When it comes to timeshare travel, there are a number of reasons why consumers believe the purchase will be worth it in the long run. The problem is, most of their reasoning is actually misguidance as their reality rarely matches the presentation. Although the experience is not a disappointment to all fractional owners, many ponder reselling the timeshare at some point in time. So don’t worry, you’re not the only person wondering, “Can I sell my timeshare?” The way the product is described tends to give off the impression that the property will be an equity opportunity like buying a home. But is it really that simple?
After speaking with thousands of timeshare owners over the years, we’ve confirmed that a majority are completely misinformed on the way the resale market works. Some of our clients were even told that purchasing multiple agreements creates multiple revenue streams that’ll cover the purchase while allowing them to travel nearly anywhere. This is simply not true. Timeshares are one of the fastest depreciating purchases anyone can make. If you’ve asked the resort, “Can I sell my timeshare if I don’t like it,” and they told you “yes” – then you’re in for a big surprise. Just ask anyone that’s attempted the feat themselves.
A timeshare interval should never be viewed as an asset as it’s nothing more than a liability. You don’t actually own the property; only a shared period of time, a right-to-use lease or access through a membership. The single source of value you get out of owning one is allocated time – in the form of an 8 day visit every year. The product is the experience, and truth be told, it’s not always available.
This causes many to immediately consider resale. But when the trip isn’t satisfactory to you, who do you think will want it? Some people are even told by online sources that it’s a good way to earn passive income from home. Listen, timeshares should not be purchased for the purpose of making a profit – whether it be through rental programs or resale platforms.
Because of the misleading sales practices of most resorts, there are now timeshare sales laws in place to prohibit this type of language during presentations. At the same time, this doesn’t help the thousands of people who thought resale was an option. Deeded timeshares are perpetual agreements that are extremely difficult for any buyer to escape them. While the resort will encourage you to use their in-house resale programs, it’s hardly beneficial to owners. Keeping you under contract is their main priority. So before you go out of your way asking everyone you know, “How can I sell my timeshare,” consider the following.
1. Selling a Timeshare is Not an Easy Thing.
When you take the time to analyze the way timeshares are sold by development teams, you’ll realize an awful lot of persuasion and diversion is used to close the deal. In reality, most buyers know nothing about vacation ownership. So what’s that mean? It means people aren’t out shopping for one. Historically and presently, timeshares are sold by luring unsuspecting consumers into a pressure filled presentation with limited-time-offers and enticing gifts. Are you able to compete with this to sell yours?
Waiting for someone to find your offer on a listing site or rental platform is a pipedream. Without the predatory approach, it’s nearly impossible to persuade anyone to take on something you’ve found to be useless. Most people who take the time to research the purchase, don’t buy it. Owners that anticipate an ability to sell usually find themselves trying to offload the contract for $1 on eBay out of desperation. Some even offer to pay the associated annual dues two years in advance just to cancel. The fact of the matter is, if you’re selling to escape payments, you’ll continue incurring fees while you wait for a buyer. This is financially burdensome for most.
One of our clients even did a video testimonial for us that touched on his frustration with resale. “I knew I couldn’t sell my timeshare, because I had tried years before. There’s no value in it. I’d be willing to give it away, pay for all the escrow fees and just give it away. Ironically, nobody wants them.” He said. Unless you’re willing to stoop to the level of timeshare salesmen and shamefully talk someone into taking over your contract, selling it is not a smart decision.
2. Managing Resale Bookings is No Easy Task.
Utilizing a timeshare is a lot more complex than people think. It’s not something you can just purchase and teleport to every vacation. Sometimes, major hoops have to be jumped through just to gain access during ample times. Aside from the general unknown of usage, the commitment required and the conditional baggage the purchase carries can be quite overwhelming for most. This is why we do our best to warn unhappy owners when they tell us, “I can sell my timeshare on my own.”
While finding someone to rent or buy the timeshare is like finding a needle in a haystack, it’s only the tip of the iceberg. Actually processing the transaction requires an entirely new bag of tricks. For the most part, advanced booking methods will be an essential cog during the process. Not only will you need to qualify those interested in the property, but you’ll want to avoid fraud and other timeshare scams.
Effective booking capabilities are also required in order to obtain desired inventory. With that being said, you have to set aside time to learn the programs on top of investing money to use them. If you don’t have a competent software, then potential customers will be distracted by the timeshare industry’s targeted ads. If it’s too difficult to book your condo – due to lack of cooperation from the resort or poor booking systems – then interested parties will move on.
