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How to Sell Your Timeshare During COVID

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Posted on September 24, 2020

It’s no secret that COVID has dominated the minds and conversations of people around the world, impacting businesses and industries in an unprecedented way. Timeshare is no exception, with resorts closed for a number of months earlier this year and the industry continuing to feel the impact even with the majority of resorts now open across America. So for owners looking to sell timeshare, how to sell your timeshare during COVID may seem like a daunting task, but you’d be surprised how much activity is taking place in the marketplace.

As of August of this year, we’ve seen over 79,000 offers placed on timeshares in 2020 by consumers through our web platform, indicating significant demand for the product despite the limitations brought about by COVID-19.  

Timeshare Occupancy is Up

Recent indications are that the public is looking to travel, with TSA reporting the highest passenger traffic through U.S. airports since March over the Labor Day weekend. Timeshare operators such as Wyndham Destinations reported an average occupancy rate of 77 percent across its resorts over the Labor Day weekend. Bluegreen Vacations had a solid 60 percent occupancy rate across its resorts as far back as June when many regions were just reopening following COVID-related shutdowns. These figures compare very well to the most recent average hotel occupancy rate of 47 percent in July reported by Statista.com.

Timeshares are very well positioned to bounce back sooner than most of the travel market simply because owners have pre-paid for the product. With owners already invested, they will determine the best way to use it, whether it is driving to a resort, taking shorter flights to closer destinations or exchanging into a resort that may offer more convenience for them.

Timeshare brands have also led the way in developing cleaning protocols such as Holiday Inn Club Vacations’ Safe Travels program and the Hilton CleanStay program for Hilton Grand Vacations. This is important in light of a survey conducted by P&G Professional - showing that 70 percent of travelers would go to a hospitality venue if they knew they were using cleaning products they trusted. 

So What Does This Mean for Sellers?

The timeshare industry is trending upward as travel comes back from COVID, and sellers can make sure they are positioned to take advantage of the upturn.

Because timeshares are booked so far in advance, with some booking windows starting 13 months before the ownership week or season, buyers understand that purchasing a timeshare resale is for the future, not necessarily for a last-minute vacation option. So today’s COVID numbers won’t automatically stop someone from looking at an August week for next summer in places such as Marriott's Grande Ocean resort on Hilton Head Island.

Without getting into the political realm of COVID, the consensus view is that it will pass as vaccine development continues to quickly advance and numbers continue to level off. Demand for travel will increase, and timeshare buyers will look for bargains as they prepare for travel to return to normal.

So, how do you sell your timeshare during COVID? Much the same way you always do:

  • Promote with Pros – consumers need to know that you are selling your timeshare, so promote it. Thanks to the internet and the range of connected devices we have to seek information, it’s as easy to sell today as it has ever been. Because timeshare resales is such a specialized field, it’s best to use the services of a licensed agent to sell. And with no upfront fees for sellers to pay, a brokerage firm such as Timeshare Broker Associates is also the most risk-free option.
  • Use Social Media – use the power of your social media channels to sell your timeshare. Some owners who sell it themselves will sell to family or friends, many of whom have seen how much fun you’ve had on your timeshare vacations over the years. Tell your story yourself – you are the most powerful advocate you have to sell your ownership. 
  • Make Sure You are Paid Up – it is virtually impossible to sell a timeshare if there are outstanding maintenance fees that need to be paid. Make sure all of your fees are paid so the transfer can proceed as smooth as possible. You’ll also want to be free of any liens on your ownership, so pay off any mortgage that may be attached as well.
  • Get the Facts in Order – make sure you have all of your documents in order proving what you have to sell, whether it is a deed of ownership, trust document or other proof of ownership. It is amazing how many owners often don’t know exactly what they own. Some think they own an RCI timeshare when RCI does not own or sell timeshares, as they are an exchange company. Points programs can confuse the issue, so make sure you have all the correct details on hand so consumers aren’t surprised during the negotiation.
  • Do your Market Research for Pricing – check online what other sellers are asking to sell their timeshare so you’ll have an understanding of what the market is for your ownership. This is another good reason to use one of our licensed agents, as they can legally price properties on the timeshare resale market. 
  • Incentivize – normally the buyer pays closing costs on a timeshare transaction. One way to offer an incentive is to pay the closing costs, which would make your timeshare more attractive to sell.
  • Look Out for Scams – as with any crisis or economic downturn, there are always people looking to profit off the misfortune of others. If you are approached by someone that you have never heard of who says they have someone waiting to purchase your timeshare, be extremely careful. Often the scammers explain that they only need a transfer fee or some type of closing costs from you in order to complete the deal. Don’t do business with anyone looking for money from a seller in order to close the deal.

One constant we’ve seen in the timeshare resale space over the past 20 years is that owners are always looking to sell regardless of the strength or weakness of the economy. Our agents are ready to answer your questions, so give us a call on 877-624-6889 and we’ll be happy to help you.

Author

Author Pic
Steve Luba
Chief Communications Officer
Steve manages the public relations, social media and content creation efforts of the company. Previously the Chief Operating Officer for Perspective International, Steve provided oversight and contributed articles for the five regional vacation ownership trade magazines under the Perspective Magazine banner. With 34 years’ experience in various roles in radio and television, sales and marketing, public relations, media and government liaison initiatives, he brings a well-rounded outlook to our industry.