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AOPA drops VREF


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As a further example of the diminishing benefits of AOPA - they no longer offer VREF as a benefit! That really sucks because I'm airplane shopping and VREF has always been a good guide (although not always accurate of course).

Anyone have any ideas how to get airplane valuations without spending a fortune?

 

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While Jimmy's guide is helpful (though not sure when it was last updated), and Vref was nominally interesting, I've never really understood these "What's it worth?", and "How do I value it?" questions... at least not for common airplanes in the modern era of everything being advertised online.  At the risk of coming off as a jerk, they seem lazy.  Anyone thinking about dropping 6-ish figures on an airplane shouldn't be daunted by reading ads and typing some stuff into a spreadsheet.

As I write this, there are 99 Mooneys listed for sale on controller.com: 9 Acclaims, 17 Ovations, 1 Eagle, 10 Bravos, 1 L model, 22 K models, 25 J models, 7 F models, 2 E models, 4 C models, and 1 B.  Plenty of data to understand ballpark market value.  Pick your model of interest, narrow a bit by engine time or avionics or whatever; drop the highest and lowest, average the remaining ones, subtract 10% or so to differentiate asking vs. selling price, and you've got a general answer.  That general answer doesn't necessarily apply to a specific airplane you might make an offer on, but Vref wouldn't do that for you either.  Indeed, I suspect at least part of the reason AOPA is dropping Vref is that fewer and fewer people need or care about it.

If you don't like Controller.com, look at Trade-a-plane, Aerotrader, etc.  Heck, just go look at Jimmy's inventory directly: https://www.gmaxamericanaircraft.com/inventory/?/listings/for-sale/aircraft/13?dscompanyid=6946&dlr=1&settingscrmid=614667.  It's not like aircraft prices are some closely guarded secret you can only find through dedicated valuation services.

 

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The fun for these calculators…

Is most often when trying to determine which Mooney you can afford, based on the budget number you have to work with…

 

If I have 75amu to spend on a Mooney… do I look for one with two GTNs or an engine OH?   :)

 

then when your insurance is getting renewed…. Click through all of the boxes, add up the final score… update the value of the airplane to insure it properly…

 

trying to use big data crunches, based on advertised values, sounds pretty challenging…. Even the known hardware costs, don’t cover installation cost.

Jimmy used to print the basic calculator in the monthly MAPA magazine…

There is another Mooney mag around here that may have a price calculator in a similar way….?

 

Best regards,

-a-

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6 hours ago, carusoam said:

then when your insurance is getting renewed…. Click through all of the boxes, add up the final score… update the value of the airplane to insure it properly…

This is what I use vRref for. I’m not doing a market comparison to buy or sell an airplane, just want to be sure that my hull value is in the right ballpark. I have found vRef very useful for this, and it gives me a historical reference for why I picked a certain hull value at a certain point in time. 

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12 hours ago, NickG said:

As a further example of the diminishing benefits of AOPA - they no longer offer VREF as a benefit! That really sucks because I'm airplane shopping and VREF has always been a good guide (although not always accurate of course).

Anyone have any ideas how to get airplane valuations without spending a fortune?

 

Go to Vref.com and for AOPA members they will send you a link to reset your password and you’ll have access.

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2 hours ago, LANCECASPER said:

Go to Vref.com and for AOPA members they will send you a link to reset your password and you’ll have access.

These is no more free access to vref for AOPA members. It’s not a password issue.

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11 hours ago, Vance Harral said:

While Jimmy's guide is helpful (though not sure when it was last updated), and Vref was nominally interesting, I've never really understood these "What's it worth?", and "How do I value it?" questions... at least not for common airplanes in the modern era of everything being advertised online.  At the risk of coming off as a jerk, they seem lazy.  Anyone thinking about dropping 6-ish figures on an airplane shouldn't be daunted by reading ads and typing some stuff into a spreadsheet.

As I write this, there are 99 Mooneys listed for sale on controller.com: 9 Acclaims, 17 Ovations, 1 Eagle, 10 Bravos, 1 L model, 22 K models, 25 J models, 7 F models, 2 E models, 4 C models, and 1 B.  Plenty of data to understand ballpark market value.  Pick your model of interest, narrow a bit by engine time or avionics or whatever; drop the highest and lowest, average the remaining ones, subtract 10% or so to differentiate asking vs. selling price, and you've got a general answer.  That general answer doesn't necessarily apply to a specific airplane you might make an offer on, but Vref wouldn't do that for you either.  Indeed, I suspect at least part of the reason AOPA is dropping Vref is that fewer and fewer people need or care about it.

