By Karen Evans
For most, selling a website can be a tough decision. But the decision to sell is, more often than not, the right one, especially if you are having trouble keeping the business afloat or just want to move on to bigger things.
Once you’ve made the decision to sell, you want to make sure you do it safely, for there are ways you can easily be scammed or ripped off.
We have five tips for you to help you avoid such risks and to sell your site safely.
Sell through the proper channels
You want to make sure that the agreement and transaction go through the proper channels—there are way too many scammers in the market that don’t end up paying.
It is much harder to track and get money from an individual you mostly interact with online, so rather than taking a risk, selling your website through a third-party is a wise choice.
Your options for doing this are as follows:
- Auction: For smaller websites, usually under $20,000, auction sites are the ideal option. Flippa is commonly used and has decent reviews. They mediate the sale to decrease the chances of a scam.
- Broker: For a website worth over $100,000 a website broker is your best bet. The broker handles all aspects of the sale, from getting you a buyer, the paperwork, to the payment, making the whole process much easier for you.
- Investment bank: For a website worth millions of dollars there are investment banks that help with the sales process. At this level, you really want to be ensuring your sale is handled by such larger institutions.
Have a contract ready and don’t commit until it is signed
Don’t get too excited or act hastily once you get buyers to bite and show interest in your website. One of the easiest ways to get scammed is to be too eager to sell and not have all the paperwork in order.
Selling a website involves thousands or even millions of dollars. There will be buyers that may commit but want to back out towards the end of the sale. This not only will end up wasting your time but also lead you to drop other potential buyers.
From the moment a buyer shows interest, you can start negotiating the price and send them the contract of sale, which will also specify the necessary terms of the agreement.
Don’t agree to a deal until the contract is signed. This way, if they do decide to back out at the end, you can keep their deposit, which is highly likely to be a clause within the contract.
Have your website in order
One of the best ways to avoid getting ripped off or receiving low ball offers is to ensure your website is in its optimal state before you put it up for sale.
There is no way you can expect to get your asking price for a website that performs poorly in SEO or doesn’t generate much traffic. You also need to eye-catching and engaging calls to action.
Lastly, you want to make sure you have a diverse approach to lead generation, such as social media and an integrated blog.
Meet the buyer
This may not be an ideal option for those selling their website to someone in another state or to someone beyond traveling distance. But one way to avoid being scammed is to actually meet the buyer so you know who you are dealing with. Not just because you know who they are but also due to the fact that if they are willing to meet you reduces the likelihood of them scamming you.
Leave emotion out of the sale
As a seller, you need to be sure to think with your head and not let your emotions get involved. Clever buyers know how to work with the emotions of sellers by befriending them. This tends to give them a bit of an advantage when it comes to negotiating the buying price, using the friendship to negotiate a lower price.
You can chat up buyers and even become friends with them but make sure to use your common sense when it comes to the sale of your website. Remember, this is a business transaction and you’re likely in this process to earn some money; don’t sell yourself short by bringing emotion into it and do them a favor.
When selling anything, there is always a fear of being ripped off or scammed. However, as the seller, you can take proper measures to avoid such an incident from occurring. Just remember not to be too hasty, and to go through all the motions to ensure the sale is done properly. Only then can you ensure that you don’t get scammed and that everything is above board.
Karen Evans is a former college student who, after making real money learning how to build and scale niche blogs, decided to go full time and hasn’t looked back since. After seeing so many people waste time and money trying to learn how to create websites that make money she decided to create the ever-popular StartBloggingOnline.com. So far over 9,500 new blogs have been created using her guide! When she isn’t blogging, she enjoys spending time with her family, which usually involves finding some water to cool off in! @KarenEvansSBO