Nothing replaces good representation in a business aircraft transaction, including trying to go it alone. It seems that I hear from buyers and sellers in waves contemplating or recovering from just such a decision.
We are going through that wave again right now. It is that wave that says, “I got involved with a transaction that I should have trusted my gut about.” This is a familiar mantra from both buyers and sellers who did not do the proper vetting of a sales professional before they signed on the dotted line to hire them to help with either an acquisition or sale.
What also seems to run in waves is the group of buyers and sellers who try and avoid a commission by relying on themselves to complete a transaction. There are so many nuances that ride just below the surface of a sale or acquisition that are unknown to the novice, including a deep historical and mechanical understanding of the aircraft being considered for purchase.
A good broker will do proper due diligence before ever spending your money on a purchase agreement or a pre-purchase inspection. They also can make sure aircraft specifications are accurate on the sale side to avoid renegotiations and costly mistakes regarding equipment advertised to be on the airplane that may actually not be installed.
After the fourth quarter and continued strong activity in many preowned business aircraft markets and segments, inventory levels are now diminished and sellers can be lulled into thinking all they have to do is answer the phone, get a bidding war going, and sell their airplane. Easy peasy.
If it were that easy, everyone would be doing it. Believe me, it is very complicated to enter into and complete a transaction on an aircraft. We use an internal checklist with more than 100 separate and critical steps to complete either a purchase or sale. As much as I keep looking for that magic wand, it simply does not exist.
Forget the actual aircraft and the complexities that follow that path, how about the complexity of myriad personalities involved in a transaction. Brokers, lawyers, maintenance personnel, and company management of the buyer and the seller. The list goes on and on and if everyone is not working in concert, not only do you not make magic, you don’t make music.
I have always said we are not in the airplane business—we are in the people business, people selling and buying aircraft to and from people. So as we work to come out of this pandemic and get ourselves and our industry back out and about, let’s all remember we are in the buying and selling game together.
If we fail at this juncture, we will fail to make the most of our industry right now. Buyers and sellers will get frustrated and begin to think the problem is the industry itself. I assure you that a business aircraft’s value proposition of allowing users to fly to clients and get out ahead of competitors safely and efficiently will bear the brunt of the frustration. We must help those buyers and sellers who want a transparent and honest transaction to achieve it.
Just the awareness of the need for professional assistance is not enough. It is the actual putting into practice the principles laid out in this blog. This is such an exciting time for us all on many fronts. See you on the playing field.
Jay Mesinger is the CEO and Founder of Mesinger Jet Sales, an international aircraft brokerage firm. With 47 years of successfully buying and selling aircraft, Mesinger Jet Sales has a global reputation for personalized, transparent service.