In browsing Trade-a-Plane for my dream (light GA) ride, I often note the TBO (Time Before Overhaul) for an aircraft in relation to its asking price. Obviously, the more time left before an overhaul is due, the greater the value of the airplane compared to one that is near or beyond its overhaul due date (hours).
I've always assumed this was an airworthiness item, meaning the aircraft was illegal to fly if it was overdue for a major overhaul. But now I'm not so sure. I've seen aircraft advertised as having a relatively recent top overhaul while being overdue for a major overhaul and I've seen a couple advertised that were overdue with no recent work done. Is a GA aircraft legal to fly if it's overdue for maintenance, and what are the exact rules for this?