What Are The Costs Associated With Selling A Website

By Creative Advisory Team | August 19, 2015

Categories: Sell website

You have all of the numbers neatly complied in rows. You know the exact amount your website is worth and how much you are willing to sell it for.

You have taken into account taxes and miscellaneous fees your financial institution may charge to transfer the money, and you are ready to start negotiating with an interested buyer. Even though it may seem like you know exactly how much money you will receive after successfully selling a website, chances are there are a few fees you have forgotten about.

To prevent unpleasant surprises at the end of the sale and to ensure you are going with the best selling option, here is a brief review of the potential costs associated with the sale of your website.

Costs of Selling a Website

There are extra fees and costs that can or might be applied once the sale of your website is complete.

Your financial institution may charge a small fee depending on how the money is transferred and which account you have it deposited into.

To find out if your bank charges a fee for you to deposit money simply ask about its policies. You can also expect to pay taxes on the sale, and this amount will vary depending on where you live. While you will have to pay federal taxes some state and city governments do not charge residents state income tax.

If you are lucky enough to live in an area without a state tax you will be happy to learn chances are you will be pocketing a larger portion of the sale.

While these costs are to be expected there are a few that you might not be aware of, and these extra fees can start to add up and eat into your profits.

Before you decide on how you are going to sell your website it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with any fees that might be hiding.

Not only can it help prevent an unpleasant surprise when you finally receive payment, it can also affect your decision on how you are going to sell the website.

You’ve put a lot of your valuable time and experience into creating a profitable online business and you don’t want to lose money that should be going into your pocket simply because you didn’t realize there was a hefty fee. To make sure you get to keep all of your hard earned money here is a brief list of some of the fees you should be aware of before you put your website up for sale.

Fees and Costs to be Aware Of

As you start gathering all of your paperwork and preparing a brief introduction of your website, you should also be collecting information on the fees, surcharges, and other costs that might be accrued during the listing and selling process. Some fees are easy to find before you are locked into a contract. For example if an auction site or classified section charges a fee for listing your website, you will know about it before you post your online business.

Other fees can hide in the background and surprise you at the end, and these are the ones you need to be aware of before you sign any contract.

Broker Fees

If you do decide to use a website broker the good news is they are based entirely on commission. This means that a website broker will not earn a penny until your website is sold.

Since brokers also work on commission it also means that they will sell your site for the highest possible price.

This will result in a bigger payout for you and them.

There is a fee associated with selling through a broker and it is generally 10 to 15 percent of the gross sale price. While this might not seem like a lot, it is important to remember that their commission of 10 to 15 percent of the gross selling amount will be taken out of your net profit.

Fees and Venture Capitalist Firms

Since the venture capitalist firm is the one purchasing your website there aren’t any selling fees associated with this option, but there might be a nominal closing fee. You only have to worry about paying taxes on the profits and checking to see if there are any fees associated with the money transfer. While a venture capitalist firm is not the right option for all websites, if you are in a specific niche that these firms generally deal with or are the proud owner of a profitable startup company this may be the best way for you to quickly and easily make the sale.

An added bonus of selling to a venture capitalist firm is that you will not be responsible for legal fees.


One of the main costs of using an online auction will be the amount of time you have to spend to ensure a successful and profitable sale and also the closing fees that go to the auction marketplace. It is your responsibility to handle every detail of the listing and sale, including the time consuming task of organizing financial information. You will also have to be available to answer any questions concerning your website, and this can affect the amount of time you have to spend ensuring the continued success of your online business.

If your online business starts to show a loss while it is for sale, it can be difficult to find buyers willing to pay the amount that you know it is worth. You will also lose the time you could have spent developing new and profitable ideas. Added to this is the 10 percent fee most auction sites charge for the listing and the sale, and it should be noted that this is also based on the gross amount and not the net total that you will receive.

Private Investment Firms

Private investment firms are a great way to quickly and easily sell your website. This selling option will handle almost every detail of the sale which will free up your valuable time. This also lets you concentrate on creating a new business or simply tie up any lose ends associated with the one you are selling.

A private investment firm like Creative Innovation will handle every detail from gathering your financial records to creating a legally binding contract at no additional fee to you.

You will generally receive a bid within 72 hours of them receiving information requested, which can also save valuable time and money. While Creative Innovation does not charge a closing fee there are some private investment firms that do, and it is generally around 10 percent of the selling price or a little less.

Private Buyer

This is where the fees can get tricky and even start to add up. While you would think that it would be more cost effective for you to sell the website yourself, if you are not careful it you could end up losing money. Not only will you have to spend a lot of time on the sale, there are also legal fees to consider that can quickly become expensive. Some of the fees you need to be aware of can include:

  • Fees to list your website for sale.
  • The cost of your valuable time. Be prepared to lose a lot of time to a private sale, and that this can also affect the overall profitability of the website.
  • Legal fees. This can include the cost of writing and filing a contract, along with any fees that might accumulate simply for the advice you may receive.
  • Cost of transferring ownership of the website.
  • Fees associated with escrow.

Escrow Fees

Chances are you will use an escrow account during the sale of your business, and it is important to understand the costs and fees associated with it.

These costs can vary and are generally set by the financial institution, and most escrow officers will charge one to two percent of the final cost of the business.

While this may not seem like a large amount, it can add up when the other fees associated with a website sale are totaled. An advantage to using an escrow account is that the financial officer will ensure that the closing goes quickly and easily which can be worth the small percentage it costs when you realize you don’t have to spend your valuable time dealing with these last frustrating details.

The Costs of Selling Your Website

Regardless of how you choose to sell your website there will be some cost to you.

Whether it is the amount of time you’ve spent trying to find a buyer and close the sale, or the nominal fee you pay a firm or broker it will take a little money to successfully sell your website.

If you choose the right selling option that fits your current needs and your website you can minimize the cost to you. Simply take a few minutes and carefully look over your options and familiarize yourself will all of the costs, and you can successfully sell your website for a large profit and have the added advantage of being able to keep most of it.