Timeshares can be a great way to own a vacation home. They can provide endless vacations, family time, extra income, and priceless memories.
There may come a time however when it’s time to sell your timeshare for various reasons. Maybe your family has outgrown it or your lifestyle is different than it was when you first purchased it.
Whatever the reason, it can seem like a daunting process to sell timeshare property.
If you’re considering selling your timeshare, read on for some helpful tips to make this process as smooth as possible.
How to Sell a Timeshare
Selling your timeshare probably isn’t going to be as much fun as it was to buy it. Even with the stress and hassle that comes with selling property, this will hopefully mark a new chapter in your life.
Maybe you’re thinking of selling your current timeshare in favor of a fun vacation home like at this resort or maybe for another option that better suits your current lifestyle.
Whatever your reasons are for selling, there are a few things you should know before jumping in.
Pricing Your Timeshare
When selling your timeshare, it’s best to remain realistic. Markets can go up and down and so can the value and appeal of your timeshare.
Go in with an open mind and realistic exceptions and you’ll feel a lot less stressed about the whole ordeal.
You may encounter some sticker shock if you’re trying to sell a unit that has usage dates in an offseason. This could work in your favor however if someone is looking for a deal and doesn’t care about the season. This is probably the same reason you bought it, after all.
If you have in-season and flexible usage dates, you’ll likely fair a lot better when it comes to resale.
If your timeshare is part of a larger chain where you can use credits for other accommodations and airline tickets, you may also see a higher percentage back at resale time as this is a great selling feature.
Generally, timeshares are often presented to potential buyers as a list grouped by the resort. If you have a two-bedroom unit and yours is priced the highest, you’ll likely get overlooked for a lower-priced unit.
In the end, stay where you’re most comfortable and do what’s best for you. Know that selling at a lower price may mean saving on maintenance fees and other expenses in the long run so you may be better off.
Know Exactly What You’re Selling
Before you begin the process of selling your timeshare, know what you’re offering people. A timeshare you bought ten years ago, fully updated in a brand new resort, may look very different now.
Have you kept up with remodeling? Is your resort in the same condition it was when you bought it?
You may see a drop in price if you’re in a resort or complex that hasn’t been well maintained and you should be realistic about this.
You should also understand the type of ownership you have. You typically will have deeded ownership or a Right To Use (RTU) agreement. Makes sure to check when your Right To Use agreement expires and note that the value will typically decrease as your near the expiration date.
Be sure to find all of your mortgage documents and all of the files pertaining to your timeshare including your maintenance details and tax records.
Be prepared at the closing table with all of your documents. The best-sellers are ones who know what they are selling and are prepared to answer any questions from buyers.
Selling Timeshares with a Real Estate Agency
If selling your timeshare on your own doesn’t seem appealing, enlist the help of a professional. There are several real estate agencies out there that specialize in selling timeshares.
A real estate agent will list your timeshare online and also through offline channels and take a commission off of your deal at the closing.
Commissions and fees will vary so make sure you know exactly what you’re agreeing to when you hire a real estate agent. Timeshare sales may also be charged a premium compared to a traditional home sale so make sure you ask these questions.
You’ll want to use a realtor who is professional and part of an accredited real estate agency. You can check the Better Business Bureau if you want to check someone’s credentials.
For timeshare sales specifically, check if the real estate company is a part of a trade organization called the American Resort Development Association. This group of realtors will have to abide by specific guidelines when they sell timeshares.
It’s also a good time to check the laws and taxes in your state so you know if everything is on the up and up. This can help you educate yourself and make sure you know all of the tax implications involved with selling your timeshare.
Selling a Timeshare Through a Developer Resale Program
Some developers at resorts will offer a resale program. With this option, you won’t need to enlist an outside real estate agent. You’ll be able to use a professional in-house at the resort who will list and market your property.
Keep in mind that these in-house realtors will always try and sell new units first. If a new unit is out of a potential buyer’s price range, they will then go down the line and show other available units like yours.
Before you go this route and sign a contract, make sure you know their fees and how they will market your unit. With some resorts this is the only way you can sell your timeshare, so should have been given the appropriate paperwork at your closing.
Selling Timeshare: Additional Tips
As a timeshare owner, you likely know that there are a lot of scam artists out there. Beware of these people and always do your homework. There’s no such thing as a guaranteed quick sale so don’t fall for someone promising one.
In some cases, you may be able to sell your timeshare through an auction. If you’re going this route, you may want to enlist the help of a professional.
If you’re going ahead and listing your property by yourself on an auction site, take a look at other similar listings. Borrow some of their marketing copy and incorporate ideas you like into your own advertisement.
Timeshare clubs often come with classifieds that will market services in the area as well as properties for sale. This may be a good option as potential buyers may already be in the market.
Exchanges and Other Timeshare Owners
Another option to change up your timeshare is by a one-time exchange. If you want to sell your timeshare, this likely won’t work for you, however. If you just want to change your usage dates or the location, an exchange could be a great option.
You could also speak to other timeshare owners. If someone is looking to extend their time at your resort they may want to use your unit before or after their fixed time begins.
Neither of these options will sell your timeshare but they may make it easier to reduce time or exchange dates that work better for you.
Sell Timeshare 101
Deciding to sell your timeshare is never an easy decision. You’ll always want to weigh the pros and cons, do your homework, and talk to a professional if needed.
When you’ve reached the point where you’re ready to sell timeshare property, it’s best to go into the process well-informed and with realistic expectations.
Check out our real estate section for more great tips and articles on the market today.