The Cost of Canceling a Timeshare
Owning a timeshare can be one of the most exciting and gratifying goals to check off your bucket list — until it isn’t.
As the realities of life set in, what was once a glistening vacation you looked forward to every year quickly becomes a thorn in your side. Schedules never align, management fees grow too expensive — or worse, you were promised a quality unit or premier location that was never fully delivered.
You’re left wondering what your options are. Where do I safely begin my cancellation? How much does it cost to cancel a timeshare? And in today’s day and age, how can I guarantee I’m working with the right company to get fair, trustworthy and transparent timeshare canceling services?
If you co-own or lease a property that’s causing you more headaches than relief, it might be time to consider looking into the cost of canceling a timeshare. We’re here to take you through the step-by-step expenses, so you have a complete sense of what it costs — financially, mentally and more — to free yourself from your timeshare.
What Is a Timeshare?
Timeshares remain one of today’s most popular forms of participating in vacation properties. Units are split between multiple owners who schedule out who gets to use the property that year, and when.
How Much is a Timeshare?
Annual fees and expenses for timeshares vary, with location being the most influential cost factor. Timeshare participants typically spend around $20,000 for new property buy-in and closing costs on top of hundreds of dollars in annual maintenance fees.
There are four types of timeshares people most often look to cancel:
- Fixed-Week Timeshares: Owners of fixed-week timeshares have agreed to use their unit the same week or weeks every single year. While they’re initially attractive for people who enjoy routine and structure, they often lead to underutilization as schedule conflicts arise or if management prohibits slot trade-offs or third-party renting.
- Right-to-Use Timeshares: Right-to-use timeshare users are only leasees of a property, not an owner or co-owner. You lease a unit from its owner or management company for an agreed-upon amount of time each year.
- Floating Timeshares: Floating timeshares trade scheduling flexibility with an inter-owner competition. Like fixed-week timeshares, they offer rolling ownership in the same unit or resort every year. However, owners of a floating timeshare can reserve whatever desired block of time for the year they want — assuming no one else has already booked that week.
- Point Timeshares: As the name suggests, these types of timeshares work off of a points system. Owners accumulate their points either by buying into properties or by purchasing points directly from a timeshare management company. Unlike other types, owners are not restricted to one unit or one location, but points can still be difficult to accumulate within a reasonable timeframe.
Reasons People Want to Cancel Timeshares
There are many justifiable reasons behind the decision to cancel a timeshare. From the personal to the practical, you’re not alone if you’re considering getting rid of your timeshare. Some of the following causes are the reasons that timeshare owners first began to realize the timeshare wasn’t exactly what was promised:
1. Family Arrangements Change
Many people look into timeshares to have a place for family and friends to vacation. It seems both convenient and, in the long term, cost-effective for larger families who return to the same destinations every year — plus gives you a home away from home.
Through inevitable moves, aging and perhaps even divorce or the unfortunate passing of a family member, situations can change quickly. People may become more geographically dispersed, making traveling to the timeshare more difficult and expensive. What’s more, the larger the family, the harder it is to arrange a reservation week that works for everyone.
2. Finances Change
Rising maintenance costs and special timeshare assessment fees are just two of finance-based reasons people look into dropping their timeshare. And they’re not alone. When you factor in property management, utilities, annual fees and taxes, the year-to-year costs of just staying in the timeshare’s rotation can exceed $1,000.
What’s more, you’re charged regardless of whether you use the timeshare or not. Timeshare companies can also increase any of their fees throughout the years, as well as stick you with the bill for significant property renovations or repairs. Unless you’re a part of an owner’s club or timeshare association, you don’t get a say in these fluctuations.
3. Timeshare Scheduling Is Too Rigid
Certain timeshare types are more notorious for scheduling restrictions than others. Fixed-week and right-to-use timeshares, in particular, can seem like smart vacationing options right off-the-bat, especially in a popular vacation destination. Yet if you find yourself frequently unable to use your assigned week or forced to pick a less-than-ideal slot, you’re throwing away money.
