Tips to Prepare Your Aircraft for Sale: Interior & Exterior

Tips to Prepare Your Aircraft for Sale: Interior & Exterior

March 4, 2016

The condition of the interior and exterior of your business jet is very important when it comes to selling your aircraft. These are the first things a potential buyer will notice when they come to view the aircraft and leave a lasting impression upon them when they leave. We’ve compiled some questions from our clients to hopefully answer some of the big questions you may have when you are preparing your aircraft for the marketplace.

I want to sell my jet, is there a way to make my aircraft look nice without investing a lot of money?

Have your aircraft management company organize to have the carpet cleaned and the woodwork polished. This sounds simple, but it is a worthwhile effort to have your aircraft looking well taken care of and clean for potential buyers.

Do I need to replace the leather on the seats or the carpet?

We do not often advise replacing soft goods in an aircraft when you want to sell, because it can be expensive and you won’t see a return dollar for dollar on it. However, if the condition is really old or worn down, it is definitely worth considering. While it won’t deliver an increase in price it will probably help your aircraft sell faster (usually equating to better cash realized due to shorter holding costs). First impressions matter and affect a buyer’s mentality towards the aircraft they are viewing. A big downside to replacing seats or carpet is the downtime. If your aircraft is going in for an inspection, this would be the ideal time to have the items replaced if need be.

If your interior is looking quite poor, elderly or strongly abnormal (bright, atypical colours), then replacement of these items may need to be calculated into the sale price. A buyer will need motivation to consider your aircraft that needs interior work over a similarly priced aircraft in better condition.

My exterior paint is not in great condition. Do I need to repaint it?

Often the new owner will want to paint the exterior once they have bought the aircraft, so we rarely recommend repainting to clients. Also, paint jobs are very subjective, so painting prior to sale may end up turning a buyer away who had a particular desired paint design in mind. A simple wash and polish is an effective way to give a good impression at a low cost. Ask your maintenance facility to give your jet a good cleaning. Spending a little money on polishing and cleaning your jet can make a huge difference when showing it to potential buyer. The leading edges and engine intakes have metal parts which deserve a good polishing too, so ask the facility to clean these parts. It gives a good impression to a potential buyer when they can walk up to a shiny aircraft.

I see a lot of aircraft advertising they have WIFI. Do I need to install this to make my jet more sellable?

Our answer is no every time on this. There are many iterations of WIFI and the new owner will probably want to choose the one that suits their needs best. WIFI can be regional specific and the different types vary in speeds (and cost). WIFI will not increase the price of your jet, so it is best to save this money, and the new buyer can install exactly what they want.


These questions have been answered in the broadest sense to apply to the majority of clients. However, each aircraft is unique and the best way to proceed into your sale is to contact us to discuss your specific scenario.


-By Marian Jancarik

Blogs are written from real world experience by Colibri Aircraft’s individuals. If you have any questions or comments about the topic of this blog, please feel free to contact the writer at