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Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of owning a timeshare is that you are pre-paying for your future vacations at today’s prices. You will no longer have to say, “I can’t afford to go on vacation this year,” as timeshare guarantees regular vacations, with all the relaxing and rejuvenating benefits of vacationing. However, a time may come when you may start thinking about getting rid of your investment. If so, you need to learn about how to sell a timeshare.

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What Is a Timeshare?

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Timeshare is a way to purchase a share, or piece, of a resort that guarantees a high-quality vacation experience at least once a year. There are different types of timeshares, among them:

  • Points-based
  • Weeks-based
  • A combination of both

Also, there are two types of timeshare ownership: deeded and non-deeded. Most resorts today are deeded, which means that the owner buys a deeded interest in real property. These are called “timeshare estates” under state laws. Non-deeded interests are “timeshare uses” or “timeshare licenses” but may also be called “memberships.”

Why Do People Buy Timeshares?

If you ask timeshare owners what they value most about their vacations, they will say flexibility, affordability, variety, exchange, and comfort. Some of the main benefits of owning a timeshare include:

Going on Vacation Is Just What the Doctor Ordered

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It is clear and proven that consistent work without taking a break is detrimental to a person’s wellbeing. Vacations work to reduce stress by removing people from activities and environments that tend to be sources of stress. For a healthy lifestyle, it is essential to try to vacation regularly.  Timeshare owners are great at this since, by prepaying for their timeshare, they will be more likely to take a yearly vacation.

You Get More Than a Simple Room

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The majority of timeshares offer you living areas where you can gather with your family. They also include kitchens where you can fix a quick breakfast or a full meal and separate bedrooms for when the time comes to close the door and get some sleep. With a timeshare, you can forget about stuffing the whole family into one room and eating a quick bite sitting on the bed. This is more of a home-from-home than just a base for your vacation.

Timeshares Give You the Option to Discover the World

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The ability to exchange your timeshare week for a vacation from literally thousands of vacation options gives timeshare owners the type of vacation flexibility that allows you to travel globally for a fraction of the cost of standard vacation accommodation. This is another major benefit as it makes it easier to discover the world and explore new places.

Tips on How to Sell a Timeshare

If you own a timeshare and have enjoyed it for some time now, you may have reached the point where you feel you are ready to sell it. This can be due to the fact that, after many years of happily enjoying the property, your lifestyle has suddenly changed and you are no longer able to use your timeshare as frequently as you used to. Or you may find that you purchased this property on a whim and now realize that it does not work for you or for your family. Other owners may find that their financial or personal circumstances keep them from taking regular vacations and realize that they are not able to enjoy their timeshare. These and many others are valid and legitimate reasons for you to consider selling your timeshare.

You may find yourself in this situation and facing tough to answer questions such as: how much is my timeshare really worth and, most importantly, how can I sell it and to whom? Can you sell it back to the resort? Should you put it up for sale on a for-sale-by-owner website? Should you consider going with a licensed broker that can take care of this for you? Let’s analyze each one of these options:

How to Sell a Timeshare on Your Own

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If you are thinking about how to sell a timeshare on your own, start by determining how much you realistically want to get for it. To set a realistic price, you should be aware that resales tend to sell for only a fraction of the price the developer sold it to you. If you acquired the timeshare from a resort, no matter what avenue you select to sell it, most likely you will not make a profit nor will you even make back what you originally spent. For many, that is a tough piece of news to swallow.

Of course, this does not mean you cannot get any money for your timeshare. Just remember that there will always be other properties similar to yours on the market at the time when you are trying to sell your own. Price yours competitively but don’t undersell yourself. Look at your property objectively and put together a list of its particular aspects:

  • Is it an off-season week?
  • Is it a studio or does it have 2 or even 3 bedrooms?
  • What amenities does the development offer that makes it stand out from others?
  • How many weeks per year can you use it?
  • Is your usage fixed, floating or points-based?

If you want to know how to sell a timeshare fast, price it at or below the low range of prices for properties similar to your own. Buyers will inevitably look at the properties that are priced lowest first. If a fast sale is less important to you, price above the lowest offer you'd be willing to accept (or toward the high range of prices for properties similar to your own) and go from there. It could be that someone might be looking for your exact destination, resort, week and unit, and might be willing to pay more than you'd expect to get exactly what they want.

How to Sell a Timeshare with the Help of a Broker

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If you have no idea how to sell a timeshare property or if you fear that taking up this task on your own will eat up too much of your valuable time or simply have no desire to sell it on your own, a broker can be an invaluable asset. With or without a broker, two factors—exposure and price—will affect the end result. The difference, however, is that a broker will actively seek buyers to purchase your property and will know how to price your timeshare appropriately to help it sell quickly in any market.

For those owners who do not want to deal with figuring out how to sell a timeshare on your own, a timeshare broker can provide you with valuable assistance throughout the entire process. Timeshare brokers are also a great option for owners who do not wish to pay an upfront fee to advertise their timeshares as most legitimate brokers charge a commission only after your timeshare has been sold.

How to Sell a Timeshare Back to the Resort

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If for whatever reason you cannot sell your timeshare on the open market, one possibility is to offer it back to the resort. If the unit is paid off and you are an owner in good standing, there might be a chance that the resort will accept the unit back from you. They have no obligation to do so, however, and you will have to negotiate with the resort to strike an acceptable deal.

Resorts are not legally obligated to take a timeshare back from you. If you have been unable to find a willing owner to take over your unit, it might be a good idea to present your case to the property manager. Prepare a good pitch because if the resort is not open to taking back your property, your options are very limited indeed. If you stop paying your maintenance fees, you will eventually be foreclosed on, which will take the property off your hands. However, it will also damage your credit and could leave you liable for the fees. Your other option is to try to give the property to someone else or sell it for whatever you can get.

If you are seriously thinking about how to sell a timeshare, your developer may allow you to deed it back. In a deed-back, you sign the deed of your property or interest over to the owner. You may not get any money for it–and may even have to pay a transfer fee–but you will get out of being responsible for it and for its maintenance fees.

Conclusion

There are many reasons why the owner of a timeshare may wish to sell it. The resale option that you choose will inevitably depend on your finances, lifestyle, and ability to be involved in the sale. However, before opting for a sale, you should think about whether you are just going through a financial hitch that is preventing you from enjoying it now. You can always rent your timeshare out, thereby getting some money back to cover any expenses. You may think about asking family and friends whether they would like to use it. Just have a look at the rental prices of apartments in resorts comparable to yours to give you some idea of what you might charge in rent for its use. Also, remember, there are always many avenues open to you when it comes to making the final decision on how to sell a timeshare.

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