Next, Brett encourages all sellers to, “take the time to ensure that all associated books, manuals, guides and paperwork are organized and readily available for presentation. That way, when you’re first opportunity does arrive, you’ll be able to present these documents for review as if the aircraft were a new delivery.”
Remember: First impressions are important when you’re trying to get ahead of other aircraft in the marketplace and showing your care in ownership is a great way to let interested buyers know that you mean business.
It’s no secret that there are dozens of ways to list your aircraft for sale. And while the list of websites and brokers is long, one way to ensure that all of your aircraft’s listings are consistent is to develop a solid Marketing Specifications Sheet. Not only will a well crafted specifications sheet serve as your aircraft’s “30-second pitch”, it will also provide prospective buyers a detailed list of your aircraft’s on-board equipment and special features in an easy to digest format.
To really stand out, Brett indicates that sellers, “should be able to identify three key selling points that set your aircraft apart from others in the market. Items such as if the aircraft was professionally flown, factory maintained, or even underwent any recent refurbishments should all be mentioned. Also, clearly note if the aircraft is on any type of enrolled program for engines, APU, etc.”
Aircraft Photography 101
After you’ve completed the above, your next step should be taking several images of the aircraft for your marketing efforts. These images should highlight the obvious cockpit and cabin areas, but be sure to get a shot of the lavatory (if equipped) as well as close-ups of the avionics panel, seat materials and other special features such as galley and or crew rest areas.
It’s important to note that while you could always choose to enlist the help of a professional photographer for these images, if you possess a high quality camera and a keen eye for detail, you may choose to just take the images yourself. If you decide to do this, you can give your images a professional touch by staging your aircraft beforehand.
On the interior, this means turning on lighting to include the cockpit and associated avionics, while on the exterior, parking the aircraft on a brightly lit day with a simple background will ensure buyers eyes remain fixed on your aircraft and not what is in the background. You can even take your staging efforts a step further by placing some catering items and personal effects in the cabin to bring an inviting touch to your images.
No matter which route you choose however, with some basic staging you can be sure prospective buyers will not only be drawn to your aircraft, but they’ll be able to “virtually” explore it as if they were there with you.
So there you have it, three tips to get you started in selling your aircraft. But what happens when that first prospective buyer indicates they’d like to see your aircraft in person? And what can you do to ensure that meeting is a stress free experience for both parties?
Stay tuned for part two as we’ll be discussing not only how to close the deal, but how you can prepare for common curve balls on the way to handing over the keys to a new owner.
We’d like to give a special thanks to Cessna’s Brett Palmiero for collaborating with us on this article! If you’d like to get in touch with Brett, he can be reached via email at
Disclaimer: This article is designed to serve as an educational offering and is in no way meant to be used as an exclusive source for how to sell your aircraft, that would just be silly. It;s also worth noting that the featuring of an employee from any company other than Immaculate Flight does not necessitate an endorsement between either party; instead, parties are mutually providing knowledge for the benefit of the audience and are just really nice people.