In my experience, I always start with a phone call with the buyer. I must understand the buyer’s needs before I begin the work to acquire a domain on behalf of a buyer. Back to my home-buying analogy, I would think it would be strange if I never spoke to my Realtor before he or she looks to find me and my family our dream home. How could they do a great job without understanding the situation?
If you have a domain already picked out that you would like to acquire, it would be infinitely beneficial to know what that domain is before the call. Then we can then do some preliminary research and a basic appraisal on the domain name.
When we speak for the first time, I like to know who I am working with. I tend to ask basic questions about the plans for the business (budget, timing, size, etc.). Wanting an NDA is within reason. This is what I want to know in a nutshell:
#1 - What is the name ahead of time. I can find out what I think it is worth, research the owner, and see what is happening on the domain right now.
#2 - I would like to have an understanding of what the proposed budget is for purchasing the domain name. I will provide my professional opinion if that budget coincides with the fair market value of the domain or if we are running a fool’s errand. Once the discussion is completed, an agreement will be sent, executed; then, the work will commence.
#3 - When do you need the domain by? This is a big one. Coming in hard and fast can create the idea of desperation in the seller’s mind, and thus a higher price. We need to test the waters.
#4 - Have you contacted the owner already? If so, what was communicated, and what was offered. What was their response? I ask that the client forwards me this information.
I have had people leave those details out and the approach that is taken is potentially the wrong one. The more information we have, the better we can serve our clients.
Once the discussion is completed, a signed agreement will be sent, and the work will commence.