What Is a Website Broker?
May 18, 2022
Selling your website can burn precious months of your time and, despite your best efforts, still end in disappointment.
If you choose to sell your website with no outside support, you're at a higher risk of mistakes, mix-ups and other problems, or even being scammed by a so-called buyer.
This guide will look at website brokerages, and how such sites can simplify the website buying and selling process by acting as a middleman between buyer and seller. By the end, you'll know what makes marketplaces and brokerages different, and which marketplaces are worth your attention.
Introduction to website brokerages
Website brokerages have a similar function to the other brokers you know, like stock brokers and real estate brokers.
Brokerages connect buyers and sellers within one space. A website is not a tangible asset like a house, which can significantly complicate the selling process.
There tends to be a lot more financial and legal acumen to deal with in the website selling process, and a good website broker should assist both buyers and sellers in navigating the sales process.
Key differences between marketplaces & brokerages
When you sell a website via a brokerage or marketplace, versus buying from a Facebook group or similar, you get the benefit of a more heavily vetted, secure selling experience.
It's worth noting that website marketplaces and brokerages are slightly different, though both help you achieve your desired result: selling your website.
Let's take a look at marketplaces and brokerages in more detail and the differences between the two.
Website marketplaces behave like any popular retail marketplace. They connect buyers and sellers on a platform that showcases the seller's products (Websites, SaaS Products, eCommerce sites, etc).
However, unlike your average marketplace, a website marketplace heavily vets its buyers, ensuring that they're serious about making a purchase and that they're not going to waste time or attempt to scam sellers.
A seller will list their website on the marketplace. Buyers will then approach them with offers. If the seller likes what they hear, they'll proceed to make the sale - a process that is also heavily vetted by the marketplace.
Like marketplaces, brokerages will evaluate your site and help you to present it in a way that will bring in the highest possible offer.
Once you've entered into a sales agreement, a website broker will determine an appropriate valuation range and present the website to potential buyers. They will then draft offers and negotiate on your behalf.
The most significant difference here is that the broker communicates directly with you and the potential buyers they think are the most suitable candidates, rather than simply showcasing your website to all interested eyes. This can sometimes mean that you complete the deal faster, but you may also miss out on better offers.
Benefits of selling a website via a marketplace or brokerage
Using a website marketplace or brokerage to sell your website can help you save time, money, and hassle and increase your likelihood of a successful deal first-time around.
Read on for some of the benefits you can expect from marketplaces and brokerages when selling a website:
Getting the deal done faster
It can take months for a website sale to go through if you sell on your own. If you're trying to sell as quickly as possible without harming the process, facilitating the sale by yourself can be a challenge.
On the best website marketplaces, however, you'll receive offers almost instantly and will be able to accept an offer within 30 days. There's no rush, though. If you want to wait around for the best offer, you can keep your website listed for longer.
When selling a website independently, you may come across seemingly interested buyers who end up ghosting you after six months of relentless back-and-forth communication.
A website marketplace greatly reduces the potential for this problem, as buyers are vetted when they sign up. You'll know that the offers coming through are legitimate, and you won't have to bother with weaning out the time-wasters.
Simplified selling process
Selling a website on your own can become complex. You may end up exchanging tens of legal documents, not entirely certain of what you need to process the deal safely.
A website brokerage or marketplace takes away the stress and worry of the selling process and simplifies it into three or four simple steps. For instance, GetAcquired has a Letter of intent and Asset purchase agreement that must be signed to complete the deal.
Potential for better deals
If you try to sell your website on social media, there's no way to know how committed your audience is. Often, you'll be reaching people who are simply browsing their options and not yet genuinely committed to making a purchase.
It takes effort for a buyer to join a website marketplace. This means that you're less likely to be messed around, as you're selling your website to an interested audience that has taken active steps to buy. The more interest you have, the better your chance of an exciting offer.
Now that we know what makes a website marketplace or brokerage worth using to sell your website, so let's take a look at some of the best website brokerages available to use today.
