Timeshares get a bad rep. They seem to be one of those purchases that people make when wrapped up in the excitement of either being on vacation, or the long-term prospect of it. Most of the time, the desire to sell timeshare might only set in later.
But the truth is, owning a timeshare is not all bad. Depending on the type of timeshare you own, you can really get your money’s worth if you book your timeshare weeks well in advance. In fact, the statistics show that it’s still a popular means of vacationing for over 9.2. million households in the U.S.
But if you want out, why is it so tricky and what does it really take? This blog outlines it all.
Why Is It So Tough To Sell Timeshare?
In a nutshell, one of the main reasons why it’s so difficult to sell a timeshare in today’s day and age is due to supply and demand. The desire to sell timeshare greatly outweighs the demand for resales.
The truth is, this supply and demand issue has always existed within the industry because many people are unaware that you can buy a timeshare resale. Think of it this way — most people are aware that you can buy a used vehicle, and most people choose this option.
But when it comes to timeshare, most people are not aware that you can buy another person’s timeshare ownership or points from them. When in reality, most timeshares sales are actually recycled.
The cold hard truth is that there really is no such thing as brand new timeshare ownership. The one exception is buying a timeshare block from a completely new resort.
As a result, the lack of demand for buying timeshare resales drives down the price. This makes selling your timeshare unappealing, especially considering what you’ve paid for it!
But not all hope is lost. Here’s how to sell your timeshare with the right amount of know-how:
Understand the Actual Value of Your Timeshare
It’s important to face facts and be realistic about what your timeshare is worth when you want to sell it. Unfortunately, it may not be worth what it was when you bought it. This is because a timeshare is not an investment and they can devalue over time.
Some of the best resources that can help you understand the true value of your timeshare ownership include RedWeek, Sharket, and Timeshare Users Group. Otherwise, you could also just inquire with your timeshare management company about a prediction of what it’s worth.
With this knowledge, you can list your timeshare at a realistic price that might lead to an actual sale.
Be Wary of Resale Companies
Timeshare resale scams are rife in the industry today. It’s super important to be on the lookout for resale companies that try to sell you the dream of making a decent profit on your timeshare sale.
It’s also important that you do your due diligence before working with a resale company — you need to verify their reputation.
Remember this, don’t work with a resale company that demands more than $100 upfront for their assistance. Legitimate real estate companies that sell timeshare will only collect their fees when your timeshare sells.
Don’t fall for a resale scam that approaches you over the phone or via an outdated method such as a postcard.
Sell With a Well-Respected Agent
If you’re looking for assistance when selling your timeshare unit, you want to work with an estate agent that has experience in selling timeshare. They also need to have a reputation as a reliable timeshare selling team.
The only drawback with working with an estate agent is that they take a sizeable amount of commission from your timeshare sale. While some agents only work with selected timeshare companies and properties.
But they’re still the best way to sell a timeshare if your property is no longer serving you or draining your finances.
Or, Try To Sell the Unit Yourself
Yes, it’s entirely possible to sell your timeshare unit by yourself, and it’s easier than you think. For this, you want to leverage the power of social media and use sites such as Craigslist. You could also enlist the help of your family and friends and ask them to spread the word about your timeshare resale.
You could also place an advertisement in a local newspaper where your timeshare is located, or even one in your own local newspaper at home. Believe it or not, but some people buy timeshare units in their hometowns. The reason for this? So that they can use the onsite amenities and recreation facilities.
Wondering how to sell a timeshare yourself? Here are some top tips.
Who Is Most Likely To Buy Your Timeshare?
You might find yourself wondering ”can you sell a timeshare on the resale market, realistically?” And who would actually buy it? Well, the reality is that there are plenty of people out there that would. It’s important to not let other people’s stories put you off.
At the end of the day, there’s absolutely no harm in trying to sell a timeshare unit if you don’t owe anything on it. Most of the time, the people that would buy your timeshare from you are those looking to add onto their existing ownership.
However, they would want to purchase this investment based on a better rate. So, it’s crucial that you manage your expectations in this regard!
Alternatives To Selling Your Timeshare
Okay, so selling your timeshare is not always a walk in the park and may take much longer than you expected it to. If selling is just not fitting in with your plans or your timeline, there are other options to consider:
1. You Can Deed It Back
This is a great option if you’re looking to get out of those mounting maintenance fees. Depending on what your timeshare contract includes, you can deed it back to your timeshare developer or the owner’s association.
While this option does not guarantee you any financial return, such as selling it might, it’s a way for you to avoid those pesky maintenance fees.
All you have to do is write up an official request stating that you wish to deed the property back to the property management team. If they reply or confirm with their assent, the deed and the maintenance fees are no longer your problem.
2. Consider an Exchange Program
Another option is to swap out your timeshare program with an exchange program. This means you get to vacation in another part of the country (or the world) using someone else’s timeshare unit.
The ability to exchange timeshare usage and timeshare weeks does vary depending on your timeshare contract and availability, of course. In this case, it’s in your best interest to be as flexible as possible.
Bear in mind that you might incur some exchange fees when you choose to swap out a week.
3. Why Not Rent Out Your Unit?
If you’re looking for some financial gain or assistance when it comes to paying those timeshare maintenance fees, renting out your unit is a great idea.
All you have to do is advertise your unit for rent in the local area. Sure, rental rates may vary from one region to the next. But you can determine your own reasonable rate by gauging what the resort charges for their rentals, at the same time of year.
It’s also wise to look at other timeshare rental ads in your area to get a good feel for what’s reasonable in terms of rates. Once you have determined your rate and found a renter, you can then confirm payment methods and a contract with them.
You will have to make reservations on their behalf. Remember that the property and state of the market determine what you can charge, and what you can make in terms of profit for covering your maintenance fees.
4. You Could Donate It
Finally, if you’ve just had enough of your timeshare unit and cannot bear to pay any more fees, then making a donation is also a good option. Today, there are a number of charities that will accept the donation of a timeshare week/unit. But bear in mind that some might be reluctant due to the responsibility of the maintenance fees.
However, if you can find a charity to donate your timeshare to, then it’s one of the best ways of writing it off at fair market value. This means you won’t lose any money on it or have to pay in much, but it’s still a way to get rid of it (if that’s your end goal!).
Timeshare Is Not for Everyone
Ultimately, you should always do your due diligence when it comes to signing into a contract, such as a timeshare ownership. This way, you’ll know what you’re getting into, and whether it’s possible to sell timeshare down the line. Being informed is your best tactic when owning timeshare.
Read this article to learn more on how to write a royal aloha club timeshare cancellation letter.
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