Likewise, even floating and point timeshares have their scheduling setbacks. Reservation timelines and usage rules are entirely up to the management company. They may or may not allow you to roll over unused points from the previous year. Or you might experience frequent problems when it comes time to make a reservation — something many other timeshare owners have learned the hard way. Many timeshare owners were told they could trade in their weeks to go anywhere in the world but were not told that there were extra fees for these services.
4. Misleading or Deceptive Property Ownership
Many prospective timeshare owners first dip their toes into the market through property and club membership presentations. And while this is a normal and appropriate business model, there are many red flags to be on the lookout for that have led others to cancel their timeshares.
For example, frustrations over the quality of a unit are not uncommon. People have claimed salespeople misled them on the condition of their purchase, left out key ownership information or were flat-out deceptive about benefits and offerings. The timeshare re-sell industry is also infamous for fraudulent activity and phony scams.
5. Traveling Proves Too Challenging
Over time, traveling to a timeshare can grow to be cumbersome, expensive or impossible. Statistics tracked by the Bureau of Transportation show that the average cost of airline tickets to premiere timeshare destinations like Orlando, Miami and Las Vegas have fluctuated so much in the past two decades, it is nearly impossible for the average consumer to budget for travel costs. This, in turn, leads them to inadequately plan for the full cost of owning and using their timeshare.
Aging and other lifestyle restrictions can also prevent easy travel, making ownership that much more unmanageable. When owners experience these setbacks, that’s when they start looking into canceling their timeshare and find that their resort is not willing to help them exit.
How Much Does It Cost to Get Rid of a Timeshare?
Only about 3.3 percent of owners reported successfully reselling their timeshares over the past 20 years, according to data from the Federal Trade Commission.
That’s a shockingly low percentage, one shaped by consumers’ general lack of knowledge around timeshare cancellation costs and ethical procedures. Timeshare participants have more options besides attempting a dubious and saturated open market re-sell. When assisted by a trustworthy and accredited timeshare exit company, you learn these options and know the true cost to cancel a timeshare without trying to sell. Unlike homes, timeshare re-sale companies charge listing fees to list your timeshare for sale. Those fees are how re-sale companies make their income, not through sales.
1. General Process of Canceling a Timeshare
A secure and transparent vacation-property cancellation process should follow these procedural steps:
- Initial Contact and Assessment: A company representative should meet with you personally to review your situation and see if you specifically qualify for timeshare cancellation services. Not all owners will qualify. You’ll discuss property details as well as evaluate any additional exit measures, such as involving title companies or attorneys, if necessary.
- Documentation Liaison: Using the plans discussed during the assessment, the representative will draw up the appropriate documents for you to sign. The cancellation department will gather documents from you and courier them to the timeshare management’s cancellation department and relevant developer. They should work in your best interest to ensure all paperwork has been forwarded through the proper channels swiftly and completely until a cancellation solution is reached.
- Resolution and Closing: After the release from the timeshare, a representative should take you through signing any final paperwork, and file the ownership change with appropriate local bodies, so you’re no longer tax liable.
2. The Financial Cost of Timeshare Cancellation
It’s impossible to put an exact sum on how much it will cost to get rid of a timeshare since each resort and each situation is different. Each exit company will offer different service packages, meaning you won’t have true cost estimate until you undergo a free consultation or assessment with a representative you feel comfortable with.
However, there are a few variables you can weigh to get an idea behind the financial costs of your timeshare cancellation:
- Exit Package: The actual plan put together between you and your timeshare exit consultant will be the most significant aspect of overall value. A more complicated strategy or longer exit package might translate into a higher cost.
- Service Fees: Many worry that the fees associated with a timeshare cancellation team will be cost-prohibitive to using one. Yet when stacked against the mounting price tag of owning an unwanted and unused timeshare, this couldn’t be less true. A long-term cost comparison will always fall in favor of getting out ASAP.
- Firm Reputation: Timeshare cancellation costs may vary based on the age, reputation, connections and expertise of the exit company. Do preliminary research online. Information from the Better Business Bureau’s rating, service testimonials and the transparency of their website or social media accounts are all reliable indicators of reputation, as well as pressure-free interactions with representatives.
