The Role of a Website Broker in the Business Sales Process
When selling off a business, the number of things that need to be tracked can be staggering, especially if you’re exiting entirely from an industry. Along with any real estate associated with the business, you likely have more than your fair share of assets to liquidate.
If you’re not selling the business as a whole, these can include everything from computers and communications devices to boxes of unused pens and everything in between. Physical objects like those are relatively easy to sell through a handful of places like eBay or Craigslist, but things can quickly get rather complicated when it comes to selling digital assets, and that is no truer than in the case of your website. And, just like you would use a real estate agent for property, a website broker (much like the industry leading firm Website Properties, LLC) is vital in making sure you get an acceptable price for a site you’ve invested a significant amount of time and money in.
Don’t Settle on a Low Selling Price
Assuming you built the website yourself, that sweat equity is also worth far more to you alone than you might be able to earn by selling the site on your own. The rule of thumb in website sales is that a site will normally sell for between 8 and 12 times how much it earns every month.
If you’re making $6,000 a month on a site, you can reasonably expect to sell it on your own for $48,000 to $72.000. Off the bat, that might sound like a worthwhile sale but working with a website broker will normally earn you much more.
Won’t a Broker’s Fees Negate any Increase in Price?
While you could keep the whole of your website sale by handling it yourself, it might seem counterintuitive to hire a website broker that takes a percentage from the final price. The thing is, though, that brokers take that 8-12 months figure and on average turn it into 2-3 years of earnings worth.
The question then is would you rather earn 100 percent of $48,000 or 80-90 percent of $144,000? The answer should be obvious.
What Does a Broker do that I Can’t?
Technically speaking, a website broker doesn’t do anything you can’t, but only as long as you have serious connections in website sales and have the time to learn a whole new skillset and use it confidently with professionalism. If learning the ins and outs of web design and whatever industry your website is in only took you a couple days that might be possible.
To get the most out of a website sale, a broker does at least the following:
- Find the value range
- Draft a detailed information memorandum that documents everything the site offers
- Announce the sale through various channels
- Take steps to safeguard the seller’s privacy
- Display and discuss the site with curious buyers
- Negotiate with buyers
- Complete and file paperwork
- Support both buyer and seller after sale is complete
One thing you can do to up the amount before you hand the sale over to a broker is engage with your community as much as possible. Potential buyers will pay a premium for an active community. Though you could potentially hand this task off to a virtual assistant or marketing professional, they’re just not going to know your brand or industry as well as you.
How Long Does it Take for a Broker to Sell a Website?
In most cases, website brokerage will take between a couple weeks and six months. If you have a current income stream from the site you’re selling, keep it going to ensure your website’s sale garners as high a price as possible while the broker does his or her work.
It might be difficult continuing to work on a site over a period of months when all you want to do is get rid of it, but you could be throwing away tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Designing and maintaining your site was worth it to you at the beginning, and the end of your run with is worth putting in effort as well.