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How to get rid of a timeshare

It is not easy and you will never recover what you paid.

Illustration by Ileana Soon

By Pat Mertz Esswein, Associate Editor

October 3, 2019
From Kiplinger's personal finances

Perhaps you are suffering from buyer's remorse after succumbing to high pressure sales tactics. Or you may not be on vacation as you used to, and are eager to eliminate the growing annual maintenance fee from your budget. Whatever the reason, a healthy percentage of the 9.2 million households that own timeshares are eager to get rid of them.

SEE ALSO: Are you considering a timeshare? Never do it!

Before trying to sell your timeshare, face a fact: you will never get back what you paid for, a figure that can be substantial. In 2018, buyers paid an average of $ 21,455 per timeshare interval (one week or equivalent points) and an average annual maintenance fee of $ 1,000, according to the American Resort Development Association. Realistically, you can expect to recover as little as 10 to 20 cents per dollar, and in the worst case, you will have to pay out of pocket to get rid of it.

The convenience of your destination, the resort and the week of your stay will determine the demand for your timeshare and its resale value. Branded resorts – for example, Disney, Hilton, Marriott and Wyndham – in Hawaii, Las Vegas, Orlando and New York City have a broader appeal than independently owned resorts with limited regional appeal, such as those in Jersey Shore or Poconos If you have a "week of events" in greater demand, such as Thanksgiving or Christmas week in New York City, you may be able to get 30 cents per dollar, says Judi Kozlowski, an agent of real estate in Orlando that specializes in timeshare.

Call the resort first. If a resort is actively reselling its own timeshares or converting weeks into points, it may agree to repurchase its week. No matter how valuable your week may be, the resort will offer less than it could probably sell on the other hand. However, if you want to leave super fast, a buyback is the way to go. Usually, you will have to pay your maintenance fee for the current year, as well as closing costs of approximately $ 500 to $ 750.

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Go to ResponsibleExit.com and click on the name of your resort's developer to get contact information from a customer service representative. And be careful with timeshare exit companies, which often use kites and scare tactics in advertising and marketing (see "Don't fall for timeshare exit scams"). The American Resort Developers Association (ARDA) launched ResponsibleExit.com to inform timeshare owners about their options.

It should not be hit by a seller who tries to sell it to another timeshare. If your complex is not yet listed, contact the Consumer Service Center of the ARDA Resort Owners Coalition at 800-515-3734 or [email protected] Or call your resort management company or the owners association.

You may be able to return your timeshare to the complex (charities generally do not accept them as gifts). According to Brian Rogers of the Timeshare User Group, it is cheaper for a resort to accept a subsequent deed. The resort can do it for free, especially if your week is valuable, or in exchange for next year's maintenance fee.

Sell ​​it yourself. Even in the most popular markets, you should set the price of your timeshare properly. See what others are charging for similar properties. For example, a week in high season for a two bedroom, two bathroom ocean view unit at the Hyatt Residence Club Maui in Ka & # 39; anapali Beach in Lahaina, Hawaii, was recently included in Redweek at prices ranging from $ 35,000 to $ 125,000.


A resort may charge the resale buyer several fees, such as the club activation fee and closing and transfer fees, which could easily add up to a couple thousand dollars. A buyer may also want title insurance. These costs are negotiable between the seller and the buyer. If you want to sell faster, offer to pay the buyer, says Rogers.

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Two important online communities for timeshare owners offer current and historical sales listings, as well as tips and discussions from owners. For closed listings, visit (redweek.com; search by the name of your resort and click on "Historic Resale"). To list your timeshare for sale, pay a membership fee of $ 19 and choose from three plans: basic for $ 60, verified (for the benefit of the buyer) for $ 80, or full service for $ 125, with a fee to closing of $ 399 or 3% of the resale price The Timeshare User Group also lists closed sales, and you can list your timeshare with an annual membership of $ 15. To view closed sales, search by resort and make click on "Resale / rental history".

If you want help, hire a real estate agent that specializes in timeshare. Ask your resort if you can recommend a preferred agent, or look for a member of the Association of licensed timeshare resale brokers (search by state or resort name at licenstimeshareresalebrokers.org) or an agent who has obtained Specialist certification in resort and second residence properties of the National Association of Real Estate Agents (visit realtor.com/realestateagents and add "RSPS" to your advanced search criteria).

At closing, agents can charge a flat rate or a percentage commission. For example, Kozlowski charges $ 1,000 in sales of less than $ 3,000; $ 1,500 in sales of $ 3,000 or more; and 15% in sales of $ 10,000 or more. Most agents charge 25%, she says.


SEE ALSO: 6 things you should know about timeshare

Your resort may have the "right of first rejection." If a buyer makes an offer, he must send it to the resort. It will match the offer and buy the timeshare again, or allow you to close the deal with the external buyer.

The usual cost to close a resale of timeshare in the US UU. It's $ 300 to $ 700. If you sell it yourself, contact a licensed timeshare closing company, such as Timeshare Escrow and Title (timeshareresaleclosings.com) or Timeshare Resale Closing Services Inc.).

Source: https://www.kiplinger.com/article/spending/T059-C000-S002-how-to-get-rid-of-a-timeshare.html

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