The Emotional Roller Coaster when Selling Your Website

June 30, 2014  |   How to Buy & Sell Websites   |     |   Comments Off on The Emotional Roller Coaster when Selling Your Website

Selling a website is an emotional process. A lot of focus is placed on the numbers involved in selling a website. But the truth is, emotions drive a website sale much more than numbers do.

Every website seller I’ve ever talked to always starts out with an over-priced valuation of his website. The seller has invested a lot of time and money in his business and views its value as more than simply the numbers it has produced. For the seller, it’s about the potential value that it can produce in the future for a buyer. The seller’s emotion is wrapped up in his analysis and this emotional value is added to his appraisal.

Unfortunately, the first interested buyer who presents himself shatters that valuation. He’s not interested in the potential future value or in how much time and money the seller has invested. He’s only focused on the actual past and present numbers produced. His valuation and offer can seriously offend the seller.

This is where emotion can derail a website sale. The seller may decide that the website is worth significantly more and choose to let that buyer go.

However, more buyers show up and present offers in the same price range as the first buyer. And as the website sits longer and longer on the market, there are fewer buyers and their offers are even less than the original offers.

The seller’s feeling of being offended turns to disbelief. How could the website have dropped in value so quickly?

The answer is, the website did not drop in value. Early buyers want to acquire the website as quickly as possible before future buyers show up. Therefore, they are willing to pay more to close a deal quickly. Their offers may be lower than what the seller expected. But generally they represent the price range in which the average serious buyer would buy the website.

As time goes by, this sense of urgency disappears as buyers show up later and realize that the website has been on the market for a while. These late buyers are in no rush and therefore make lower offers.

The website never lost any real financial value. The perception of the website’s value changed over time.

This is human nature at work. The first buyers are more emotional than later buyers. Intense emotion leads to higher prices. Emotion explains why buyers rush in and push the price up in the last minutes of an auction. The sense of urgency creates emotion which boosts the sale price.

Similarly, in a website sale, there’s emotion on both sides of the table. The seller’s emotions and the buyer’s emotions are constantly at play. These emotions during each offer and counter-offer negotiation determine the sale price more than the actual website numbers do.

This is the emotional roller coaster you experience when selling your website.


Kris Tabetando provides mergers & acquisitions (M&A) advisory and brokerage services to Internet companies. He also partners with investors to acquire & manage Internet businesses.

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