Want to sell your site? Here's a quick guide. Please feel free to ask any questions below and we'll do our best to help (you need to register first)
1. Get your ducks in a row: Buyers like to see all your traffic stats preferably going back a year. It would be useful to have a spreadsheet with all revenue and costs neatly broken down month by month. Being prepared with that information will save you time in the long run. You might want to also have a Non Disclosure Agreement ready (here's one free NDA you can amend with your details) to send to buyers. Other legal stuff.
2. Think about how you're going to present your information. Will it be a professional looking pdf or will you be making it available within a password protected folder on your site? Both have their advantages, eliminate a lot of back and forthing between the parties and can be restricted to only those buyers whom you've approved/who've signed your NDA. Graphs and charts make it easier to grab your buyers' attention.
3. Do a spring clean: You can remove non-working scripts, forms and pages, tidy up design issues etc. Stored some personal photos on the site? Remove them. Having a custom 404, favicon, .htaccess file with a redirect between the www and non-www versions of your site gives the appearance that you dot your Is and cross your Ts.
4. Do a due diligence dummy run. What would you want to check if you were buying the business? Ask a friend to help if you need a neutral third-party's view. Fix anything that looks odd and might raise concerns.
5. Check your legal position: Do you own everything from the domain name to the copyright on the content? Are there any pending disputes? If, yes, try and resolve them before the sale rather than having to disclose them to buyers and putting them off.
6. Decide where you are going to sell your site. For higher value businesses it may be worth talking to a broker. For others, you may want to consider auction sites like Digital Point and Flippa.
7. If you decide to go for an auction format, plan ahead before you list. Think about how you can drum up publicity for your auction once it hits the road; about how you can drive prospective buyers to your auction. Some sellers list in multiple locations and point all buyers to the preferred auction site to keep the bidding all together.
8. Word your listing "title" and "description" with the utmost care. It's a sales document. Keep it crisp, informative, honest. Disclose only what you feel comfortable disclosing in public. The rest you can disclose only to only those parties who've signed the NDA.
9. Clear your diary. Buyers will have lots of questions and will require you to dig out information that you didn't think anyone would ever need. It takes a lot of time. Be patient, be professional, answer questions politely and promptly.
10. Once you've found your buyer insist on a contract and insist on a safe transaction, not via Paypal. He may not be willing to pay you first and take delivery of your site later. If so, use a reputable escrow company that you've both agreed on. He'll send funds to the escrow, the escrow will advise you of receipt, you can then hand over the site and the escrow will remit the funds to your account.
Other useful links
People are understandably concerned when selling their first site. But it doesn't need to be stressful. Need assistance? Ask us here - you don't need to disclose the site or any confidential information.