|Cold Hard Facts about
Selling your Timeshare!
This webpage is one of the most frequently visited by new individuals looking to sell their timeshare and has been read hundreds of thousands of times over the past 10 years. It still serves as a brisk wake-up call to all individuals who are trying to sell their timeshare! Unlike other sites, here at TUG you get the TRUTH!
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Cold Hard Facts about Selling Your Timeshare.
be the bearer of bad news but
selling a timeshare is very, very difficult and in some cases almost
impossible. Since you are reading this you are likely in the
market to sell your timeshare, so please read on for some very
enlightening information! Here you will not read what you want to
hear, you wont discover that it is easy to sell your timeshare, or that
this is the "best time ever to sell". You will get the truth and
only the truth, and that truth can save you thousands of dollars in
wasted fees! Not to mention endless headaches surrounding the
process of selling your timeshare in the resale market!
Why is selling a timeshare so tough?
The main reason is supply and demand. The supply of timeshare resale's greatly exceeds the demand for resale's. This has always been the case in the timeshare industry due to the fact that so few people even realize you can buy a timeshare resale! The vast majority of owners only discover (or even think about) selling a timeshare on the resale market, when they are ready to sell! As a buyer it is common knowledge that you can buy a used car, but for some reason people fail to discover that you can do the exact same thing with timeshares!
In fact its an even better deal as there is no such thing as a "new" timeshare, unless you are the absolute very first person to stay in that room at that resort, someone has been there before you!
Fact is with this information, combined with the struggling economy here n the past years and ever increasing maintanance fees, sellers outnumber buyers by a huge margin. This has driven the prices of resales down to levels never before seen in this industry. Some timeshares have depreciated over 99%, and it is more and more common for individuals to actually list their timeshares for a single dollar in hopes that someone will take it over for them! While we are not saying this is the case for all timeshares, it is certainly a much different message than you would read on other resale websites that want nothing more than for you to pay them money in the hopes your timeshare will get sold.
The fact remains that if you do NOT do your research and obtain an accurate and REASONABLE resale price for your timeshare, it simply wont sell...PERIOD. If someone tells you differently, they are lying to you...and are just about to ask you to pay them money.
Remember, telling you the TRUTH is not going to get you to part with your money, as who would pay knowing their timeshare has zero chance of selling at a price anywhere near what you paid for it new from the developer!
Remember how you got involved in timeshares?
It was probably in response to a promotional offering with some type of free gifts or vacations. Then, you where probably only informed about the developer's property and prices. Nothing at all about resale's, even if they were available at the same resort. The developer spends between 40 and 60% of the selling price of the timeshare just to MARKET each unit at a new resort. Then because of their over inflated prices and high pressure sales tactics, many people buy without really knowing what they are getting involved in. Being shown a book full of 1000's of resorts and being told they could trade to any of them they wanted. No wonder so many timeshare owners get discouraged and want out.... creating the glut of supply.
When you buy a timeshare, you are not given instructions on how to use it. You are not told that you can rent it out vs leaving it unused, you are not explained how the exchanging process works in detail. Its like being handed the controls to an airplane and being told to figure it out on your own! Its no wonder so many people just give up in frustration! I know TUGGERS who have been doing this for 20 years and still dont know all the ins and outs, so to expect someone to just know everything right after they purchase is absurd!
My first timeshare presentation
I know my first presentation was for a Free telephone to view what turned out to be a less than desirable resort, where all the salesman talked about was all the other great resorts I could trade for. He even said I would never have to use their resort which was actually a rundown converted hotel, but just trade to all these other places ( spending almost 30 minutes just pointing out wonderful resorts in the RCI book) anytime I wanted.
Fortunately, I smelled a rat and didn't buy there. So I know where many of the bad feelings and disillusioned timeshare owners come from. Especially, after finding out that not only could they not trade into all these great resorts but if they wanted to sell their units they would probably only get about half of what they paid for them and that was if they could find a buyer. So much for the great real estate investment angle to the sale presentation.
The Demand Side
Unfortunately, the demand side is just as bad for timeshare resellers. Most people don't even know there is a resale's market available until after they buy from the developer. Those who do know about the resale market are usually the more experienced timeshare owners and are only looking for real bargains. This is furthered by the industry who has zero desire or benefit to promote resales!
Why would anyone buy new if they could get the exact same week, at the exact same resort, for pennies on the dollar from an existing owner?
Factors in Selling
So where does that leave the timeshare reseller! Of all the factors (price, location, time of year, amenities, quality of resort, advertising etc.) that determine if and when a timeshare will sell, you can only control two factors .....Advertising & PRICE! Unfortunately you can't spend $1000 on dinner and gifts for your prospects as the developer did for you. The developer is spreading his cost over 100's or 1000's of units and is inflating the price to cover the cost ( which he can get because new buyer don't know any better). On the other hand, you are trying to sell just one unit to someone who knows about resale's, is educated about timesharing and is comparative shopping among hundreds of like offers available.
So what do you do?
First you must price your unit competitively if you really want to sell it. Check the prices of other resale's at your resort (the closing sales prices, not the for sales listings), see what the final prices was at the auctions and contact resale brokers for more pricing info about your unit. Check prices listed on our Classified ad section and what other broker might have your units listed for by other sellers. You are competing against all those other sales listing. Think about it from the buyers point of view, they are looking for the best deal and if you want to sell your timeshare, yours must be that best deal!
