How to sell your timeshare yourself
If you intend to sell your timeshare and do not know where to start, this article is for you. Although timeshare resale is a very competitive market, the process of selling can easily be accomplished on your own.
Once you have put in place the following steps, the process of selling is half way done.
Five points come to mind:
- 1 - Know your product;
- 2 - Know the transfer procedures and associated costs;
- 3 - Know the comparables ;
- 4 - Factors that will affect your market price;
- 5 - Are up to do it yourself?
1. Know your product.
What do you own? We have had a lot of people contacting us not really understanding what timeshare program they own. Is it a fixed week or floating? Do you own a deed or a right to use? Is it annual, biennial, triennial? Even or odd years... How does your program work? Can you trade within the club or do you need to trade with an exchange company?
Once you advertise your program, chances are you will receive all kind of inquiries from 2 types of buyers: those who know your property and the timeshare concept; and, 2) those who are curious and have very little knowledge about timeshares and how it works. To avoid sounding like a broken record, you should know from the start who you are dealing with.
Type 1 buyers are mostly looking for a specific unit, or a week in that property, want to pay as little as possible (and want to know how can the transfer process be worked out between the two of you). If you own a high-demand location and period (ex, school break weeks), chances are you will most likely find a buyer.
Type 2 buyers: You should be prepared to plainly explain the mechanics of the timeshare concept to first-time buyers; however, too much information may be confusing and overwhelming for a first-time buyer. Try to present your program in as relevant a manner to your buyer as possible. Therefore, your first challenge here is to establish a good rapport with your prospect and find out how your program can relate to his or her interests at best. If you get into lengthy explanations about the concept you can quickly lose his or her interest. Therefore we recommend you start by answering your buyer’s inquiry with short and relevant answers. Ex., what is timeshare? You own a week in a resort location which can be exchanged to other destinations around the world.
2. Know the transfer procedures and associated costs.
Most purchase contract would contain such information; however, it sometimes undisclosed and you must contact your resort to find out the current cost and procedures. Therefore one of the first steps would be to check with your resort and find out what’s involved with the transfer of your ownership (try getting it in writing to keep as a reference). Secondly, your resort’s administration may be assisting owners and be willing to give you information on past resales history; What kind of prices programs such as yours traded at? Was a legitimate resale company involved? If so, which ones?
Thirdly, to know the procedures will tell you right from the start if you’re willing to tackle the process on your own. Some developers make it very restrictive and pricy and others make it very easy with hardly any additional fees. Once you know what’s involved, you should be prepared to deal with it yourself to avoid burdening your buyer with such process that may appear overwhelming for a first time buyer.
3. Know the comparables.
Research the resales market for comparables - Google your property. You’ll soon see what other travelers have reported on it. If you agree with the comments... then you’ll know how to present it to potential buyers. If you disagree ... Write your own comments and add pictures to support your points. Sometimes feedback from travelers are outdated and should be taken with a grain of salt. However, if they make your property look bad, and you know the issues have been addressed. Write something about it. As a member or owner, you should take the right initiative to present your timeshare property accurately.
Refer your buyers to your resort’s website if they have one. If not, information about your resort accommodation and amenities are often listed on tripadvisor.com or timeshareadvisor.com. You can use them to present your timeshare property or even write a review and post your own pictures.
4. Factors that will affect your market price - location!
The location of your timeshare is primarily what will determine the value on the secondary market. If you own fixed time in a sought-after location such as summertime in a Canadian property or on the beach on the Atlantic Coast, or a winter school break week in the French Alps, chances are you will find a buyer for your timeshare. However, although a high-demand Vacation Ownership such as Disney, or Wyndham points are desirable, these properties often resales at 25 to 50% less than the original retail price.
Be prepared to outline the pros and cons of your resort. You should be taking into consideration the annual dues or the maintenance fees. Low maintenance fees equal higher resale value. Now the question is: How do you qualify maintenance fees as high or low. Two ways: 1 – you could compare your maintenance fees (divided by 7 nights) to a hotel nightly stay rate in the area. a) Can your accommodation and period be found easily on discounted travel websites? If so, at what rate? Does your unit offer more amenities, space and comfort than a hotel room in the area for less or equal the same nightly rate? Yes? Then your maintenance fees could be qualified as low. 2 – the yearly fee increase - what percentage, would you say, has the yearly increase on your maintenance fees been over the time you've owned the property? The industry average is about 2% per year. If your maintenance fees show a systematic yearly increase of about 3 to 5% or more, consider it high.
In your asking price, you must factor in the additional transfer procedure and associated costs . If you own a deeded ownership or a notarized lease, this may involve additional closing cost. Your resort will be the one to inquire about the procedures and associated costs involved in transfering your ownerhsip. Also, most transfer will take effect for the following year. Therefore, whoever enjoys the benefit of the interval for the year should bear the cost of the annual fee for that year. It will be up to you to include it in your price or offer it as an incentive. Lastly, will you transfer your Exchange Network membership as well as the deposited time in it? If so, keep in mind that while you do not have to include it in the transaction, you could use it as an additional incentive to help you close the sale in your favor.
5. Know if you’re up to the process or not.
Taking into consideration what you need to do, the cost of promoting and so on, are you up to doing it yourself? This will easily help you decide whether or not you would require assistance in selling. Another factor to take into consideration, the higher your asking price is, the more likely you will require assistance in collecting the money. You should know that most sale transfers fail to close when it comes time to collect the money. Be prepared to spend time screening the serious from the curious, and once you get a serious offer, know the possible avenues to assist you... a notary’s or a lawyer’s in-trust account, for example, will help reassure your buyer that his money is safe while the transfer process in underway.
These are the steps to know in selling your program. Are you confident enough to undertake them yourself?
Timesharing Style has designed its services to help timeshare sellers and buyers with the above process. What we offer are specialized advertising, marketing and rental services for timeshares owners wanting to sell and rent and timeshare buyers wanting to buy and rent. We create bilingual advertising in French and in English; promote your timeshare to interested buyers; assist clients with the transfer process; use an in-trust account that complies with the Quebec Consumer Protection Law; and provide you with any assistance you may require along the way.
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