RealEstate.com Sold for $8.25 Million? | DomainInvesting.com
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RealEstate.com Sold for $8.25 Million?

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Robin Wauters at TechCrunch is reporting that RealEstate.com was acquired for $8.25 million. I assume the site, which ranks #3 in Google for the term “real estate,” was included in the deal. In my opinion, this is a hell of a deal for the buyer. I don’t entirely trust the accuracy of Compete, but they peg the traffic at 600k+ visitors a month and growing.

RealEstate.com is the category defining domain name and has a bunch of traffic, and I am surprised it sold for under $10 million. Of course I don’t know any financials behind the company so my opinion is simply based on the domain name and traffic.

Based solely on the merits of the domain name, do you think $8,250,000 is a fair deal for RealEstate.com or do you think it’s worth more or less?


About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.


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Comments (29)

    Larry

    I think a good way to phrase this question might be “If you owned RealEstate.com what would you have sold it for?”

    Not including the other value that we don’t have the full picture on and just talking about the domain name itself if it were my name I would have sold it for anything I could get over 1.5 million to 2 million. And would have felt I did the right thing even if I read this story later. (I had a case where I sold a 4 letter domain for maybe $15,000 and then years later the entire company based on the domain was sold to a television network for 300 million approx.)

    There are a limited amount of buyers for this name. Owning this name and passing up an offer over 2 million means you might wait years and years or never get anything and have to dump it to another domain investor.

    September 21st, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Lawyer salary

    I would say that depends on previous owner whether there where knowledge and money to develop this domain or not

    I think in right hands it would be a lot of more than 8.25 million but if you don’t have enough knowledge and connections in real estate field to continue development, then that is fair price.

    September 21st, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    AB

    I am by no means an expert, but would this be one of those domains that is “too generic”?

    Obviously the site is great and with it’s SEO it ranks for lots of geoRealEstate terms, but if this was a parked domain I wonder how much type-in it would get.

    Do people really type in or search for just “real estate” without adding the geo before or after the term?

    September 21st, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Don

    This is steal. Great price. They now can develop that way it should be

    September 21st, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Alan Dunn

    $50 million … this was the sale of the decade

    September 21st, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    wanna develop?

    Looks like site is only getting a few hundred thousand unique visitors per month…. And traffic has been on the decline for a while now. Somethings gotta give :(

    September 21st, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    George Pickering

    No where near $50M. Deals like this for sites with this much traffic a month and quality domains are going for around what the seller paid. Nice deal. Not a steal. But a fair price.

    September 21st, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    John

    LEDR looks interesting:
    http://finance.yahoo.com/q/ks?s=LEDR+Key+Statistics
    Been flat line basing since 2008.
    This could propel them higher.
    Definitely worth watching after this purchase

    September 21st, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Aggro

    @ Larry

    You would have sold for anything $1.5-2M ?

    You wouldn’t know a Top 5 domain if it hit you in the face

    You’re a shmuck

    Pure & simple

    September 21st, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Aggro

    Again…

    Those of you who talk about search numbers (aka domain or painting-by-numbers) as an appraisal tool in relation to the keyword weighting are simply clueless

    This is a category defining domain in an industry worth trillions

    Too generic? Bwahahaha

    Fooking numbnuts..

    September 21st, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Tony

    It’s a good deal for the buyer as the value and future earnings from the domain will dwarf what the buyer paid but I do not agree this a top five domain.

    I would take the following over it easily:

    Jobs.com
    Loans.com
    Games.com
    Insurance.com
    Homes.com
    CarInsurance.com

    September 21st, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Josh

    The domain alone is worth more than the price paid, and it is in no way too generic. You can bet a term that gets over a million exact searches per month gets type-ins as well.

    The site has over 500k backlinks built over 15 years. What do you think those are worth?

    September 21st, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    larry fischer

    This purchase was a great deal. Congrats to buyer.

    September 21st, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    David J Castello

    It’s a $20 million site minimum.

    September 21st, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    larry fischer

    @TONY. Its a hard comparison.I would be happy with any of those names you list, except I do like home.com better than homes.com.

    September 21st, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    Steve Stankiewicz

    I believe it’s a bargain. Tony – Games.com & Loans.com I agree would be top 5 material IMHO. Josh – if you look at it in that manner we are talking $30 a link over the years which I myself would be happy with.

    September 21st, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Carlo MacDonald

    This was a steal of the century. Being in the real estate business and familiar with the buyer, whoever brokered this deal is an idiot, unless they worked for the buyer. A correclty developed website, 8 million will be made 10 times over each year…and keep in mind, they got 400 other fricken domains?!?! and all technology. These guys must have been holding back the IRS, because what other reason would you sell it? I give the value at the 20-30 million, easy. Because its developed and has traffic.

    the idiot who talkeld about type in traffic?! who cares….you dont buy this domain for that. its a category killer.

