Domain Purchase Agreement

websites-for-sale-displayIf you own a domain it is very possible someone might like to buy it from you.   As business people we instruct our IT staff to buy certain domains but do not always end up using them.  If the domain is not a strategic asset then reevaluation is in order.  If the domain is parked and effectively not in use then consider selling the domain.  There are many ways to do this and some companies are in the business of buying and selling domains.   One mans junk domain is another mans treasure as the garage sale phrase goes.  If you go with a company that does this you will probably have quick exposure to lots of potential buyers.  This really depends on the company and we are not here to advise on that topic.  We sell our own domains and don’t have any sales fees.

When you agree to sell your domain to someone you do not know it is a good idea to have a couple of things in place starting with a domain purchase agreement.   This can be a simple document and we will gladly provide one that we use.  Just fill in the form on our contact page and we will shoot it right over.    The basic elements of a contract are required with specific additional clarifications for the current registrar and if you will be giving access to the current registrar account or having to move the registration record to a different registrar.

Sometimes you may want an escrow down payment showing good faith if the purchase price is a significant amount of money, $25,000 or above.  Most domains do not go for anything near that and a couple of hundred dollars is more likely for a domain that has never been marketed or used.

There are escrow companies you can use if you feel the buyer is questionable.  Above all, do not accept a foreign check and immediately give the domain to the seller.  Electronic funds, western union, paypal are going to be less risky than a potentially forged money order.  Anyone can buy a MICR toner printer cartridge and manufacture a check.   Do not give a buyer your bank account number unless it is for this purpose only.  I know some are laughing but this had to be written., do not give out your bank account information.

What if you are buying a domain..

If you are buying a domain you also want the owners name because you may not be dealing with the owner directly.  Payment should go to the entity or person named on the whois records.  A quick search gives you this information including an address to check.   One of the things you are trying to avoid is paying your money and not getting actual ownership of the domain.  We have seen some sellers create documents that amount to a long term lease instead of the sale of a domain.

An insider tip is to have the seller update the whois record by putting some text in the second line of the address field.  This will let you know the seller does have access to the registration record.  The whois could take a couple of days for an update to show up although that is not the usual case.   I would rather wait a couple of days than find out I just sent money and about to experience the loss of that money.  This little test also lets you know the person is technically capable of getting into the account and can make changes.  It has happened where someone wants to sell but does not have a clue about what to do after you pay them.

A written agreement helps for a smooth sale.    We can help if you need it.

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