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Why is selling a timeshare resale so difficult?

Almost every timeshare property across the United States can be located on resale or auction websites. The convergence of an overwhelming supply and insufficient demand makes it challenging and laborious for individual sellers to promote their vacation intervals to prospective buyers in the secondary market, primarily due to the absence of a reliable and established secondary market platform. This gap has given rise to widespread resale scams, further complicating the resale process and making it difficult for sellers to navigate.

Very Few Timeshares Possess Resale Value

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 Ownership Proves Difficult to Liquidate

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.

Why is selling a timeshare resale so difficult?

Not All Resale Service Providers Are Alike

Real estate brokers who specialize in timeshare resales can sometimes help owners liquidate their vacation ownerships 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.

Is timeshare reselling risky?

There are a number of timeshare resale scams to be concerned with when shopping around for the cheapest vendor offering the best deal. Resale companies that guarantee to sell timeshares quickly and for a high price, often target their victims with “buyers-waiting” solicitations. These unqualified promises are often not fulfilled, leaving owners further out of pocket. In fact, resale market conditions have become so poor, that owners sometimes opt to look at other ways to exit timeshare.

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.


The Finn Law Group is a consumer protection law firm focused on timeshare law. Led by attorneys Michael D. Finn and J. Andrew Meyer with over 75 years of combined experience in settlement, litigation and alternative dispute resolution. The firm offers free consultations on timeshare related matters in office, by phone or video conference. Contact us today.

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