    Well done.

    September 21st, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    don

    who is going 2 pay 20 million for this, there is NO trackrecord for any online venture making money in the real estate industry, look at realtor.com, zillow.com, etc…no one has figured out a way to make this work …so while it may appear to be a great domain, it only works if you have a biz plan that fits and a way to generate revenue, lending tree had a lot of potential synergies, was good at lead gen and never got it working

    September 21st, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    M. Menius

    Looking at RealEstate.com as a long term investment, I would say that it was underpriced and/or an exceptional deal & acquisition for that price. I agree with Aggro’s comments as a world class, category defining domain. There is no equal in the real estate industry, not even a close one, with the notable exceptions of maybe Homes.com or Condos.com. Ditto the comment that assigning value on current traffic is a moronic approach to valuating the domain.

    September 21st, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    Alan Dunn

    Don,

    In defense of your argument the online industry is less than a decade old for most firms – firms who carried massive debt and operationl costs from being the first movers lost thier ass when the market collpased.

    However what cost $100 million to do 5 years ago probably cost $10 million to do today. The past performance of these online companies is not predictive of companies starting today. We are still in the very early stages of learning how the whole industry works and there are companies around who could easily cough up 20 or 50 million for these, satisfy investors and raise more funds.

    Not only is there massive type in traffic but the cost of creating a brand as well known and intuitive as realestate.com costs millions. You are not buying just a domain name here, you are buying sooo much more.

    Also, unlike many domainers who want 50,000 percent return on thier investment most of the world (including wall street) settles with 5 to 8% annual return and are ecstatic with 15%.

    September 21st, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    Hal Meyer

    Arguing over its absolute rank on the list of the best domains of all time is pointless.

    The point that is important is that this domain is definitely on that list. Whether it is #5 or #22.. is a bit absurd.

    Yes, the domain was a steal at $8.25 million. Half a million backlinks and the category defining phrase for one of the most important commercial keyword phrases on the internet makes it potentially worth eight figures –maybe even nine. With a roaring economy, it could be worth half a billion.

    Real estate is a very fragile industry that thrives during good times. Right now it is not so good. The silver lining is that related assets can be bought cheap during these spectacular downturns. I submit this as “Exhibit A.”

    September 22nd, 2011 at 1:03 am

    ri.sk

    I say it was a high price, but as always, circumstances and the market will decide. Congrats to both buyer and seller :-)

    September 22nd, 2011 at 2:44 am

    Jonathan

    @ Elliot Silver “RealEstate.com is the category defining domain name and has a bunch of traffic, and I am surprised it sold for under $10 million.”

    Your later post re category defining domains =

    Same can be said about any vertical, like insurance. In most worthwhile industries, there are companies who are very competitive with search results. Having the EMD may be helpful but isn’t everything.

    Hell of on edge though.

    September 22nd, 2011 at 3:32 am

    Dan

    ‘There is NO trackrecord for any online venture making money in the real estate industry’

    Check out Right Move in the UK (current market cap over £1billion).

    Given the potential of the domain, seems like a decent price for the buyer.

    September 22nd, 2011 at 4:58 am

    Internet Media

    This is not a pure domain sale! This sale should be viewed on the tens of thousands of monthly inquiries that flow through the revenue sharing channel with real estate brokers in the mid-large MSA markets across the country. I would venture to guess the buyer is an end user that will monetize the internet brand very well. We have been a RealEstate.com marketing partner in Denver for the past year and done very well.

    IMO, this was an incredible buy.

    Peter
    DenverRealEstate.com

    September 22nd, 2011 at 8:56 am

    nurse practitioner jobs

    Given the traffic and the category defining name in an industry that has benefited greatly from internet traffic… I see this as a heck of a deal. Just wait… we’ll see this one resell for 10x IMO. Of course the business plan will be the driving factor behind the success of this domain.

    September 22nd, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Richard St Cyr

    I agree with David a minimum of 20 million and I think that is on the low side.
    Hell 1 house can see for 20 million.
    Just my opinion.

    Dick

    September 22nd, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    Logan

    What if the RealEstate.com business came with a bunch of debt attached to it? $8.25 million may not look so good if the buyer in completing the deal had to assume $10 million in debt incurred by the seller in developing the RealEstate.com business?

    I don’t know if the seller had such debts; I’m just suggesting that you cannot always look at the headline price and assume that is the extent of the deal. Hell, the seller may have agreed to sell the company for $8.25 million paid out over 10 years and the buyer may eventually default on those payments. Who knows? It’s all supposition when it’s not a straight domain name purchase paid in full in cash up front.

    September 24th, 2011 at 1:31 am

    Scottsdale Steve

    I strongly suspect that they will go after the Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com business model. If so, it’ll be a damn shame. Those are all failed models. If they were able to become a referral based model, then the $8.25M is a fair price.

    September 24th, 2011 at 1:51 am

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