Pedigree Maintenance – the kind of maintenance done by a shop that has a solid reputation and that specializes in your type of airplane – can make a big difference when it’s time to sell. 

Why?

Perceptions.

I was having lunch with a good customer and friend today and we were discussing his recent Piper Mirage acquisition.  “I sure hope you take your new plane to one of the top Malibu/Mirage shops at least every other annual,” I said.  “It can make a big difference in the sell-ability of your plane when the time comes.”

He nodded.

A specialized shop understands the intricacies of your make and model.  They see enough of them to be able to identify trends and spot irregularities long before your local mechanic may notice anything is wrong.  And they’re good at predicting and warning you about potential squawks based on the way you operate your aircraft.

Sure, your local guy may be the best in the business.  Everyone likes to think their guy is better than everyone else’s.  That’s natural.  But your guy probably isn’t known anywhere else, may not have done extensive training for your plane, and may not have the resources to have multiple eyes look at your plane during a single inspection.  How much billable time do you want him to spend learning on your plane anyway?  However, “specialized” doesn’t necessarily mean “factory authorized” or “service center.”  Many of the best shops have no OEM affiliation.

While it may be overkill to take your plane to the specialty shop for each and every maintenance event, it should net you a quicker sale (and time means money) when future buyers see the work has been done by someone with widespread acceptance and experience.

In this case, perception is everything.