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Private jets and charters are a hot industry, with the global business jet market valued at 25.87 billion. Today, private jet sales are moving through the market fast and furious, with 30% of buyers new to the market.
Post-pandemic, the jet market exploded, pumping up prices for secondhand private jets and eating up supply. Bottom line? Whether you have a majestic Gulfstream G700 or a modest Cessna 152, there’s no better time to sell your private jets than right now once you get it ready for sale.
Though the economics of private jets sees depreciation even faster than cars, the current market is favorable to jet sellers for the first time in a long while, given the boom in demand and massive shortage of private jets right now.
Here at Southern Air Custom Interiors, many clients come to us looking for support with restoration, maintenance, and customization. You’d be shocked at the difference interior refurbishment can do to market value. Freshly upholstered aircraft seats and updated carpeting can go a long way.
Are you thinking about selling your aircraft? It’s a big decision, but people sell for many different reasons. Maybe you want the flexibility of a charter or don’t want the hassle of dealing with maintenance costs anymore. Simply schedule some inspections, maintenance, and a little TLC to make it show-ready!
No matter your reason, you can sell your private jet and receive an impressive return on investment.
Guide to Selling Your Private Jet or Aircraft
Before selling your home, you typically won’t leave it as-is for the open house, right? To earn top dollar, you would ensure that the home is clean and staged to perfection. When selling a car, you would clean it inside and out and may even have it detailed.
The same goes for private jets, whether it’s a Learjet, Challenger, or a Dassault Falcon. Especially considering used private jets go for anywhere between $3 million to $60 million, potential buyers won’t be impressed with anything less than stellar.
The only way to get close to perfect is by taking your jet through a vigorous maintenance, repairs, and cleaning journey. That covers aesthetics, but what about logistics?
Private jets manufacturers have entire teams or departments of people taking care of sales. While you may not have those same resources, you can still prepare to make a deal with some research and support from aircraft sales companies or private contacts.
Conduct aircraft maintenance and inspections
You should always have regular aircraft maintenance scheduled, but now’s the time if it’s been a while since your last check-in.
Aircraft and powerplant mechanics conducting a maintenance check-up or light check will examine:
- Lighting (if it works)
- Landing capability
- Air pressure
Your mechanic may also advise you to conduct an inspection, depending on your plane’s number of flight hours. Inspections are often mandatory, but you should prepare for any issues your aircraft is prone to having after a certain number of flight hours. Additionally, a prospective purchaser will likely insist on an inspection before your sale.
Your maintenance team might also notice damage that warrants a heavier check or repair, such as:
- Cracks in the windows, structure, and skin
- Cracked composite and side-wall panels
- Broken parts
- Dents from hail damage and bird strikes
2. Invest in an aircraft refurbishment
Aircraft interior refurbishment is a whole revamp of your private jet interior. This might include new upholstery, entertainment system updates, new countertops, and more. It’s also a great opportunity to upgrade your aircraft interior materials, from pillows and carpets to armrests and panels. If your private jet has an interior design from the 70s or uncomfortably stiff seats, you might be a good candidate for aircraft refurbishment!
Pro tip: Before you sell, you should make your interior look neutral enough to appeal to more than one specific audience. An aircraft refurbishment can make your aircraft look almost new again.
You might consider sprucing up the interiors with brand new aircraft cabinetry, fresh carpets, modern upholstery, and new-and-improved lighting.
3. Gather your aircraft paperwork
Before you sell, you’ll need to gather paperwork for your aircraft. It’s a tedious process, but vital to your success. If you don’t organize your sale or neglect certain paperwork, you could face legal action and really feel it in your wallet.
Make sure you have all the following handy before you sell:
- Bill of sale
- Insurance information
- Aircraft history
- Inspection documents
- Maintenance materials
Some other forms you may need to sell your aircraft include:
4. Clean, polish, and detail the plane
Does your plane have dusty panels and older upholstery? Time to get it detailed! Many aircraft management companies offer services to clean your interiors. However, your best bet is to hire aircraft interior experts, like Southern Air Custom Interiors.
With decades of experience updating, refurbishing, and polishing aircraft interiors, there’s no better excuse to pick quality when selling a plane.
5. Assess the value of your aircraft
It might feel natural to try to get what you put into the plane, but you likely won’t sell your plane for the same purchase price. It’s all about flight hours—all private jets lower in value the more flight hours they have.
So, how can you assess the value? With these dollar amounts, your best bet is to make it official with an appraisal. Guessing the value might lose you money in the end. The appraiser will assess your aircraft based on:
- Flight hours
- Condition of exterior (corrosion, paint)
- Condition of the interior (seats, lighting, storage compartments, cleanliness)
- Maintenance and damage history
- Aircraft history with FAA Airworthiness
- Accident history
6. Complete the sale
Here’s some insight into the selling process and how to complete your aircraft sale:
- Keep a record of any agreements you have with an aircraft broker or dealer
- Ensure your agreement with any broker entails you receiving payment from the buyer first, then paying the broker
- Complete Bill of Sale (FAA Form 8050-2) and photocopy a few copies
- Give Bill of Sale to buyer, and send another to the FAA with your registration
- Ensure your name is written out completely on your registration
- Buyer and seller sign Bill of Sale, signifying the transfer of the aircraft
- Payment through a certified or cashier’s check, bank transfer, or wire transfer is safer than using cash
Companies and websites for used private jet and aircraft for sale
If you have a strong network of aviation professionals, you might be able to find interested buyers privately. If not? Don’t worry.
You have a few websites to choose front where you can sell your private jets and aircraft, like:
- Controller.com: Thousands of listings for various aircraft, like Beechcraft, Cessna, Gulfstream, and more.
- Globalair.com: There are many strong testimonials about the website generating a lot of interest for aircraft sellers; it is a marketplace but also a hub for aviation resources, such as fuel prices, airport information, and airspace fix information.
- AVBuyer.com: You can advertise your aircraft and helicopters for sale online instantly at this site, as well as online resources and videos.
- Trade-A-Plane.com: Aircraft marketplace since 1937, where it was based in Norfolk, Virginia.
Conclusion: Get Your Aircraft Ready for Sale with Southern Air Custom Interiors
A private jet investment is a personal endeavor, so it’s not always easy to feel comfortable selling. But don’t fret. If you follow the guidelines above and prepare for your sale with maintenance, research, appraisals, and more, you’ll fetch top dollar for your prized aircraft.
Ready to sell your private jet and move on to new adventures? Southern Air Custom Interiors would be delighted to make your jet good as new, with hand-stitched upholstery and detailed care. Contact us today for a consultation!