As an aircraft owner you have three basic options when you choose to sell your airplane:
- Sell your airplane yourself.
- Sell or trade your airplane to a Dealer.
- Select an Aircraft Broker to sell your airplane.
We will explore each of these options realistically with you, suggest why you should select a quality broker to market your aircraft, and finally suggest why Carolina Aircraft, Inc. will do the best job for you if you own a Beechcraft airplane.
Aircraft Brokerage “Let the Seller Beware”: In the USA anyone can sell an airplane. You do not have to have any special training or even a special license to sell an airplane. Anyone with a desk and a telephone can bill themselves as an Aircraft Broker with or without experience or a dealers license and sell an airplane. Like any other business there are excellent brokers and there are those that you should avoid. There are also those who may mean well but who do not have the experience to know what they are doing. Unlike other similar businesses like real estate the Aircraft Brokerage Business is totally unregulated. A broker that does not know what he is doing can often cost you a lot of money and leave you with an expensive learning experience.
Broker vs. Dealer
Aircraft Broker: A broker is an entity that brings a buyer and seller together to sell an aircraft the broker does not own for a commission.
Aircraft Dealer: A dealer buys aircraft for inventory and is also usually an aircraft broker. Carolina Aircraft, Inc. is both an aircraft dealer and an aircraft broker. Dealers typically have the financial strength to purchase aircraft and take trade-ins if necessary to make a deal.
Selling the Aircraft Yourself
Selling the aircraft yourself seems very attractive because you control the deal and you keep all of the money. So, why would you do anything else but sell it yourself?
You would not sell it yourself for the same reason you would not want to trust it to an inexperienced person to sell it. You want results, not expensive lessons to learn how to do something you may only do once or twice in your life. If you are financially stable enough to own an aircraft, your time is valuable. If you plan to fly a customer on a “sales demo” in your airplane you need to check your insurance policy to make sure you are covered. Many companies specifically exclude sales demo coverage.
What could go wrong?
Here are a few examples we have heard from owners who have tried to sell their own aircraft:
- As a favor to one buyer, the seller let him fly the aircraft before completing payment. There was nothing in writing and the prospective buyer had a “Gear Up”. Guess what? He walked away from the deal.
- A long demonstration trip was flown that resulted in no sale and the seller was left holding the bag for all expenses.
- An unscrupulous buyer convinced the seller to bring the airplane for a prebuy to his location. The aircraft was inspected and rejected; however, the seller was faced with the maintenance bill. The owner did not get a deposit and was not reimbursed even for his fuel and pilot expenses.
There are also important factors to consider involving the proper handling of paperwork, sales tax, insurance issues, lien releases, change of title transfer, and contracts that can limit a seller’s future legal liability.
Another negative is the time, distraction, and hassle factor of fielding the calls, separating the time wasters from the real prospects, sending out photos, specifications, brochures, log book copies, showing and professionally demonstrating the airplane, making sure it is clean, and following up with the real prospective buyers in a timely manner. These tasks all have to be done and can rob your time from the business that earned you the kind of money required to own and operate an aircraft. You will probably come out far ahead by concentrating on what you do best and letting a professional who is experienced handle the transaction for you.
You might save money selling the aircraft yourself, however there are extra risks. The real question to answer is, Will the money I might save selling this one aircraft earn more money than I can make doing what I do best, running my own business?
Sell or trade your airplane to a dealer
Time is the major advantage of this option. Carolina Aircraft, Inc. will evaluate your aircraft and make an immediate offer to purchase it for resale if it is a model that we specialize in buying, selling, and brokering. Our offers are subject to a pre-purchase inspection that we can conduct at your location or at our maintenance facility. We take the risk, pay for the maintenance, insurance, hangar, interest, and all of the other expenses associated with ownership. You get your money almost immediately and do not have to hassle with marketing the airplane, having it detailed, or taking any calls.
We usually will pay about 20% less for the airplane than you could get by selling the airplane yourself or through a broker.
If you want your money now, without the hassle of going through the selling process this could be a good option to consider.
Select an Aircraft Broker to sell your airplane
This option is a reasonable compromise between selling the aircraft yourself and selling it to a dealer. In most cases a quality broker can sell the airplane much faster than an owner. You and the broker have the same interest. The broker makes a commission when your aircraft is sold. The higher the price the higher the commission. A broker wants to sell your airplane as soon as possible because he doesn’t get paid until the aircraft is sold.
A quality broker is a marketing expert you trust to act in your best interest. He will report to you regularly. He is like a staff member that works on straight commission, without a salary, without benefits, and doesn’t mind that he will be laid off when the airplane sells. You have the benefit of years of experience working for you, experience you couldn’t hire in any other manner for so short a time period.
You could commit your airplane to a group or an individual only to see nothing get done. The broker ties up your valuable asset and then moves on to other business while waiting for someone to walk in and make an offer on an airplane you want sold.
Things could be worse. Some prospects for an airplane may have already had unsatisfactory dealings with a particular broker. The wrong broker can do some troublesome things like misrepresent the aircraft, improperly handle offers, or waste time and money on unnecessary demonstration flights.
A quality broker can be your best option for getting the most money for your airplane with the least amount of risk and trouble. Brokers, however, need to be examined carefully for competence. A broker who is also a dealer has the financial stability to take trade-ins and can offer some advantages over a company that only brokers aircraft. You should select a broker that has the reputation and experience buying and selling the kind of aircraft you will be selling. A broker cannot be an expert on all aircraft. If a broker has no experience with a particular model he will be learning on your airplane at your expense.
