How to succeed in selling a timeshare

Straight talk for sellers who are serious

By Larry Hayden, Broker


The best way to get the maximum return from a timeshare is to use and enjoy it.

The first thing I tell sellers is that if they are using their timeshare, they should not sell it!

Except for exceptions that are rare indeed, a seller will take a great loss when selling.

It is painful. I speak from experience from having sold my own timeshares.

However, if you are not using your timeshare, it is foolish to hang on to it just to avoid facing and accepting the reality that it will sell at a great loss. I have repeatedly seen sellers make this mistake.

Often they will call the resort and will be told the price at which the resort sells them.

The seller doesn’t realize or accept that the resale market is a totally different market than the higher new-sales prices a developer can obtain by offering various incentives and while the buyer is “under the ether” of the pleasant surroundings of the resort, and the reassurances of the sales staff.

Here is the way I suggest you should think about it if you want to be successful in selling:

1. Just accept the fact that timeshares sell for 30 to 50 percent of what was originally paid. And the loss will be even greater than that by the time commissions and closing costs are deducted from the proceeds of the sale.  But realize that if you hang on to it for another 10 years, your loss will increase by an average of about $5,000 by the time you pay for maintenance and taxes, which usually add up to $500 per year.


2. Think like a buyer, because it is the buyer who has your money in their pocket. Buyers think of pretty much only one thing – the price. Find out what price at which other sellers are selling units like yours. Then price yours at the bottom of that price range. Buyers pick off the bottom prices of the list, not even a little bit above that. Choose to be the one they pick.

3. Think about how great the savings will be to you for the rest of your life, if you sell it, by NOT having to pay any more maintenance fees or other costs. These fees go on forever! This is a LOT OF MONEY! Think about that money, not the money you will get from the proceeds of the sale!  Pricing it just a little bit too high to sell, will prevent you from keeping all that money!


4. Do not even listen to what anyone has to say about a recommended sales price if they are connected with a company that has a mandatory up-front listing fee or mandatory upfront appraisal requirement.

Many of such companies grossly exaggerate the sales price, in order to entice an upfront fee.

Beware of any company promising a refund of the upfront fee. Most states have strict trust record guidelines for advance fee refunds. These guidelines and the way timeshare sales really work in real life, make any refund unrealistic.


5. Use a professionally licensed company to close your sale. Don’t try to do it yourself. It is amazing how involved it can be to close a timeshare sale and get all the entities involved to responsibly do their part, and to get the resort to get the new owner on their computer.