If you’ve been investing in domain names long enough, it’s likely that you’ve experienced one of the most frustrating things that can happen to a domain investor. You’ve agreed to buy a domain name and the owner decides to back out for some reason.
For some it’s just frustrating, but for others there are bigger issues. Perhaps you started building out the domain name before you were in possession of it, or maybe you contacted potential buyers hoping to quickly flip it. Whatever the case, it’s a disappointment to say the least.
You may have options of you have an agreement in place, even if you don’t have an “official” contract with the seller.
My first recommendation is to be in touch with the seller and let him know you are not satisfied with the situation, especially if there isn’t an error/mistake behind the deal breaking down. Discuss options for buying other domain names or work out some sort of agreeable financial settlement for your inconvenience.
If this can’t be worked out, let him know you plan to seek legal council to remedy the situation if necessary. I like to keep lawyers out these types of situations, but let the seller know that is an option and perhaps just that threat will get him to sell, especially if he was reluctant to sell due to a higher offer.
Let the person know you plan to blog/write about the situation on a domain forum. If the seller is wrong and doesn’t have a good excuse (ie he received a higher offer or just doesn’t want to sell anymore), others should be warned about this for the future. If you opt for this route, make sure you state the facts accurately because what is written can not be taken back.
If you’ve exhausted all efforts on your own, you should be in touch with a lawyer who has domain name and IP experience (see this list of domain name lawyers). A lawyer may be expensive, but if this is a key acquisition, you’ll want to know your legal recourse to complete the sale.