In the vast landscape of the United States, you’ll find that nearly every timeshare property is listed on various resale or auction websites. Why is selling a timeshare resale so difficult? This scenario, where there’s a huge number of properties up for sale but not nearly enough interested buyers, makes it a tough and time-consuming task for individual sellers to advertise their timeshares to those few looking to buy in the secondary market.
The Diminished Resale Value of Timeshares
One of the main issues here is the glaring absence of a solid and reliable platform where these transactions can take place smoothly, which is a significant setback for sellers aiming to reach potential buyers effectively. This noticeable gap in the market has unfortunately paved the way for a surge in resale scams, making the entire process even more intricate and daunting. Sellers often find themselves navigating a maze, where distinguishing between genuine buyers and scam artists becomes a daily challenge.
This not only complicates the resale process but also fosters a climate of mistrust and uncertainty, where sellers are constantly on guard to avoid falling prey to fraudulent schemes.
In this complex environment, sellers are urged to be extra vigilant and informed, possibly seeking guidance from professionals who specialize in timeshare resales to avoid potential pitfalls. This step could be a beacon of hope in an otherwise murky market, helping sellers to traverse the complexities with a greater sense of security and success.
While new timeshares continue to be sold daily, only a small percentage of timeshare owners manage to sell their timeshares through secondary market transactions. The resale market is oversaturated with timeshares of varying types and sizes, and simply lacks the demand required to accommodate the surplus inventory. Determining the value of a timeshare when attempting to sell can be challenging, as there are limited sales of comparable timeshares to use as a reference when establishing a fair price.
Timeshare Resales Prove Difficult to Sell
The elusive marketplace for timeshares has always been fiercely competitive, particularly in popular resort destinations where thousands of timeshare units are available for purchase. Regrettably, resales are often hard to liquidate due to numerous usage and transfer restrictions within the timeshare marketplace. It is crucial for sellers to understand the differences in benefits that new owners receive when purchasing directly from a developer compared to those acquired by a resale buyer in the secondary market. Not all owner benefits are transferable to a resale buyer. Owing to these complexities, many timeshare owners opt to seek professional help to navigate the resale process.
Not All Timeshare Resellers Are Alike
Real estate brokers who specialize in timeshare resales can sometimes help owners liquidate their timeshare through a commissionable sale. These brokers will often limit their services however to a select number of resalable resorts, leaving other owners to contend with the timeshare resale market on their own. Some timeshare owners might chose to hire a resale marketer. These groups commonly charge an upfront fee for basic advertising on their own company website. The timeshare marketer may act as an agent for either party, depending on whether they represent the buyer or seller. It’s important for the timeshare owner to know if this relationship exists in advance to avoid a conflict of interest. The timeshare developer’s guidelines also restrict intervals from being sold in certain ways, such as to a third party without their approval prior to sale.
The Perils of Timeshare Resale on eBay
Indeed, venturing into the resale of timeshares can pose significant risks for owners, especially when turning to platforms like eBay.
In a bid to alleviate the financial strain, some owners have resorted to listing their timeshares on eBay, where a glance at various auctions reveals that many timeshares are being offered for as little as $1. This drastic measure, however, brings forth a new set of challenges.
Owners are urged to be transparent about any non-transferable benefits to prevent potential confusion, a task that sometimes proves to be cumbersome. Moreover, the eBay marketplace is not immune to the prevalence of scams that plague the timeshare resale industry. Unscrupulous individuals often lure in sellers with promises of quick sales and high prices, only to leave them even more financially depleted.
Furthermore, the eBay platform has become a hotspot for “buyers-waiting” solicitations, where sellers are targeted with unqualified guarantees that rarely materialize. This has exacerbated the already precarious market conditions, forcing owners to consider alternative avenues to exit timeshare agreements. Thus, while eBay might seem like a convenient option, it undeniably compounds the challenges faced by timeshare owners, making the resale process even more precarious.
Alternative Methods To Timeshare Resale
In simple terms, timeshares do not have much inherent resale value, some even have negative value. In cases like this, you should attempt to work with the developer at your resort and ask to be released from your contract. Some developers will take back the timeshare and eliminate your current and future obligations to the resort. You’ll want to make sure this is the case prior to asking the developer to deed back your timeshare.
If none of these options work for your personal circumstances, then perhaps timeshare cancellation or timeshare release would be the better legal route. To do this, consult with an experienced timeshare attorney. This legal professional should understand timeshare law and be able to provide you alternative legal options to terminate the timeshare interest.
This article is for information only and is not intended as legal advice. You should also seek professional assistance when it comes to dealing with timeshares.
The Finn Law Group is a consumer protection law firm focused on timeshare law. Led by timeshare attorneys Michael D. Finn and J. Andrew Meyer with over 75 years of combined experience in settlement, litigation and alternative dispute resolution.