For many people, timeshares can be a great way to have planned vacations for years to come. Buying a timeshare means that you own a portion of a vacation property, or have the rights to use that property for a certain time period each year.
However, there are many other additional fees and hassles that come with timeshare ownership, and these properties are notoriously difficult to sell or get out of. Many people that buy into timeshares find that one day, for many reasons, their timeshare has become more of a burden than a fun vacation opportunity, and they find themselves wanting out.
Common Reasons People Want to Sell Their Timeshares
There are many reasons why someone might want to sell their timeshare. With the predatory sales tactics that many timeshare companies use, it’s quite common for people to want out when they find out that their timeshare is not as great as they originally thought. Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons why people may want to try to sell their timeshares:
1. The Timeshare Is No Longer Affordable
Timeshare salespeople love to convince you that owning a timeshare is a bargain and an investment. However, the payments and added fees quickly add up and become more of a financial burden. Many timeshare properties are financed through mortgages and other loans, and all sorts of life changes can make these payments unaffordable at some point.
Beyond the monthly payment for a timeshare, other added fees can crop up, rendering timeshare ownership completely unaffordable. Annual maintenance fees are subject to change year-to-year, and some timeshare properties can tack on additional special fees, called assessments, as well. The total costs can be much higher than anticipated and can be a challenge for timeshare owners to keep up.
2. Life and Health Changes
All sorts of changes occur as we age — both expected and unexpected. Couples can experience breakups, separations or divorces that may make sharing a timeshare complicated. A new job situation could change the ability to travel, or new children or grandchildren in the family could change desired travel plans too.
As people age, health concerns can also throw a wrench in vacation and timeshare plans. Certain health issues can limit the ability to travel, as well as the available funds for traveling. And it may not even be the timeshare owner that has the health concern. Sometimes, when someone becomes a primary caregiver for another family member, they may be unable or unwilling to travel while their loved ones are ill. Or if a spouse or other close family member has passed away, the timeshare they used to share may now be unwanted.
3. Family Members Don’t Want the Timeshare
Timeshare developers and salespeople often use the ability to pass a timeshare down to children or other family members as a huge selling point. Many people are sold on this idea of having an investment that they can give to their families later on. However, many times the family members are simply not interested in the timeshare property. They may not want to go to the property you’ve chosen, or may not be able to utilize the timeshare often enough to make it worth keeping.
Additionally, different life and financial situations may make the timeshare unaffordable for your family members. Even if the mortgage is fully paid off when the timeshare is passed down, the maintenance fees and other costs may not be doable for your family. They may be left with an expensive property that they don’t want.
4. Lack of Options With Timeshare
At the time a timeshare is purchased, the idea of additional options, like trading for a different resort, can be very appealing. However, after buying the timeshare, some owners find that the options are not as great as they originally thought. Often, the trade options presented at the sales pitch are actually extremely difficult to find any availability that works. Or sometimes, the resort company is challenging or frustrating to deal with when attempting to trade for a different location or date.
The timeshare industry is booming and continually changing. This can mean that properties and companies are often bought out by other companies. This can change the rules or available properties and dates for timeshare owners looking to trade their time for a different vacation. These frustrating changes can leave timeshare owners feeling stuck in their home properties, and they may want out so they can have more travel options again.
5. Timeshare Isn’t Being Used
Many reasons can get in the way of enjoying a timeshare, whether it’s money, family or something else. Surprisingly to many, one of the most common reasons that people want to sell their timeshares is that they simply go unused. If the timeshare isn’t being used as often as the owner originally intended, and the extra options like trading prove too challenging, it may not be worth it to hang on to the property, continuing to pay fees for a timeshare that they never visit.
Beyond all of these issues, sometimes it can get tiresome going to the same property year after year. Even if the timeshare property is a beloved travel destination, the desire to travel elsewhere and experience variety can sometimes win out. And if the trading options are too difficult, the owner may want out so that they have a wider variety of vacation choices again.
Additionally, it may come as a surprise that some timeshare owners own more than one timeshare property, and they find that over time, the extra vacation properties just aren’t being used. Frequent travelers may choose to invest in several different timeshare properties, vacationing several times each year — but there often comes a time when this becomes too much and owners wish to get rid of the extra timeshare properties.
How to Sell a Timeshare
If you’re ready to sell your timeshare, for whatever reasons, it can be tough to know where to start. Selling a timeshare isn’t always an easy procedure, but there are a few steps you can follow:
1. Gather All the Important Paperwork
Before you can even begin to think about selling your timeshare, you’ll need to take another look at all of the information you have on the property. If you signed any type of contract, deed or other agreement, you’ll want to gather those and read through the details again. Sometimes the timeshare owner is in possession of an actual deed, and sometimes the timeshare is a “right-to-use” type of property in which the resort has the deed.
