Think of websites as digital real estate that you have built painstakingly, with endless time and effort. Just like traditional real estate, quality websites and domains with steady traffic and revenue can increase in value over time. The art of creating websites, renovating them and developing them into financially lucrative online assets so that they can be easily liquidated for a profit, is commonly known as website flipping.
There are people who do not want to build a website from scratch as they may not have the knowledge or setup required to do so. They want to find and buy a turn-key, move-in ready website to get them going, without the initial investment needed to build, expand and grow a site. So if you own an established website with a history of rapid exponential growth then it may be a real cash cow and there may be a significant upside to selling your web asset online. Whatever your reason for wanting to sell a website, you can divest yourself of a web property by listing it on a marketplace and selling it.
Websites For Sale: The Website Sales Process
Once you decide to sell your website, you may have questions about the unknown variables involved and the actual process to make the sale. The deal flow is actually quite straightforward, whether you decide to sell it on your own or hire a professional website broker to handle the entire process.
- Prepare your site for selling
- Provide real facts and figures about your site
- Determine a proper website valuation
- List your site on a marketplace
- Manage the auction
Prepare Your Site For Selling
Preparing an optimized, ready-to-sell website involves publishing stellar content, including videos, for a built-in reliable, repeat customer or audience base. To boost the value of your website before selling it you need to ensure it is optimized using responsive and user-friendly design and clutter-free layout that is easy to navigate. Most importantly, you need to monetize your website before you put it up for sale with proper ad placement (Google Adsense) and links to affiliate networks (Amazon, RewardStyle). Then you need to put together substantial information that can show the value and earnings of your site to potential buyers.
Provide Real Facts And Figures About Your Site
Buyers want to see proven results, specifically about traffic analytics, revenue stream proof, affiliate network reports, expenses and net profit. They want to see detailed records of traffic and revenue metrics to ensure that your site is actually bringing in the big bucks. You should aim to have at least 12 months of Google Analytics traffic data, and other provable, accurate financial records from merchant accounts and CMS platforms
Determine A Proper Website Valuation
It can be tricky figuring out your website’s actual value. The amount of money that someone is willing to shell out for your website will depend on the website traffic, potential and actual ROI (return on investment), site ranking and the risk associated with your business model. Lower risk and high ROI will obviously fetch a higher price.
To get a general idea of what your website can potentially sell for at auction, use the following formula-
[Your site’s average earnings over a 3–12 month range] x (10) = Your base listing price
But there are wild fluctuations within this range too. Alternatively you can use a value calculator to get a good estimate about the potential sell price of your site.
List Your Site On A Marketplace
There are quite a few options to sell your site online from-
- Website marketplaces (Flippa, BizBuySell, Website Broker.com, Buy Sell Website, etc.)
- Website brokers (Empire Flippers, We Sell Your Site, etc.)
- Forum marketplaces (The Warrior Forum, Digital Point Forums, iWebTool.com, etc.)
- Directly from buyer (Google search website targets and email professional and personal contacts)
If you decide to sell through a website marketplace, you need to set up an auction for your website by providing historical information about your site, detailed traffic and financial information. Be transparent and open when discussing different factors related to your site such as business model, marketing efforts, growth opportunities and your reason for selling.
Manage the Auction
Auctions require patience as most bids typically come in the final 24 hours of an auction ending. Most importantly stay active through the auction process and take the time to monitor comments, and answer any questions whenever possible. Potential buyers do not just evaluate the business; they also look at how comfortable it will be doing business with you. So sellers should always respond in a timely manner and not be evasive. Drum up all the interest you can by promoting your listing. You can list a banner on your site advertising the sale or pay for some Facebook or Twitter ads to targeted potential buyers or leave messages on niche forums and communities. If you don’t get any bids at the auction that beat your reserve, or if you don’t get any interest for a classified listing, don’t sell for a lower price just to get rid of the site.
Once your site is sold to the highest bidder, you need to know how the buyer will pay for the asset. It is advisable to always accept payment via escrow, as it is a safe option for both parties. When the money gets placed securely into escrow, you will get a notification via email and can then begin transferring the assets of your site over to the buyer. With the sale closed, you’ll need to transfer the domain to the new owner. Once this is complete, escrow should release the funds to your account.
Final Thoughts On Websites For Sale
The process for selling your website can be challenging but hopefully this information above will help you become adept at building websites, injecting them with value and then getting the highest dollar amount for your website in the event of a sale. Don’t take shortcuts when setting up your website for sale and you can win a jackpot.