Partner Feature

Why Do I Need a Broker When Buying or Selling a Citation?

by Dan Hartley Jet Sales

A business jet transaction is a very complex and detailed process. I can’t express how incredibly important it is to have an experienced professional, with expertise in the type of aircraft you are buying or selling, to help guide you through the process.

No one knows my plane better than me. Am I not the best person to sell it?

  • Although I can certainly understand that logic, an experienced broker will spend some time with you and your plane, inspecting the logbooks, understanding its history, getting to know the avionics, options, and performance specific to your aircraft. This way, he or she can talk with prospects about it as if it were their own.
  • I’d venture to say that the majority of jet owners don’t represent themselves when buying or selling their home, or when acquiring or merging with a new business. So why do it on a multi-million-dollar transaction as crucial as their aircraft? It’s not that they don’t have the business acumen to do so, but I like to think our clients’ time can be better spent on their own successful business while allowing us to handle all the tedious details of the transaction.

Is the sales commission really worth it?

Yes. Without a doubt.

  • Assuming you hire a broker who specializes in the type of aircraft you’re buying or selling, the amount of money you save throughout the price negotiation, contracting, and pre-purchase inspection process will more than make up for the commission paid.
  • I assure you that there are countless ways a transaction can go sideways. Any of these can cost tens of thousands of dollars, or possibly blow the whole deal.
  • How much is your time worth? Consider the sale of your plane. Every transaction involves countless hours of marketing planning and production, answering phone calls at all times of day, responding to prospect emails, and qualifying the real buyers from the tire kickers. Once a buyer is found, the actual process begins…contract negotiations with the other party, coordinating details of the pre-purchase inspection with the inspection facility, preparing documentation for closing along with a host of other items that come up with each transaction.
  • Each deal is unique and presents its own set of challenges and opportunities for our clients to save (or lose) a lot of money. Your experience is mostly dependent upon the knowledge of your broker with that particular type of aircraft. An experienced broker will have been involved in countless pre-purchase inspections on your type of aircraft, knowing precisely what to look for and how to best save you money immediately and in the long run.

In most transactions, there are sales professionals on both sides. I’ve said for the last few years that there is no longer such a thing as an easy deal. There will likely be times when both sides don’t agree, and it’s the experience, existing relationships with maintenance facilities and other brokers, and a mutual desire of everyone involved that helps bring the deal to a successful closing.

Dan Hartley Jet Sales specializes in the sale, brokerage and acquisition of the Cessna Citation line of business jets, with a strong focus on the Citation 525 and 560XL products. Based in Columbia, SC, with additional offices in Kansas City, MO, London, England, and Belo Horizonte, Brazil, we are well-positioned to serve our clients throughout the U.S., Europe, and South America.