Many people buy timeshares as an investment, and so it’s no surprise to see them soon putting the property back on the market. Others use the timeshare for a while and then for some reason, life happens and what was once a great vacation idea no longer fits into lifestyle. Thus, putting the ‘dream timeshare vacation’ back on the market. Still others can no longer afford the taxes or maintenance costs. Whatever your reason, selling timeshares is much easier if you remember some important considerations.
1) First, you should understand that people who make a profit on timeshares are the exception rather than the rule. So you should be forewarned ahead of time that, if a profit is what’s holding up the sale, you might be waiting a while. There are profits to be made, but if this is your intent, you need to be sure that when you’re buying the timeshare, you’re getting a bargain deal. Only true timeshare deals stand a chance of earning you a profit.
2) Don’t kid yourself when it comes to setting a price. If you’re selling timeshares that are studio units, or if it’s an off-season, you’re not going to make as much money. Likewise, you’ll likely get much less if you haven’t kept up with the maintenance responsibilities on the unit. Sadly, even if your unit is in-season, industry insiders warn that they often will only sell for 30 to 50 percent of the price for which you bought it.
3) You’ll get more money if your timeshare is part of a chain of units.
4) All of the above factors lead to this inevitable conclusion: You’ll have to keep the price low, usually much lower than your buying cost, if you want to sell fast. If you want to make a higher amount, and even make a profit, you need to be in it for the long-haul. This could mean keeping the timeshare on the market for many, many months.
5) You’ll increase your odds of selling high if you list the timeshare in a variety of ways. For instance: Obviously, you want to list it with a real estate agency (Be sure the agency belongs to the American Resort Development Association (ARDA), the trade organization that ensures the agency is not out to scam people like you.
Also consider including your timeshare on an auction service. There are numerous auction sites where selling timeshares is allowed, including eBay. And as long as you’re online, you might also try online classifieds such as CraigsList. Timeshare deals are rare there, but almost all real estate gets at least a few responses on the site.
Keep an eye out for developer resale programs. There are often salesmen who work on site who have quick access to buyers that are interested in your particular resort or chain.
And finally, other owners of the same unit might be possible buyers. If they own the unit for a different portion of the year, approach them about extending their ownership months. These suggestions won’t ensure a profit, but they can help with the process of selling timeshares to make sure you don’t lose your shirt in the process.