Buyer 's Checklist
One of the most important elements in the purchase process is the pre-buy inspection. It is the responsibility of the Buyer to assure that the aircraft he/she is buying is as represented by the Seller. The pre-buy inspection should be completed by a Certificated Airframe and Power Plant (A&P) mechanic. The mechanic is hired by the Buyer to represent the Buyer's best interests in inspecting the Seller's aircraft. Normally, the mechanic should have no relationship with the Seller and have never signed off work on the subject aircraft. The Buyer can send his/her own mechanic or hire a mechanic near the location of the proposed purchase.
The Buyer needs to specify how thorough an inspection is desired. Some Buyers will want the pre-buy inspection to be as detailed as an annual inspection. Other Buyers are comfortable with a compression check and a visual inspection of the airframe and engine. As the Buyer, you should be comfortable with the level of inspection to be completed. However, as the Buyer, you are the one paying for the pre-buy inspection.
If the pre-buy inspection reveals something that is an issue, the Buyer and Seller can agree to the appropriate remedy. This may be the Seller making repairs or adjusting the price to offset the issue to the Buyer's satisfaction.
Certified Aircraft Broker:
The pre-buy inspection is an area where having a Certified Aircraft Broker involved can be extremely valuable. The broker can serve as the go between to resolve any issued found during the pre-buy inspection. There are not many things an experienced aircraft broker hasn't seen before so the broker can often suggest an appropriate direction to see that the sale can be completed to the satisfaction of all parties concerned.