Selling Your Aircraft Yourself


Selling the aircraft yourself seems very attractive because you control the deal and you keep all of the money.
So, why would you do anything else but sell it yourself?


You would not sell it yourself for the same reason you would not want to trust it to an inexperienced person to sell it. You want results, not expensive lessons to learn how to do something you may only do once or twice in your life. If you are financially stable enough to own an aircraft, your time is valuable.
Here are a few examples we have heard from owners who have tried to sell their own aircraft.
A long demonstration trip was flown that resulted in no sale and the seller was left holding the bag for all expenses.
An unscrupulous buyer convinced the seller to bring the airplane for a prebuy to his location. The aircraft was inspected and rejected; however, the seller was faced with the maintenance bill. The owner did not get a deposit and was not reimbursed even for his fuel and pilot expenses.
There are also important factors to consider involving the proper handling of paperwork, sales tax, issues, lien releases, change of title transfer, and contracts that can limit a seller’s future legal liability.
Another negative is the time, distraction, and hassle factor of fielding the calls, separating the time wasters from the real prospects, sending out photos, specifications, brochures, log book copies, showing and professionally demonstrating the airplane, making sure it is clean, and following up with the real prospective buyers in a timely manner. These tasks all have to be done and can rob your time from the business that earned you the kind of money required to own and operate an aircraft. You will probably come out far ahead by concentrating on what you do best and letting a professional who is experienced handle the transaction for you.


You might save money selling the aircraft yourself, and there may also be extra risks, but the real question to answer is, Will the money I might save selling this one aircraft earn more money than I can make doing what I do best, running my own business?