What is an aircraft broker?

I have been asked countless times if I am an aircraft broker. I am not. I’m actually an acquisition agent, also called a buyer’s rep. But what is an aircraft broker exactly?

I have been asked countless times if I am an aircraft broker. I am not. I’m actually an acquisition agent, also called a buyer’s rep. 

What is an aircraft broker exactly?

There are several different types of brokers or representatives, and knowing the difference and what role one plays in an airplane deal is important. Here’s a detailed explanation of the different folks typically involved in the sale of an aircraft and what their role is.

An Aircraft Broker is someone who acts as a middle-man in an aircraft transaction. In the purest sense of the word broker, someone acting in this capacity has no allegiance to the buyer or seller and is usually making a profit in the middle of the transaction.

A Listing Agent or Listing Broker is (often referred to as a broker) someone or a company whose primary business is listing, on an exclusive basis, aircraft for sale that belong to someone else. They may also “broker” aircraft as described above, but their investment in a physical office, a website, and their ability to attract legitimate aircraft listings makes them a listing agent.

An Acquisition Agent, Buyer’s Agent or Buyer’s Rep is a buyer’s agent who works for the buyer and represents the buyer in the purchase of an aircraft. A legitimate buyer’s agent will only work on an exclusive basis with a signed mandate from the buyer. Most, but not all, will charge an up-front retainer for their services and then work either on a flat fee or a percentage basis. A buyer’s agent should not accept payment or consideration from the seller of an aircraft.

A Broker / Dealer or sometimes “stocking dealer” refers to a company who actually owns or has inventory on the floor in a physical location. The actual dealer who has his own aircraft for sale is much rarer than in years past. The high cost of carrying inventory and the lack of available floor-planning have caused many stocking dealers to become listing agents. The broker / dealers who remain typically sell their own aircraft and list aircraft for sale. Companies like Gantt AviationElliott Aviation, Ogara Jets and Dallas Jet International are examples of stocking dealers.

There is no requirement for a broker to represent either party. In fact, many aircraft are sold from individual to individual with a simple agreement and an FAA Bill of Sale.

If you are planning to sell an airplane, you can do so yourself or contact a listing agent with good credentials. If you need guidance in finding the right listing agent for your type of aircraft, give us a call. We know most of the broker / dealers, if not personally then by reputation. Plus, we have the ability to look at their recent sales and determine which listing agent is in the best position to sell your airplane. 

If you are looking for a buyer’s agent, give us a call. We specialize in certain aircraft and, depending on what you intend to buy, we can either provide you the guidance needed or refer you to a buyer’s rep who can! 


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