Make Sure the Offer is Firm

As a domain investor, there are few things that are more annoying / frustrating / angering than agreeing to a deal with a buyer and having the deal fall through to no fault of your own. Deals fall through all the time and for many different reasons.

When I am negotiating with a prospective buyer, I regularly learn that the domain name we are discussing is one of the domain names they are considering. Oftentimes, when faced with an inquiry or offer form that requires an offer to be submitted, a prospective will enter a tentative offer. This may be the amount they would be willing to pay if they choose this domain name. They may not have finalized their domain name choice and they may be negotiating to buy several domain names when they just need one.

On one hand, I understand what they are doing. They like a few names and need to buy just one. Because many domain owners won’t negotiate with someone who isn’t a serious buyer, they need to negotiate as if they are actually buying a domain name before a decision is made. As a domain investor, it is important to know if the buyer’s offer is firm or is contingent upon other elements. Perhaps they need to finalize a domain name selection or even secure funding to make the purchase. Asking a question like, “is this a firm offer” can help determine what stage the buyer is at. Some prospects may not even realize they are agreeing to a deal by submitting an offer.

It’s frustrating when a buyer backs out of an agreed upon deal, but the domain owner (or broker) should make sure the offer is firm before proceeding with a contract and escrow. I’ve lost a few deals I thought were all wrapped up because I assumed the offer was firm. It’s better to ask if the offer is firm before agreeing to proceed.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. Even if they tell you the offer is firm, it could still go away or fall apart. Nothing is certain until the domain and money have changed hands. Best not to have any expectations or high hopes before that happens, to avoid frustration. Many inquirers can be very fickle.

  2. Best way I have found to firm up an offer is to get the buyer to confirm their final offer in an email to you. Stating the price they are going to pay and what day they will pay. Making a buyer jump through that final hoop will give you confidence the deal will get done and assurance as the offer is in writing.

  3. These are all great suggestions but sometimes sh*t happens had a offer for 5k agreed and I even sent the escrow and it was never filled, I called multiple times and he was still “considering” some people just cant commit, all you can do is send a final offering that the escrow will be closed in 24, 48, or even 72 hours and then cancel it. What is meant to be is meant to be. Yesterday is history today is a blessing and tomorrow is a mystery….I’ll take my chances and be decisive and stick to my word and move on.

  4. I once agreed to buyer $1500 offer then he backed out, after couple of month’s I sold the domain to another buyer for $8500.

    Another domain I agreed to sell for $9k and 3 different buyer’s backed out in 2 year’s period. I recently rejected $12k offer for the same domain from well known company.

  5. This happened last month with one of my domain name, The company is in crypto business they needed the domain name to upgrade from IO to COM, after nearly 2 months of negotiations, a price is agreed but they will pay only with their own coins which is traded in 2 or 3 exchanges. The sale was of $XXXXX and I repeatedly asked them if the offer was firm, and the CEO replied yes it was. I agreed to the conditions of the sale and they took all the details send me the signed agreement with the CEO signed and I returned them the agreement, mean while I took accounts in both the exchanges and verified my accounts and was waiting for the coins to arrive.
    After 24 hours and no sign I emailed them again and they said sorry we cannot proceed with the deal as the market conditions have changed, I asked them nothing has changed in the crypto space in the last 24 hours, except the fact that their coin has fallen 10% or so. and what was all this stunt for then?

    I was quite depressed and sad, but I did not say anything negative to them, hoping if they may come back.
    So I always think that a sale is only done when money in the bank.


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