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Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by calberto, Aug 8, 2015.
What's the hardest part about selling a plane?
Finding a buyer.
Haha perfect. Is it more of a problem of not enough interest in a plane? Or is it that there is a lot of interest, but no serious interest (tire kickers)?
Convincing people that a 50 year old airplane has always been hangared and has no damage history.
Or in the case with our seller, realizing that there are not hoardes of people knocking down doors and remembering that a fair offer is worth two in the bush.
Dealing with tool bags that think because your plane doesn't have a 10k autopilot you need to discount it 30k more - even though you already priced it accordingly.
Or ones that call you up, ask a metric **** ton of questions, keep you on the phone for an hour and then ask about the autopilot which clearly NOT listed in the ad, and then they say, oh I need a plane with an autopilot because myy actual pilot skills suck donkey nards. Hey dip****, if the AP is what the entire purchase hinges on, maybe that should be your FIRST question, not number 47.
Also a fun fact, you can actually buy a plane that's not EXACTLY what you want, and ¡Shocker! You can actually install it after you buy it if it's something close to what you wanted.
Buyers tend to be idiots.
Interest is strictly related to price. The more money you are willing to lose, the more interest there will be.
sounds like a beating
Have you launched your website yet? I remember you came on here a month or so ago asking questions about it. Just wondering is all.
The hardest part was waiting to close as I needed the cash to buy the next one. It took the buyer 7 weeks from date of offer to close. I didnt know it would take that long and I lost another plane I wanted to buy.
Effectively pricing the plane.
Some sellers tend to be idiots.
Every owner was a buyer at some point so he just called every person with a plane, including himself, an idiot.
Dealing with the idiotic buyer, was offered and I accepted $25k for my plane, which was a decent discount, buyer then told broker I accepted $21.5k. Told him not interested, and I was going to relocate the plane 1/2 way across country for expenses only.
Can't tell you about selling as I don't own yet, but I can tell you a little about buying as I am looking for a plane to buy now. The biggest problem is finding an airplane that is really as advertised. I show up and quickly realized the pictures I was sent were taken during the Carter administration, uh, thanks, but no thanks. Next airplane, i show up and half the stack has been removed from what was in the ad. Oh........yeah.........I still have those, you can have them. Next airplane, I drive all day, plane is about 72% of what I was told it was, this is an improvement over what I've seen so far. We talk a while longer and I ask about he logs, OH YEAH.....I forgot to tell you about the time the whole rear section of the plane got chopped up by a hand propped run away. Pencil whipped annuals, plane hasn't flown in 8 years, etc. So the reason us dumb ass buyers ask a million questions is because we have found a significant percentage of sellers misrepresent there airplanes.
That should teach you right there that the only questions you should ask on the phone are "Could you send me a copy of the logs?" and "Where can I see it?" That's all I ever ask on the phone, the rest is just wasting time.
Hardest part for me as a seller....
Buyers want Mercedes Benz equipment at Kia pricing. Then tell YOU how much your plane is worth without ever seeing it first. Favorite quote....
" that G430W really doesn't add any value to the plane because today every plane has one. Besides, it's already outdated and really not that good."
Sounds great in theory, but in the real world, very few people are going to copy and send 40 years of logs. For that matter, very few people will copy and send ANY logs. Of course you can bloviate about how you will just dismiss any airplane that the owner won't do this, but in reality, you just won't buy an airplane. I live in the middle of Alabama, not exactly a hotbed of airplane sales, almost no one is going to send me logs and I am not going to travel to see an airplane without asking the million questions. I am learning what to ask and how to ask so it's really down to about half a million questions now as I learn. That's reality, but you go ahead now and tell me how wrong I am.
Yes sir! It is up and running. I am having a couple of problems with it right now. Listings aren't showing up for some reason. (Great way to end my vacation). Here is the link anyway: airplanebuyersclub.com
Pretty much these days everybody has their logs on PDF, if they don't, that's fine, I'll see them with the plane.
