4 Tips for Buying a Domain or Website

Selling real estate is a difficult task, and it makes no difference whether that real estate is up the street from your current home or somewhere on the internet. Some domain names are worth more than a house and when it’s being sold the buyer wants to make absolutely sure they’re going to get what they’re rightfully owed. If you’re currently in the market to buy or sell a domain, utilize the tips below to make sure everything goes smoothly. Keep in mind, much like a house, you might not start to discover cracks in the foundation until after you move in. Whether you’re completing a website or domain sale for $500 or $5 million, take the proper precautions before entering into a deal. It’s much better to get all the kinks worked out ahead time in order to save yourself headache further down the road.

As a seller, you’ll want to do some good housekeeping before listing your website for sale. The same doesn’t really apply to domains by themselves since the buyer is only getting one thing. However, for website sellers you should plan on putting together a clear, concise listing. Buyers will want to make sure they have all the necessary information and can follow through before committing to any sale. The tips below can help you identify any key problems before they happen and can also provide some assistance with website exchanging.

Use a Certified Escrow Service – Always use an Escrow service when transferring a domain or website. Most trusted marketplaces (such as Flippa, GoDaddy, Sedo, and Afternic) offer in-house Escrow services. But, if you’re dealing one-on-one with a potential buyer or seller then you can always use escrow.com who is both 100% trusted and certified. Escrow is the safest and easiest way to protect both the buyer and seller. The buyer makes a payment to the Escrow provided and then will receive their asset with time to review it. Payment is not issued to the seller until the asset has been transferred and inspected by the buyer. Sites like eBay do not use Escrow services which can make them dangerous for any intangible product, such as a domain or website. With that in mind, for the safest possible transaction you should always use a certified Escrow provider.

Always Do Your Homework – Make sure to do your homework before you ever place a bid or make an offer. Look for exaggerations and important details that might have been left out. Fact-check every single detail of the agreement and report sent to you by the buyer or seller. That means you should review detailed stats and analytics reports, especially when it comes to traffic and revenue. As a rule of thumb, the higher the asking price, the more detail and documentation should be included. All numbers should be verified and checked upon receiving them and if they aren’t provided you should always ask for them. This may sound like common sense, but you’d be surprised at how many people just take a seller at their word.

Learn About Website Upkeep – Before you purchase a new website make sure you understand what kind of upkeep will be involved. Is it something you’ll be able to handle yourself, or will need to outsource? How much of your time is going to be required for upkeep? What kind of platform does the website run on, and is it one you’re familiar with? These are all important questions you need to consider. If the seller isn’t willing to assist you once the sale is complete then you’ll want to be certain you know everything that you’ll have to do in order to keep things the same once it’s in your possession. Running a website differently then the previous owner could result in drops of both traffic or revenue.

It’s About the Domain/Website, Not the Company – Whether you’re buying or selling, the main feature of the listing and transaction should be the website itself, not the person behind the curtain. Sellers should be listing the assets of the site and not themselves. If what you’re buying or selling is a domain name or website, make sure it can remain successful after it switches owners. That means you should always ask yourself: Is this site a success, or is the person running the site a success? Believe it or not, the two are often not mutually exclusive.