Posted on May 20, 2022
Selling a timeshare can sometimes be a confusing activity as owners look to decipher the mounds of information available and choose the best course of action. Making the decision to sell results from a number of factors, but choosing the best method basically comes down to a few simple options.
Before you enter into the resale market, take an account of the reasons why you want to sell your timeshare in the first place. This can help you manage your expectations as you explore the marketplace and decide how to proceed.
Many owners have a sense of urgency due to changes in their family or finances, which can add pressure onto the process. Selling a timeshare can take time, so understand that patience can pay off if you allow the process to take its course.
This isn’t like the residential real estate market, especially the blazing hot real estate market of recent years. Even with rising interest rates, homes are selling at scorching rates in some areas of the country according to Realtor.com. Even with the recent economic headwinds, mortgage corporation Fannie Mae expects home prices nationally to increase nearly 11 percent on average this year.
Compare this to the timeshare resale marketplace, which moves at a much slower pace as buyers do their research to find properties according to their specific vacation needs. Many potential buyers have already been on a tour at a resort, comparing the sale price at the resort with an online search of resale prices at the same resort. Sometimes while at the resort sitting by the pool searching on their smartphone.
The more urgent, or in some cases desperate, you are to sell, the more difficult the process can sometimes be. Like many products, selling it yourself can bring with it a range of emotions that can alter the sale, so working with a third-party can bring a level of objectivity that can help streamline and possibly speed up the sale.
As we touched on earlier, there are a variety of reasons why owners decide to sell their timeshare. Changes in your family, such as the kids growing up and moving on, or financial difficulties are a couple of reasons. Increasing maintenance fees can also play a role, as can deteriorating health.
Whatever the reason, there are some important things to know once you begin:
1) Don’t Expect to Get What You Paid – we’ll cut to the chase right away, since many owners think they can at least get what they originally paid for their timeshare. In a few unique cases, such as with certain Disney timeshares, this can be the case, especially if the original purchase was made years ago. But in the vast majority of cases, timeshares lose financial value and depreciate over time.
Think of this like a car purchase. Timeshares, like cars, are a use product where the value is in engaging with the product. Cars lose value the minute they are driven off the lot because of the sales and marketing costs and commissions baked into the new sale price. It’s the same with timeshare.
2) Price It Right – like any other product, it is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. Assessing the value of a timeshare on the resale market is one of the most difficult parts of the procedure because there is no “Blue Book” for timeshares. Do whatever research you can to see what other owners from your resort are listing their timeshare for, to give you a range to work with.
Variables such as time of year, size of unit and even the position of the unit (oceanview, pool view, etc) can influence the resale price. Points owners have it a bit easier, but even with points the value is different depending on the developer brand that manages the points.
This is why working with a timeshare broker can really help, since they live in this space every day and understand the nuances of the industry.
3) Be Careful of Quick Sale Promoters – the resale market is brimming with operators who will tell owners whatever they want to hear in order to gain your business. Scammers are known to promise to have buyers lined up even before you decide to sell. Be very careful of anyone promising a quick or easy sale since this just does not happen very often.
4) Have All Your Facts – know exactly what you own. If this means contacting your resort or developer to clarify your ownership details, then do it. The last thing you want is to have a buyer interested in your timeshare, only to find out what you advertised isn’t what they will get.
Is your oceanfront view really a parking lot view where you can see the ocean if you lean out over the railing and twist your head around? Do your points that you added onto your week transfer on the resale market? Are you trying to sell RCI points when it is really the underlying timeshare week than can be sold? Be as specific as you can, especially when working with an agent on your behalf.
5) No Need to Pay Up Front – unless you are paying for advertising on a timeshare-specific website, there really is no need to pay an upfront fee to sell your timeshare. Even if you do pay to advertise, there is no guarantee that the timeshare will sell, and in the meantime you’re left with the bill.
You can try promoting on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, so you won’t need to pay to promote. But are buyers really looking for timeshares on your accounts? Probably not.
The best way to sell without having to pay an upfront fee is by hiring a licensed timeshare broker, since most brokers are restricted by state law from taking an advance fee. This is especially true in Florida and most other states popular for timeshares.
Timeshare resale brokers are professionally licensed real estate agents who are licensed under state real estate law. They specialize in the timeshare sector and, as we touched on earlier, can price properties and list timeshares for sale without sellers paying upfront fees.
Some firms have agents who specialize in working with specific brands such as Wyndham, WorldMark, Hilton and Marriott. Such relationships can help streamline the sales process and, because agents handle all the paperwork, make sure there are no mistakes along the way.
Agents take care of the negotiation with the buyers, which touches on the emotional aspect we mentioned at the beginning. Sometimes emotions can get in the way of a successful sale, so owners can unknowingly hurt their chances whereas the objectivity of an agent can ensure a deal gets done.
You probably have some questions about selling a timeshare, and our agents can help you work through these top 5 things and even some others you don’t know. Give us a call on 877-624-6889 or leave us a message by clicking here and we’ll contact you as soon as possible.