If you own an aircraft but don’t yet have a professional appraisal, you may want to know…How long does an aircraft appraisal take?
If you’ve ever had an appraisal for your home, boat, or similar assets, their processes might still be unclear to you. This can make it even tougher to determine how it varies for aircraft. Most importantly, you want to be sure it won’t take too much time and effort on your part. After all, it can seem confusing if you’re unfamiliar with how appraisals work in aviation.
However, the entire aircraft appraisal process breaks down into 3 main points of conversation:
- Equipment Review
- Current Market
- Sales Comparisons
All of these elements will help to create your 50 to 60-page aircraft appraisal report that you can use for various reasons.
Need an aircraft appraisal? Turn to a team of ASA Accredited Appraisers at VREF.
Save Time & Money By Hiring A Professional Aircraft Appraiser
Be careful when hiring an appraiser, and look out for faux credentials such as a “certified appraiser” or anyone promising an instant appraisal. Your appraisal should be handled by a true professional – an Accredited Senior Appraiser (ASA) – and should be thorough in its entirety.
What A Professional Aircraft Appraisal Should Include
Your completed aircraft appraisal should be:
- Done by a professional appraiser with proven aircraft and market knowledge
- 50 to 60 pages when complete
- Created for the proper entity to use (bank, tax, court, etc.)
How long does an aircraft appraisal take? Regarding timeline, your aircraft appraisal is an estimated two-day process that breaks down into three general steps.
1. On-Site Inspection
Step one is a full day on-site inspection to see what’s been installed in the plane and a look at the fleet to determine what makes the aircraft being appraised unique. This might include finding differences in its:
- Maintenance status
- Optional equipment
2. Market Evaluation
The next step includes your appraiser accounting for the current market. The appraiser may analyze various market aspects, including recent listings, what they sold for, and a review of all sales. They will then apply their findings to the aircraft being appraised using sales comparison formulas to determine its fair market value.
As part of this, your appraiser will also audit all logbooks, reviewing them for damage history or major modifications – not to reveal airworthiness issues.
3. Drafting The Report
The final step your appraiser will take is to draft your report. Again, a complete report will be about 50 to 60 pages and include identified parties and/or the intended users. This may be a bank, underwriter, broker, etc., and, of course, the aircraft owner.
3 Reasons Why Having A Professional Aircraft Appraisal Is Useful
So, why would you ever truly need an aircraft appraisal? Most commonly, individuals receive appraisals for their aircraft for estate planning, divorce, or to maintain proper records.
To get started, you’ll want to start with hiring an American Society of Appraisers (ASA) professional appraiser for your aircraft appraisal. You will also want to work closely with an attorney, financial advisor, and other estate planning team members to implement it into your official plans.
1. Estate Planning For An Aircraft
If you or someone you know has ever been left with a massive undertaking like an estate, vintage car, or other valuable assets with no plan in place, you know just how stressful it can be. This is exactly why including your aircraft in your estate plans is valuable to you and your close family members. Even if you have plans to donate your aircraft, include its appraised value with other official documents so that your family can write it off of their taxes when the time comes.
2. Divide Assets For Divorce
Aside from litigation, the division of assets can be one of the more lengthy divorce processes. If you have an aircraft, you will want to include its value in divorce records as it is typically considered a valuable asset. Like your homes, cars, art, jewelry, and financial accounts, knowing your aircraft’s value will help as you go through various family law matters.
Include your aircraft appraisal in documents that you present to your attorney to help them plan your divorce. Doing so can even assist you in related cases such as premarital or post-nuptial agreements.
3. Insurance & Record Keeping
You already maintain other critical records like logbooks, maintenance documents, receipts, etc. You should also consider including an aircraft appraisal within your maintained documents in the event that you need one for taxes, banking, or other official purposes. This includes its use for government entities like the IRS or within a courtroom. As soon as you have your completed aircraft appraisal, keep it stored safely in a dry, secure location.
The above scenarios are why hiring the right firm for your appraisal makes a difference. Not every supposed appraiser knows how to make an appraisal that’s admissible in court or for other official services. If you have an appraisal that isn’t generated for its respective capacity, you’ll need a new one that is.
VREF Is Your Trusted Aircraft Appraiser Firm
From estate planning and simple record-keeping to dividing assets in a divorce and beyond, a professional aircraft appraisal can be useful in many areas of your life.
However, it’s less important to answer, “How long does an aircraft appraisal take?” than it is to hire the right firm for the job. Because when you truly need an aircraft appraisal, you need the job done the correct way. The last thing you want to do is pay for a “professional” only to find out that you can’t actually use the report you were given.
Our team of ASA Accredited Appraisers has over 27 years of aircraft and engine valuation services under our belt. From warbirds and vintage planes to business jets and more, we have the people, tools, and knowledge you need to acquire an aircraft appraisal you can count on.