On the surface, buying a timeshare probably seemed like a good idea. After all, who wouldn’t want to come back to the same place year after year? Costs are manageable, and the level of responsibility required to maintain a timeshare is minimal.
Why not? Unfortunately, acquiring a timeshare is much easier than getting rid of one.
Selling a timeshare is notoriously difficult, thanks to the surplus of timeshares on the market. Naturally, how much you get for your timeshare—and how much difficulty you’ll have trying to sell it—depends on the location. In Florida, for instance, the market is so flooded that timeshares often sell for $3,000 to $7,000, a mere fraction of what the original buyer probably paid. Meanwhile, a timeshare in a more exotic destination, such as Hawaii, would sell for substantially more.
If your vacation plans or financial situation have changed and you no longer want your timeshare, there are a few things you can do to try to get someone to take it off your hands. Ask yourself the following questions in order to figure out the best way to go about getting rid of your timeshare.
1. Is it marketable?
Have there been any recent sales of units at your resort? Websites such as Sharket.com, TUG, and RedWeek.com can help you do some research to figure out the price of units in your resort. But keep in mind that asking prices don’t reflect selling prices.
2. Will a real estate agent take it on?
If you have reason to believe that your unit is sellable, speak to a timeshare real estate agent. You’ll want to list your unit with someone who specializes in timeshare units, and perhaps even knows the resort you’re at.
3. Can you sell it yourself?
If you’re unsuccessful in finding a real estate agent to list your unit, try listing it on RedWeek.com, TUG, or eBay. Remember to take good-quality pictures and include an enticing descriptions.
4. Are you willing to give it away?
Some timeshare owners actually end up giving away their units for nothing. This can, in the least, save you annual maintenance fees of $500 to $1,000, especially if you can’t use it. You can also approach family members or friends.
5. Will the resort buy it back?
Some resorts have a formal buyback policy. If you’re risking foreclosure, many resorts will be willing to step in and take the unit back.
6. Be wary of scams.
During the process of trying to sell your timeshare, keep an eye out for scams. Companies that are overly aggressive in telling you they have found a buyer for your timeshare will only ask for a fee upfront and then disappear.
7. Can you cancel your contract?
Pressure and persistence can go a long way in helping you cancel your contract with the resort. In addition, you can hire a lawyer to help you do this, but at a cost. Try doing it yourself before you consider paying a lawyer.