Also, I currently have two other domains that are registered with Squarespace, and I have their annual payments set up automatically so I never have to manually pay (and so nobody else gets that window of opportunity to take the domain away from me). Would it be possible that the owner of this domain might just have a similar system in place and that I might be wasting my time?
See https://www.domainsherpa.com/domain-name-dictionary/life-cycle-of-a-typical-gtld-domain-name/. They start it in auction listings after it expires and before pending delete. I don’t know the exact dates, but if you monitor it you’ll see it go from auction, to closeout, to drop. You’ll need an auctions.godaddy.com account (I believe $5 per year) to bid and buy.
Once a domain expires, the registrar will allow around 30 days for the original owner to renew it. This period depends on the registrar and can range from 2 weeks to a whole year. Once this period is over, the domain enters the "Pending Delete" status, during which it cannot be renewed, purchased or modified in any way. Once the Pending delete status is over, the domain is dropped back into the available pool, and can now be purchased by anyone.
Warehousing: I have no clue to a percentage of warehoused domains but I know it happens. Tucows even admitted it on my blog “I know you don’t like that we’re allowed to select expiring names for the Tucows Portfolio rather than letting them all go to auction or drop but that seems to be something we have to agree to disagree about.” ~ Ken Schafer (1st comment) http://www.dotweekly.com/could-you-explain-tucows
Hi Kulwant, these are great tips as usual. I particularly like the way to tell us to check the google pagerank in case the domain has been banned – that could lower the usefulness of the domain quite a bit. One thing though, don’t you think that buying domains is sometimes immoral? Like sometimes you accidentally buy a domain of somebody elses website who forgot to renew.
But unless the domain name you want is undesirable to anyone else (e.g., it does not include real words or have a high search volume for the words), the odds are not in your favor. With over 210 million domain names registered and an active, worldwide domain name investing community, it is highly likely that someone else will also find interest in the domain name you are watching. As such, skip to Step 4.

What I like to do is sort by DP which stands for domain pop, and this is basically the number of linking root domains. So, BL is the number of back links. As you know that can be somewhat misleading if they have a lot of site wide links or multiple links from the same domain. I like to sort by domain pop. What that does is it brings up the sites with the most amount of referring domains.
When a domain name that was previously registered expires, it goes through a grace period that allows the previous registrant one last chance to reclaim their domain before it becomes available to new buyers. If the previous registrant still has not renewed their domain after the 77 day deletion process, the domain name will officially expire and enter the Aftermarket.
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