What Is the Best Way to Sell a Timeshare?

Best way to sell a timeshare: couple receiving keys from a realtor

First things first, any timeshare owner looking for the best way to sell a timeshare should keep this in mind: It’s extremely hard to sell a timeshare, and many timeshare owners are not successful in doing so. That’s because timeshare companies make it nearly impossible to escape your contract and pass on timeshare ownership, especially for a profit. Knowing this, let’s explore the best methods for selling timeshares for those who are legally able to undergo the timeshare sales process.


Whether due to financial or personal reasons, if you find yourself thinking, “I want to sell my timeshare,” there are a few routes you may be able to take to make a successful timeshare exit. Among these are selling your timeshare on an online resale market, hosting your own timeshare sales presentation, or hiring a Realtor to help you sell your property. Be mindful that most companies place restrictions — like a right of first refusal — onto their customers that can make it very difficult (and sometimes impossible) to sell timeshares. If this is the case for you, it may be necessary to seek the help of a timeshare exit company. 


Are Online Resale Markets the Best Way to Sell a Timeshare?

When you check the search engine for timeshare sales on an online marketplace, like eBay and Craigslist, you’ll see that timeshares are a dime a dozen. And many timeshare owners can barely get a dime off their resale! So many of them have a sale price of $1, yet they sit on these sites for months or even years without being sold. And why is this? Because there is an overabundance of people looking to escape their timeshare contracts and pass on their ownership to someone else and very few people looking to saddle themselves and their families with an expensive timeshare.


Many people see selling their timeshares on online marketplaces as one of the few feasible ways of selling timeshare property. While not usually a profitable route, if selling your timeshare on an online secondary market is the route you choose to take, here’s how to create an honest and professional online listing. 


Listing Your Timeshare Online

In order to create a proper online listing, you must include all the pricing and logistical details related to your timeshare property:

  • Timeshare sales price
  • Annual maintenance fees
  • Rules of your timeshare property
  • Policies on timeshare rentals
  • Timeshare’s specific weeks or point exchange program
  • Unpaid transfer fees, loan payments, and closing costs

Basically, any information enclosed in your estoppel letter should be included on your online timeshare listing. Otherwise, buyers may conflate a low-priced listing with a timeshare scam and will look elsewhere. No matter how inflexible your timeshare weeks are or how high your maintenance fees are, you need to be 100% honest about your timeshare if you don’t want potential buyers to think you’re a scammer.


Unfortunately, using an online market isn’t a feasible option for timeshare sellers who want to sell their property for more than a dollar and don’t want their property to sit on the market for months while they continue to pay expensive maintenance fees.


Ultimately, listing your timeshare is a passive option that may not actually lead to selling. If you want to take a more active approach, you might want to host your own sales presentation.


How to Host Your Own Timeshare Sales Presentation

The reason why in-person timeshare pitches are so effective is because the salespeople are trained to quickly identify what benefits of timeshare ownership would appeal to you the most.  When you sell a timeshare online or use a realtor, you lose that personal touch that might just get you the sale. That’s why hosting your own sales presentation may be a more effective method for selling your timeshare. 


To do this, create a guest list of friends, family, and acquaintances whose lifestyles, interests, and income are conducive to timeshare ownership. Present your guests with a fun and festive setting like an elegant cocktail party, cozy backyard BBQ, or lavish brunch. Create a sales presentation like the one you received when you made your initial timeshare purchase. Emphasize how owning a timeshare can enrich your life by allowing you to enjoy more quality time with family, discover new vacation destinations, and cut down on expensive hotel rooms. 


During the presentation, be honest about why the timeshare no longer fits into your life by making it as specific to your situation as possible. Make sure to have any relevant timeshare documents or deeds readily available so that your guests can make a fully informed decision about purchasing your timeshare. You don’t want them to be blindsided by the realities of owning a timeshare, such as unexpected costs, company protocols, or ownership restrictions.


If you don’t want the burden of trying to sell your timeshare on your own, you may want to seek out a real estate agent to help you.


Are Realtors the Best Way to Sell a Timeshare?

Best way to sell a timeshare: happy agent giving keys to a couple

If your timeshare company allows for it, using a Realtor with experience in the timeshare industry may be a more advantageous method for selling your timeshare. A seasoned real estate agent should have vast knowledge of the timeshare sales process. They should be constantly aware of the current status of the market and know what type of buyer to advertise your property toward.


So, where do you locate the perfect Realtor? Likely not with a timeshare resale company. These companies target down-on-their-luck timeshare owners with promises to get them a successful sale and often request upfront fees for listing their customers’ properties. If you come across a company like this, run! No company should guarantee you a sale or ask you to pay your Realtor until after the sale is made. 


A legitimate timeshare Realtor will not take your money until a successful sale is processed and will be knowledgeable and honest about your timeshare’s resale value. From the many timeshare properties they’ve sold, your Realtor should be able to analyze the condition of your property and the unique benefits that come with your timeshare to come up with a realistic price that’s hopefully much more than what you’d sell it for on eBay or Craigslist. 


What Is a Right of First Refusal?

Person refusing a bribe

Whether you decide to list your timeshare property online, host a timeshare sales pitch yourself, or use a realtor, you first have to reach out to your timeshare company to check if you are even allowed to sell it. This is necessary if you want to avoid legal trouble. 


Unfortunately, many timeshare providers put a clause in their timeshare contracts called a “right of first refusal” (ROFR). This can mean one of two things: Your timeshare company can legally prevent you from selling your timeshare to anyone but them, or if you find an interested buyer, you first have to offer your timeshare company the same price you’ve negotiated with the prospective buyer and then the company gets to decide whether or not to buy it back. Some ROFR clauses even require a seller to give all the funds from a third-party sale back to the timeshare company.


Why does the ROFR clause exist? Because timeshare companies don’t want you to make a profit off of selling their properties. If their units are being resold for a substantial amount that they’re not getting any proceeds from, they’re missing out on a lot of business. So by exercising their right of first refusal, timeshare companies have the opportunity to buy back your timeshare at a low rate, fix up the property, and sell it to a new customer at a higher price. 


What Should You Do If You Can’t Sell Your Timeshare?

Woman deep in thought

Before trying to sell on an online marketplace, organizing your own timeshare presentation party, or working with a real estate agent, you’ll have to consult your timeshare company. If the company has the right of first refusal, they may be able to prevent you from selling. Unfortunately many timeshare owners find themselves in this predicament. 


If your timeshare company has blocked you from finding the best way to sell a timeshare, Centerstone Group is here to help. Centerstone Group believes that no timeshare company has the right to intimidate, swindle, and trick their customers into keeping a timeshare they can no longer manage. If your timeshare company has committed fraud, high-pressure sales tactics, or misrepresentation during your timeshare sales process, you may be able to bypass their “no” and seek help through a timeshare exit. 


Centerstone Group is a full-service advocacy group that specializes in resolving contract issues for clients seeking relief from the financial and emotional burdens of timeshare ownership. Whether you need help understanding the timeshare sales process or want to escape your contract altogether, Centerstone Group may help you reassess your timeshare ownership and find a solution that works for you. Contact Centerstone Group today for a free consultation.


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