There is a lot to love about owning a timeshare. You can lock in your vacation spot well in advance, you usually enjoy plenty of amenities onsite, and you can get familiar with a place by returning time after time. For many families, getting away for a week to enjoy their timeshare is one of the highlights of the year.
With that said, you may have second thoughts about your ownership from time to time.Perhaps you are worried that you aren’t using your timeshare enough to justify the cost. Or,maybe you simply own more than you need based on your current situation. Whatever the case, you may get to a point where you are thinking about selling. If that sounds like your current state of mind, we hope this article will help.
Take a Breath
The first thing to do when thinking about selling your timeshare is to slow down and take a breath. This is a major financial decision, and you don’t want to rush into it without thinking through all the various implications. If you hurry to sell your timeshare, there are a couple of potential problems. For one thing, you might run into procedural issues since you won’t have all your ‘ducks in a row’ before getting started. And, even if you get through the sale cleanly, you may not walk away with nearly as much money as you expected.
While you are contemplating whether to sell, think about the points below.
• Could you rent it? Before you even think about selling, you should first think about generating rental income. This is a great way for many timeshare owners to make their ownership more affordable. While the concept might seem a little intimidating or overwhelming at first, it is done successfully by countless people. If you’d like to get started moving in this direction, check out our How to Rent a Timeshare post.
• Learn more about your timeshare. Do you know everything there is to know about the timeshare you own currently? Probably not – most owners don’t. Before selling, take some time to educate yourself on all of the benefits that come with being an owner. Once you begin to utilize all of the various advantages you have access to thanks to your ownership position, the cost of your timeshare may suddenly seem like a bargain. For instance, if you are a Club Wyndham owner, you can use your points for more than just reserving rooms. They may be eligible for conversion into maintenance fees, you might be able to use them for travel expenses, or they could be rolled over to next year. Without the right knowledge, you are sure to miss out on plenty of benefits.
• Offer it up to friends and family members. You can probably only take so many vacations in a year due to work and other obligations. But your family members and friends probably take vacations, as well. Why not see if they want to use your timeshare? If they do, it may be possible to get them to pay you a certain amount for the opportunity, helping you reduce your overall cost of ownership. Before going in this direction, be sure to clear up any reservation issues so they have a smooth experience from start to finish. Those three points should give you a lot to think about whether you want to remain a timeshare owner. Many people who think they are ready to sell eventually decide to remain owners once they learn how to make better use of their timeshare.
Going Forward with a Sale
Moving on with our article, we are going to assume that you have thought it through and you still want to sell your timeshare. So, what’s next? Is this just like selling a house or any other valuable property you may own? Not exactly. There are a few things you need to think about before you actively market and accept offers for the timeshare you own.
For starters, you will probably need to own the timeshare outright. If you took out a mortgage to purchase your timeshare, you’ll likely need to settle that debt before you can make a successful sale. There may be some exceptions to this rule of thumb, but the process will be much simpler if you are already the outright owner.
Also, you will need to make sure you are eligible to sell your timeshare. This may come down to whether it is a deeded property. If it is not, you may just be paying membership fees for the right to use a facility, without the opportunity to own any equity. Contact the timeshare company directly for the specifics of your ownership status.
Finally, it will be necessary to be current on your maintenance fees. You are legally responsible for these fees if you are an owner, and it will usually not be possible to transfer the ownership of the timeshare until the maintenance fees are current.
Handling the Details
Before we wrap this up, let’s touch on a few final points that should be mentioned.
• Do some research. What is the market like for a timeshare like yours? Is there is a big demand at the moment for this kind of opportunity, or is the market flooded with others trying to sell? In this case, the timeshare market can be compared to other markets, in that supply and demand will strongly influence price. In a situation where there are many timeshares available and only a few buyers looking, prices are going to be low. Know what to expect and use that information to inform your bargaining position.
• Look into an Estoppel. This is a declaration of ownership, and it also gives you written proof of the status of your maintenance fees and mortgage balance. An educated buyer is likely to be interested in this when considering a deal.
• Have everything in place. You don’t want to get halfway through a deal only to realize you don’t have all the paperwork ready to go. Find out what is going to be required to close the deal and get it all ready in advance.
Selling your timeshare is not always the right choice, but it will be the best option for some owners. If that is the case for you, we hope the information above has been helpful.