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So you want to sell your timeshare?
IF YOU HAVEN'T READ OURSCAMS & ALERTS PAGE, DO SO NOW! IF YOU PLACE AN AD ON THE INTERNET YOU WILL MOST LIKELY BE CONTACTED BY FRAUDULENT MARKETING COMPANIES!
Read our advice on:
How to Sell
I've got an offer, now what?
How to Sell
Selling a timeshare is not an easy thing to do. Unlike selling a car, the resale timeshare market is not as established and not as easy work with. Where a car provides a basic need, transportation, vacation ownership is something that only certain people consider practical and affordable. Furthermore, you must find someone who is interested in your unit at your resort, in your timeframe.
As when you sell anything, the best way to find a buyer is to tell everyone. Tell your neighbor, your realtor, tell your co-workers, tell your barber or hairdresser, tell everyone you can about the timeshare you are selling. You never know, one of these people, or their friends, may be interested in buying your timeshare! You never know where the buyer may be.
Also ask your resort if they have a resale program. Most do not, but it never hurts to ask. They may have informal lists or bulletin boards they can post your for sale notice on in case they get any inquiries.
With so many timeshares available in the market today, there are hundreds of companies that will help you sell your timeshare, and many more that will gladly take your money. Be sure to check out the credentials and ask lots of questions to determine credibility and history of resale success of the resale agencies. Most are good, legitimate companies, but there are many that are not! Be especially cautious of any company that claims they will buy your timeshare or they already have a buyer for your timeshare. In almost all cases, they do not have a buyer and are simply trying to get your money!
How long will it take?
How long it takes depends entirely on how long it takes to find the perfect buyer; the person who is looking to buy the property you are trying to sell at the price you're trying to sell it at. Mostly, it just depends on luck.
Realistically, you can expect it to take several months to a year or more to find a buyer.
There are two different timeshare buyers you are targeting. There are they buyers that want a particular resort at a particular time, and they are willing to pay a little bit extra when they finally find what they are looking for. As you can imagine, this is a small percentage of the buyers, compared to the other group, the bargain hunters. The second group is not looking for a particular timeshare unit, but they are looking for a good deal on a decent resort. In order to appeal to the larger, second group of buyers, you will need to price your timeshare to attract them.
Distressed selling: If you need the money in a hurry, the only solution is to drop the price dramatically to attract buyers who wouldn't otherwise be interested.
Some timeshare resale companies require an exclusive listing. When you list with a company, be sure to find out if the listing is exclusive. This means that if you enlist that agent to sell your timeshare, and you find a buyer on your own, you will be required to pay the agent even if you find the buyer! If go for the exclusive listing, the agent has every incentive to sell your timeshare, but their ability to find a buyer might be limited. Ask the agent how many sales they make in a give month, and what they will do to sell your timeshare. Exclusive listing generally do not charge up front fees, be command a large commission (sometimes as high as 25%) when they sell your timeshare. Be sure to find out what the commission is!
Other resale companies charge a listing fee. They claim that no one can competitively market timeshares without collecting and up front fee to help pay for their advertising and sales effort, however there are plenty of companies who do not collect up front fees. These listing fees range up to $500 or more! While these companies can be effective at selling your timeshare, once they have collected your fee they have little incentive to make sure your timeshare sells. If you do choose to go with a company that charges an up front fee, realize that the fee is negotiable! It's possible to get a $500 fee reduced to $200, and possibly lower.
Many agencies are nothing more than advertising agencies. They place ads in national and international publications and websites and help interested buyers find timeshares in their databases. Some will work to complete and facilitate your sale, others will merely help to connect buyers and sellers, leaving the rest up to you. Some merely agree to put your ad on their website.
Some advertising agencies charge fees as high as $300-500 or more! Make sure you ask what they are going to do for that amount. Also, try negotiating! In most cases, if you are hesitant, they will drop the price from $500 to $300. If you hesitate further, they will agree to go even lower. The bottom line: always try to negotiate the price lower! You have nothing to lose!
Internet sites, such as this one, are excellent places to list your timeshare for sale. We will let you place ads for free, as will many other sites. Some sites charge fees, some do not. Please check our links page to find other sites that offer free listings!
Consider placing ads in publications such as your local paper. The more people that see your ad, the more likely you are to find a buyer!
Also check our links to other sites like this that provide free ads, or sites for other agencies that don't require an exclusive listing or an upfront fees & appraisals!
No matter which option you chose, make sure you read everything you sign and make sure you know what you're getting for how much! Remember that NO ONE can guarantee they will be able sell your timeshare.
Many places employ VERY slick sales people. People who can and will convince you that you need to use their services and that they can sell your timeshare right away. Make sure you know what you are getting, how much it will cost, and what you are agreeing to.
Internet auctions are another way to sell your timeshare. Yahoo offers free auction listings. Ebay will charge a small fee, $2-4 or more for placing an ad. If your timeshare sells on Ebay, you will be required to pay a small 2% commission, but it is well worth it and cheaper than most alternatives!
If you choose to use an on-line auction and have never done so before, this is for you. When you auction an item, you have the option of setting a reserve price. If the bidding on the item does not exceed the reserve price, you are under no obligation to sell the item. The reserve price is never revealed to the bidder - bidder only know whether or not the current bid is above or below the reserve. Reserve price auctions tend to discourage bidders, but not always. If you start the bidding too low, the price may never reach the price range you want. If you set the price to high, no one will bid. Keep in mind, it takes two interested bidders to raise the price in an auction.
Be sure to place your ad in an appropriate category. Yahoo has a specific section for Timeshares, Ebay does not so use the category that is most appropriate. Be sure to include the word 'timeshare' and other important key words in the title so as to increase the likeliness of your ad coming up in a search. Also be sure to place all of the details about your timeshare in the description. This is important! You wouldn't bid on a timeshare without knowing all the details, so be sure to provide as much information as possible! You want to encourage bidding as much as possible. Try to include pictures, and possibly links to the resort's web page (if they have one).
Some companies will say they need an appraisal before they can sell your timeshare. This is not true! They will claim that the buyer needs to get an appraisal before any bank will lend money for a timeshare. These appraisals can run $350 or more! This is more than the cost of a house appraisal (usually $150-300), and they'll even come and inspect the house! They will convince you that each timeshare unit is unique, and that every week will require a full checkout of a million different things and this simply isn't true! There are databases of sales figures and numbers and statistics they could simply reference to put a price on a timeshare. After all, it's not a $100,000+ house, it's (most likely) a $2000-10000 timeshare! Furthermore, most people who purchase timeshares can finance a few thousand dollars with an unsecured loan, meaning the bank doesn't care what you spend the money on.
How much should I ask?
As a general rule, you should expect to get no more than 50 - 60% of the original developer's price. The best way to price your timeshare is to take a look on the Internet to see what else is out there, and how much other people are asking for their units. If you are in a hurry to sell your unit, price lower than the other comparable units you see. Conversely, if you're not in a hurry, price your timeshare on the high end of what the other units are listed for. But keep in mind, the other ads are your competition, and it will be difficult to sell for significantly more than comparable timeshares. If you ad is on the Internet, it is extremely easy for buyers to comparison shop.
I've got an offer, now what?
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Last updated November 2, 2003
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