CORPORATE JET INSIDER
Selling Your Aircraft? Choose Your Upgrades Wisely
If you’re considering selling your aircraft and wondering which upgrades are worth investing in, it might be a good time to take a hard look at what makes certain upgrades good ideas and which upgrades make the most sense. The answer is not simple.
Unless you plan to own your aircraft for some time before selling, making significant upgrades doesn’t necessarily equal a return on your investment. What if you’re five to 10 years from selling? Upgrading might make more sense in that case, simply because you’ll have time to enjoy those upgrades. This time frame helps offset upgrade costs.
Keep in mind that — while it may be necessary to upgrade some things to help differentiate your aircraft from others on the market — in most cases, the upgrades won’t impact the sale price enough for you to recoup your investment. The following are some of the many upgrades you may consider.
- Carpet — Ideally, you should replace your carpeting every two years, as potential buyers will notice it immediately and may be put off if it’s worn or dirty.
- Seating — Reupholstering is a quick way to improve the look of the interior and should be done if the coverings are extremely worn or outdated.
- Soundproofing — This is an expensive upgrade that’s unlikely to increase the value of the jet enough to recover the cost. Do you plan on using the plane for a few more years? It may be worth considering based on your specific needs.
- Entertainment systems — Entertainment systems are not necessary, and the advent of streaming video has made these expensive systems less important.
- Satellite or broadband connectivity — This is one of the most expensive upgrades — and one of the most expected. Consider adding connectivity a few years before selling.
- 110-volt power outlets — Nearly all new aircraft have 110-volt outlets and nearly all buyers expect them on preowned jets. They’re not cheap but could be a critical selling point.
- Avionics — Avionics upgrades almost never recoup investments. However, if you plan to keep the plane for a while, upgrade based on your needs.
- Exterior — If your exterior is in bad shape, a fresh coat of paint may mean the difference between a sale and being unable to sell. However, don’t expect to recoup the entirety of the investment; instead, recognize that it will likely speed up your sale.
Like homes, prepare jets before you sell. If you haven’t upgraded the interior in a while, it may be required to sell the aircraft. But some of the more expensive upgrades don’t make sense when preparing to sell a plane — unless you’re forward-thinking and don’t plan to sell until a few years in the future.