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Can I Deed Back My Timeshare?

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Posted on February 28, 2023

What is a Timeshare Deed Back and Should You Do It?

One of the impacts of the Great Recession of 2008 was the emergence of alternative ways for timeshare owners to separate themselves from their ownership. Owners had been asking for decades for safe ways to relinquish their ownership, and deed back programs soon became public knowledge. So for those owners asking “can I deed back my timeshare”, let’s take a look.

What is a Timeshare Deed Back Program?

A timeshare deed back program is a program operated by timeshare resorts, management companies and developers where an owner can give back their ownership deed to the resort or management entity.

These programs have been around for years, but the resorts didn’t publicly mention them because they don’t really want the deeds back. For a couple of primary reasons:

  • Resorts want owners to keep their deeded ownership and, therefore, continue to pay their annual maintenance fees.

  • Deeded inventory that resorts have on their accounting rolls costs resorts money.

To be fair, maintenance fees are crucial to the overall operation of the resort. Without those fees, the resort would go belly-up and leave owners in a vulnerable position.

When the recession hit, countless owners who couldn’t afford their fees went to their resorts asking for help. Those resorts that didn’t have deed back programs in place saw owners looking to places such as timeshare exit companies for assistance, promising owners an exit at prices as high as $10,000.

Resorts saw this emerging trend and knew they had to do something to protect their owners, so more timeshare companies brought their timeshare deed back programs out of the closet.

Beginning in earnest with Wyndham’s Ovation Program in 2015, owners could approach resorts and companies looking for help. But those programs come with conditions.

Can I Deed Back My Timeshare?

couple on computer paying timeshare maintenance fee bills

You may be able to deed back your timeshare, but it really depends on a number of qualifications:

  • Owners need to have their timeshare paid off with no liens on their ownership.

  • Annual maintenance fees need to be paid up.

  • The owner’s account with the resort must be in good standing.

  • Length of time the owner has owned their timeshare. The longer, the better.

  • The timeshare resort may not be in a financial position to take your timeshare back.

Owners mainly inquire about a timeshare deed back program because of their finances, so owners apply based on financial hardship status. If an owner approaches a resort or timeshare company enquiring “can I deed back my timeshare” because of financial hardship, the company may require documentation to provide your status.

Keep in mind that even if an owner meets these requirements, there is no guarantee that the resort will approve your request to deed back your timeshare. The resort or timeshare company has the final say, contrary to some of the online information stating otherwise.

Should I Deed it Back?

This depends on whether or not you want something to show for your ownership. Deeding back a timeshare means you will get nothing in return, so the money you originally paid for your ownership is gone forever.

In some cases, you may even have to pay the resort to deed back your timeshare. Resorts are sometimes known to charge transfer fees to owners for transferring the deed out of the owner’s name and back to the resort. So, you may have to spend some money, perhaps as much as the equivalent of a year’s worth of maintenance fees or more.

The question then becomes, why would you decide to deed back your timeshare if you could sell it and make back some of your original financial outlay for your timeshare?  

How Can I Sell My Timeshare Instead?

couple on computer selling their timeshare online

There are a number of companies out there looking to sell your timeshare, often for an advertising or advance fee. 

If you want to avoid paying an upfront fee to sell a timeshare, the best places to look are licensed timeshare resale brokers who are licensed under state real estate law. Since you are already on the Timeshare Broker Associates website, you’re already ahead of the game.

Licensed timeshare brokers like us work on commission, similar to real estate agents, so our agents don’t get paid until a sale is closed. We handle all of the marketing, negotiating, paperwork and liaising with a trusted closing company, so all you need to do is list your timeshare with us and give us the green light to sell your timeshare – with no upfront fees.

You can also check with your resort to see if they have an in-house resale company but, for reasons stated above, many don’t really want you to leave. Companies such as Wyndham will refer owners to Featured Resellers – of which we are one – since they recognize the benefits of using third-party specialists who are experienced in finding buyers in the timeshare resale marketplace.

Some companies that do have in-house resale programs can charge commissions as much as 30-40 percent to sell, which is way above the industry standard.

Who Can I Talk To About Selling Timeshare?

Now that we have answered your “can I deed back my timeshare” question and you want to actually make some money on your timeshare instead by selling it, contact us so we can help you.

We have licensed agents you can speak with. Actual real estate agents – located in the United States – with expertise in timeshare resales. This is a very specialized field and our agents have the experience to accurately price your timeshare for the resale market and contacts to find buyers.

Call us at 877-624-6889 or click on our Contact Us page to send us your questions. It costs you nothing to ask and nothing to list your timeshare with us, so let us provide you with a market value assessment and see about selling your timeshare.


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Steve Luba
Chief Communications Officer

Steve manages the public relations and content creation efforts of the company. Previously the Chief Operating Officer for Perspective Magazine, he provided oversight and contributed articles for the five regional vacation ownership trade magazines under the Perspective Magazine banner. 

A contributor for industry publications such as Resort Trades and Developments Magazine, Steve Luba has 36 years of experience in various roles in radio and television, sales and marketing, public relations, media and government liaison initiatives.

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