So you have decided to sell your website, but not sure how best to go about it? Like is the case with selling other stuff online, you won’t be short of options. However, finding a good buyer is not as easy as it first seems, and completing the whole transaction with a buyer may be such a cumbersome task.
Enter website brokers. If you’ve not heard of them, these are people who help you find a buyer for your website and carry out the transactions on your behalf. They are just like other business brokers, only dealing with web businesses this time. “But why should I hire one,” you might ask. Well the only way to know why is by looking at what they do and how they do it.
So, who is a Website Broker?
A website broker is that one person who helps you, a website seller, to find a buyer and transact businesses with that buyer. You may have heard of website marketplaces like flippa.com or digitalpoint.com, where you are on your own. You can even list your site for sale on EBay, but you do the promotion and selling yourself. But brokers handle sales differently. They have access to a larger pool of potential buyers, and they transact the entire business confidentially.
How does the Process go?
Let’s take a look at the steps web business brokers take to sell your site:
Your website in this case is the asset. The agent (broker) assesses the monetary value of your website. This is done as a multiple of your earnings i.e. 12-36 times your monthly earnings, or 1-3 times your yearly earnings. With brokers, the multiple is usually higher than on auction sites. Some brokers offer a free website valuation service.
Preparation of Memorandum
The sales memorandum is a document that details all your site stats, facts and information. The website broker can also include anticipated FAQs, to answer the most common questions buyers would have. A sale memorandum is the probably the one document you cannot afford not to have. Buyers need to see your profits, business model, traffic details and information on operations. A good website broker should be able to come up with a professional document.
The broker showcases the site to potential buyers, and may interview some of them.
Negotiations about price are done by your broker, on your behalf. A broker may negotiate with several willing buyers and pick the best offer on the table.
All the necessary paperwork, including legal documentation, is handled by the broker.
Completing the Sale
The website broker completes the sale and handles the transfer of assets from you to the new owner. He ensures the contracts are duly signed and the funds transfer done.
How much do they Charge?
Website brokers generally charge a 10% on-sale commission fee. There are no upfront fees – they get paid only when the sale is completed.
Are the Transactions Safe?
Transactions are normally done with the integration of an escrow service, such as escrow.com. This kind of service protects both the buyer and the seller. You can check out this fee calculator by escrow.com to know how much it costs.
Should I Hire a Website Broker?
You should hire a website broker if you want to sell your website fast, safely and at the right price. The above processes have demonstrated clearly the role of a website broker and how the go about the complex matter of selling your website. And that’s probably a process you would wish to avoid, especially since you may be limited on time. On your own, you might also not have market access to the network of qualified buyers that brokers have.
A few more reasons to use a website broker:
- Signs a sales agreement with you to keep the sale confidential
- Knows what your website is worth – looks for the best deal for you
- Handles all the marketing and pitching to potential buyers
- Prepares presentable documents (read information or sales memorandum) to be used for the sakes process
- Handles all the paperwork and on your behalf
- Handles the handover (transfer) process
Remember that if you find a good website broker to sell your website, all the parties involved – you, the buyer and the broker – should be happy in the end.
Tom writes for business valuers valuator.com.au – click here to learn more about what your website may be worth and what it may fetch when selling.