Inevitably, the pre-buy evaluation will find some things that are broken. This is completely normal; many used planes are decades old. With how many defects exist in brand new machines, it’s hardly surprising to find defects in a machine that remembers Eisenhower.

But be that as it may, you still need to do something about those discrepancies. The most common solution is to have the seller resolve them. This is appealing because it shifts a headache onto the seller. It also makes the negotiation a bit easier for you because you don’t need to estimate how large a reduction you should demand for each discrepancy.

However, if most of the discrepancies are things you don’t mind then it might be worth taking the plane as-is, getting the critical things fixed, and letting the other things ride. For instance, suppose the mechanic report says that COM2 radio is inop, the tape deck is broken, and the autopilot doesn’t seem to be connected to any nav sources. The COM2 radio is a huge bummer, but depending on your needs the other things aren’t the end of the world. In this situation, you might be better off using all three discrepancies as leverage to get the cost knocked down, but then only fix the Com2 radio. Note that for this to work in your favor, you need to be a fairly good negotiator.

You also might want to consider the impact to the delivery timeline. Let’s say the evaluation turns up a couple of airworthiness items and a horde of cosmetic issues. Even if the owner is open to fixing everything, you might only want them to fix the airworthiness items and knock some off the price for the rest, rather than wait weeks for the minor things to get sorted.