Timeshares aren’t for everyone. If you’re one of those fast-talked into buying a timeshare as a cheaper way to vacation — only to discover it was (and continues to be) a wasted investment, you’re probably desperate to get rid of it.
Unfortunately, selling a timeshare has proven to be difficult. Many people either can’t sell theirs, or have to take a substantial loss on their original investment.
One of the major problems with selling timeshares is the saturation of the market. Those who are actually looking to buy a timeshare have plenty of new properties and exciting locations to choose from, so unless you’re offering a great deal (aka, a loss), they’re not as likely to bite.
So what do you do? Here are some tips gleaned from those who’ve been through this frustrating experience.
5 Tips for Selling Your Timeshare
1. See what your timeshare company can do for you
Although timeshare companies won’t directly buy back your timeshare, many offer resale programs in which they’ll act as the broker. Of course, they might not be willing to give you a good deal, but they’re more likely to sell it than you are. Find out what kind of deal they can offer you, and keep it in mind as a last resort.
2. Advertise in many locations
Because the market for timeshares isn’t hopping, you’re going to have to put more effort into advertising yours. Selling your own timeshare may mean more profit in the end, but more hassle in the process. Consider what market would be most interested in your timeshare, and cater to them.
Don’t just advertise in one location, however. Advertise in the newspaper, on the Internet, through timeshare magazines, and of course, via word of mouth. Advertise both in the area your timeshare is located, and in regions that might be interested in vacationing there.
3. Consider an online auction
Online auction sites, such as Ebay, allow you to advertise timeshares for a fee of $70. This is cheaper than any brokerage fee. Do your homework, see how much similar properties have sold for recently, and set your price realistically.
If you don’t set a reserve, your posting is more likely to draw attention and proactive bidding. Don’t forget to include good photos; people want to see what they’re buying.
4. Hire a broker
Although hiring a broker will leave you less profit than selling it yourself, you may have to resort to this if you’re not getting any bites. Look for a “fee based on sale” broker, who will be more motivated to sell quickly. If you go with a broker, ensure they’re approved by the BBB. There are many timeshare resale scams out there that could rob you of even more of your hard-earned money.
Keep in mind that the average minimum brokerage fee is $1,000. So, if your property value and expected profit aren’t even that much, don’t bother with a broker.
5. Be prepared to take at least a small loss
Unless your timeshare is in an area where property values are rising and timeshares are highly desirable, you’re probably not going to get what you paid for it. Be prepared to take a loss, but utilize these tips to keep that loss to a minimum and be released from your timeshare as quickly and easily as possible.
Have you ever tried to sell a timeshare?