Online Evaluation Services - Information You Need To Know
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If you believe that anyone with a "blue book" or aircraft pricing guide can appraise airplanes, you are mistaken. Appraising airplanes is a specialty that can only be done properly when the appraiser inspects the airplane, evaluates it, researches the logbooks and other paperwork, and develops a history of it. It is vital that the appraiser be objective and have no interest in the work at hand.
In the last few years some buyers and sellers have been relying on the online services that they use to "appraise" airplanes. Many problems have resulted, mostly for buyers, when those evaluations turned out to be wrong. They are not intended to be appraisals. They are there to give someone who is looking at an advertisement for a specific airplane an idea of what that airplane might be worth, but they cannot cover all the aspects of appraising an airplane. There are many things that are not properly considered by the online services as well as the blue books. They include damage history, modifications, and other important facts that cannot be addressed by anyone except a professional appraiser. Besides, it is vital that an appraiser do a thorough logbook and record search as part of his job that is not done otherwise. Mechanics conducting prepurchase inspections do not scour the logbooks like we do.
One online service typically runs 10 to 15 percent over realistic values. If that service is used as the gospel during a purchase the buyer will be paying too much for the aircraft (see the above link for more information on online services).
Other buyers accept an appraisal done by a dealer who is brokering or selling an airplane. That one has stung many people over the years. One person paid $16,000 more for his light single engine airplane than he should have. But he trusted the selling dealer who took advantage of him and his lack of knowledge.
Based near Pontiac, Michigan, Great Lakes Aircraft Appraisal works the entire Great Lakes area. Great Lakes Aircraft Appraisal is proud to be a member of the National Aircraft Appraisers Association. The NAAA has established rigid standards of professional practice and conduct that this company lives up to.
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Address: PO Box 785, Union Lake, MI 48387 Phone: (248) 363-3807 FAX: (248) 769-6084
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