Top 20 Things To Know About Selling Your Website

By Creative Advisory Team | September 15, 2015

Categories: Sell website

Selling your website can be an exciting and frightening time. The web business that you’ve devoted yourself to for the last several years has finally grown into a profitable business, and it is time for you to move on to new endeavors.

After spending time developing the graphics, ensuring the content is appropriate, and growing an advertising and customer base the website can seem more like a child than an online business, and owners want to ensure they are compensated for their time and effort. Before putting your website up for sale there are a few things you should know that can make the process go quickly and easily.

20 Things that will Make Selling a Website Easier

These brief tips can make selling your website a stress free and even fun experience, especially when you are pocketing the profits. Once you understand everything that entails a successful website sale, it will be easier for you to sell your online business and collect a nice profit. Here are 20 tips everyone should know before trying to sell their website.

1. Prospective buyers do not want potential, only results.

Even though you may have spent countless hours creating your website and missed holidays and special occasions making sure the website was designed to your satisfaction and running properly, this does not necessarily mean that you will be fully compensated for your time and effort. While potential buyers will appreciate the sharp and professional design of the website, most will only purchase a website if it is showing consistent and proven results.

Be ready to accept the fact that you probably won’t be compensated for your time, but for the website’s proven performance.

2. Appearance is important.

While you might not be fully compensated for the time and hard work that you put into designing your website, its appearance is extremely important when you are looking for potential buyers. Most buyers of online businesses want the site to look professional and attractive, and be designed to draw visitors in. You also want to ensure that all of the links and attachments are up and running, so any prospective buyer will remain interested instead of moving on to find an online business that is better designed and fully functioning.

3. Don’t use hyperbole.

Even though the website might be your “baby” and you are probably extremely proud of it, potential buyers do not want to read exaggerated blurbs and sales pitches. Stating that the website has “Huge Potential” or is a “once in a lifetime chance” will only cause prospective buyers to look at your site with suspicion and drive them away to the next online business for sale.

4. Use descriptions potential buyers are already looking for.

While you don’t want to use statements that are excitable or untrue, it is important to include descriptions that potential buyers will be looking for. Along with revenue, profits and traffic, you will also want to include brief descriptions on,

  • The website
  • Information about the seller
  • Marketing information
  • Assets included in the sale
  • Any challenges the website might be facing
  • Competitors

 5. Have time to devote exclusively to the sale.

It is important that you are available while your online business is up for sale. Potential buyers may have questions that need to be answered before they make the decision to purchase your website. You also want to be able to communicate at all times with the auction site or buyers or brokers, in case there are any problems or concerns about a potential sale. Simply putting your website up for sale and walking away will rarely result in any serious buyers.

6. Make sure you have your financial information close by.

You will quickly notice that most potential website buyers are mainly interested in numbers regarding traffic and profit. Not having this information where you can easily reach it can jeopardize any sale, and even result in your website listing being removed from the buyer consideration.

7. Profits are more important than revenue.

Revenue figures can look impressive, but it is important to remember that buyers are not interested in potential. Websites with higher listed revenue may receive a quick second glance, but the online businesses with a strong and consistent monthly profit are the ones that are going to receive the best offers from prospective buyers.

8. Be prepared to verify all financial claims.

You’ve probably noticed that many of these tips deal with the financial aspect of your online business, and this is because there are often times when it is the deciding factor on whether your website sells or remains in your care. Some of the financial claims you might be asked to verify can include advertising space that is sold on the site, along with any 3rd party revenue that might be included in the business’s financials.

Be prepared to not only have a complete set of records available, but to also let prospective buyers browse through the business’s accounts online.

This will help to reassure buyers that your website is generating the profit that was claimed in the initial sales pitch.

9. Only worry about the present.

A lot of online business sellers may not realize that potential buyers are not interested in the exceptionally high profits the site might have generated two years ago.

Generally speaking, most buyers are only interest in the past 12 months which show the current market trend and that will affect their decision.

Even though you have every right to be proud of your website and the stellar year it may have had in the past, it will only help your business sell if it happened fairly recently and the profitable trend has remained consistent.

10. Always be honest about the website.

Even though you already know not to use hyperbole, it can still be tempting to “fudge” the truth just a little. Not only is this unethical and possibly illegal, it can also seriously damage your online reputation.

Serious buyers and other experienced business owners know that there every company has its ups and downs, and that this is normal.

When you are honest about any problems or slow periods your business may have experienced you will also find that the chances of reaching an agreement that is acceptable to both parties is significantly higher.

11. Have plenty of patience for questions.

Not only should you be available to answer questions for the auction, but also from each and every potential buyer. The number of potential online buyers and investors is increasing every day, which is good news for anyone thinking about selling their website business. The growing number of potential buyers has also lead to an increase in questions, which can try your patience to its limits.

When you have the urge to ignore a question or are getting irritated when one potential buyer manages to ask several in a single day, just remember that you are depending on one of these people to become the next owner of your website.

Some prospective buyers will also ask several questions and sometimes the same one over again simply to see if the information you are providing is consistent and honest.