You can ask all the questions you want, the answers are completely worthless. I help at least half a dozen people a year find and buy planes and boats. People lie, pictures lie.
True, but I haven't run into them. Both planes I've bought were wrapped up in less than 3 weeks after I first saw the ad. The first one, he had it priced accordingly based on the equipment. I flew to NC on FF miles, looked it over, prebuyed it and left a deposit on it the same day. Bought a one way and came back 2 weeks later and flew it home.
The second one - I saw the ad - made an offer - it was accepted upon my inspection, and I flew down to Florida cash in hand on a Thursday. Inspected the plane on Friday, everything was as it said to be advertised, and I flew it home on Monday.
Didn't waste anyone's time. Any other planes I've looked at, I started with the deal breaker questions first. Conversations never lasted more than 5 minutes on planes I didn't purchase. I'm not wasting the seller's time when I know to ask the important (to me) questions first. Or don't ask them if it has a G1000 in it when the panel pictures show clearly it's a /U panel and a G1000 is not listed in the equipment list.
Finding a buyer who doesn't want to steal your aircraft.
This. Many sellers have a logical disconnect when it comes to pricing. "Mine is worth more because it is mine." is a common mindset.
I've never sold a plane but when I bought mine the issue I ran into was the same as some have already mentioned: pricing based on the equipment and condition of the plane. When I found mine the price was listed well below what others were asking with similar equipment so I figured something had to be wrong. I called and went through the process and it turned out that it was legit, the owner just wanted to sell the plane at a fair price.
If a seller lists his plane higher than it's worth as a starting point for negotiations, I'm fine with that. But listing it for a ridiculous amount and actually expecting to get it is what I've found to be more common.
My problem is I mostly love them all and don't want to let them go. Still have room for couple more in my hangers!
Thats true, most owners that bought their planes from 1998-2006 are always a little shocked when they find out how little it's worth today. I'll occasionally run across a client who is determined they can ignore the market value and they'll get 25% more than everyone else because their plane is special..
But most pilots I deal with are pretty reasonable,when I can show them recent sales and trends in the market, they usually will price their planes accordingly.
On the Buyer side, guys that have been shopping for quite awhile are quick to recognize a good deal and don't waste everyone's time trying to get a steeper discount. I've had 3 planes recently that were in very good condition, well equipped, and the Sellers priced them below what I recommended. They were all sold within a week to guys that had been looking for several months and had several planes sold out from under them, They all sold within $500.00 of the asking price.
The hardest part of selling a plane is that the Internet is as close to immortality as we get, in this world. I am STILL getting phone calls for the Pathfinder I sold over 2 years ago.
When I listed mine I found all the ones listed for sale with similar aircraft, compared what I had in equipment vs what the others did, and priced it accordingly. Then I'd get the "but I saw this one with an autopilot for $5k less!" Yeah, and it had 500 more hours on the engine, was lacking a 3 blade prop that removed an AD, was lacking tip tanks (a $8-10k add on), and the panel is straight out of 1962. So go buy the one with the autpoilot and let me know how much the upgrades run ya.
This might be true for puddle-jumpers, but anybody looking at serious cross-country machines expects to see the logs.
A few minutes, okay, several minutes with a scanner lets one email the complete logs- Even 40 years worth, to prospective buyers.
Getting full price is the hardest part....
This. Lots of people think *their* car, house, or airplane is worth more than a seemingly identical one offered for sale by someone else. "But mine's worth more because (choose one or more: "I took care of it.", "I've fixed all of the problems.", "I've never had a problem with it.", "I've got $xxx in it.").
And of course, none of the lower priced ones have similar stories behind them. ;-)
I'm sure that wasn't meant to be as condescending as it came across.
I didn't think it came across as condescending at all.
But this thread makes me glad I took the path I did.
I delivered my plane to a broker. He recommended a price (that I thought was too low), too pictures, scanned in the logs, advertised, handled all the phone calls, showed the plane, negotiated the price (he got full price), and faxed me some papers to sign. This took about a month.
