If you find yourself with a beautiful timeshare going unused year-after-year, it might be time to cash out. However, as anyone who has even dabbled in the timeshare world knows, selling timeshares can be an incredibly frustrating, drawn-out process. From understanding your contract to obtaining the right paperwork to understanding pricing to finding trustworthy agents, the hassle involved in selling your timeshare can make the whole process seem not worth it. To help make your life a little easier, below are 4 simple steps you can follow to sell your timeshare stress-free.
Consider Other Options
Before you sell your timeshare, make sure the problem causing you to want to sell your timeshare can’t be solved another way. For example, if you don’t like your allotted time to visit your timeshare, you can almost always trade your week with someone else for a week that works better for you. Or, many timeshares allow you to accumulate points that you can use to vacation at different properties during the dates of your choosing.
Understand Your Contract
Before you sell, it’s critical that you understand your timeshare’s contract top to bottom. Key details you should know and have ready include:
- your timeshare’s location (including the country)
- the name of your timeshare’s resort or developer
- your timeshare’s size and description (number of bedrooms and baths)
- any amenities included with your timeshare
In addition to the details above, you should understand who has the actual deed to your timeshare’s property. More specifically, even if you have the deed, clarify whether or not the deed is a “right to use” agreement. Often times, even if it says you have a deed, the physical deed itself will be held by your timeshare’s resort, developer, or a trust company. Before attempting to sell your timeshare, you should get a physical copy of the deed yourself. Also, determine what type of access you have to your timeshare. This might consist of a fixed week during the year, a floating week during a certain period, a time each year based on a points system, or a combination of these things. With point accumulation, it’s also worth checking with your timeshare’s resort to determine how you can transfer points to new owners.
Determine How Much Your Timeshare Is Worth
Unfortunately, timeshares tend to devalue quite quickly. This means that you’re almost guaranteed to get less for selling your timeshare than what you originally paid when securing it in the first place. In some cases, timeshare owners and managers will let you in on recent selling prices, so it’s at least worth asking around. In other cases, you can use any of the sites below to help you determine your timeshare’s resale value:
Through these sites, find “sold” listings for timeshares with the same number of bedrooms, baths and similar square footage as your own. You can then base the value of your own timeshare off of this information. When pricing your timeshare, understand that you’re probably going to have to list your timeshare for a lower price than other listings for a quick turnaround or even a turnaround at all. If you simply want to sell as quickly as possible, you can even offer to cover closing costs or transfer fees. It’s also important to take into account whether your timeshare is paid in full or whether you’re still making mortgage payments. Sometimes the mortgage can be secured by the timeshare itself. The same applies to maintenance fees, incidental payments, HOA fees and any other costs associated with your timeshare. Not being caught up on all of these can result in you listing your timeshare as encumbered, which can make it very difficult to sell.
Sell Your Timeshare
When you’ve finished preparing all of the above, there are a number of ways to actually go about selling your timeshare. These include:
- Resale Companies
Before choosing a resale company to sell your timeshare for you, first double-check that they’re legit. According to veteran timeshare real estate agent Judi Kozlowski, a good rule of thumb when dealing with resale companies is to not work with anyone who wants more than $100 upfront. Real agents only collect their fees when your timeshare actually sells. Kozlowski also recommends avoiding resale companies who approach you by postcard or telephone. Finally, it’s worth researching potential companies by checking with the Better Business Bureau and the American Resort Development Association.
Another option is going through a real estate agent. As with resale companies, it’s up to you to do your own research on any agents you’re considering using. Start by asking the agents you’re considering how many timeshares they’ve sold and how long it took to sell those timeshares. This can give you an indication of how likely they are to sell your timeshare in a timely manner. Of course, avoid any agents that contact you by unsolicited phone calls. While agents can certainly make the selling process much easier, it’s also worth noting that many agents specializing in timeshares take a much larger commission than they do for home sales.
For those not wanting to deal with a 3rd party, you can simply use the listing sites detailed above or social media to sell your timeshare yourself. Another tactic worth trying is placing ads in the area where your timeshare is located. This can attract locals who might want to be able to host out-of-town family members or friends and/or want to use the free recreation facilities, all while only having to pay the annual maintenance fee.