Posted on January 14, 2021
Without a doubt, this is the #1 request that owners want to know – what is the fastest way to sell a timeshare. Just like any other item people may put up for sale, owners want to know how to sell it and how quickly it will sell. While there is no set timeframe for selling a timeshare, there are important steps to consider when putting your timeshare up for sale that will enable it to sell quicker than if you didn’t take these under consideration.
We’ve mentioned these steps in reverse order as we count down the most important areas to give you the fastest way to sell your timeshare:
This is more of a mindset than anything else. Some timeshare sellers think all they have to do is to speak with an agent or advertise their timeshare for sale and that’s it. In reality, sellers should have a proactive mindset and follow up with agents or possibly adjust their sale price if needed in order to give themselves the best chance to sell.
Some timeshare owners don’t understand exactly what they own. That may sound strange but this happens more often than you would think. Especially with the advent of points-based ownership and point overlay programs such as RCI Points, owners sometimes think they own a product when they actually own something different. Other times, they may think they own a larger timeshare than they actually do or get fuzzy on the details.
The ownership documents such as the deed are important to review; however, some deeds go back years and the details may have changed over time. If you are in doubt about your ownership information, the best thing would be to contact your resort and verify exactly what you own before starting the selling process. Otherwise, our licensed agents can help you work through the process and explain any terminology that may be confusing.
The last thing you want is to promote your timeshare and find a buyer, only to discover that your unit you thought was oceanfront was actually a partial ocean view and have the buyer back out of the deal.
Remember that tour you took when you first bought your timeshare? Maybe you’d rather forget about it, but the primary triggers that led you to buy were the visual aspects of the unit and the resort as well as the benefits of ownership that the sales person would emphasize.
While it is true that many resale buyers may already be acquainted with the resort they are looking for, don’t take for granted that a prospective buyer already knows all of the benefits or aspects of your ownership. Great photos and emphasizing the benefits can make a difference, as well as any incentives you may want to include.
Response time is crucial when securing the sale of a timeshare, even if you have hired a licensed agent to handle your negotiation. You would be amazed how many sellers we have worked with over the years that just don’t respond to emails or answer their phone in a timely manner. Others may have changed their phone number or email address and don’t advise us of the changes.
Timeshare buyers can be unpredictable about what they are looking for. They may place an offer on a timeshare, but a day or two later they may have moved on to another unit or points package. You don’t want to miss an opportunity just because you haven’t checked your email in a couple of days or have outdated contact details on file with your agent or advertising company.
This may seem like a strange place to look for help, but sometimes your resort or developer may be able to refer you to a company that can help. For example, we are a preferred reseller for Wyndham Vacation Ownership, WorldMark and Capital Vacations as well as working closely with brands such as Divi, Hilton, Marriott and other brand name timeshare companies.
A few resorts offer an in-house resale program, but those programs can charge as much as 35-40 percent commission on the sale.
When you have all of your information ready, the next step would be to let prospective buyers know that you want to sell your timeshare. There are a few ways to market your timeshare for sale, either yourself, through a third-party provider or, as mentioned earlier, with the help of the resort.
Marketing your timeshare yourself could mean telling your family and friends that you want to sell it, or perhaps using your social media platforms to get the word out. Maybe even try traditional advertising like magazines or newspapers. But if buyers aren’t looking in those places then how effective is it?
Third-party providers such as online advertising companies dedicated to the timeshare resale space or licensed brokerage firms such as ours can give you an advantage. They have the marketing skills and connections to bring in buyers and understand the timeshare world and how to capture the buyer’s attention online. Plus, brokers most often do not charge upfront fees and are paid on commission after a sale is concluded.
Using your resort’s resale program, if they have one, may help. But as I said earlier, the majority of resorts do not have an in-house resale option and those that do can charge commissions as high as 40 percent. Brokerage firms are definitely less expensive to use to sell.
Each of these methods has their own advantages and uncertainties, depending on the timeshare you own. Timeshares are as varied as the color spectrum, with several factors such as unit size, season, resort location, unit location and brand affiliation playing a huge role in the appeal of the ownership.
All of the above information really points to the need to use a professional when it comes to selling your timeshare. Agents that are licensed with the state in which they operate understand the nuances of the timeshare industry, where buyers look for timeshare resales and what is important to buyers. Plus, when an agreement is reached, there is the purchase and sale agreement to complete, deposits to receive into escrow and assisting the closing company to complete the transaction.
And the #1 way to give you the best chance to sell your timeshare is ….
No factor is as important as pricing your timeshare correctly in order to attract a buyer. Many sellers make the mistake of pricing their timeshare either at or above the original purchase price. The problem is that a timeshare depreciates over time like a car would. Imagine buying an SUV in 2006 for $25,000 and trying to sell it in 2021 for $25,000? It just wouldn’t work.
When a timeshare is sold new through the resort, that price includes sales commissions and marketing costs as high as 60 percent of the overall sale price. Those costs do not factor into a resale price, so by removing those costs you’ll get a better starting point for pricing your timeshare.
