How accurate are the online vref services vs. AOPA?

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by rtk11, Dec 9, 2016.

  1. rtk11

    rtk11 Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    OK guys - need your input, especially those that went through purchasing an aircraft using various valuation services.

    I am looking at an aircraft to purchase (Sportcruiser) and values seem pretty varied. A call to AOPA's Pilot Information Center yielded different numbers from the AOPA Finance guy, with the finance guy ending-up lower. A Vref Online subscription actually gave me a higher retail, and lower wholesale number. I had heard that AOPA's numbers tended to be "high", but not in this case. Any idea which is the better reference to use? Or any recommendations for a valuation service for the aircraft that won't be too spendy?

    Also, how much would you guys deduct for general condition (e.g. dull chalky paint?) How aggressively would you deduct if it's been used in a flight school? (Used hard, put away wet, left to bake in the hot SouthEast sun?)

    I'd normally walk away, but if the price is right (and I don't end up insulting the seller with the offer), this aircraft might work out OK for me and how I would use the aircraft. But before I spend any more money on a deep logbook review and hangar inspection with an A&P, I wanted to make sure that the seller's bottom line price wasn't beyond what I am willing to pay. Thoughts?
     
  2. Unit74

    Unit74 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I know vref is a complete swag......scientific wild arse guess. A broker who knows the model will know though. Whatcha looking for?
     
  3. rtk11

    rtk11 Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Thanks Unit74. The values are pretty erratic, but probably Vref Online provides a more thorough estimate based upon sales. I just don't know where they're getting their recorded sales numbers from. But otherwise, it's more confidence building than random numbers out of a database without any trending information.

    I don't know too many brokers with light sport (and especially Sportcruiser / Piper Sport) experience. I guess I might give US Sport Aircraft a call. Not their business to do valuations, but maybe I can pay for their time and insight.
     
  4. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    I bet Stewart would be happy to help anyway.
     
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  5. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Don Johnson ,has a pay site that may be of help.
     
  6. Unit74

    Unit74 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I've bought, sold and bought two planes in three years. Vref was worthless drivel on those transactions. There is no possible way vRef can get values via sales prices. On my FAA form, it said $1 plus other considerations and we used an escrow service for the paperwork.

    On the websites, some planes marinate for months at WTF are you thinking prices while others sell fast, like mine, which was priced aggressively.

    My current plane was bought for 15% less than what vref said it was worth. And it was sold through a broker. He he said I bought it at a fair price for me and the seller. Or in other words, the Goldilocks zone.
     
  7. rtk11

    rtk11 Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Thanks - I think you meant Dan Johnson who does a lot of write ups on LSA? I think Don Johnson was the Miami Vice guy. :p Just giving you a hard time for fun! But I do appreciate the lead!

    Many thanks again, Unit74. I too have seen planes sit on website via brokers for months, approaching a year or more. I almost purchased a Sportcruiser last year through a broker and the difference between asking price and lowest acceptable price was 39%. I have to imagine that the owner got a lot less than that due to the brokerage fees.

    I'll give US Sport Aircraft a buzz this morning to get another data point... but I think I know the number I'm going to extend. It will either insult the sellers, or I will end up with a flyable "project" plane. o_O
     
  8. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Vref is just a swag due to the variables that it can't take account form. That said, I wouldn't exactly call it worthless. If you are doing any kind of financing, it helps to know the Vref value, because that (or similar) is what the bank is going to use to determine how much they are willing to give you.
     
  9. N2124v

    N2124v Line Up and Wait

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    There is an aircraft blue book out there that is subscription based. I think it costs $400 or so a year and it gets sold data from the finance companies/banks.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  10. Vance Breese

    Vance Breese Line Up and Wait

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    I used to own a Harley Davidson motorcycle dealership and we sold used motorcycles for what a customer was willing to pay. It had a lot to do with the condition of the motorcycle and the season.

    In my opinion airplanes are even more that way.

    If you don’t make your living buying and selling airplanes I feel it doesn’t really matter if you paid a little too much or got a particularly good deal.

    It is my observation that operating the aircraft is where the ownership costs are.