This is the question I received this morning from one of our program participants. He has used our agency for rentals, and has been very happy (his words), but in his world, it is time to move on from his timeshare.
As one of the business owners, I of course, lament the loss of the points – when that ultimately happens. I am, however, in favor of vacation ownership being a livable concept, and when it no longer is, finding a way to stop living with it.
So, how did I advise him?
First and foremost – examine your expectations.
Pause. Now reexamine them.
What are you looking to “get” out of this? It might seem simple, but the answer varies from person to person. Are you looking to make a profit? Are you looking to break even? Or, are you open to taking a loss on your purchase? Would you be willing to transfer the property as opposed to selling it? This would likely mean paying additional money to have it taken off your hands. And, as another option, are you open to donating it?
Consider your timeline.
Do you need to sell fast, or do you have time to wait for the right offer? This can make all the difference in what you can accept for your timeshare. Needing a speedy sale can make you vulnerable to resale agents who offer a quick turnaround for a lot of upfront cash. (Bad idea.)
Check with your developer and HOA.
Do they have any buy back opportunities? (If they are still selling) HOA – other owners at your resort may be interested in purchasing additional weeks. On another front, they may have specific rules as it applies to transferring ownership.
Get your paperwork in order.
You may get lucky and sell your timeshare quickly! So, before that happens, make sure you are prepared with all of your documents.
Before taking the leap into the gigantic sales pool (There are a lot of timeshares on the resale market. A whole lot. And also sharks.), look around at the places and prices of timeshares on the resale market. Back to those original expectations – is what you are seeing aligned with what you thought you should list for? Visit TUG online (Timeshare User Group) for comparable pricing and advertising, and the general information that you will find in the forums. Do research on your potential sales vehicle, wether it is a resale agency or a listing site. Both have pros and cons – make you are comfortable with them.
If you choose to work with a reseller, make sure you know the terms to which you are agreeing: what is included, and equally important, and what is NOT included in their service. Stay away from upfront fees—this is a huge red flag. Visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website – they have a lot to say on the issue of timeshare resale fraud.
I have had owners who won’t budge on the “investment” concept of timeshare. This may have been true in the past, but it really isn’t these days. That doesn’t mean your timeshare wasn’t a good investment. It was – if you consider the time spent, the memories and laughs, and the shared family togetherness in a way-too-busy world to be your true return.