Toll Free: 877-624-6889

Intl: (407) 917-8432

Do Maintenance Fees Cause You To Sell Timeshare?

Blog Image

Posted on January 10, 2022

So now we’re into January and all the optimism a new year provides as we look forward into 2022, Omicron notwithstanding.

But even with the anticipation of the new year comes the yearly dread of timeshare owners across the country. The payment deadline for the annual maintenance fees.

Every year the average timeshare maintenance fees seem to increase. This may not be the case for every owner and every resort, but it is enough of an issue that the costs always come up in online owner forums. This isn’t to say that the fees aren’t necessary, since resorts need to be maintained to provide quality vacations to owners and remain attractive to new owners.

However, even owners who are happy with their timeshare (about 85% of owners according to the American Resort Development Association) still seem to grit their teeth when paying their annual fees.

The average maintenance fee now stands at around $1090 according to ARDA, increasing $10 from last year. So, is this the tipping point for owners thinking about selling their timeshare?

We know from questioning sellers that this can be the case, but not as much as you may think.

According to the reasons sellers give us for why they want to sell, maintenance fees only rank number four, behind more intrinsic reasons like ageing out of their annual vacations or the more frequent “just not using it anymore” reason.

Changes in finances are another general reason, but when we track the responses we specifically identify maintenance fees due to their unique impact on ownership.

older couple paying bills online

Reasons Why Fees Are Important

As we alluded to earlier, maintenance fees are important to the ongoing operation of the resort. One only needs to look at some of the outdated facilities and emerging repurposing and selling of older timeshare resorts to see the need for consistent revenue from annual fees.

Reasons for paying annual fees are:

  • Property Taxes on the Resort. Due to sharing ownership of the property, the taxes are split among the owners.
  • Administration. Someone needs to run the resort, oversee the reservation process and make sure it is operational.
  • Upkeep and Maintenance. This could include daily activities such as housekeeping services and keeping the pool and property clean and maintained.
  • Repairs and Upgrading the Property. Does the resort need a new roof? How about renovating the rooms with new furniture or kitchens? Would adding a water park, shops or a health spa add significant value to the resort experience and thereby attract new owners when it is time for you to sell?
  • Marketing Efforts. Owner turnover is bound to happen as owners no longer vacation due to advanced age or changes to their family or financial status. Smart resorts are always looking to bring in potential owners.

Transparency is an important part of this process, since some owners become disenchanted if they think their fees are just going to pay employee salaries without seeing improvements to the facility.

Part of the negativity around maintenance fees can also result from the way a timeshare is initially sold. While sales tactics at resorts have changed over the years, some still neglect to explain the need for annual fee payment in the sales pitch. This, combined with the higher sales prices at the resorts, can be a turnoff for owners who feel they already have a significant financial outlay for their timeshare.

Resale buyers, on the other hand, buy a timeshare at substantial discounts and tend to be more informed of the fees as they enter the purchase cycle. 

couple in front of laptop looking over bills

Ways to Mitigate Maintenance Fee Increases

So, what should you look for if your maintenance fees are giving you a financial headache and motivating you to sell your timeshare?

  • Split Your Payment. If you are paying your fees once a year, this may come as a hit that you can prorate over the year by paying quarterly or monthly. Contact your resort to see if this is possible.
  • Ask for a Deferral. If you are going through a hardship, you may be able to delay your payment. Again, contacting your resort is important and be proactive with your communication.
  • Use the Card. Remember that not paying your fees can result in the resort reporting your non-payment to credit bureaus, which can result in a hit to your credit. As a last resort, you may want to break out your credit card.
  • Ask Yourself if you Want to Keep Your Timeshare. This is probably where you are right now or you wouldn’t have read this far. Only you know for sure if you really want to sell it or keep it, so be honest with yourself, your family and your circumstances.

Don’t Get Emotional

couple waving white flag

While many owners have had really positive experiences with their timeshares and just want to transition out of their ownership, we also speak with owners that are frustrated or upset and just want out.

It is important to not let your emotions get the best of you when entering the process of selling your timeshare. Maintenance fees can be a trigger for some, a last straw that motivates them to sell. But this can also exacerbate the frustration.

In the majority of cases, selling a timeshare is not a quick process. Some timeshares such as DVC timeshare resales can sell relatively quickly, but in most cases it can take time to sell and complete the sales process.

Timeshare may technically be considered real estate in some instances, but the reality is that this isn’t like selling a house. Especially in today’s hot real estate market.

Patience is, without question, a virtue when it comes to selling timeshare. This is why it is important to work with a licensed agent through a timeshare brokerage firm specializing in timeshares.

Agents can price properties for the resale market based on their knowledge of what the market dictates. Many sellers are unaware of what their timeshare can be priced at, so working with a professional takes the guesswork out of pricing your timeshare.

In most cases our agents have direct relationships with the major timeshare companies such as Wyndham, WorldMark, Hilton and Capital Vacations. This can also help when it comes time to sell.

If you need help and would like to speak with one of our agents for a no-cost consultation, please give us a call on 877-624-6889 or click here to leave us a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.


Author Pic
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 35 years’ experience in various roles in radio and television, sales and marketing, public relations, media and government liaison initiatives. 

Follow Steve on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook for his latest articles, or sign up to subscribe to our blog and have it delivered straight to your inbox.