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The owner has proposed 6 months, option to buy at any time with 30 day notice. THen I'd have 7 days to put the funds in escrow and he'd push the name to my Godaddy account.
1) What if at some point during the lease, the owner reneges and sells to someone else? Then they've observed my work and can copy it, and I'm screwed.
2) What if they just refuse to sell me the name at the end (presumably to copy whatever I've done with the site)?
3) How do I keep things discreet if I am successful?
4) Are there other risks I haven't foreseen, but which I should?
5) Can we have the escrow agent take the domain's whois and put it in their name for the period of the lease?
6) What about putting the full buy price with the escrow up front, pay the lease fee, and have the whois transferred to me? Then they don't need to worry about me running off with the domain without paying, cuz the money is in escrow. I could do nothing or signify my intent to keep the domain, if I still want it at the end of the lease. If I want to return it and get my money, then I'd need to signify that. Think this would work?
7) Any other advice or tips would be great. Negotiation is also interesting...
Sounds like a bad idea, but if you're confident of making enough to pay the legal fees (and you have a lawyer that you trust) it might work. However, if you're that confident, maybe you should just buy it.