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What Timeshare Sellers Want to Know

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Posted on September 16, 2021

Timeshare owners come to us every day looking for information so they can make an educated decision about selling their timeshare

Over the years, we’ve heard stories from owners about why they want, or need, to sell. Some are heart wrenching, with owners battling significant health problems or facing financial hardships. Others no longer travel for vacations every year, or their children have grown with families of their own, so they no longer need their timeshare. 

Whatever the reason, our licensed agents talk to sellers and hear a myriad of issues every day. 

Since our executive team has literally decades of experience in the timeshare resale market, we thought we’d list the top questions we receive from owners looking to sell and answer them before you even need to ask. 

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Top Timeshare Seller Questions 

Here are the top questions and answers that sellers want to know: 

How Much Does It Cost To Sell? 

With so many questionable operators in the timeshare resale space, sellers are understandably hesitant to hand over money to companies promising to sell their timeshare. This is why using a licensed brokerage is such a preferred option – because of the no upfront fee policy to list a timeshare for sale. 

That doesn’t necessarily mean there are no costs involved for the seller. It just means there are no costs until the timeshare actually sells, which most owners would gladly accept if it meant the timeshare will sell, be transferred out of their name and they can collect some cash in the process. 

When we take a listing from the seller, the seller typically pays the commission after the sale. However, in some instances such as if we are approached by a buyer, the buyer can pay or it could be negotiated that the buyer pays. The commission is usually 15 percent of the sale price or $1,500, unless there are extenuating circumstances that lead to a lower amount. 

As a point of comparison, in-house resort resale programs can charge upwards of 30 percent commission on a sale. 

How Are You Paid? 

By commission after the sale is completed, when the sale closed by a reputable closing company and ownership transferred to the new owner. 

When Do I Have To Pay The Commission? 

If required, the payment is actually made just prior to closing when the settlement is being finalized and deposits are required. The balance of the payments is needed just before the ownership transfer is recorded. Remember that monies are held in escrow and this is being processed by the closing company. 

Do I Have To Keep Paying On The Timeshare While It’s Up For Sale? 

Yes, we always recommend that payments on the timeshare remain up to date while the ownership is up for sale. Remember that the resort or management company approves the sale and if there is any outstanding money owed it could jeopardize the sale. An ownership with all fees current can streamline the sale process. 

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Can I Keep Using It While It’s Up For Sale? 

This depends on your resort or management company. Some resorts will cancel a booked reservation as soon as they receive documents showing the request to sell, such as during the estoppel process. Others will allow the current use year to continue where, for example, a timeshare could be put on the market in 2021 and allowed to be used this year, with the first use year for the new owner to commence in 2022. 

What Happens If It Doesn’t Sell? 

Because of our no upfront fee policy, there is no charge to sellers for our services if the timeshare does not sell. The owner continues to be obligated for any annual dues or maintenance fees due to the resort or management company. 

Can I List It Elsewhere? 

The only exclusive listings we take are for Wyndham products, due to our status as a Featured Reseller for Wyndham. Other timeshares listed with us can also be listed elsewhere. 

How Do I Know I’ll Get Paid? 

Deposits and any transaction balance paid by the buyer are placed into an escrow account, which is processed by a trusted, third-party closing company during closing. Similar to a home purchase, once the transaction is completed the closing company authorizes release of the money from escrow and the proceeds from the sale are sent to the seller. 

How Do I Know I Won’t Get Scammed? 

As a licensed real estate company, we are regulated under existing Florida real estate laws which are some of the strictest in the country when it comes to timeshares. Our license and registration information is all available for review on the Florida DBPR website and because we do not take upfront fees, our sellers have no potential financial outlay unless their timeshare is sold. 

How Much Is It Worth?

This is the most common question, primarily because there is no “blue book” for timeshares like there is for cars or MLS system like traditional real estate. Adding to the dilemma is the variety of timeshare products on the market, ranging from fixed weeks at older legacy resorts to today’s points-based vacation club programs.

In the majority of states, licensed agents are the only ones who can legally price timeshares on the resale market other than the owners themselves and the resort/management company. This is a big reason why owners contact us, since it doesn’t cost them anything to consult with an agent to see what their timeshare is worth on the open market.

What you don’t want to do is use the original, new sale price when determining the resale value. Resorts mark up prices anywhere from 50-60% to cover sales commissions and marketing costs, similar to what car dealerships do on the car lot.

I realize this sounds vague, but in reality a fixed timeshare week in the off-season at an older Cape Cod resort in November is going to be worth a lot less than a package of Disney points at Grand Floridian in Orlando. Because of this type of disparity in the industry, it’s better to call an agent to get the facts on the value of your timeshare.

How Long Does It Take To Sell?

Easily ranking at the top of questions, right alongside the question about the worth, is trying to gauge how long it will take to sell a timeshare. Like just about any product, this directly correlates to the asking price and the type of product owned.

Even products such as the aforementioned Disney points can take longer to sell if they are not priced right for resale, even with the strong demand for Disney timeshare points. Some timeshares can sell in 30 days, others take longer.

So much depends on the type, location and time of ownership. Two-bedroom units are the most popular layout according to surveys by the American Resort Development Association. The more popular the season (July vs January in Cape Cod), the faster the timeshare can sell.

Points ownership tends to appeal to a broader market since existing owners can buy points to add to their allotment as well as new buyers getting into the market.

This is why the details are so crucial, so it is important to have all your ownership details in hand and verified by your resort or management company before you approach a resale company. Then, contact a professionally licensed brokerage to get an assessment of your timeshare.

Author

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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 Magazine, Steve provided oversight and contributed articles for the five regional vacation ownership trade magazines under the Perspective Magazine banner. With 35 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.