Newer avionics and lower-time engines lead the list.

There are lots of airplanes for sale and it’s a buyers market. Brian Jacobson, the Operations Director of the National Aircraft Appraisers Association (NAAA) provides a monthly report to member appraisers regarding the market trends in aircraft sales. Although values are constantly changing, Brian reports that piston aircraft with good paint and interior, modern (read “Garmin”) avionics, and a mid-time engine are selling briskly when the seller price them realistically.

How Not to Set Your Price

How do you know what’s a realistic price for your airplane? You could get a certified appraisal. But why not just set a price above the market value and reduce it gradually until you finally find a buyer?

Here’s why that’s such a bad idea: I recently spoke to a couple who put their Cessna 210 on the market for $60,000 and after twelve months finally agreed to a sale price of $48,000. They paid $50 per month to advertise on Barnstormers but didn’t want to pay the higher price to advertise in Trade-A-Plane. In the meantime they continued to pay hangar rent, insurance, and property taxes on the airplane. That can easily add up to $9,000 over the course of a year. And if you owe money on the airplane there would also be interest expense. Meanwhile, the value of the airplane may be declining.

An Accurate Appraisal Can Lead to a Quick Sale

So once you decide to sell your airplane, it’s best to price it correctly and sell it quickly. If a prospective buyer had come to them during the first month and offered $50,000 how would they know if the offer was reasonable or not? That is why a certified appraisal from an NAAA appraiser becomes so important. For a modest price they would have learned the actual value of the airplane which would have allowed them to price it correctly and sell it quickly. The buyer is going to need a certified appraisal anyway if they choose to finance the airplane and negotiations will be greatly simplified when you produce a certified appraisal.


Aircraft values fluctuate over time, sometimes greatly.
A certified appraisal can make sure you are protected with the proper amount of
insurance. It is invaluable help when you sell, refinance or donate your aircraft to charity.