Do you need to sell a timeshare?
Sometimes when you own a timeshare, getting rid of it can seem next to impossible. But it is possible to sell a timeshare – you just need the right tips to follow.
There are scams that try to target people trying to sell a timeshare, and dead-end strategies that just won’t work. However, there are also many legitimate paths towards passing your timeshare along to someone else. In this guide, we’ll show you exactly what your options are, and what to watch out for.
Keep reading to learn the key steps for selling a timeshare!
1. Don’t Pay Anything Up Front
You already own the timeshare, so why would you have to pay to sell it?
You might be surprised to learn that many scams actually promise to sell your timeshare for you, as long as you pay them money up front. Don’t do it!
The fee they ask for might be called a market analysis fee, appraisal fee, advertising fee, marketing fee, or something else. But no matter how “real” it sounds, you’ll ultimately just be throwing your money away.
The promise might sound great: they’ll sell your timeshare at top value, if you just pay a fee of a few hundred (sometimes even a few thousand) dollars up front. However, you should never have to pay money up front to sell a timeshare.
The business might claim that the money you pay is fully refundable, or that there’s a money-back guarantee. They might also claim that there are a number of buyers waiting for a property just like yours. No matter what, don’t bite – they’re just trying to take your money.
Most of the time, they take your money and pretend to start a sales process, but don’t actually follow through. By the time you realize it’s a scam, the “dispute” period for most banks and credit cards will be over, and there will be no way to get your money back.
If a company makes guarantees of success, or claims that your timeshare will be easy to sell, it’s probably a scam. It’s possible to sell a timeshare, but it’s never as easy as just sending a few hundred dollars to a company that will do it for you.
2. Find Out What Your Timeshare’s Worth
Find a realistic price for your timeshare, and advertise accordingly.
Most of the time, your resale value will be below what you bought it for, especially if you purchased it from a developer. You might actually get just a fraction of the price you paid the developer. However, this will get you out from under the ongoing maintenance fees, so it’s still worth it.
Just because you paid full price for your timeshare doesn’t mean that someone else will want to. Keep in mind that most people first buy timeshares thanks to an effective salesperson and a fancy sales presentation, along with a number of free incentives to buy.
You won’t have the shiny presentation and the incentives to hand out – just a timeshare for sale. Unless you’re a professional salesperson, it’s just about impossible to sell it for what you bought it for.
Instead, find information on comparable timeshares to yours that were resold successfully. Use this information to set a competitive price for yours.
How to Price Your Timeshare
You can ask the resort what some recent resale prices were, check out online sales such as eBay auctions, or look up the real estate records in that resort’s county. No matter what, make sure you’re looking at successful resales, not ads that no one is responding to.
When you do this research, you might find comparable timeshares that have sold for a wide range of prices. That’s because many timeshare owners are simply guessing what their week is worth. They might be pricing incorrectly because they think timeshare values go up the same way traditional real estate does. Or they might just be guessing completely.
Some of the results you get might be overpriced, so you’re best off setting your price near the middle or even low end if you want to make a sale. Remember that buyers will almost always spring for the lowest price of all the comparable options.
Don’t forget to look at all the details when deciding which ones are comparable to yours. Check the season or week, view, number of bedrooms, and other factors that can affect value.
It might be painful, but the lower you set your price, the sooner you’ll get rid of your timeshare!
3. Start Advertising
Now, it’s time to strategically start advertising in the right places.
You can ask the resort for some ideas about where other people have advertised to sell their weeks. Get on Craigslist. Advertise in the resort newsletter or the local paper. There are also a number of timeshare resale services online that let you post ads for free.
eBay is also a great place to advertise a timeshare for sale. Set your reserve as low as possible – or don’t even set one at all. Look at comparable listings that have been completed so you can get an idea of what to ask for.
4. Hire a Lawyer
If you’re having trouble getting out from under your timeshare agreement, it might be a good idea to get a lawyer on your side.
They can help protect you from scams or fraud, and help you figure out what to do if you can no longer afford your timeshare but are having trouble selling it. If that’s something you’re worried about, click this link to learn more.
Do You Need to Sell a Timeshare?
Keeping a timeshare that you don’t want can get expensive. Regular fees and payments will add up. Even if you don’t get what you paid for it, it’s well worth it to sell a timeshare you no longer want as soon as possible.
Of course, good advertising tactics can help the sale happen much faster. Check out our tips for effective advertising strategies here.