Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions Facebook & G+ community.
Richard Hearne: Depends whether owner is an SEO or a domainer. EMDs for SEO are far less effective right now, but EMDs for branding are as hot as ever. More and more domains are passing hands in aftermarket, and prices have remained pretty stable throughout all Google updates.
If it`s owned by a domainer they might also offer you a lease-to-buy option. That way you could test things and your lease payments are set against final purchase price. If he`s not a domainer (i.e. probably not as greedy) you could offer him less. Check the Whois and see what other domains he owns.
If I was going to rent a domain for $59 p.m. I`d probably accept a sale price of $1000-1500. But that`s just me.
I`d have a Plan B though. Trying to buy might leave too large a gap between what he wants and what you`re willing to pay. It`s always good to have an alternative in place to avoid disappointment..
Richard Hearne: Here`s what I`d do: 1. decide a hard limit for what you`re willing to pay 2. Make an approach to the owner with an offer for 60% of this limit 3. See if you can negotiate a sale within this limit 4. If not tell the owner you`re a serious buyer but do not have the resources to meet his expected price. Then ask him if he`d be willing to sell on lease-to-buy terms and pay a monthly lease payment which offsets against final purchase price
Lease-to-buy is quite a hot topic right now amongst domainers, but one word of warning is to ensure that you have a properly vetted contract in place for any agreement. The domain will be his property until he transfers it on final payment, so you do need to cover yourself.
If you want to see what other domains he owns (without paying for this info) try out webboar.com/tools/whois-lookup/ His other domains will give you a good idea of how expert he likely is. Can help with negotiation.