Timeshares are a use product, meaning the true value of the product is in using it for vacations at essentially a prorated cost over a number of years. Once the owner decides to sell, they need to assess the market and determine the market value for the timeshare. This is where a licensed agent can really help, since the only way a timeshare resale can be legally priced in states such as Florida is either by the owner or a licensed agent.
As you can tell, the timeshare industry is its own unique ecosystem. As such, licensed agents can provide a fast way to sell depending on what you own. You can give us a call on 877-624-6889 and one of our agents would be happy to help.
The most important factors to sell your timeshare fast are to price it right and promote it in the right places. The problem is that most sellers do not know how much their timeshare is worth on the resale market because there isn’t a “blue book” type resource for timeshares. Much like real estate, sellers primarily refer to an agent to help assess the market value for property – and timeshares operate the same way.
In most states, a licensed agent is the only one who can legally offer a specific resale price for a timeshare apart from the owner and the resort. Many sellers look online to see what other sellers are asking for their timeshares, but they usually either price it too low or too high. An agent knows the market and works with other agents to see which timeshares are moving and at what price. Because agents work on commission, they would offer a valuation at no cost to the owner.
Promotional channels are also important, since buyers won’t know you have a timeshare for sale unless you promote it. Since 94 percent of people who buy travel products begin with an online search, it is imperative that you get your timeshare online in order to sell it. So, you will want to see what type of online presence and marketing strategies a company uses in order to sell a timeshare on the internet.
This depends on several factors such as the type of timeshare product you own, whether it is affiliated with a hospitality brand and the location of your timeshare. The reason is because some companies such as advertising companies can be the best company to use to sell your timeshare if your timeshare is in high demand and you can handle the negotiation yourself. The drawback is that you would need to pay your advertising fee upfront, so you won’t know if your money is well spent unless your timeshare sells.
Licensed timeshare resale brokers work on commission, so this is the safest way to sell since you do not pay unless your timeshare sells. Because brokers employ licensed agents, they can give you a market survey and price your property, plus promote it and use a network of brokers to find a buyer. They will also handle the negotiation, so you won’t have to do anything except agree on the sale price and sign the relevant paperwork. The agent will even prepare the paperwork for you. Of course, we think Timeshare Broker Associates is the best company to sell your timeshare, but our A+ rating with the BBB and track record of selling timeshares gives you the confidence you need to work with us.
In a few cases yes, but the vast majority of resorts and developers do not allow you to sell your timeshare back to them. The programs they have created are tailored to long term owners who have paid off their timeshare and are up to date on their annual fees. Even in these cases the best the owner can hope for is to be able to give back their timeshare with no compensation. Resorts and developers handle these requests on a case-by-case basis and there is no guarantee that they will even take it back. If owners want to sell, the best chance to get some money back for their ownership is to sell it themselves either through an online advertiser or through a licensed timeshare resale broker.
If you just want to get rid of your timeshare with no compensation for your ownership, you can contact your resort directly to see if they have a program in place to take it back. Most of the larger branded timeshare companies have such programs in place and can discuss it with you. In the vast majority of these programs, the timeshare needs to be free of any mortgages or any liens and all annual fees need to be paid and up to date. These programs are primarily designed for long term owners in some type of financial distress. You could contact the resort and explain your situation to see if they would be willing to take back your timeshare, but there is no guarantee that they will take it back. Still, it’s worth a shot.
You can also try selling your timeshare and get some money back from your ownership. This would be the preferrable path since you would be able to get rid of it and recoup some of your initial outlay.
The one area you want to stay away from is the timeshare cancellation or timeshare exit company. These companies take as much as $5,000 upfront with marketing pitches that they can help owners get out of their timeshares. In most cases, all they do is contact the resort on your behalf to ask them to let you out of your ownership, which is something you can do yourself without paying thousands of dollars. Many of these companies are under investigation by state attorney generals because people have allegedly paid these companies and have not been able to relinquish their ownership.
There can be financial repercussions if you just stop paying your timeshare fees. Timeshare payments usually take two forms – either the mortgage linked to the original purchase or the annual fees. These two categories operate independently and have varying degrees of consequences.
Regarding timeshare mortgages – these are not really mortgages in the traditional sense of the term because there is no asset attached like you would with a home loan. Timeshare mortgages are more like an unsecured loan, similar to a credit card account. Because there is a lender involved, you would be paying back that lender and under the same kind of financial obligations that you would be for any other type of loan. If you stop paying your loan, the lender will contact you and the case could end up in the hands of a debt collector or possibly lead to court action.
For annual fees or maintenance fees, these are contractual obligations that the owner signed up for when they bought the timeshare. The fees are paid to the resort or management company, so they will contact you if you stop paying your timeshare fees. This could also lead to referral to a collection agency and possibly a foreclosure on your timeshare, as the resort attempts to retrieve the ownership.
In both of these scenarios, each step of the process can be reported to the major credit bureaus, which would end up on your credit report and you can take a hit to your credit score. This could lead to higher interest rates on subsequent loans that you take or being turned down on financing for future purchases.
If you are in this position, please give us a call on 877-624-6889 or contact us online so we can discuss your situation with you. Because we work on a commission-only basis, our consultations are at no cost to you.