Why choose Carolina Aircraft, Inc.
We invite you to measure us by the same standards you would measure any dealer or broker. You may have your own list of standards, but here are a few we would encourage you to examine:
Carolina Aircraft, Inc. is one of the last dealers in the USA to specialize in Bonanzas and Barons. We sell more of these pre-owned Beechcraft than anyone. We provide more value for your dollar than anyone else.
George Johnson has been selling Bonanzas and Barons since 1977… first as a new Beechcraft salesman and then as owner of Carolina Aircraft beginning in 1991. His father was selling them for Piedmont Aviation before George became an aircraft salesman. Our reputation in the industry has buyers and sellers coming to us when they are involved in buying or selling a Bonanza or a Baron. We have subscribers to our Bonanza and Baron buyers list and Facebook page that want to be notified of every new Beechcraft we get prior to it hitting the market.
Carolina Aircraft, Inc. does more advertising than any other company specializing in Beechcraft Bonanzas and Barons. We keep our ads and marketing efforts updated by using the latest state of the art marketing methods including this web page, email marketing, online aircraft marketplaces, and social media. At Carolina Aircraft we do several things the competition does not do. One example is our YouTube video tours, see this sample video. These Video tours have helped us cut the average time to sell an airplane in half. See a sample here.
We begin with an appraisal of your airplane using industry tools like Vref, Aircraft Dealers Network and our expertise of the market. We compare your airplane to the others on the market to help set a price that is realistic but also guarantees you get market value for your airplane.
If we are allowed to keep your airplane in Greensboro, NC we will keep it hangared and detailed at our expense. Hangar alone can save you hundreds of dollars per month until your airplane is sold. We also manage and exercise the airplane on a regular schedule to make sure it is ready to show and demo paying for the fuel and without charging a management fee. We take care of all demo expenses. Our salesmen are qualified in the airplane as professional demo pilots and know Beechcraft better than anyone other than the factory.
We do more advertising than the average dealer… and unlike a broker, we are a dealer which means that we can facilitate and take trades. This gives your airplane access to more potential buyers. We take quality photos for our ads. We also copy and scan all your logbooks so we can send logbook copies of the airplane out by email to potential buyers.
Our location on the Piedmont Triad International Airport – Greensboro, NC, allows potential buyers easy access to our aircraft via schedule airlines.
We are located in the center of the Landmark FBO building where customers can conveniently visit us to see our aircraft.
We have active buyers for “prime condition” pre-Owned Beechcraft airplanes.
We provide all these services out of our standard brokerage fees.
Since we specialize in Bonanzas and Barons we know the market better than anyone. We put our money where our mouth is by buying these aircraft for our inventory. Our professional sales consultants are trained on how to present and demonstrate the Bonanza and Baron. They have all attended our Bonanza and Baron training schools.
Bonanza / Baron School:
To add even more value we provide the buyer with our Bonanza or Baron School out of our commission. This is a 10 hour ground and flight school taught in his new airplane after he takes delivery. This allows us to get a higher price compared to an airplane without the school and makes the customer feel comfortable dealing with us. Our Bonanza school also protects you and us from liability because the new buyer is completely checked out before he flies away in his new airplane… So we know he is safe.
Creativity is very hard to quantify, however, if you look at this web page, our advertising, and talk with our customers you will get a feel for what we can do for you. We have our own web page plus web pages with several other aircraft advertising sources. Due to our extensive advertising our web pages get thousands of hits every day. We generally advertise in the following written and online publications:
- The Controller
- Aircraft Shopper Online
- Global Air
- The American Bonanza Society Magazine
- Plane Fax
- Aviation Marketplace
- Aircraft Dealers Network
Carolina Aircraft, Inc. has an email newsletter on Yahoo Groups for both the Bonanza and Baron that prospective buyers can subscribe to in order to get immediate notification of new Bonanzas or Barons as soon as they become available and generally before they hit the market. (Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com if you wish to be notified when a Bonanza or Baron is listed.) We also have a company newsletter we send out on a regular basis to keep prospective buyers informed about our new listings and featured aircraft for sale. We have sold thousands of aircraft over the years and have many repeat customers that come back on a regular basis when they are ready to buy or sell an airplane.
We take quality photos, send out photo brochures, create an informative video tour, evaluate your aircraft, and represent it in the best possible manner. We scan your logbooks so we can email them to prospective buyers or mail them a CD with all of your logbook information. We also have detailing services available and relationships with paint and interior shops that can save you money when your airplane needs refurbishing for resale. We will recommend what you should do to make your airplane bring top dollar.
We have a solid reputation in the aircraft industry. The best way to learn about a dealer or broker’s integrity is to ask customers, fellow dealers, competitors and vendors. Trust is a very important thing. It is hard to get but very easily broken. We encourage you to call our references and read some of the unsolicited letters we have received from satisfied customers. Our customers will sell you on Carolina Aircraft, Inc. much better than we can.
If you want to sell a Beechcraft airplane you should strongly consider Carolina Aircraft, Inc. for the job. We are the best in this market niche. We have a solid reputation built on results for satisfied customers. Want to talk to someone on our team? Click here to tell us exactly what you’re looking for.
Our fees are competitive with other dealers in the industry even though we offer more services and value for your dollar. Like other dealers our fees vary depending on the value and selling price of your airplane. The higher the price the lower the fee. Carolina Aircraft has the reputation for selling airplanes faster and for more money than our competitors, because we offer more value for the buyer as well as the seller. Let’s us appraise your airplane and give you a quote.