12. Check your website’s profits.

Occasionally you might be tempted to sell your website when it is turning a small profit, but this is generally not recommended and often becomes a waste of your valuable time.

Until your website is generating over $500 a month, most online business experts will recommend concentrating on growing your traffic and monthly revenue.

Remember the higher your monthly profits the easier it will be to sell your website for a price that will compensate you for the time and energy spent creating and growing the business.

13. Do you have Google Analytics Data?

If you have never thought about installing this software, you should probably consider it before putting your website up for sale.

Since most buyers will want to see reports for the business dating back 6 months, it is a good idea to install Google Analytics in plenty of time to compile complete and accurate reports.

This convenient software will track the amount of traffic to your website, and most buyers use it as a convenient tool to check against the reported monthly revenues. While you can still sell your business without having the convenient reports at your fingertips, it will make the process noticeably faster and easier.

14. Consider your personal rating online.

Not only is the reputation of your business important, but also your personal rating.

Potential buyers want to know who they are doing business with, and if the seller is trustworthy.

With some websites selling for several thousands of dollars, it only makes sense that the buyer will want to know exactly who they are handing their money over to.

While the wording in the sales pitch for the website will help to provide you and the business with a solid first impression, many website buyers will also search for information about the seller online. Some quick tips to help you improve and strengthen your online reputation include connecting and updating your profiles on popular social media sites. Simply updating your Linkedin and Facebook page can give you a solid online presence that will reassure potential buyers.

15. Set a reasonable asking price.

This actually entails a couple of steps that will increase your chances of receiving a fair price for your website, along with helping the sale go more smoothly.

One of the first aspects to consider for your website is an attractive starting price.

This is often the first thing potential buyers see when they first glance at your website.

While you don’t want to set the starting price ridiculously high or so low that you end up losing money on the sale, you do want it to help you filter out any non serious buyers.  If you’re not sure, it is always best to work with either a broker or a private investment firm like ours to properly valuate your website.

16. Set a time limit for the auction or other sale channels.

It is surprising how many people do not consider this before putting their websites up for sale, and end up spending weeks dealing with potential buyers.

Setting a time limit for the auction not only makes it easier for you to walk away, it can also help motivate interested buyers.

When a website is on sale for a set period of time it will often generate more interest, and many online business owners have reported receiving several lucrative offers on the final day of the auction. The amount of time you are willing to devote to the auction will depend on your schedule, but most business experts suggest allowing it to run for 7 days. This will ensure that everyone has plenty of time to consider your business, along with carefully reviewing the financial information you’ve made available.

It is also recommended to not keep your site up for sale with a broker or market place for undue long duration’s such as six months. The longer the site stays in the market more stale it becomes, giving potential buyers an impression something is wrong with the business, discouraging them from even making an initial inquiry.

17. Reply to every question regarding your website.

Even though you might have already answered the initial set of the questions from your buyer(s), it is still important to keep your doors open and pay attention to their needs. Whether it is a friendly “hello” from an online competitor, or a familiar customer simply wanting to touch bases, ignoring any of these and other comments can negatively affect your sales.

Responding to these questions on time might make it easier for a prospective buyer to make a higher offer price for the website.

18. Have a good reason for selling.

Believe it or not this is actually an important tip, and your answer to this question can affect the success of the sale. If you cannot supply an adequate answer many potential buyers will simply assume that the website is losing money, and you are trying to keep this fact from becoming common knowledge. If you want to decrease the number of times you will be asked this question, you can include the reason for selling in the description of your website that is listed during the auction or in the prospectus circulated to potential buyers.

19. Don’t be afraid to invite potential buyers.

While most auction sites and online platforms use their own resources to entice potential buyers, there is nothing wrong with you increasing your chances of making a successful sale and inviting your own.

One of the easiest ways to find qualified buyers is to check the online sales of your competitors and scroll through the comments to see who was actively participating in the auction.

Sending an invitation to these potential buyers is a great way to start a dialogue, and show that you are serious about selling your website for a fair price. You could also look for private investment companies such as Creative Innovation or other brokers who can help you sell your site.

20. Use your homepage.

Your homepage is there to keep you informed, and using it to stay up to date on the auction can save you time and money. When you are able to instantly see when a question is posted or a request is made, you can respond in a professional and timely manner that can help ensure the sale. There are also some auction sites that will let you pay extra to keep your business listed on the first page of the site, which can also increase your chances of selling your website for a price that is acceptable to both parties.

Bonus Tip: Selling a website can be frustrating and time consuming, especially if you are trying to start a new business. Online auction sites or brokers will handle many of the details for you, but it still requires a huge commitment from you. Many website owners are discovering how easy and profitable it is to take advantage of the private services offered by an online investment company, and this is something that you should also consider.

Let Creative Innovation Handle Everything for You

While Creative Innovation can’t help you with the feeling of loss you might get after selling your website, this platform can make the entire process simple and hassle free. In three quick and easy steps you can list your website for sale, and potentially receive an offer in as little as 72 hours once you have provided the necessary business details.

Even though it can be difficult to say “goodbye” to a website you created and spent countless hours developing the possibility of making a quick lucrative profit is often enough to cushion the blow of finally letting your online business go to a new and capable owner.