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Timeshare Resales

The subject of timeshare resales comes up again and again every year. Whether it is on bulletin board websites, at industry gatherings or with authorities at the state and federal level, owners hear about resale companies on a consistent basis. So what is the deal? It is actually pretty simple. While there are some amazing timeshare units out there, in highly desirable locations, very few can actually be resold for the price they were originally sold at. Only a small percentage command a reasonable price. Thousands of units are listed on eBay.com every week, and you will notice that many sell for a dollar (or less) and many more go unsold. There are listing sites like sellmytimesharenow.com and redweek.com, who have created a substantial user base. But many owners have unrealistic expectations of what they can get for their timeshare, and many of these go unsold as well. There is really no way to tell how many were sold, and you can't find out how many of the eBay transactions actually "completed". For the most part, the real "investment" into and value of timeshare is the years of enjoyment you and your family have during the course of your ownership. But you should understand that going in. For every 4th of July, 2 bedroom, oceanfront unit in Myrtle Beach, there is a January studio. And even prime weeks don't always sell. The limited timeshare resale market is a fickle one. So be wary when looking at resales companies. Do your homework and don't make snap decisions over the phone. Below, we have posted an article directly from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding timeshare resale. Take a moment to read it. It may save you some money.

This article is from the website of the Federal Trade Commission  https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0073-timeshares-and-vacation-plans

  Selling a Timeshare Through a Reseller

If you’re thinking of selling a timeshare, the FTC cautions you to question resellers — real estate brokers and agents who specialize in reselling timeshares. They may claim that the market in your area is “hot” and that they’re overwhelmed with buyer requests. Some may even say that they have buyers ready to purchase your timeshare, or promise to sell your timeshare within a specific time.

If you want to sell your deeded timeshare, and a company approaches you offering to resell your timeshare, go into skeptic mode:

  • Don’t agree to anything on the phone or online until you’ve had a chance to check out the reseller. Contact the state Attorney General and local consumer protection agencies in the state where the reseller is located. Ask if any complaints are on file. You also can search online for complaints.
  • Ask the salesperson for all information in writing.
  • Ask if the reseller’s agents are licensed to sell real estate where your timeshare is located. If so, verify it with the state Real Estate Commission. Deal only with licensed real estate brokers and agents, and ask for references from satisfied clients.
  • Ask how the reseller will advertise and promote the timeshare unit. Will you get progress reports? How often?
  • Ask about fees and timing. It’s preferable to do business with a reseller that takes its fee after the timeshare is sold. If you must pay a fee in advance, ask about refunds. Get refund policies and promises in writing.
  • Don’t assume you’ll recoup your purchase price for your timeshare, especially if you’ve owned it for less than five years and the location is less than well-known.

If you want an idea of the value of a timeshare that you’re interested in buying or selling, consider using a timeshare appraisal service. The appraiser should be licensed in the state where the service is located. Check with the state to see if the license is current.

Contract Caveats

Before you sign a contract with a reseller, get the details of the terms and conditions of the contract. It should include the services the reseller will perform; the fees, commissions, and other costs you must pay and when; whether you can rent or sell the timeshare on your own at the same time the reseller is trying to sell your unit; the length or term of the contract to sell your timeshare; and who is responsible for documenting and closing the sale.

If the deal isn’t what you expected or wanted, don’t sign the contract. Negotiate changes or find another reseller.

Resale Checklist

Selling a timeshare is a lot like selling any other piece of real estate. But you also should check with the resort to determine restrictions, limits, or fees that could affect your ability to resell or transfer ownership. Then, make sure that your paperwork is in order. You’ll need:

  • the name, address, and phone number of the resort
  • the deed and the contract or membership agreement
  • the financing agreement, if you’re still paying for the property
  • information to identify your interest or membership
  • the exchange company affiliation
  • the amount and due date of your maintenance fee
  • the amount of real estate taxes, if billed separately

To learn more about vacation ownership, contact the American Resort Development Association. It represents the vacation ownership and resort development industries. ARDA has nearly 1,000 members, ranging from privately-held companies to major corporations, in the U.S. and overseas.

American Resort Development Association
1201 15th Street N.W., Suite 400
Washington, D.C. 20005
(202) 371-6700; Fax: (202) 289-8544
www.arda.org

 

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