If you don't like Controller.com, look at Trade-a-plane, Aerotrader, etc.  Heck, just go look at Jimmy's inventory directly: https://www.gmaxamericanaircraft.com/inventory/?/listings/for-sale/aircraft/13?dscompanyid=6946&dlr=1&settingscrmid=614667.  It's not like aircraft prices are some closely guarded secret you can only find through dedicated valuation services.

 

Yes, obviously one can go to the listing and see what people are asking. VREF provides a good data set to add to the analysis.  I have used VREF a tool (amongst others) in the last few planes purchases I've been involved with and its been very helpful in setting some general parameters. A shame to lose it. 

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AIRCRAFT VALUATION
Our previous service is no longer available.

We are currently evaluating a new member benefit to bring to you soon.

Seems they are replacing it

 

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On 4/3/2024 at 9:54 AM, NickG said:

These is no more free access to vref for AOPA members. It’s not a password issue.

It’s probably that VRef dropped AOPA. I never understood why VRef would want to give it away and lose the perceived value of their data. 

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The fact that there are 99 mooneys for sale, many of which have been listed for quite a long time, eludes to the fact that they aren’t worth what people selling think they are. 
 

looking at what’s listed tells you nothing. 
 

looking at recent sales does. But that data isn’t as easy to get. 

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8 minutes ago, Aviationist said:

The fact that there are 99 mooneys for sale, many of which have been listed for quite a long time, eludes to the fact that they aren’t worth what people selling think they are. 
 

looking at what’s listed tells you nothing. 
 

looking at recent sales does. But that data isn’t as easy to get. 

Exactly. Garrison has some insight into transaction prices.  Asking prices are all over the place. I have a friend that routinely sent me listings for 80 and 90k Cherokee 140s last summer.  He finally purchased a reasonably equipped Cherokee 140 locally for under 40K.  There are still plenty of those 80-90k 140s for sale, but I am not sure who if anyone is buying.

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16 hours ago, KSMooniac said:

If you're shopping for a Mooney, you would do well to contact Jimmy Garrison and get his valuation guide.  

According to Jimmy (I just spoke with him) he only goes up to the K models (Im looking for an M or an R and he hasnt updated it in quite some time. 

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2 hours ago, Aviationist said:

The fact that there are 99 mooneys for sale, many of which have been listed for quite a long time, eludes to the fact that they aren’t worth what people selling think they are. 
 

looking at what’s listed tells you nothing. 
 

looking at recent sales does. But that data isn’t as easy to get. 

Exactly, which is no different than 127 Cessna 182s for sale on Controller.

People can ask whatever they want but it’s only when a buyer who is willing to pay what seller is willing to sell something for, that a sale takes place.

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41 minutes ago, LANCECASPER said:

People can ask whatever they want but it’s only when a buyer who is willing to pay what seller is willing to sell something for, that a sale takes place.

 

3 hours ago, Aviationist said:

looking at what’s listed tells you nothing. 

It tells you nothing?  On the contrary, it tells you a heck of a lot.

This idea that asking prices are completely divorced from the reality of sales prices only has merit when N is small.  It's a fair point if you're talking about the single Hawker Sea Fury for sale on Controller; but not for, say, an M20J.  The dozens for sale on Controller/TAP/whatever have a price range that is almost perfectly linear with engine time, and it's extremely unlikely anyone is selling an equivalently aged model for half the price advertised on those sites.

The reason is that some very healthy percentage of people advertising airplanes and RVs and other toys actually want to sell them, and will move asking prices as needed to do so.  Sure, you get the occasional weird outlier ("Of course the airplane is for sale, honey!"), and that's why the asking price for that Sea Fury isn't meaningful.  But I'll say it again: Mooneys are not special exotics.  There are enough of them on the market that asking prices on the for-sale sites are a fine way to estimate current values.  That's the only place Vref and similar tools can get data anyway, so it's not like those tools have some special edge that individuals don't.  Even brokers who give you valuation advice are not going to disclose exact sales prices to anyone other than the buyer and seller of a particular transaction, because doing so would kill their business.

