If you’ve decided it’s time to move on from your blog or website, this two part series will help you walk through the steps to successfully sell your site and happily know your legacy will carry on. Read the first three steps right here.
4) List the Site and Get the Word Out
Once you’re ready to sell your site, you have a variety of methods and services to choose from. Any method you use will have its positives and negatives. You can sell it directly through your site by posting a notice about it being for sale, or you can use a selling service like Flippa.com. If you have time, and don’t need to sell as soon as possible, it’s worthwhile to try to sell it by word of mouth first. Try a selling service (which will charge a percentage of the sale), if you don’t get any serious offers.
If you’re selling through your blog, craft a well written, personal post about why you’re selling the domain in the first place. Just don’t post your asking price on the site. Keep that information for inquiries only. You can opt to entertain all offers – meaning you know what you want to sell it for, but you’re willing to have others reach out with the amount they’re willing to pay – or you can sell for a fixed rate.
If you’re selling through a selling service site, you’ll have to know what you want to sell the site for right away. You’ll likely be asked for a reserve (a minimum sales price), and some services may offer a Buy It Now feature.
Don’t forget to spread the word through Facebook, Twitter, and any other resources at your disposal. Remember to be considerate though; you won’t get any bites from spamming other people’s blogs or tweeting about the sale ten times an hour.
5) Respond to Offers
Be prepared for a lot of questions. The buyer candidates most likely to make a serious offer will have quite a few of them. Be patient, be open to providing proof of your claims when asked, and don’t be alarmed when you receive quite a few low-ball offers. Waiting for the right buyer may take a little while, but it will be well worth it in the long run.
6) Write and Sign a Contract of Sale
When you’ve found your buyer, it’s time to write a contract of sale to protect both you and your buyer. This probably seems daunting, considering you’re not a business lawyer. Fortunately, there are a lot of good resources out there for sample contracts. Flippa even has a sample contract available for those using their service to use as a starting point. In the contract, you’ll want to include the agreed upon purchase price, what assets are transferring to the new owner (the domain, hosting, databases, layout, trademarks, social media and statistical service login information, and so on), and protections to cancel the sale (for the seller, a final payment due by date is important). Send the contract of sale to the buyer for approval; they may have requested changes to it that you may have to negotiate on. For more information on contracts of sale, consult a lawyer.
Make sure there is language in the contract of sale that protects your claim on the copyright of any works you created. If you want to make sure you have the right to reuse any of it in the future, you’ll want to make sure that the contract of sale only transfers a royalty-free license of use to the buyer, rather than the copyright. This way, the buyer has the right to keep the posts you wrote, or content you created, but you are still the one who owns the work.
7) Enter Escrow
After both parties have signed the contract of sale, the buyer should send half of the agreed upon purchase price in order to initiate the sale and property transfer. If you are using an online escrow service or Paypal to transfer money (highly advisable, for security reasons), the buyer should pay any related fees so the seller comes out with the same amount agreed upon in the contract of sale. For additional protection, it’s a good idea to have a statement about buyer fees in the contract of sale.
8) Initiate the Transfer
When the 50% deposit is received and has cleared, begin to transfer all of the assets to the new owner. This will vary depending on the services you use, and what you agreed to sell your ownership of. Your best resource during this process will be your hosting provider. Consult their support wiki and team if you have any questions. Do NOT allow the buyer to transfer anything themselves. If you are giving them access to any accounts as part of the sale, reset your password to an agreed upon default password the buyer can change.
9) Complete the Sale
When your end of the transfer (and contract) is completed, the buyer should send through the remaining balance. The contract of sale will protect you in the event they do not pay by the agreed upon date. If you encounter any issues, consult a lawyer.
Congratulations, you’ve sold your site! Hopefully it’s been a great experience. Take a break, and if you’re ready, move on to your next project.