This doesn't mean you can't still sell your site yourself, but without the proper experience, you may make expensive mistakes that are easy to avoid. This is why most website owners use a reputable marketplace like Flippa or seek the assistance of an established website broker.
Whichever option you pursue, here are 5 pitfalls to avoid when selling your website:
1. Having Unrealistic Expectations
A common mistake amongst website sellers is setting unrealistic expectations. Most people try to sell too high, which almost always pushes away potential buyers. Being reasonable with your projections can help you avoid this.
If you are working with a professional website broker, it's likely they'll evaluate your website and set the appropriate valuation for it. This is often the best option to follow, as brokers handle sales of businesses in the dozens and most likely have sold a site similar to yours. Moreover, they understand exactly what buyers are looking for.
It should be noted that the valuation of your site does not necessarily mean it should sell at that price. Some interested buyers may offer to buy your site at a slightly lower price. You don't have to accept, but sometimes the first few offers are the best you'll receive throughout the period of your sale. As long as the offers are reasonable and buyers are not low-balling you, accept the best offer and move on.
2. Due Diligence
It's important not to take any shortcuts when it comes to gathering research. Buyers want to see that your records are accurate and that no suspicious elements are present. Ensure you have everything in place before starting the sales process.
The most requested material is the P&L. Most buyers won't consider buying if they can't see a history of verified earnings—even if it's as little as a year. Again, prepare your profit and loss statement beforehand so buyers can see incoming and outgoing cash.
Buyers will also want to see the traffic history of the website in question. Since most buyers are familiar with Google Analytics, you should have it installed on your website so you can show traffic trends.
A final aspect should be a document showing how you operate and manage your site. You have to be able to show how much time you spend on the business and be able to explain what it takes to operate the business successfully, without hiding details. Some buyers are looking for businesses that are easy to manage and require little of their time; so this is a nice way of convincing this section of the market.
3. Not Having Proper Records
Potential buyers want to see the figures, facts, and stats. It's what will help them conduct their own due diligence before committing to the business. Having all of your records in one place and available upon request shows that you care for your business and that buyers can trust you.
Good internet marketers will have an exit plan drawn up from day one. They have a document detailing their journey, how they started, how they run the business, what expenses are there, and the record of their profits. That way, when it's time to sell, they don't have to do much in terms of gathering records.
4. Not Using a Website Broker
Website brokers are experts and often have years of experience selling websites. They will rarely make the common mistakes that most new website sellers make. So it makes sense to work with one in order to get the most out of your sale.
However, you want to avoid choosing the wrong website broker. Your online business is like real estate; you need to choose the right broker just as you would if you are selling a house or a plot of land.
When choosing your broker, you need to look for one that is honest, experienced, reliable, and has a proven sales track record. Don't be afraid to ask questions or request proof for any claims a broker may make. You will know you are dealing with a good broker if you receive claims that are backed with evidence.
5. Not Knowing the True Worth of Your Website
Understanding your business doesn't necessarily mean you know it's worth, and knowing it's worth is what will help you choose the appropriate price for it. When choosing a price tag for the site you are selling, it's important to set realistic expectations so that you can succeed in the sale. If you set a price that's too high, buyers will be pushed away.
Conversely, this doesn't mean you have to set the price too low. Just choose a price that factors in your own expenses, sweat, time, and expertise if that's required to run your business. What's important is to set a reasonable price. Evaluate businesses in your space and come up with an average price that will work for you. That should help you arrive at a good price for your site that can realistically sell.