- Flat vs. Individualized Timeshare Cancellation Fees: Does the company charge by the hour, a flat rate or tailor a package to your exact situation? Depending on your financial situation, you may need to know the fee structure early on.
3. Other Costs to Timeshare Cancellation
The process of canceling your timeshare can have a profound impact on your quality of life. Not only are you reworking your assets, but you are navigating a demanding mental and emotional period that often doesn’t seem to include overt resources.
It makes the cost of canceling a timeshare go far beyond the checkbook:
The time spent navigating your timeshare management company’s rules, regulations and red tape alone can add up. Combine it with the time it takes to send and receive information with their representatives, conduct your own exit research and weigh your complete set of options — and you suddenly have spent days, if not weeks, on this matter.
Management companies are notorious for making cancellations arduous — whether they need to or not. It’s in their interest for you to keep paying, after all. If it is not financially or emotionally healthy for you to continue with a timeshare, reach out to an exit service for a free consultation as soon as possible and make time work for you.
The mental toll of carrying an unwanted timeshare can come to overshadow everything. It clouds your days and effects your ability to make other decisions in life, from everyday finances to long-term mobility. This, in turn, has caused many to feel trapped as if their life is no longer under their control. What’s more, all this worry and stress can grow further aggravated without partnering with the right timeshare exit company who offers clear, concrete assistance
No one should have to feel this way, and no one should be manipulated or misinformed by under-equipped companies. You deserve as stress-free and straightforward an exit strategy as possible.
Fraudulent scams are rife within the larger timeshare real estate industry. These predatory operations have swindled millions from innocent, everyday people looking to simplify their lives by getting rid of their timeshare.
These scams lure their victims through too-good-to-be-true claims, usually that they are a real estate agent with an eager buyer ready and waiting to purchase your timeshare. Said buyer is prepared to take that timeshare off your hands within a matter of days — but only if you just wire transfer money to the real-estate agent. Scams usually mask these money transfers as “closing costs” or a “service registration” fee, to the hefty sum of thousands of dollars. Yet as soon as you’ve sent the money, this “agent” or buyer suddenly disappears. You never hear from them again.
Protect your family and your assets by staying informed and vigilant. The security that comes with knowing as much as possible about vacation management and property ownership is something you want on your side from the beginning of your exit process — otherwise, you may have unwillingly put you and your family in jeopardy.
Why You Should Work with a Professional Timeshare Cancellation Company
Partnering with a professional timeshare exit service is about more than saving money — it’s about restoring your peace of mind.
No one should have to experience the physical, mental and financial burden of owning a timeshare that’s not what you were promised. Your greatest defense against further schemes, pitfalls and roadblocks are to work with a seasoned timeshare exit company whose sole function is to protect you.
These companies are on your side — often when it seems no one else is. You should consider working with a professional cancellation company if you:
- Are concerned about deceptive business practices. Crackdowns on timeshare fraud are increasing, yet it can seem impossible to navigate their murky waters alone. If you are anxious about being taken advantage of when trying to get rid of your timeshare, an exit service can offer you sound advice and an additional line of defense.
- Want complete, compliant oversight and documentation of your cancellation. Timeshare exit companies know the proper compliance procedure of canceling your purchase. They can ensure all paperwork is in order and filed precisely when it needs to be, with proof of every step.
- Want to end once and for all the mental and financial toll that is your current timeshare. Exit services make real the fundamental goal to get you out of your timeshare.
- Are tired of feeling alone. Getting out of your timeshare can be an exhausting, isolating experience. When you partner with a professional exit company, you don’t have to go through it alone.
EZ Exit Now understands the toll of an unwanted timeshare. Our only role is to offer trustworthy, transparent exit plans built to be in your best interest. Our team of individual case managers meets with you when and where you’re comfortable. If you qualify, we will follow through, leading you along every step of the way until your needs are met.
Get in touch today to learn whether our timeshare cancellation process can serve you.