The idea of an asking price is an interesting conversation in our industry. Some people use them. Others say “Make Offer”. Many people believe that if you just say “Make Offer” a prospective buyer will have to call you to ask about the price and you will have a chance to engage them. We, however, feel strongly that listing an aircraft for sale with an asking price helps a buyer focus on our clients’ aircraft. They help buyers know that our sellers understand the market and have a generally accurate expectation of where their aircraft should sell. I believe that having asking prices helps us elicit more phone calls than not having an asking price. Of course, this only works when the seller really does have a sales price expectation that is aligned with the actual market conditions. And, in fast moving markets, up like in 2006 and 2007 or down, like in late 2008 and 2009, it is hard to set an official asking price because you don’t want to overprice the aircraft or sell it short of what the market might bear.
Buyers regularly call us and thank us for including asking prices with our listings. They appreciate that they don’t have to call, and some are looking online well after business hours, to gain a general understanding of the sellers’ expectations and the market for a given aircraft type. Real buyers, however, do then call and tell us that they have focused on our aircraft because they understand the value proposition and believe it aligned with the market conditions. Even if you don’t publicly list an asking price, you still need to have an answer to the question about an asking price when a prospective buyer calls. There is no definitive answer or guidance, but as a general discussion and idea, I think that stating an asking price helps sell airplanes ahead of the competitive listings.