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Owning a timeshare was all the rage 20 years ago.
It was an easy way to vacation at different resorts and save money while doing so.
Growing up, we traveled to Virginia, Arizona, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida all thanks to a timeshare.
But what many timeshare owners didn’t know was how difficult it would be sell their timeshare.
Fast forward to today and timeshares aren’t looked upon as highly.
Restrictions and high fees have turned many people off of this option.
Because they are no longer using their timeshare, owners are looking to sell them.
But there are many pitfalls to selling a timeshare.
And falling victim to any one of them can cost you thousands of dollars.
In this post, I will walk you through 8 pitfalls you need to avoid if you are thinking of selling.
By avoiding these costly mistakes, not only will you save yourself money, but lots of headaches and stress too!
Table of Contents
8 Timeshare Selling Pitfalls You Must Avoid At All Costs
#1. Paying Certain Upfront Fees
Some shady timeshare selling companies will ask you to pay an upfront fee to sell your timeshare.
The problem is a good number of legitimate companies also charge an upfront fee.
So what do you do?
The more information you can gather, the better off you will be.
For example, do they charge you to keep your listing active or are there free renewals?
Maybe they offer some sort of money back guarantee?
One giant red flag is if they are asking you to pay in what many call untraceable forms of payment.
These include wire transfers, money packs or money orders.
More often than not, if this is how they want to be paid, it is most likely a scam.
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Another option is going with a resale company that charges you a commission when your timeshare sells.
This means you pay at the back end instead of the front end.
There are pros and cons to this as well, so be sure you fully understand all the fees you will be charged.
#2. Not Researching The Resale Company
Another issue is many people won’t do any research in the timeshare resale company.
They take the agents word that the company is legit.
But there are a lot of bad apples out there.
Before you agree to sell with any company, you need to vet them.
Check them out on the Better Business Bureau website and do an online search to see if there are reviews.
The more information you have about the company, the less likely you will get scammed.
#3. Signing An Exclusive Listing
You never want to sign an exclusive listing for your timeshare.
You want an open listing.
An exclusive listing means that the resale company will collect their commission no matter who sells your timeshare.
So if you do this and one day happen to find someone on your own to sell your timeshare to, you still owe the resale company their commission.
Also by signing an exclusive agreement, you cannot list yours for sale with various resale companies.
This simply limits your options for selling it.
#4. Not Reaching Out To Your Home Resort
This is a huge mistake that many timeshare resort owners make.
They never think to reach out to their home resort.
Instead they seek out a third party to sell.
The truth is, the first place you should consider is your home resort.
They may be willing to buy your timeshare or know of people interested in buying.
At the very least, you might be able to advertise your listing at the resort for others to see.
#5. Pricing It Too High
Unlike real estate which increases in value, the same cannot be said about timeshares.
Many owners never sell because they don’t face reality when it comes to the value of their property.
The truth is, most timeshares sell for between 10% and 40% of what you paid for it.
I know it hurts to read that, but if you want to sell, you need to know this.
Otherwise, you will list yours for full price and never get any takers.
#6. Not Putting Effort Into The Listing
If you want to sell something, you need to make potential buyers want to buy it.
Think about it this way.
If you were selling your car, would you take picture of a dirty car, with junk all over the inside and simply put the listing as “Car For Sale”?
I hope not.
And if you were to do this, odds are you won’t sell it any time soon.
The same goes for your timeshare.
You need to sell it in order to sell it.
Talk up the many features it has, the amenities of the resort, etc.
The more appealing you can make it, the more interest you may get.
#7. Responding To Direct Mail Or Cold Calls
Whatever you do, do not respond to direct mail or cold calls asking if you want to sell your timeshare.
These are scams 100% of the time.
These unsolicited attempts will try to convince you they have a buyer looking for exactly what you have and your timeshare will sell fast.
All you have to do is pay the listing fee right now and the agent will get to work.
If you agree to this, you will never hear from them again.
They just scammed you out of money for a bogus listing fee.
#8. Not Understanding Your Timeshare
Finally, you need to make sure you take the time to understand what it is you are selling.
For example, do you have a deed or a right to use?
Do you have a fixed or floating week?
These are critical details you need to know to ensure a sale goes through.
So take the time to pull out your paperwork you signed when you bought and run through it so you know everything about your timeshare.
The last thing you want is an agreement to sell and then find out you don’t actually have a deed, which kills the sale.
Selling a timeshare is like selling anything else.
You have to do your homework to know what you have and what the market value of it is.
Then you have to put in the work to find reputable people to help you complete the sale.
Don’t try to cut corners because a resale company commission is high.
If your ultimate goal is to sell, them focus on what it will take to get the sale done.
Paying a little more in commission for a sale is a lot better than waiting months or years hoping it sells and paying a lower commission.
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I have over 15 years experience in the financial services industry and 20 years investing in the stock market. I have both my undergrad and graduate degrees in Finance, and am FINRA Series 65 licensed and have a Certificate in Financial Planning.
Visit my About Me page to learn more about me and why I am your trusted personal finance expert.