As mentioned in my last article, this will be the first of ten checklists in the “Virtual Real Estate Boot Camp” series. It’s always good to know from whom you are buying the Web site. The site may be an excellent purchase in the end, but dealing with a seller who is not cooperative can make even the best deal turn sour fast. The checklist provided below can help you to remember major points that need to be addressed when working with a seller on purchasing his/her Web site and many of the issues listed below can easily be fixed before a bid is even made. It may take some time and a little effort on your part, as well as the seller’s, but it can be done.
Finding marketplace feedback
There are numerous marketplaces available for buying and selling Web sites such as Flippa.com, DigitalPoint.com, etc. These are great locations to research a specific seller and see what sort of feedback he/she has received from buyers in the past. It’s a quick process and can provide you with much helpful information in a short amount of time.
Can the seller be caught in a lie?
Be sure to check traffic claims, income claims, and any of the other major claims made by the seller. If everything checks out and all the numbers add up, then there shouldn’t be anything to worry about. There’s nothing more frustrating than taking the word of a seller and having it be a complete lie.
Is the seller willing to go the extra mile and help you out?
Surely the seller is able to produce a quick screen capture or some other simple procedure that will provide you with the information you are seeking. If you make a simple request and the seller is adamant about not complying, then there might be something he/she is trying to hide. Asking something as simple as a screen shot shouldn’t be too much. This is a good way to verify that the seller is telling you the complete truth about the site. If you are willing to shell out thousands of dollars for a Web site, then the seller should be able to allow you at least some sort of simple verification that you are getting what you pay for.
Can the seller be persuaded to be available for a few days after the sale?
Find out if the seller will stick around for a bit after the sale is final, in order to help out with any issues you might have. Get this in the contract, just to make sure that all parts of the transaction go smoothly. You might have some questions that don’t come to mind right away. Actually being able to work with the site can cause a lot of questions to arise and it will be much easier to get them answered if the main source of information is available. Since the seller should know all the ins and outs of the Web site, this person is going to be the best reference you can possibly have.
Try to contact previous buyers
While feedback is a great source of information, for a quick positive or negative comment, having an actual chat with a previous buyer can be even more beneficial. This is a great way to find out the buyer’s personal experience with the seller. Was this seller helpful? Was the seller a huge pain in the neck instead? Be sure to find multiple buyers to get information from, if many are available. It’s better to get an average of many different buyers, instead of relying on the experience of only one person and basing your impression on what this person says.
Don’t be unreasonable, but do what’s necessary
Even if a seller doesn’t have a ton of feedback, this doesn’t mean the seller isn’t reliable. If site flipping isn’t what this person is into, then he/she may only have one or two feed backs. You can usually contact the seller and chat a bit. Be cautious, but not over the top when it comes to requests or expectations.
The main idea here is to find out if this seller is an all-around trustworthy individual or if he/she is simply trying to get rid of this Web site. Implementing this checklist is going to be the best way to protect yourself against making an uninformed decision when purchasing a Web site.