Then he found the plane that I described to him that I was looking for in my price range, arranged to have it brought here where an expert mechanic did a prebuy, got the seller to subtract the estimate for the squawks from the prebuy, applied the sales proceeds from the plane I sold so I wouldn't have to pay sales tax on that amount, handled the paper work and we flew away in our new acquisition. I don't even remember what his commission was. I just remember how quick and easy it was. But I do remember that he only charged me commission on the plane I sold, not the one I bought.
In my experience, the biggest challenge for me has been the liquidity of the transaction. It's hard to get rid of these things, from a logistics point of view. My warrior's buyer was a royal PITA. Between the purchase contract, his pre-buy's pushy and opinionated mechanic, weeks of coordinating travel for that guy, then the constant back and forth, then months it took him to secure financing while holding me out with the purchase contract, his securing the escrow company, then me getting the airplane delivered to the mx facility of his choice, then questioning the amount it cost me to procure the one-way rental back to my home, with my pregnant wife in tow, since it required two people as the drop off destination did not have rental locations open on a Sunday and thus required me dropping her off in a different town and have her meet me at the airplane drop off town. That woman is a saint btw.
All that for a 250K cirrus? Sure. I don't mind the hassle when the price is equivalent to that of purchasing a home. But for a 25K warrior actual cash exchanged? Jesus hell no. That was way too much formality, my time at home and work is worth more than that. Never again.
Granted, my situation was compounded by the remoteness of my location, making marketing the airplane difficult to the more aggregate buyer base who actually dwells on the major metros, but still. The price was otherwise adequate and there was no lack of callers. Everybody just wanted to go through this protracted formal purchasing process for the cheapest of airplanes.
By contrast, my buying experience has been much simpler, and of course my sellers weren't complaining. Look at the logs, agree on price contingent on verification of advertised quantity/quality, travel to, fly the plane, decide to buy it, exchange a check, fly home.
There's no way in hell I'm going through the sell kabuki my last buyer put me through ever again. If people want warranties, buy new. As is where is. Buying a toy is not the most important thing I got going on in my life. Life's a risk. Buy, don't buy, I don't care just make a decision and move the f*k on with life. Rate o play rate o play!
When I sold my previous plane, I used AOPA VRef and Trade a Planes, NAAA to establish the price. Ended up selling a for $2K less. Had all the logs scanned so they could be sent, and answered all the questions the eventual buyer asked. He bought it sight unseen after talking to my mechanic who had just annualled it. Took two weeks from first contact to sold, after being on the market for about 3 months.
The Tiger I now own, I bought the same way I sold. Owner sent me the scanned logs, we negotiated a price based upon my calculations from Vref and NAAA. He had it advertised at basically a zero time engine, which it was NOT. Explained my logic to him, and was able to take several thousand dollars off the asking price. I did do a pre-buy and closed the deal in about three weeks, only due to arranging the prebuy.
I've always bought what I could afford and bought the very nicest one I could find in this price range. Seven sold almost immed and I broke even on price, with one making money. The exception was a 195 cessna that I did not have inspected carefully enough, but it could have been much worse. I was lucky in this case. Don't Buy junk, junk is tough to sell. ( some sold word of mouth, the rest , 5 , on TAP.) I sold all with a fresh annual included. Two I arranged delivery, buyer paid.
This all is why I say, "buy your last plane first" or at least the one that is going to do what you need a plane for for the next 10 years. The whole "upgrade plane" method of getting into what you need over a matter of a few years is more expensive than the insurance hit you take on the first year operation of the more capable plane, even if you have to go to Flight Safety to train (since likely you have to anyway even after 500hrs in other stuff, and you will still have a first year hit regardless). Plus there is the value of being up to full capability a couple years earlier.
If I'd bought my last airplane first I would have had a boring hobby. I certainly never would have had a Stearman , a 195 or a mooney. For me this is lousy advise.