None of this is to say that an extremely casual buyer can't occasionally be successful with a lowball offer, or that an extremely casual seller can't wait years until a sucker comes along.  But for people who are actually serious about buying or selling a Mooney in a timely manner, everything you need is on the for sale sites.  That'll be true until the inventory gets so scarce that there aren't enough data points for the market to be rational.

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1 hour ago, Vance Harral said:

 

It tells you nothing?  On the contrary, it tells you a heck of a lot.

This idea that asking prices are completely divorced from the reality of sales prices only has merit when N is small.  It's a fair point if you're talking about the single Hawker Sea Fury for sale on Controller; but not for, say, an M20J.  The dozens for sale on Controller/TAP/whatever have a price range that is almost perfectly linear with engine time, and it's extremely unlikely anyone is selling an equivalently aged model for half the price advertised on those sites.

The reason is that some very healthy percentage of people advertising airplanes and RVs and other toys actually want to sell them, and will move asking prices as needed to do so.  Sure, you get the occasional weird outlier ("Of course the airplane is for sale, honey!"), and that's why the asking price for that Sea Fury isn't meaningful.  But I'll say it again: Mooneys are not special exotics.  There are enough of them on the market that asking prices on the for-sale sites are a fine way to estimate current values.  That's the only place Vref and similar tools can get data anyway, so it's not like those tools have some special edge that individuals don't.  Even brokers who give you valuation advice are not going to disclose exact sales prices to anyone other than the buyer and seller of a particular transaction, because doing so would kill their business.

None of this is to say that an extremely casual buyer can't occasionally be successful with a lowball offer, or that an extremely casual seller can't wait years until a sucker comes along.  But for people who are actually serious about buying or selling a Mooney in a timely manner, everything you need is on the for sale sites.  That'll be true until the inventory gets so scarce that there aren't enough data points for the market to be rational.

But there must be a lot of unmotivated sellers out there because there are a lot of planes for sale for over a year on the Internet and haven’t moved. The Price hasn’t come down and buyers haven’t bought it for that so I would agree that for the most part asking prices are completely divorced from reality of actual value. The good airplanes that are priced right disappear. In fact, you might even say they wouldn’t even make it to the Internet because the people that know about the airplane locally would buy it. There’s a few planes around here that way. 

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I would be interested in knowing how long the different aircraft have been listed on controller.com and barnstormers (and others).    That would be a very useful metric if trying to figure out the true value of an aircraft.

If a plane has been on controller for 300 days, it's value is probably less than the listed price.   Although there could have been a dozen buyers do prebuys and find something not listed on the ad as a strong negative and walked away, so the advertised price might actually be close to the value if the other aspects of the plane were 'as expected'.

If a plane came onto the website and disappeared 2 weeks later, the value could very well be at or above the listed price.  No guarantees though.

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With the exposure that Controller has, if an airplane has been listed 60 days and hasn’t sold, the price needs to be adjusted, and then if it hasn’t sold in another 60 days it should be adjusted, etc. Airplanes that are priced right currently, go under contract within 30 days.

In a very hot market like in 2021-mid 2023, if it had been listed 30 days and hadn’t sold, the price needs to be adjusted, and then if it hadn’t sold in another 30 days it should be adjusted, etc. Airplanes that were priced right in that market went under contract within 2 weeks.

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On 4/4/2024 at 12:52 PM, LANCECASPER said:

With the exposure that Controller has, if an airplane has been listed 60 days and hasn’t sold, the price needs to be adjusted, and then if it hasn’t sold in another 60 days it should be adjusted, etc. Airplanes that are priced right currently, go under contract within 30 days.

In a very hot market like in 2021-mid 2023, if it had been listed 30 days and hadn’t sold, the price needs to be adjusted, and then if it hadn’t sold in another 30 days it should be adjusted, etc. Airplanes that were priced right in that market went under contract within 2 weeks.

My airplane went from listed to sold (closed) in under 2 weeks. :D

And mine was not the only offer.  But I had deposit money in escrow and financing in place, so could jump on it.

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The ironic part is that Jason Zilderbrand from VREF was on the AOPA podcast within the last two weeks.  It seems like something suddenly changed.  I don’t think they would have had him on if there was any acrimony in the corporate relationship at the time.  

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Just for the heck of it I looked at the Bravos for sale on Controller.  There wasn't one I would even begin to consider.  A lot of "cheap" people who upgraded their airplane in a manner not befitting the capability of the Bravo.  Most prices were ridiculous for the crappy avionics in the planes.

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