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How to sell a Timeshare
So…you’ve bought a timeshare. It seemed like a great idea at the time, right? But times have changed and, for whatever reason, you want to sell it. Well, selling your timeshare isn’t easy but it can be done.
We’ll give you some ideas for how to sell your timeshare but you should realize that very few people are able to sell their timeshare for as much as they paid for it.
Do it yourself. Watch out for companies that claim to be able to take all the load off your hands and do it for you. Aside from the fact that they usually guarantee nothing (in writing) but want their money up-front, many of those companies are scams. If you insist on dealing with them, be sure to do you own very thorough due-diligence research on whatever company you pick.
One obvious place to start looking for buyers for your timeshare is with the company your bought from. Sometimes they have timeshare resales programs. It won’t hurt to ask.
Another option is to see if you can find out who is using the unit before and after you. It’s certainly possible that either of them might want some extra time. You’ll probably have to do some negotiating even if they are interested but it’s still better than having to ‘eat’ the unit, right?
EBay has a section for timeshare resale and, even if yours doesn’t sell, they have some very useful statistics on the timeshare resale market that you can use to restructure your offer if you decide to. Ebay cost a little bit of money but you already knew you weren’t going to make money on the deal, right? So go ahead and try it. Of course yours will be positioned with others but there’s always a chance it might be just the place and time that somebody else is looking for.
Be aware that historically (the timeshare business has been around a long time) the vast majority of timeshares resale for only 30-50% of what people originally paid for them. Just accept it and get on with the task of trying to minimize your loses
Do some research and see what other timeshares resale for. Don’t price yourself completely out of the market. Of course it’s sometimes hard to find an exact duplicate of your timeshare to compare with (if you can…that’s great information to have) but usually you can still get an idea for where you can start your pricing.
Realize that most people who buy timeshares from owners such as yourself are well aware of what’s on the market. You know they’re looking for ‘a deal’ so…you should always price yours at or below the low end of the resale market to the extent that you can determine what it is.
There are other advertising venues too of course. Consider flyers posted on local bulletin boards, online classifieds listings, free or cheap ads in local newspapers, and (of course) local networking among friends and neighbors.
If and when you get a prospective buyer, treat them just like you’d expect to be treated…i.e. with courtesy and honesty. Provide any information they ask for and answer their questions forthrightly. Remember, it’s certainly possible that you might find somebody who, for whatever reason, can’t buy a timeshare through the type of program you did so the deal you offer might actually a good deal for them.
If you do get to the point where you find a buyer for your timeshare, be sure and use a real, legally binding contract. If you can have an attorney draw one up…that’s great. But you could probably get by with using a contract that’s known to be current with the laws in your state. That will work too.
Last but not least, consider donating your timeshare to charity. That should give you considerable tax saving and it might at least partially mitigate they loss you’ll probably take on selling your timeshare.
These tips will work eventually as long as you’re realistic about the price issue. Timeshares are just like anything else…i.e. there is an aftermarket. Good luck!