When a prospective buyer makes a serious offer to buy one of my domain names, I like to ask a question like this:
When could you close on the deal?
When could you pay for the domain name?
These similar questions can help me determine if it is a bonafide offer or someone who is just trying to get a price. There’s nothing really wrong with the later if it is a genuine buyer, but my pricing may be different depending on how the buyer answers the question.
I like asking this question to prospective buyers who made a serious offer on a domain name. I might not accept the offer that was submitted, but their answer can tell me a few things. For one thing, it gives me clarity on when they plan to pay. Do they want to do a deal ASAP or are they wishy washy on the deal. Someone who tells me they will pay right away is more serious, in my opinion, than someone who can’t give me a straight forward answer.
Understanding when the buyer is going to pay can also establish that the buyer doesn’t expect payment terms, like monthly payments. This is helpful to know because the price expectations will be different if someone is going to take a long time to pay for the domain name.
Over the past several days, I have been negotiating the sale of one of my domain names. When I asked the buyer this question, he told me his business unit approved the offer but he would need corporate approval for a deal of this magnitude before proceeding. In short, this may have been a genuine offer, but it is not a firm offer. Had I agreed to the deal, he could have replied that corporate only approved a deal of $x. I could have had a nice deal on my mind, but in reality, it was contingent on something out of my control and unknown. I told him he would need to submit a firm offer with corporate approval before it is considered.
Asking when someone will be able to fund a deal can help solidify an offer and ensure both parties are on the same page with respect to payment terms.