Profitable online businesses can get full support throughout the selling process with QuietLight. An experienced analyst offers potential sellers a free valuation for every client selling a firm. On top of that, this broker also helps guide them through the whole process and negotiates with potential buyers.
The advisors at QuietLight have been there, done that, having bought, managed, or sold an online business themselves. The team has a mantra of "Relentless Honesty" — meaning they're committed to being truthful, even when it isn't pretty.
Another great thing about QuietLight is its vast database of confirmed buyers. Hence, brokers already have leads when actively trying to promote and sell an online firm.
Seller pricing: Up to 10%, depending on the cost of the business
SaaS, content and eCommerce businesses can benefit from the merger-and-acquisitions advisory services offered by FE International.
This website brokerage targets website owners looking to sell their site for $50,000 - $5,000,000 and can help entrepreneurs with every aspect of the selling process, including exit planning, strategic negotiations, due diligence, legal structuring, post-sale, and more.
That said, the best thing about FE International is its due diligence services. This brokerage knows how to evaluate a prospective buyer's assets, so you won't be caught off guard as a seller, avoiding potential fraud. Finally, when you're ready to sell, FE International will create an in-depth sales plan, where experienced brokers will analyze your business.
Seller pricing: 2.5% flat commission
Entrepreneurs that make $250,000 - $5,000,000 in annual profit from their online businesses can sell their websites on DigitalExits. This simply means that their clientele is comprised of large businesses mostly active in technology. In other words, if you're interested in purchasing or selling a technology-oriented business, DigitalExits could be the marketplace for you.
According to the brokerage's stats, the average deal price in the last 12 months is $3,100,000, and the closing rate currently sits at 94%. DigitalExits considers the niche, business model, website traffic, profit, age of the company, and its competitors when calculating the valuation of an online business.
DigitalExits also offers great due diligence services, where once the Letter of Intent is drafted, the chosen offer undergoes extensive due diligence to verify the company's information.
Seller pricing: 10% of the sale’s gross value
For sellers looking for a curated marketplace that weeds out the non-serious buyers, Empire Flippers is a good option to consider.
Sellers are vetted, too - they must have at least $1,000 in monthly profit and 12 months of revenue to use Empire Flippers. You can get an overview of the sites currently for sale at Empire Flippers without creating an account. Plus, Empire Flippers has received a number of awards for its high success rate as a website broker.
Seller pricing: 2 - 15% commission upon completion
GetAcquired is a website marketplace that streamlines and simplifies the website selling process. You can sell your website in just 30 days with GetAcquired, so it's the obvious option if you want to sell your website quickly with little hassle, or you're just not a fan of time-wasting.
As an online marketplace, GetAcquired lets you list your website — which is as simple as submitting your information for review by the site's experts — for viewing by an audience of prospective buyers. On GetAcquired, you let the buyers come to you with offers. Waiting up to 90-120 days gives you a greater chance of receiving the best offer.
You can choose how involved the GetAcquired team is, too, with the option to pay an additional fee to have an expert assist you through the entire sale process, helping you make more money. But the choice is yours — some people prefer to work alone, and that's fine. Not all website brokerages give you this option.
If you want to combine the convenience of not having to find your own buyers with the security of advanced vetting, GetAcquired offers a solution that just makes sense.
Seller pricing: No listing fees
Selling an online business is a huge deal and something you might spend months or years preparing for. When it comes to making the sale, you want to make sure that everything runs as smoothly as possible, with a minimal chance of a failed sale. A website brokerage or marketplace can help you achieve this.
There are plenty of online marketplaces to choose from nowadays, but not all offer the same features and benefits. GetAcquired combines the benefits of a website brokerage with the freedom and flexibility of selling on a marketplace.
Do your research carefully before you settle on a marketplace to sell your website. The right website marketplace or brokerage won't just provide you with the best selling experience — it can also help you get thousands more from your sale.