How to Get Out of a Timeshare
Timeshares can be a convenient, cost-effective vacation option. But as your life changes, you may find yourself making payments on a timeshare you never use and you’d probably rather be rid of it. Getting rid of a timeshare, however, may turn out to be more complex than you anticipate. Take a look at these tips for getting rid of a timeshare, as well as red flags you need to watch for during the process.
Determine Its Value — Check out dedicated timeshare websites such as RedWeek or Sharket to research the value of your timeshare. Keep in mind that a current asking price doesn’t guarantee you will be able to sell for that price.
Find an Agent Who Specializes in Timeshares — Even if you have a real estate agent who has helped you buy or sell your home, you’ll want to find an agent who specializes in timeshares. Ideally, it should also be someone who knows the resort well. Visit the Licensed Timeshare Resale Brokers Association website to find a qualified agent.
Check into Buyback Programs — Many timeshare resorts have buyback programs in place. If yours does, it’s likely the easiest, most straightforward way to get out from under your timeshare. Even if they don’t have a formal buyback process in place, it’s worth asking the resort if they will take over your timeshare.
Sell it Yourself — You also have the option of selling your timeshare yourself on RedWeek or eBay. Use photos that highlight the unit’s unique features and be sure to write a thorough description that answers common questions.
Rent Out the Unit — Selling your timeshare is just one option. You can also rent it out to cover costs. You’ll probably have an easier time finding renters than a buyer, especially if your timeshare is in a high-demand area.
Give it to Family, Friends or Charity — If you’re having trouble selling your unit, you can try giving it away. You won’t make back any money, but you will at least be out from under paying monthly and annual fees. Be aware that not all charities accept timeshare donations; you might have to do some research to find the ones that do.
Beware of Scams — As with most financial transactions, selling a timeshare comes with its own set of scams to look out for. Be wary of mailers or phone calls claiming to have an immediate buyer for your unit — provided you pay hefty upfront fees. There is, of course, no buyer. And you could be out thousands of dollars you have little chance of recovering.