Posted on December 03, 2020
Probably the most subjective aspect of timeshare ownership is trying to assess the true value of the timeshare. There doesn’t seem to be a standard for timeshare prices, and prices at the resorts seem to change like the wind. There is no “blue book” for timeshares on the secondary market, so how can someone assess the resale value of a timeshare?
The place to start is with the original sale price and where the timeshare was purchased. If it was bought at the resort which, chances are, it was, then what was the price you ended up paying? This would set the ceiling and a starting point to work your way down from to gauge potential resale value.
Keep in mind that your original purchase price may no longer be relevant if you bought it many years ago. According to the American Resort Development Association (ARDA), the average price for a week of timeshare sold at the resorts is nearly $23,000, so this may be of help if you can’t accurately assess your starting point.
Understand that as much as 60 percent of the cost of a timeshare bought at a resort has sales commissions and marketing costs included in those prices. The resort looks to recoup those costs through the sale since they have to pay the salesperson who sold the timeshare and the cost of getting the buyer to the resort in the first place. If you start with your original sale price and subtract the commissions/costs, then you’ll have a more accurate starting point for the resale value of your timeshare.
This operates much the same way that the car industry works, since everyone knows that a new car depreciates as soon as it is driven off the lot. People buy new cars for a variety of reasons, but they also know that commissions and costs are going to the dealership.
Once you have your starting point, other variables to be aware of as you assess your resale value are:
Research other sellers and what they are asking for their timeshares. This is your competition on the resale market, so see what others are asking and try to be competitive without being unreasonable about an asking price.
Because there are such a variety of timeshares for sale on the market, make sure you are comparing apples to apples in your research. A price for a timeshare may look like a great deal online until you discover that the Ocean City 2-bredoom unit being promoted is a January week and not a July week.
Drill down on the details as much as you can to get an accurate idea of how your value compares to other timeshare resales on the market.
Size of unit. This is a very important aspect since the number of bedrooms and bathrooms is a major selling point. Does your timeshare have a separate living room and dining area? Is there a kitchen to prepare healthy meals, especially in this COVID era where families may feel better about cooking their own meals? Find out the square footage of your unit if possible.
Location of the unit. As you may have noticed, not all views from timeshares are the same. Oceanfront and ocean view may provide very difference experiences, so be as specific as you can when determining the impact on resale values. Does your unit have a balcony to enjoy that mountain view? It all adds up.
Location of the resort. Where your resort is located is a major factor, especially if your resort is in a place dependent on seasonal demand and you own a fixed week of timeshare. Floating week owners have a bit more flexibility but if you own a week in a ski town such as Breckenridge, but own in May, then you’ll need to be creative about promoting the benefits and your resale value will adjust accordingly.
Is your resort on the beach or across the street from the beach? Is it ski-in/ski out or in a place where you’ll need a shuttle to the slopes? On Disney property or off? Details such as these can impact your resale value.
Affiliates of major brands. As a rule of thumb, timeshares in branded resorts tend to hold their resale value better than the non-branded, independent resorts. There are exceptions, usually because of the location of the resort such as a Maui timeshare resort, but in general a branded resort such as a Disney timeshare resort will hold its value better than an independent resort.
If you own at an independent resort, remember that this isn’t a gauge of whether your timeshare will sell but how your resale value compares to the branded resorts. Branded timeshares also tend to offer internal exchanges within their networks that independent resorts can’t offer, so this impacts resale values.
Season of ownership. We’ve touched on this earlier but it bears repeating that your season of ownership has a huge impact on the value of your timeshare. For points owners, this isn’t as crucial, depending on the flexibility in your program, but owning a Cape Cod week in August is much more valuable than in March.
In some destinations such as Orlando this isn’t as important since owners can go to Disney World at any time (unless there is a pandemic!). Some families may actually prefer the theme parks in the cooler months during the off-season when the crowds are down, but check the demand for your season to properly evaluate the value.
This also impacts areas such as exchange values, since the exchange companies assign value toward a timeshare on a sliding scale. A red week in RCI will be more valuable than a blue week, so that impacts the overall worth as well.
These areas are only a few of the many variables that come into play when determining the resale value of a timeshare. The evaluation takes time and experience to know what is most important to a buyer and what the market demand is for your ownership.
Contrary to some opinions, timeshares actually do sell on the resale market. If they didn’t, we wouldn’t be in business. Especially since we work on a no upfront fee commission structure where our agents get paid after a sale is made. The key is to evaluate what the market is for a timeshare and how to accurately price it to sell.
The good news for owners looking to sell is that we can provide this assessment at no cost to the owner. It’s part of what we do, so you won’t need to pay for an appraisal. Just give us a call at 877-624-6889 and our agents can go over your details with you and create a strategy for you to sell your timeshare.