Time to say goodbye: Selling your aircraft
It’s been your beloved companion, and you’ve had a lot of good times together; but things are different now, and you know it will be best for the both of you to part ways.
But selling an airplane, whether you’re upgrading or downsizing, is not a simple exercise. First, you have to find a buyer—and right now, that’s no easy feat. Many airplanes are for sale. How do you make yours stand out from the rest? Tactics as simple as getting a thorough detailing from a reputable shop, or paying for a title search before you begin the sale, are explained in this article from the April 2004 AOPA Pilot.
When you’re ready to put a price tag on your beloved, set aside your emotions and look at it with a critical eye. You may not mind its slightly faded paint and dated avionics, but those small imperfections can affect potential buyers. Use Vref, AOPA’s online aircraft valuation tool, to set a baseline for a fair asking price. With the economy shaky, you certainly shouldn’t overprice an airplane.
When a buyer is ready to sign on the dotted line, your work is not finished. You then must assemble the paperwork, such as a bill of sale (preferably FAA Form 8050-2). You’ll find a sample aircraft purchase/sales agreement on AOPA Online. Enrollees in AOPA’s Legal Services Plan can have a plan attorney review a sales agreement.
Use the information in AOPA’s Selling an Aircraft subject report to avoid legal entanglements and make the entire process run smoothly. The report walks you through the process, from bill of sale to handing over the keys and logbooks, and includes guidance on paperwork that the new owner is required to provide to the FAA.
If you have questions at any point in the process, call the Pilot Information Center at 800/USA-AOPA weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time.
May 13, 2009