AEA Pilot's Guide 2019-2020 - 65

AFTER

they've owned their current airplane so long, they just
want something new."
But no matter what the reason, the upgrade-or-trade
ecision is oin to co e ith a si nificant financial
commitment. It's best to start with a detailed and
honest assessment of what you have and what you
ultimately want.
"You need to know the actual market value of your
current airplane, not your perceived value," Pilkington
said. "Most everyone thinks their airplane is at the top
o the resale al e ran e an the are shoc e to fin
out the truth."
Why is the real value so important? You simply don't
want to put too much money into your dream airplane
and have zero prospect of ever realizing any return on
that investment.
"Some upgrades like avionics are like adding a
swimming pool to your house," he said. "You can spend
$60,000 on the pool and it only adds $10,000 to the
selling price. But if you spend $30,000 on a new bathroom
or kitchen, you'll get a lot of it back at resale time."
"Unfortunately, the economics of aircraft upgrades,
especially avionics, are cruel," said Earl Kessler,
owner of Vast Aviation. "One dollar spent on new
avionics equates to 50 cents or less of added value
a short time after the equipment is installed, and that
doesn't include the cost of installation. You won't get
any of that back at resale.
"I shudder when someone brings their airplane to
me with all the meticulous records and receipts and
asks me to give them a resale value. I know he wants
to get most of his investment back, but it's just not
going to happen."
The $50,000-plus question
How much is your airplane truly worth? Good
question. Sure, you could pour through countless
ads in magazines or websites to determine the actual
value of your airplane, but you'd be basing your
guestimate on what other owners like you are asking.
Better to go to a professional.
"What these owners won't know is how any
particular airplane fairs in the market today. Where
is it in its maintenance cycle? What does an eightout-of-10 interior really mean?" explained Doug Roth,
aircraft sales representative for Duncan Aviation.
"What we as professional dealers and brokers do is go

into the market and realistically determine how that
airplane compares to others in its category.
"We go in and put a value on every line item with
the e ifferentiators en ine propeller an total
time, avionics equipage, inspections, maintenance
ite s e er thin pertainin to an o ner s airplane.
That way, we have an honest market value for that
airplane today.
"If they're looking at trading, we go in and do the
same analysis for the replacement airplane. We take
the added step of comparing all those values against
other like models. Then we add them all up and
compare that to the asking price to see what you can
get for the best price.
"Unlike an owner or prospective buyer, we have
no emotional attachment to either airplane. We take
a purely objective look at their current airplane and
ho it fits their nee s an co pare that to hate er
model they are looking at to see how it meets their
determined goals and at what price."
For example, say you want to move up to a King
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AEA Pilot's Guide 2019-2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AEA Pilot's Guide 2019-2020

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