As a Seller, How Do I Make My Aircraft Transaction Go Smoothly?

How can you make the sale of your airplane go as smoothly as possible? Transparency, good communication and preparation.

Start by having an A&P go through your maintenance logbooks and point out what could go wrong with the sale based on what they see. You may not know what’s in your books. Maybe when you purchased the airplane, you trusted your A&P to go through the books. Now you’ve had the airplane, say, three years, so you need to get a good picture of what’s in those books before you negotiate the sale.

Don’t cut it too close from a timing perspective. A potential buyer who has financing in place will want to move quickly.

If you need the money from this airplane to get you into another plane, give yourself extra time. A sale can slow down for reasons beyond your control. Things can go wrong on aircraft transactions; it’s just the nature of the business.

If you’re a seller and you still owe money on your bank loan, alert that lender a fair bit in advance that you are going to need the lender’s lien release sent to your escrow company. It’s important to find out how much expertise your bank has in this area. Banks that are not familiar with aircraft financing don’t want to sign over a lien release before they get paid. Typically, smaller banks are unfamiliar with the process. Even some larger banks don’t have much experience with lien releases for aircraft. This unfamiliarity can slow the process down if you’re not seeking a loan with a lender versed in aviation financing.

That’s where the clear communications piece comes in. Everyone’s got a lot invested and is working together to get a deal done. Remaining calm generally helps move the process along. Keep in mind that things will no doubt come up that will disrupt the timing. Staying flexible and adapting to changes will help ensure that you have a smooth sale.

Great advice. Great rates. From helpful and responsive reps you can trust. Three good reasons to turn to AOPA Aviation Finance when you are buying or refinancing an airplane. If you need a dependable source of financing with people who are on your side, just call 800.62.PLANE (800.627.5263), or click here to request a quote.

Adam Meredith
Adam Meredith
President of AOPA Aviation Finance Company
Adam Meredith, the longtime president of AOPA Aviation Finance Co., died after a long battle with cancer in December 2023. He is remembered for his passion for helping fellow pilots, leading a team devoted to putting flight training and aircraft ownership within everyone’s reach.
Topics: AOPA Aviation Finance Co, AOPA Products and Services, Ownership

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