What You Need to Do After Your Domain SellsPosted: January 31, 2012
You’ve reached the agreement, received payment and transferred the domain – congratulations, you’ve made a domain sale! The process isn’t over yet however.
It’s easy to overlook what needs to happen once your domain has sold. Sometimes missing a step can cause problems for the buyer or worse, may even cause the buyer to dispute the purchase!
Here’s what you should do once your domain has sold:
1. Confirm the transfer has been completed and the buyer has the domain
All too often, you think the domain has transferred when it hasn’t. For instance, with some registrars like GoDaddy, once you’ve initiated the push of the domain, the buyer still needs to accept it on their end. Also, sometimes with transfers across different registrars, you might assume you accepted the transfer and only realize the buyer didn’t receive the domain when they email you asking about it.
Other issues can arise that may stop the transfer from happening. If the domain is still within the initial 60-day lock period, you won’t be able to transfer it to another registrar. Often you won’t find that out until the transfer gets rejected.
Another transfer issue that affects .co.uk is registrant info held at the registry, Nominet. That information needs to be changed BEFORE the domain transfer takes place or the domain usually can’t be transferred. Even if it does transfer without issue, the new owner won’t be able to change the registrant whois information at their registrar.
Ultimately, you want to make sure the buyer has the domain and there are no issues once you’ve completed the transaction.
2. Check the whois of the domain to confirm the buyer’s details are on it
If the buyer received your domain through a transfer across different registrars, there’s a good chance your whois information may still be on the domain. That’s because unlike a domain push, a transfer does not automatically change the whois information to the default on the new account. Often, buyers will simply confirm they have the domain and may neglect to check the whois themselves.
You may wind up getting contacted by someone trying to reach them, or may simply cause confusion or annoyance for the buyer once they realize your information is still on it. If you see their information still on it, simply send them a follow-up email informing them to change the whois. They’ll be glad for your follow-through and it will save any potential mix-ups.
3. Remove the domain from any for-sale listings
This is another step that often gets overlooked until the buyer comes back asking for you to do it. Since you’ve sold the domain, you need to make sure any sales listings are removed.
The first issue that can arise is someone coming across the sales listing and buying the domain. Obviously since you no longer have the domain, you can’t sell it. If this happens enough times, the marketplace may consider limiting or banning your account for listing domains you don’t own.
The second issue involves the sales listings being indexed in search engines. If the buyer is using the domain, someone searching for it seeing sales listings may not take their site seriously. If the buyer wanted to resell the domain, they may want to list the domain on those marketplaces and may have issues doing so with your existing listings. Additionally, your listings may show a lower price than they’re seeking which could cause them to lose a sale.
Remember, removing sales listings also includes clearing out any forum posts in which you list the domain for sale in addition to Afternic, Sedo, GoDaddy and anywhere else it may be listed, including your own site.
4. Remove the domain from your inventory spreadsheet or database
Many of you who sell domains likely use Excel, Access, or a similar spreadsheet or database program to keep track of your domains. Once you’ve completed the domain sale, make sure to remove your domain from those spreadsheets. It will help make sure you don’t inadvertently relist the domain for sale anywhere and keep an accurate inventory for renewing domains and looking up certain kinds of domains when buyers request them.
5. Update your financial records
Lastly, make sure you account for the sale. Don’t forget to factor in any commissions and payment processing costs involved. If you’re unsure of how to properly account for the sale for tax purposes, consult a tax accountant. There’s no set way to handle a domain sale – how it should be handled often depends on many different circumstances.