If you take anything away from this article, please above all read the HOW TO SELL YOUR TIMESHARE article as well, it is a step by step instructional guide on how to sell your timeshare yourself for little or no cost to you, and avoid being scammed! I cannot tell you how many emails and phone calls I get from people who find TUG AFTER BEING RIPPED OFF! Be a step ahead of the game and learn. Knowledge is power!
Then you must use cost effective advertising to inform the public of your offer. If you are reading this article it means you have computer access to the Internet. Post as many ads as you can using the free or low cost outlets mentioned in the HOW TO SELL article above, NEVER EVER PAY LARGE UPFRONT FEES TO DO ANYTHING WITH YOUR TIMESHARE).
Our TUG classifieds is probably one of the best places for timeshare ads (and your ads are free with your membership ) because everyone who reads it is interested in timeshares either for sale or rent ...a major plus. Also check out Ebay and craigslist which have become a very popular place for selling timeshares! read more here: Free Timeshare Classified Ads in the TUG Timeshare Marketplace
Also contact your home resort, see if they have a public bulletin board in their lobby or elevators where you can post a for sale note ... this is very good because any renter using the resort who likes it will be interested in your offer. Check on posting an ad in the resort's newsletter, many happy owners are looking for extra weeks at their home resort if the price is right.
Timeshare resale brokers (deal only with licensed real estate brokers, there are many currently advertising in our Business Ads section ) can also get you more exposure but you must pay for it. They will charge a commission on the sale. Remember, you are paying for the extra exposure and their services, We recommend that if you are dealing with a timeshare broker that you do it on a commission only basis. That way they will get paid from the proceeds of the sale, just like every other real estate broker.
Remember pricing is the only thing you can control, if you do not price your unit right ... no one will ever be able to sell it for you. One of the reasons some brokers charge an up front fee is too many owners want to list their units at prices higher than the market and they will never sell. Maybe, the broker should tell them it will not sell at that price and have their listings refused instead. No one wants to hear the real truth. So instead, they will go on for months and even years of not selling their properties, until finally they start asking for a realistic fair market price.
I see ads on our TUG classifieds that are just unreal, but for little or no cost, most feel they might get lucky. Then after 3 months of advertising when it comes time to renew, they wonder why they didn't sell their units or only got a few, if any responses from their ad.
Scams and Semi Rip-Offs
There are many rip-offs in the timeshare resale area with companies asking for HUNDREDS TO THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS in upfront advertising, listing or appraisal fees. There should be no need for an appraisal to sell your timeshare. Any timeshare company that is doing their job will be able to give you a good idea as to what similar units are selling for. The only legitimate need for an appraisal would be for estate purposes or charity donation records. Remember, never pay an upfront fee to sell your timeshare! This article discusses most current Timeshare Scams
Be very careful about companies wanting to buy your timeshare for their own use and want you to get an appraisal from an independent appraisal company that they recommend. Several of these companies ripped off millions of dollars in appraisal fees before they were finally caught. The state of Florida and many others are trying to make this illegal. The best way to check on a company would be on our TUGBBS online forums http://www.tugbbs.com . If it sounds too good to be true, it probably and almost always is.
Now You Know
I know this article is or can be very depressing for those trying to sell their timeshares, but hopefully by knowing the truth about the real situation, you will be able to act accordingly. Whether that means just keeping your units and learning how to best use them, or trying to price them more realistically and increase your avenues of more low cost exposure. Some are offsetting their expenses by renting out the use of their timeshare while they try to sell it. Others are even donating them to charities and taking a tax write off ( there is another article in our Advice section on donating timeshares to charities ). At least now someone has been honest with you about the timeshare resales and you now know where you stand and what must be done.
We would again like to thank you for your continued support of our Users Group. The TUG web site has been a major break through for TUG members and all timeshare owners. It has become the most active timeshare website on the Internet with over 250,000 hits per day. Take advantage of this exposure by advertising your units on our website, but be realistic about your price. Most resale's are lucky to get 50% of what they paid if they bought thru the resort initially. Now with the struggling economy, this has actually fallen to 10 to 25%!!!!
IT IS NOT SIMPLE, OR EASY TO SELL A TIMESHARE REGARDLESS OF WHAT SOME PEOPLE WILL TELL YOU (usually right before they ask for your credit card information)
Now that you have gotten an introduction into what you can expect when entering into this process of selling your timeshare, your next step is to read the "How to sell your timeshare" living article on the TUGBBS forums located here:
This thread is an absolute MUST READ for anyone even thinking about selling their timeshare, it is the culmination of hundreds of other timeshare owners just like you who have been in this position and have provided you all the advice they wished they had when trying to sell their first timeshare!
Even if you choose to not become a paying TUG member for access to the ratings and reviews, be sure to register on the TUGBBS online forums, it is absolutely free and is the #1 place on the internet for timeshare help and advice! No question goes unanswered, remember there are 19,000 other timeshare owners just like you who have all had to ask the same questions you have now! Utilize their knowledge so you dont make the same mistakes!
and post Free Timeshare Classified ads (for individuals) in the