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Hiring a broker when buying a plane
If you used a broker to buy your plane, was it worth the money? Is the price a flat fee or based on the purchase price. I'm just starting my research.

Thank you!

John
9 Replies
I contacted a broker in the New England area when I was looking to buy a 172.  It was a sliding fee based on purchase price.  In this case it was 6% for planes $50k to $150k and went down as the price went up.  It also called for paying broker expenses (airfare, lodging, etc.) if you wanted them to travel to inspect the plane.  I ended up not contracting him to search for a plane but a few months later he was selling a model slightly older than my target range that I bought.  It took me about a year watching the market to have a feel for what was a good plane at a reasonable price and then a little flexibility in what I wanted.
Thank you!

Eric Breinlinger:
I contacted a broker in the New England area when I was looking to buy a 172.  It was a sliding fee based on purchase price.  In this case it was 6% for planes $50k to $150k and went down as the price went up.  It also called for paying broker expenses (airfare, lodging, etc.) if you wanted them to travel to inspect the plane.  I ended up not contracting him to search for a plane but a few months later he was selling a model slightly older than my target range that I bought.  It took me about a year watching the market to have a feel for what was a good plane at a reasonable price and then a little flexibility in what I wanted.

 

I didn't - however, I did hire professionals to do the pre-buy (Savvy), and used AOPA Legal services to find an attorney to write the contract, and used an AOPA recommended escrow/title company. Transaction itself went very, very smoothly. Much more smoothly than the amount of stomach acid I generated was worth!
Thanks for that!

Peter Whelan:
I didn't - however, I did hire professionals to do the pre-buy (Savvy), and used AOPA Legal services to find an attorney to write the contract, and used an AOPA recommended escrow/title company. Transaction itself went very, very smoothly. Much more smoothly than the amount of stomach acid I generated was worth!

 

Drew Myers
1 Posts
John,

Since I was interested in a Cirrus, my only choice was an individual at KPYM  whose business does a majority of avionics upgrades to Cirrus Aircraft.
My rationale was that through his network, he would know of Cirrus aircraft for sale before they were contracted to a professional broker.
We went to S.C. to see a plane of interest. He inspected areas where deficiencies usually exist, none found...I purchased it in May 2019.
For me, his expense was money well spent.

Drew 
Hi John - it depends -

As the price of the aircraft goes up ie from piston to turboprop to jet a reputable acquiring broker is a good decision - if this is your first purchase (and it sounds like yes) then even more so.  I like the approach Drew Myers posted in the reply below and would add to enlist (and pay for) someone at a type club - for example the Cardinal owner's group or Shortwing Piper group - they can really help avoid potholes -

Lastly, both acquiring brokers and listing (seller's) brokers come in all kinds of flavors: from the reputable, honest, resourceful types, to the snakes in the grass - I've seen them all.  Buying an airplane can be tricky and this part of the industry is not regulated like the real estate market is.  Buyer beware.

Good luck with your purchase

Rich