You’ll need to know what type of timeshare you have and make sure that you have a physical copy of the deed, if you have a deeded timeshare. When you’ve gathered all of the important documents, make note of specific details, like the location and name of the resort, the description of your timeshare unit and any property amenities as well as the details of your arrangement — for example, a fixed week, floating week, points system or something else. Usually, any accumulated points will need to be converted before selling.
2. Find out Your Timeshare’s Market Value
You should have some realistic expectations regarding how much your timeshare is worth, and what you might get if you decide to sell. Unfortunately, many timeshare owners are surprised to find out that their timeshare is not worth as much as they thought. Salespeople like to push timeshares as investments, but the truth is that these properties almost always depreciate very quickly. Is your timeshare fully paid, or do you still have mortgage payments on the property?
A timeshare with a mortgage attached to it is nearly impossible to sell. All other fees and expenses should be caught up and paid in full as well. Do some research on other similar timeshares that are currently for sale. Look for units in similar locations and with similar sizes and amenities to your own. Be sure to look at both for-sale and sold listings — the sold listings are usually a better indication of actual sale prices.
3. Attempt to Sell the Timeshare
After you’ve gathered all the info and done all your research, it’s time to try selling your timeshare. However, it’s not recommended that you try to sell it yourself. Most timeshare owners find that they are unsuccessful without professional help. Look around for real estate agents who are experienced and specialize in vacation properties, or find a listing company that deals with timeshares. You can also ask your resort company to take your timeshare back.
If you decide to go through your original resort, don’t expect to get much, if any, money back for your timeshare, although you’ll be free of other fees and obligations. Also beware of deals and upgrades, like additional timeshare properties or vacation points, your resort company may offer you instead of buying your timeshare back, leaving you stuck with even more unwanted timeshare property. Often, the best option is to forgo selling your timeshare altogether and use a reputable timeshare exit company to help you get out of your timeshare property.
Scams in the Timeshare Resale Market
If you’re hoping to sell your timeshare, the unfortunate truth is that, in addition to being incredibly difficult, scams in the industry abound. It’s a good idea to be aware of these timeshare resale scams, so you can avoid falling prey to their slick tactics.
Finding a place to list your timeshare for sale is quite easy — there are tons of timeshare resale companies out there. The problem is in actually selling the timeshare property. The timeshare market is fully saturated, both with plenty of new timeshares available and lots of timeshare owners wanting to sell theirs. Unfortunately, there are not enough interested buyers for all of these available units.
With all of this in mind, many timeshare resale businesses prey on timeshare owners, offering to help them sell their vacation properties, with deals that often sound too good to be true. These agents make all sorts of promises, almost as convincing as the original timeshare salespeople, making the sale sound easy and profitable. Sometimes, they will even ask for an upfront fee to list your timeshare on their website, but their site is already full of for-sale listings, with very few buyers.
Scammers take this idea a step farther, offering to sell a timeshare property for an upfront fee, and then they disappear with the money. The scammers may even claim to have an interested buyer waiting, but usually, no such buyer exists. Sometimes, the timeshare owner may then be contacted by a second scammer, offering to help them recover the lost fees from the first scam, for another fee of course. Then the second scammer also disappears with any money paid.
Such scams are opportunistic, some may also be illegal, and all of them leave you still holding your unwanted timeshare. So, how can you avoid these scammers?
- Do your research. Search for information on the timeshare resale company in question, paying attention to reviews, certifications and BBB ratings. Also do a quick search of the company name, plus “scam” to see if any results pop up.
- Don’t give out your information. If any timeshare company cold-calls you, do not share any personal information or details about your timeshare. Reputable timeshare companies won’t contact you first without a lead.
- Never pay huge upfront fees. Legitimate companies usually only need a small fee to start the process of helping you out of your timeshare. Don’t trust any timeshare business that asks for everything upfront.
- Don’t use money orders, cash or certified checks. These types of payments for fees are much more difficult for law enforcement to track down and recover in a scam, and scammers often request payment through these methods.
Scammers come up with all sorts of enticing promises to convince you to “sell” your timeshare with them, but in the end, you’ll still likely be stuck with your unwanted property, and be out thousands in extra fees paid. If the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Instead, you should seek out a reputable timeshare exit company.
Why You Should Work With a Timeshare Exit Company
If you’re thinking it’s time to try to sell your timeshare, it can be overwhelming knowing where to start. With so many timeshare listing agents out there making big promises, but failing to deliver, and countless scam artists that look like legit businesses, how do you know what to do? Using a timeshare exit company, like EZ Exit Now, takes all of the guesswork and stress out of this process. Instead of trying to sell your timeshare, a timeshare exit company helps you to quickly get out of your timeshare agreement in an ethical, legal and responsible manner.
When you work with EZ Exit Now, you’ll get one-on-one attention, meeting at our office, your home or another location of your choosing. We’ll gather all the details about your situation and your timeshare property to decide the best course of action and find out if we can help you get out of your timeshare. Then, our team will draw up all the necessary paperwork for you to sign and involve an attorney or title company — whichever is appropriate to your situation. Call us today at (888)-276-6860, or contact us online to get started with a free consultation.