Things to Consider When Hiring an Aircraft Broker to Sell Your Plane
Did you know that the U.S. makes up 49.7% of the world's market for private jets? Are you looking to sell your plane but not sure what to look for in an aircraft broker? Read on to discover the top tips to look for in an aircraft broker.
When you're considering an aircraft broker, it's essential to understand their professional marketing practices. Do they use e-mail, magazine print advertising, postal mail, or other types of marketing? Find out how their marketing differs from other brokers. Are they an active member of their respective niche markets? It is crucial to hire someone who has experience in your aircraft type as that broker may already have established and vetted buyers ready to make an offer. Please make sure they're committed to selling your aircraft and that they are willing to act in your best interest (more on that later.)
A broker should be ready to visit the plane to verify its equipment, condition, and also to generate a proper spec sheet. A professional photographer will go a long way in preparing your aircraft for potential buyers. It's vital to have equipment lists verified, whether there was damage to the plane or not, any repairs or replacements that occurred, and how well done the paint and interior are. Potential buyers will want to know about these different features before they will close on a deal.
Check out How Many Competing Aircraft They Offer
Please take a look at any competing aircraft they currently offer. You don't want to be the lost in a crowd or be one of the numerous like-kind models the broker has for sale. The broker should have active listings with a reasonable amount of exposure time. Be careful of brokers with lists of aircraft for sale without any identifying information. A broker with a signed engagement letter and authorization to sell the plane in writing will provide full disclosure of the aircraft information in marketing.
Knowledge & Experience
Find out how long the private jet broker has been in business and ask them to provide you with a list of recent customers. Find out how many transactions per year they complete. Do they have experience as a maintenance professional or pilot? Do they at least have access to skilled people who do? Are they a member of any industry-recognized associations? Indeed, brokers do not require a license to practice, and there are no government regulations or oversight needed to broker a plane. Associations that promote education and transparency can be viewed as a positive by a potential seller, but that does not mean an independent broker should be looked over. Some of the most ethical brokers in the business enjoy independence from trade associations.
Some brokes aren't able to secure their mandates so focus instead on off-market aircraft. The more brokers or intermediaries involved, the more likely the sale is to fall through. There is no higher red flag to avoid then a broker who has no exclusivity to sell the assets they are marketing. Choose a broker who has exclusive mandates to give your aircraft 100% of their focus. Non-exclusive listing can damage an aircraft's marketability or worse yet make it nearly impossible to sell.
Pay Them After the Sale
If they expect you to pay immediately, that's a big red flag. You'll want to find one who has the agreed commission taken from escrow after completing the sale. Reasonable travel expenses and a retainer can be requested but its not customary. Most brokers will work for a percentage of the sale or a flat fee, and they should always have their fees in writing before the closing to avoid last-minute surprises.
How Many Are Involved in the Sales Process
We have all read horror stories about back to backs. Who is buying the aircraft and more importantly is the broker taking a position with the buyer's money? You will want to have your brokerage agreement include a no back to back clause and that way you know your broker is acting in your best interest, not his own! Check the facts of the company, their other offices, and individuals involved. Ask for references from previous customers.
Hiring an Aircraft Broker
While hiring an aircraft broker can seem time-consuming and overwhelming, follow these tips to find the correct one for you. Are you ready to sell your plane and want to know the current appraisal of your aircraft? Contact us today, and we can give you an accurate appraisal of your plane.