3. The Timeshare Market is Now Overpopulated.
Ever since the 1980’s, the timeshare industry has focused on expansion over sustainability. Instead of making the experience a priority, they’ve concentrated on building possibilities. What’s concerning about this approach is the simple fact the demand isn’t really there. While most businesses base their supply on needs or desires, timeshare developers establish the supply and solicit people to buy it.
Even though the internet has become the prominent highway for connecting modern travelers with cheap and flexible options, timeshares have refused to adapt and compete. The timeshare sales concept was born decades before the internet ever existed and they’ve adamantly stuck to their old ways of new acquisition. They know that as soon as someone is locked into a perpetual agreement, residual income is inevitable.
Instead of challenging travel advancements, the industry has learned how to survive at their owner’s expense. In order to extend their relevance in a digital age, resorts have become cunning at up-selling their products with “point based membership” programs. While it may seem like this wouldn’t hinder availability, it most certainly does. Long story short, there are a lot of people asking “Can I sell my timeshare,” right now.
When buyers use in-house timeshare programs to help them offload their contract, it normally involves an exchange that disadvantages them further. Moreover, the resort regains ownership, collects more fees and resells the same unit to another sucker. Because this cycle has been ongoing for quite some time now, the industry has created a bottleneck based on possibilities.
The Manhattan Club specifically lost their license for selling points that exceed their actual availability. When flexible points are more appealing than the unit you no longer desire, this hurts you as a timeshare reseller. An assortment of options gives you a low to no chance at selling. Now that deeded exclusivity has lost its appeal, resorts are able to profit tremendously off of minimal availability. When all rooms are paid for, whether they’re being used or not, the revenue keeps rolling in.
4. You’ll be Battling a Multi-Billion Dollar Industry.
Timeshare companies know how to leverage the terms of their contracts to ensure owners remain compliant – even when people are dissatisfied with the purchase. From perpetuity to 20-30 year right-to-use agreements, the advantage is theirs. Holding owners hostage is easy when they’re able to use the money they collect to control the marketplace. While plenty of people think they can sell their timeshare, there’s just no way to win here.
At the end of the day, resorts are known to push out their prime inventory to the general public instead of offering it to paying owners. For the most part, the interval you currently own will never compare to what’s being offered on platforms like Expedia or Priceline. Even if their offers are too good to be true. Like we said before, no one is looking to buy a timeshare online. Because of this, resorts know how to take advantage of certain situations.
When they sell timeshare units through third parties as vacation deals, they aggressively solicit retail guests during their stay. Some are even required to attend a sales presentation upon arrival. When owners aren’t able to book certain dates and they allow family members use their interval, the same should be expected. Even complaints are viewed as opportunities to sell more. The sales machine that the timeshare industry has become is something you should never be naive to.
You Can Try to Sell Timeshares If You Want, But..
So, for those of you asking, “Can I sell my timeshare,” the answer can be a bit cloudy. We understand there are plenty of resources out there that claim this feat is possible, but it’s important that you take the time to assess who’s filling your head with these possibilities. There is plenty of noise in the industry, but most of it is bias information geared towards a sale.
While it might be difficult to believe a company that specializes in timeshare cancellation, we’re one of the few that’s been around for a while. Our goal isn’t to persuade you to cancel your timeshare agreement. We simply want consumers to be aware of what they’re getting themselves into. If you’re willing to pay an upfront fee to list a timeshare with no guarantee that it will rent or sell, then you’ll probably like what we have to say.
Timeshares are not assets. They should not be bought for profitability reasons as you will spend a lot of time and money chasing a pie in the sky. Take the time to do your own research and determine what the best long term solution is for you and your family. Don’t allow yourself to be sold quickly and avoid all limited-time offers. Ask yourself if paying a “convenience fee” to travel to subpar accommodations is actually cheaper and more convenient than a retail vacation? Is the mortgage, maintenance fees, assessments and taxes worth it? Are you willing to continue paying these on top of listing fees while you await the sale?
Timeshares ought to be purchased for the value in the vacations taken. Membership access should benefit travelers and routine vacations should create a sense of fulfillment. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. While it’s admirable to never give up hope, sometimes the logical decision is the hardest one to make. If you’d like more information on our attorney based process, you can always fill out a qualification form below or schedule a free consultation.