Many people sell a domain or otherwise find themselves in a situation were they must transfer domain name ownership. Thankfully, this task is relatively easy when you know what you’re doing. It shouldn’t take long, provided you follow the instructions included in this article and are prepared. Please note that it is best to complete this process in one session for security reasons. You don’t want to accidentally stay logged into your domain name hosting website, for example. The whole process shouldn’t take very long, but it does depend on your hosting company. It can take as long as two hours or as short as one hour. Here’s how to do it.
Step One: Make Sure You’ve Agreed Final Terms With Your Buyer
The first, and arguably most important, step is to make absolutely sure you and the buyer of your domain name have closed the sale. In fact, it may be best for you to wait until the funds are actually in your account for the transfer to take place. Most websites dedicated to facilitating domain name transfers have an escrow service available for these transactions. However, sometimes buyers can take possession of a website and get the funds in escrow returned to them by lies and trickery. Don’t take this risk. Set forth an agreement, make sure your buyer has signed the documents, and wait until you actually have the money. When you do, you can begin the process of transferring the domain name.
Step Two: Check Out How Much Time You Have Left on Your Domain Name
Domain name subscriptions usually give you the right to a name for a year. However, there are other lengths available, most commonly two or three years. Since you are selling your domain, you’ll be transferring the name in the middle of your subscription. Unfortunately, the standard etiquette in domain name transfers is for the seller to continue paying for the current subscription, and for the buyer to purchase a new subscription when the previous subscription runs out. This is not usually considered to be that big of a deal, as these subscriptions generally cost less than 10 dollars. However long you may have left, you need to communicate this information to your buyer so that they can renew the account before it falls dormant. If this happens, the domain will be up for grabs for free.
Step Three: The Buyer’s Part in Facilitating the Transfer
The next step is for the buyer to set up an account with the registrar that the domain name is registered with. It is possible to transfer a domain name between registrars, but it is much more complicated and time consuming. It’s best to do it this way, and the buyer can transfer the domain name to a different registrar afterwards if they so choose. There are may be some small fees associated with doing this, but most registrars will not charge for this service.
Step Four: Change Relevant Settings in Your Management Software
Most, if not all, website management software suites provided by hosting companies have settings dedicated to stopping the theft of domains. While this is certainly a useful feature, these settings must be turned off for the transfer to take place. The first setting that needs to be turned off is usually called “domain lock” or “domain protection.” This setting prevents someone else from taking control of the domain. Of course, this is exactly what you are trying to do, so this needs to be disabled. Many management suites also have a “domain privacy” setting, which will prevent the buyer from getting the email with the authorization link they need to take over the domain. Obviously, this needs to be disabled as well. The final part of this step is to make sure that the email the link goes to the buyer’s correct email address. Usually, it will be set to your email address by default, so you will likely need to change this. When you’ve done this, you are ready to move on to the next step. Don’t worry, it gets easier from here.
Step 5: Ensure the Buyer Submits The Transfer Request
This next step must be taken by the buyer, but the buyer may require assistance (especially if they are doing this for the first time). They have to log into their account with the registrar and submit a request to transfer a domain. This process is pretty much the same with every registrar. This is a very common operation, so the registrar will make it quite easy to find the relevant page and to submit the request to transfer the domain. All the buyer will need to do is put the domain name in the request and send it.
Step 6: Accepting the Transfer Request
The next part of the process involves you accepting the transfer request and finalizing the domain name transfer. You should get an email pretty much instantly when the buyer submits the request to transfer the domain. To accept it, first log in to the account you have with the domain name registrar. Next, go to the part of the user interface that displays your messages. Accept the request. Please note that you will almost never be able to do this simply with an email, as this is not very secure. Once you’ve done this, the process should be complete. Be prepared to respond to any questions the buyer may have, and keep all of your paperwork. You need to be able to prove you are no longer the owner of the domain name for liability reasons.
After You’ve Transferred a Domain Name
Now that you have one transfer domain name ownership procedure under your belt, the next one should be a piece of cake. However, you shouldn’t be afraid to refer back to the instructions if you get stuck. Doing this process incorrectly can have serious consequences.