Having a timeshare sounds fun, but when they become too costly, or owners needs change, how easy is it to get out? Read our guide and tips on how to sell my timeshare.
Guide to Sell My Timeshare
What is a Timeshare?
A timeshare is a vacation or resort property that isn’t owned outright. Instead, tenure is divided with other timeshare owners.
The holders get the right to use the property for a certain amount of time each year, from a single week to several weeks, all depending on the terms of the contract.
Timeshares are typically purchased through timeshare companies or vacation clubs which associate with a familiar brand.
The properties can range from villas to hotel rooms (basic or suites), to apartments and cost around $20,000 at the outset.
Types of Timeshare
There are a few options available to timeshare purchasers: –
Fixed-week timeshares: This is the most common and typical timeshare version. The owner has the same week (or weeks) every year at the exact same property.
Floating-week timeshares: Under this option, titleholders get the right to use a particular property for a week or several weeks but opt when they want to use it each year.
Fractional timeshares: These timeshares are like the fixed-week timeshares, but owners are entitled to a larger use period of the property in question – normally, four-week blocks or more. Fractional timeshares are usually reserved for higher-end assets, making them rarer and more expensive.
Timeshare points: Timeshare points give the bearer more flexibility when booking vacations. Points are purchased within a network of properties and resorts, which can be redeemed when booking stays within the group. Like when booking a typical vacation, bigger and better properties booked during peak-times will cost more points.
Pros and Cons of Owning a Timeshare
- Recurring trips can be made more affordable.
- Bookings are guaranteed (for the timeslot)/ holders can lock in a vacation
- Less worry about increasing rental prices.
- Some flexibility trading locations and properties with other owners
- Some contracts allow owners to rent out their timeshare when not in use, creating more revenue.
- If this is not permitted – most timeshare weeks can be gifted, for example, to family.
- Owners are restricted to either vacationing in the same place each year or at the same time. This can work for young families, but needs evolve over time.
- Annual maintenance fees can get expensive and can increase unpredictably.
- According to the ARDA (American Resort Development Association), average yearly fees are $980 and are likely to rise.
- Timeshare salespeople are over-convincing, leading buyers to make unaffordable purchases.
- Timeshares don’t usually hold their value because of market saturation, which makes them extremely difficult to sell or unload.
- Timeshares don’t generate income.
- They aren’t an asset and don’t make sense economically.
Sell My Timeshare
Organizations that sell timeshares are infamous for using aggressive sales tactics, meaning that some owners end up entering into contracts without fully understanding what they’re getting in to.
Once the cooling-off period has expired, people have difficulty selling or giving their timeshares away. There are plenty of websites dedicated to the selling timeshares, while some remain on sales sites for months even though they’re selling for just $1!
Tips to Sell My Timeshare
1. Check the Cooling-off Period
Those who have recently bought a timeshare and feel that they got sucked into the purchase should check their timeshare contract to see if there is a cooling-off period. I.e., a retraction period is usually around five days, up to 15 days, but in some circumstances, and states, this can be just a few days.
If they are still within the rescission period, sometimes known as a deed-back clause, they can cancel, no questions asked, and hand the timeshare back to the resort company.
If the contract is unclear, holders should check with their state laws – that is, the state where the timeshare was purchased.
Canceling the contract typically requires written notice, and letters should be sent to the timeshare company via registered mail.
2. Seek Legal Advice
Timeshare laws and statutes change, therefore it’s always best to check with a lawyer to find out what current laws are.
3. Annul the Contract
Recent purchases may be covered by special terms, and there could be options to annul the timeshare contract.
4. Check if the Company Will Buy It Back
Check the contract for buyback options. Although rare, sometimes the timeshare company will buy it back, and it’s certainly worth asking, even if they give a reduced rate.
5. Hand Back the Timeshare to the Company
This seems like a waste of money, but holding onto a timeshare that costs a lot in fees could be more costly in the long term. Some companies won’t buy back a timeshare, but they will take them back for free.
6. Sell the Timeshare
Specialist realtors can help people sell their timeshares, albeit at a loss from the original purchase price. There are also designated timeshare selling websites like Redweek.com. It’s worth noting that they charge fees, and it takes around six to 18 months to sell a timeshare. Always check the fine print before listing a timeshare.
7. Employ a Timeshare Exit Company
This is a good option for anyone who would be overwhelmed by the process and is an excellent one-stop-shop with less hassle. However, holders should be aware that there are scams that need to be avoided when selling a timeshare. The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) or Better Business Bureau will record all legitimate firms and report on possible timeshare exit scams.
8. Give the Timeshare to a Charity
Because of the associated fees, even most charities refuse to accept these gifts. If people do manage to donate their timeshares, they can make charitable tax deductions (equal to the fair market value) on their taxes, provided they itemize their personal deductions on IRS Schedule A.
9. Give the Timeshare Away
If you can’t sell the timeshare, giving it away is a route to being maintenance fee-free. Despite not getting any upfront cash to replace the initial costs, it’s an option to be free of the timeshare, if all others have failed.
10. Quick Tips
- Find out the details of the contract
- Find out who has the deed
- Note the property visitation rights
- Work out the timeshare value
- Look at similar timeshares on Craigslist, eBay, and Timeshare Users Group
- If the timeshare was purchased with a loan, consider the associated debts
- Check that all maintenance payments are up to date
- Look into hiring an experienced agent to sell the timeshare
- Check the listing company is legitimate
- Check buyback options
Have you ever owned a timeshare? What ‘sell my timeshare tips’ can you share with our readers? Let us know in the comments section below.