Website brokers act much like real estate brokers or business brokers, they facilitate a sale and charge a fee for their services. In recent years, selling blogs, niche websites, and other income websites is becoming more popular. The demand is getting higher every year driving the multiples higher and higher.
The multiple refers to the way the valuation is determined. Assuming we were using a 6 months average, and the last 6 months average income (L6M) of a given website is $500/month. If you sell that website at 40x that average, that site sold at a 40x multiple.
Just a few years ago a 25x to 30x multiple was considered very fair for a high quality site. Now that range for high quality sites is between 40x and 50x… often much higher. More money is being poured into this industry each year, by new buyers and repeat website flippers alike.
You basically have 2 options when selling a website, using a broker or find a direct sale. Direct sales come with plenty of risks, but you get to keep all of the money from the sale.
Both options have pros and cons which we look at later in the article.
How much do website brokers charge?
Website brokers generally charge between 5% and 20% of the total sale price to help you sell your website. I’m sure I don’t know about every single website broker out there, but of the ones I do know about, this is the range of commissions and fees you’ll find at various ones.
4 website brokers and how much they charge
There are certainly other brokers out there, but here are the first 4 that came to mind for me.
Empire Flippers is one of the most trusted and well-known website brokers there are. They mainly deal in higher dollar properties, but you can sometimes find content sites selling on there in the $20k to $30k range. I have not used them personally, but I’ll likely sell a site on there next year.
Empire Flippers success fees:
- Under $700,000 – Commission will be a flat 15% on the sale price.
- Between $700,000 and $5M – Commission will be reduced to 8% on the amount above $700,000 and below $5,000,000.
- The value of a business above $5 million – Commission will further be reduced to 2.5% on the amount above $5,000,000
Flippa is another broker and website marketplace that has been around for a long time. I know there are plenty of people that are able to find great deals on Flippa, but there are 10x as many spammy sites for sale on here. So you really have to be good at the due diligence part of buying a website. Personally, I steer clear of Flippa.
Flippa has a tiered success fee based on the sale price, along with a $49 listing fee for revenue generating websites. They also have many 3rd party partners that will help facilitate the sale of your website for 15%.
Flippa’s success fees:
- Under $50k – 10%
- $50,001 – $100,000 – 7.5%
- $100,000+ – 5%
Motion invest has been around for a couple of years and is still establishing themselves, but they are growing and constantly listing new sites. I’ve personally 2 small sites with them now with no problems. The first one sold at a 44x multiple, the second one at 42x.
Motion Invest success fees:
- Over $20k – 15%
- Under $20k – 20%
I don’t know much about FE, but I know they deal in big sites and they’ve been around since 2010. I’ve received emails from them on 2 of my sites asking if I was interested in selling. I couldn’t find their official success fees on their website, but others have mentioned that it ranges between 10-15 percent.
Pros and cons of using a website broker
I’ve been trying to think of the cons of using a broker to sell your website, but there just aren’t many aside from the fee. Who wouldn’t want someone else to take care of every aspect of the sale of the site? It really just comes down to the success fee you’ll charged from the sale.
- Added sense of security
- Less work for the seller
- Broker deals with tire-kickers and all questions as well as the buyer
- Brokers will often take care of the complete migration and transfer
- It’s the most hands-off and secure way to sell a site
- Broker success fees can be up to 20% of the sale price
- Submitting the info and screenshots to the broker for the valuation can be a hassle
Is using a website broker worth it?
That really depends on the situation. If you regularly flip sites and have direct relationships with buyers that you trust, then a direct sale is always going to be the best option. Success fees can really add up.
But if you don’t have a network of buyers in your back pocket then going through a broker is a good option. You can seek out your own direct deal, and many people do this through Facebook groups and other outlets, but there’s more risk. Personally I’d rather give a broker a piece of the action to have that peace of mind.