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Why is selling a timeshare resale so difficult?

Nearly every timeshare property in the United States can be found on a resale or auction website. The combination of a heavy supply and low demand make it difficult and time-consuming for individual sellers to market their vacation intervals to second hand buyers, due to the lack of a legitimate secondary market. This void has created common resale scams, which make the resale process hard to navigate. Many people who own timeshares desire to sell them because they are dissatisfied with their timeshare experience, while others are unable to travel, and still others simply need the money.

Very Few Timeshares Have Resale Value

Although new timeshares are sold every day, very few timeshare owners actually sell their timeshares in a secondary market transaction. The resale market is saturated with timeshares of all types and sizes and simply does not have the demand necessary to absorb the excess inventory. It can be hard to know how much a timeshare is worth when you want to sell it. This is because there are not many sales of timeshares that can be used as a comparison when setting the price.

Timeshare Ownership is Difficult to Liquidate

The illusive marketplace for timeshares has always been hyper-competitive, especially in resort locations where thousands of timeshare units are available for purchase. Unfortunately, resales also tend to be difficult to liquidate due to the many use and transfer restrictions in the timeshare marketplace. It’s critical to understand the distinctions in benefits that new owners receive when buying new from the developer, compared to what a resale buyer gets when purchasing in the secondary market. Not all owner benefits are transferable to a resale buyer. Due to some of these complexities, a lot of timeshare owners seek professional assistance.

Why is selling a timeshare resale so difficult?

Not All Secondary Market 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 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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