Top Tips for Selling Your Site (including escrow information)

  1. Read the appropriate site guidelines. There’s no point in spending your hard earned and then discovering that you do have to disclose the URL. And that you can’t have your sale also listed elsewhere like eBay.

  2. Prepare properly for the listing, get all your ducks in a row. Collect the information that buyers typically ask for e.g., traffic and earning stats and have that all to hand. Create some graphs and images that demonstrate the key selling points, people like pictures. Store these, and any spreadsheets you create, on your own site if you wish for control over them or allow for future deletion. Do the type of due diligence checks your buyers are going to be doing so you can uncover any adverse signals and explain them or compensate for them.

  3. Think carefully about your title. This is very, very important. The title is your bait to draw bidders in. Don’t be tempted to use it to boast about your achievements. Draw up a shortlist of the top reasons someone would want to buy your site. Then trim it to just one or two. And draft and redraft those to convey the message in the most succinct and inviting way. Don’t lie, don’t exaggerate, don’t use all caps.

Some recent examples of bad text in titles:
Made $75 in 2 days (draws people’s attention to your lack of history and gives them an excuse not to click) is for sale (unless you’re a well known name this is likely to be meaningless to the average buyer)
BARGAIN - DO NOT MISS (comes across as immature. Don’t use all caps and don’t beg for buyers to read your auction.) A site dedicated to the World Reknowned Game (this isn’t a speech at the Oscars, no dedications are necessary. The title is not the place for extended explanations of what the site is about)

  1. In the auction listing itself, provide as much information as necessary without overwhelming buyers. Explain clearly what your site does and how it makes money, don’t assume everybody will figure it out. Talk about your traffic and where it comes from. Be honest. Don’t boast about fake PR as someone will catch you out. Don’t claim that all traffic was free if you’ve been running paid ad campaigns (as even that can be uncovered in due diligence).

  2. This isn’t a stage for your own talents. Boasting about how many Digg frontpages you get or how clever you are at SEO may be counter productive as that suggests to the buyer that you are key to the site’s success.

  3. Manage your comments. Yes, your auction comments need to be managed. Show good faith by amending your auction listing if something comes to light that you didn’t disclose earlier - or add a comment. Delete comments that add no value .e.g, “fantastic site, good luck with the sale”. Answer questions publicly where possible as it will be of use to buyers watching from the shadows.

  4. Don’t change WHOIS once your auction has started - leave that to the winning bidder to do on completion of sale. Don’t make any major site changes in the interim either or you’ll spook some buyers.

  5. Appreciate that sometimes buyers pull out post-sale so keep non-winning bidders on-side, don’t burn your bridges. You may need to get back to them with a second chance offer.

  6. For goodness sake, use an escrow service if the value is high enough to lose you some sleep should you get conned.

There are some more tips I’ve written about elsewhere but please feel free to add your own below.

I agree, some people tend to change their minds of the length of the auction period when it comes to no one ever bids on it.

From reading the threads, this got complicated for me and fast. Is there a place for someone with no intentions of doing this as a long term business venture get just the steps to listing a site for sale?

Most of the comments appear to be for those who do this regularly, I’m not one of them. I have a simple blog and want to sell it.

You should be prepared to readily provide proof of the metrics of your website, to prevent the buyer from losing interest and moving on to a different deal. This will also increase your credibility as serious and reputable seller.

The steps for listing a site for sale should be the same whether you do it regularly, or just once. Is there anything in particular that confuses you?

Experienced buyers I know would prefer to buy a site from a one-off seller who has nutured and built his site up than from the serial sellers listing half a dozen sites a day.

Whether you sell and what price you get for it is going to depend almost entirely on how much of profit you’re making now (less the value of the time one needs to spend to maintain the site).

Hopefully this is the right place for this.

This sticky talks about how to sell but nothing after the sale.

What I am getting at is after I have found someone to buy my site what do you do?

Do I just give him the user name and password to the host company?

(That just does not sound right) I have multiple domains hosted with the same company.

I am looking for a step by step process of what I the seller should do so I have a very good 1st time experience in selling the domain/ Website.

So basically task conditions and standards.

Task : Selling a website
Conditions: Step 1 - ??
Standards: If you complete steps 1 - ?? Both you and the buyer will be happy.

Thanks again.

FruitMedley posted this article on this site about how to transfer the site from buyer to seller and other transfer related information.

I agree with most of your points, also I need to add that you should be aware about the accuracy of the information posted, otherwise webmasters can detect some incorrect information and you will end up with bad results on your auction

Excellent advice.

I disagree with the point you made not to overwhelm. As much information should be posted. I tend to give a overview of the sale in the thread, and then post a link to a PDF of all the information I have [10-20 pages] with screenshots, traffic…etc

  • Tom

If you do feel compelled to list a lot of information, my suggestion would be to organise it in an easy to skim fashion with appropriate headings and sub-headings.

The amount of information provided is best done proportionate to the size of the sale. Buyers looking to spend $100K are more likely to read 30 pages than someone with a sub $500 budget.

In the information disclosure, I would suggest that if the seller has created a lot of backlinks within his or her network of sites, that they disclose that fact upfront and specify whether and for how long they will retain those links.

Of course. Most the sites I’ve sold were over $5k so I like to be detailed.

  • Tom

Do you think it is possible to get a lot of money for a 3 word domain? I have one that is a daily phrase consisting of 12 letters. Just curious…[indent]Cybernac,

That’s a question for the Domain Names Forum - but DON’T ask for an appraisal as that’s against SP rules!

Hosting Team Leader[/indent]

cybernac, welcome to Sitepoint. You may want to start a different thread with that question as it may not get the right attention here.

Green moon, that’s a noteworthy point. Any action/inaction that’s within the seller’s control - and that can have a detrimental effect on site value subsequent to sale - is best disclosed at the start.

Thanks for the information FruitMedley on how to sell a website. It helped me out a lot. Now to do more reading.

You have created "How to sell your site in Sitepoint - top tips " thread. Do you have thread about protecting seller from getting conned. How can sitepoint protect us? Maybe they should make some mechanism to protect seller for a fee.

I am not really in with the computers but that is a great advice.If one day i start creating my own site that would help me a lot.Thank you! Great job.:wink:

Nice tips. Thanks for sharing.

yes very nice tips - i currently have many sites i want to sell as i have had so many ideas and not enough time to execute on all of them – so these tips help