Aircraft Buyer's Checklist
Step 5: Put a Deposit Down on the Aircraft
After you have reviewed all available information about the plane and you feel fairly comfortable that
this is the plane for you, it is time to put down a deposit to remove the aircraft from the market.
This will secure the aircraft while you make arrangements for a pre-purchase inspection.
Why put down a deposit?
This tells the seller that you are serious about the plane. You are saying that yes, I have the money to buy the plane
and if it is everything that it is represented to be, I will buy it. This gives you first rights to the plane, meaning
that the plane will not be sold out from under you. A purchase agreement should be signed by both parties, outlining
the terms of the sale. Before sending your deposit money, you should trust the seller or use a third-party escrow company, make sure you understand and agree
to the terms of the sale, and be sure your deposit is refundable. It is common for the seller to retain a small portion
of the deposit, if there were expenses involved, but this should be clearly outlined beforehand. We recommend that you
use an escrow company to handle the transaction, read on to learn more about escrow services can help you.
If you find a plane you like, but you are not comfortable sending money directly to the seller, you can enlist the services
of an Escrow Company. For a fee, an escrow service will hold the money and the aircraft documents until both parties give
authorization for release. Then the money & documents are disbursed to the appropriate parties. Usually the escrow company files the appropriate paperwork with the FAA so you are sure the title gets transferred correctly.
Most Escrow companies that charge for their services are insured by the FDIC. This is not always the case, however; so it is a good idea to verify this before you send your money to a third party.
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