Pitfalls to Avoid When Selling Your Timeshare
The old truth about timeshares is that supply far exceeds demand; that is, there are many more sellers than buyers. While the market is very competitive, this does not necessarily mean that you cannot sell your timeshare. However, you will need to do your research and educate yourself on the dangers of selling a timeshare.
One of the most common options is to list your timeshare with a timeshare resale agent or service. This is attractive because another person will handle the advertising, customer inquiries, and transfer of ownership. In general, there are two fee structures for this approach; commission-based and upfront or upfront billing.
Companies that operate on commission will market and sell your timeshare for you, then charge a commission at the close of your sale based on a percentage of the sale price. Companies that charge an upfront fee will charge an upfront fee, usually in the range of several hundred to several thousand dollars, and then market their timeshare for sale. Note that the latter method does not offer any incentive for the reselling or listing company to market your timeshare once they have collected their fee. In fact, on July 8, 2009, WCTV.tv reported on its online site at http://www.wctv.tv/home/headlines/50243487.html that the Leon County Circuit Court in Florida had ruled “That the collection of advance listing fees are prohibited from Florida residents, regardless of property location, and Florida timeshare owners.”
Whether you use the services of a resale agent, a listing site, or sell on your own, it is important to know the market value of your timeshare. This can be difficult to determine as the timeshare market is decentralized. Unlike home values, where you can use recent sales neighborhood comparisons or use a site like Zillow.com, it’s not as easy to figure out how much similar timeshares have sold for. Browse listing sites to get an idea of what owners are asking for their timeshares; Keep in mind that the sale price may not represent the market value, as many owners need to recover their loan balance regardless of the value of the timeshare. You can also follow similar properties on eBay to see what the final offering price is to get an idea of how much people are willing to pay.
There are many companies that offer to provide you with a quote for free. Don’t rely on a single source when researching the value of your timeshare. Many companies use free estimates as a way to drive traffic to their website and then, in turn, market their sales pitch to you.
You may be required to pay a fee for an independent appraisal. Unfortunately, this is a tactic commonly used by unscrupulous reseller companies to generate income. Appraisals are rarely required or used. Remember that the market is decentralized, which makes it difficult to obtain a specific valuation.
Be wary of any guarantees to sell your timeshare, such as a guaranteed minimum price or a sale within thirty days.
Selling your timeshare is not impossible; the price will have the biggest impact on your success. Do your research, know your options, and avoid pitfalls.