If you were one of the unlucky people who attended a high-pressure timeshare sales presentation and were duped into buying a timeshare you couldn’t afford, you aren’t alone. One study of the question found that 85% of timeshare owners regret their purchase. Timeshare maintenance fees, assessments, and other charges pile up, and most owners eventually begin to consider selling their units.
Before you get too far down this road, though, you need to be aware of a few facts the timeshare salesperson didn’t tell you. Timeshare properties don’t sell like normal real estate products. In fact, for the most part, you can’t sell them at all. That’s why so many desperate owners turn to websites like eBay or Craigslist to sell timeshares for as little as $1, only to find they can’t even give them away.
There is an entire industry of companies that understand this all too well, and when timeshare owners are desperate, that’s when they pounce. They promise that they can successfully list your timeshare for sale on an online marketplace or even buy it outright. However, in nearly every case, these are just empty promises that waste even more of your money.
This article will take a look at who buys timeshares and purports to help with selling, what you can expect from those companies, and why they are not good choices for actually getting rid of your timeshare. We’ll also look at the timeshare exit process offered by Centerstone Group, which has helped numerous owners free themselves of oppressive and expensive timeshare contracts.
In this day and age, the first place we turn to when we have a problem we don’t know much about is our trusty internet search engine. That’s where many timeshare owners find sites like Sell My Timeshare Now or Timeshare Users Group. These websites purport to provide timeshare owners with many services, but the ones that we’ll focus on here are the “online marketplaces.”
These websites are unique on the surface, but functionally, they are like eBay or Craigslist in that timeshare owners will list their units in the hopes that other users will want to purchase those units. The websites keep themselves running by charging upfront fees to the people using their marketplaces.
There’s nothing about these websites, though, that is going to make them more successful than more generic auction sites selling timeshares for pennies on the dollar.
Even worse, unsatisfied customers complain about a lack of support/communication when they get stuck in the process. Whatever else they might be, these sites do not help timeshare owners find buyers for a good resale price.
While the people running these sites contribute to the complaints and poor reviews from unsatisfied customers, the bigger problem is that there is just not a big resale market for timeshares.
Even Realtors, with their scrupulous code of ethics and top-shelf skills, find it difficult to sell what is essentially a lifetime commitment on the secondary market. Some developers, like Marriott and Wyndham, have experimented with ways to use Realtors for timeshare resales. There have not been many successes.
And the maxim that real estate is all about location doesn’t really apply here either. While you might think that a big timeshare in Florida or Hawaii would be easier to sell, you’d be wrong. Those places have so many options for vacationers, that expensive timeshares aren’t a big draw. Why buy a timeshare with a high maintenance fee when you can rent the same unit for less on an online travel site like Expedia or Priceline?
All of these problems with selling tend to make timeshare owners even more desperate. And that’s when the real scammers move in: timeshare resale companies.
One of the worst things to come out of timeshare ownership is the rise in predatory practices by companies that promise they can buy timeshares or line up buyers who can immediately do so for thousands of dollars. These alleged “timeshare resale companies” are actually just companies seeking to make a quick buck off of the troubles of timeshare owners.
Here’s how it works: These scammers scan publicly available information for details about people who are trying to sell timeshares. They might do this with real estate listings or eBay pages. In an ironic twist, some of these scammers may even go to the Sell My Timeshare Now or Timeshare Users Group pages to find potential victims.
Once the resale companies have your contact information, they will contact you out of the blue, often via telephone. They might claim that their company buys timeshares in bulk and sells them at a reduced price to other people. Many also say that they have a client looking for exactly the kind of timeshare that you have, but the sale has to close quickly.
Then, the company takes a large upfront fee from you, with a promise to call you back and finish the transaction. Only that never happens, and you’ve now just lost several thousand dollars to a scammer.
The problem has gotten so bad, particularly in timeshare-heavy places like Orlando, that state attorneys general are focusing law enforcement resources on fighting the problem. Even the Federal Trade Commission has been fighting fraud cases in an attempt to get back some of the money that has been scammed from victims of these timeshare scams.
To sum up, timeshare resale companies are almost always scams that will cause more problems than they solve.
The reason that these various resale schemes don’t work is that, frankly, no one wants to buy timeshares. It doesn’t help that so many owners price their units so low. Many people, seeing those low purchase prices, suspect that something is wrong with them and almost unconsciously steer themselves away.
To answer the question of “who buys timeshares” then: Very, very few people will buy your timeshare. If you want a clean break, though, there’s a better way. Timeshare exit companies like Centerstone Group are designed to help you break free of your timeshare contract without gimmicks or phony promises.
At Centerstone, we have timeshare experts with collective decades in the industry. We have several tools at our disposal to get you out of your contract. For instance, we can use our proprietary pressure campaign to persuade your developer to let you out of your contract, including, if necessary, appropriate administrative complaints.
We also have tools to help with ownership transfer as well as an escrow option to make sure that you get exactly what you paid for. Many of our clients also need legal help to free themselves from their contracts, and we can help them with that too. We work closely every day with timeshare attorneys and law firms to make sure that our clients get the resolutions they deserve.
Not only can we back up our promises, but we have a legion of satisfied clients who can attest to our abilities and results. We are an A-rated company with the Better Business Bureau, and we have the reviews and testimonials to prove why. Rather than listing your timeshare for sale on another website clogged with similar listings, talk to us to find a more affordable and sustainable option.
No one likes to admit when they’ve made a mistake. Unfortunately, most timeshare owners come to see in time that their purchases were in fact mistakes that will cost them money for the rest of their lives unless they take action to get rid of those timeshares.
Your timeshare salesperson probably told you that you would be able to sell your timeshare for a profit when you became tired of it. Unfortunately, that’s just not true. At best, the websites and resale companies discussed here will do nothing for you. At worst, they can cost you thousands of dollars while failing to fix your timeshare problem.
There’s a better way. Contact Centerstone Group today for a free consultation and case evaluation, and let us see what we can do for you.