It is highly advisable that you have a qualified maintenance shop or aircraft mechanic thoroughly inspect an aircraft prior to purchase. If you are borrowing money, most aircraft lenders will require a copy of the inspection report prior to closing on an aircraft loan. The obvious items that usually “Make or Break” a sale are: undisclosed damage history, corrosion, missing aircraft maintenance logbooks, metal particles in the engine, low cylinder compression(s), engine close to or over recommended manufacturer life (TBO), aircraft out of Annual Inspection, poor overall maintenance, overdue Airworthiness Directives (AD’s), inoperable avionics, etc.
Generally, once the inspection is completed, the buyer and seller re-group and discuss what impact on the sale the inspection has and who will pay for what, and in some instances, whether or not to proceed with the sale. In many cases, buyers opt to have the price reduced by the estimated dollar figure for repairs and preform a fresh Annual Inspection to include items noted. If you are financing the aircraft, lenders will require all major repairs and airworthiness items be repaired prior to closing on the loan.