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Before you decide to sell your timeshare, make sure you are knowledgeable of all of your options. The first thing we always recommend is to contact your resort developer, as they will have the most up-to-date information and reliable options. As the timeshare industry evolves, the most important concern for owners is to steer clear of scams or pitfalls. Many of today’s top developers are partnered with timeshare resale companies or have their own in-house solutions.
Timeshare ownership is technically like owning a deeded piece of real estate. If someone tells you that you can “cancel” your timeshare contract, this is not the case and it can hurt your credit standing!
Before taking the plunge with a timeshare cancellation or exit company, remember that there is a very slim chance that you are still in the timeshare rescission period. With every ARDA member developer, and in most states, your timeshare contract will write out a period of time after purchase that the buyer may rescind their purchase.
Owning a timeshare is like owning a real, deeded piece of real estate. Can you cancel your mortgage on your house? Unfortunately, this is the same for vacation ownership. The rescission period in your contract is normally not very long, maybe five to fifteen days depending on the state your resort is located in. If you are experiencing cold feet immediately after buying your timeshare, you may still be in the rescission period. However, if your ownership was purchased months or years ago, this rescission period has passed. The best way to sell your timeshare after this period is by consulting your developer, or a credible resale company.
If an exit or cancellation attorney tells you that you can cancel your timeshare contract, what they really mean is that you can default on your ownership. Even with a “risk-free” promise, you are sacrificing your credit standing and will likely never see a refund. In the fine print of a cancellation company’s contract, you will find that an owner that defaults on their timeshare is considered a win or successful exit.
The truth of the matter is, you cannot cancel on your timeshare contract unless you are still within the legal rescission period. Once this has passed, your best option is to consult with your developer for other solutions, or to sell it.
A reputable, trustworthy timeshare resale company or agent will never call you unsolicited. This is actually against the law, and goes against the ARDA Members Code of Ethics. If someone calls you out of the blue with a willing buyer, this is likely a scam. If they promise to buy your timeshare for all that you paid for and more, it is highly unlikely it’s a legitimate offer.
Timeshare rarely appreciates in value. They are not a financial investment, but rather a product that helps families invest in their vacations for life. The best way to sell a timeshare is to set realistic expectations.
You should never have to pay exorbitant up-front fees to sell your ownership. Some advertising companies may request a small up-front fee for marketing, but a legitimate timeshare resale company will not ask for you to pay thousands of dollars to close.
In the case of an out-of-the-blue buyer, you will most likely be asked to wire a large sum of money for “closing” or “transfer” costs. You should never have to pay to get out of your timeshare. This also goes for cancellation attorneys or exit companies that ask for exorbitant up-front fees for their services.
There are some cases of a timeshare resale company that asks for advertising fees or listing fees. These are usually nominal, and these companies don’t promise to cancel your ownership. Rather, they advertise your ownership for you to thousands of possible buyers. The best way to sell a timeshare without upfront fees is through a Licensed Real Estate Brokerage.
Whether you plan on getting out of your timeshare or not, you should never stop paying your annual dues or maintenance fees. These fees are legally binding in your contract. If a timeshare exit team or lawyer advises you to stop paying your dues, take warning. This will result in a drastic decrease in your credit score, and you will likely default on your ownership. A foreclosure will stay on your credit report and follow you forever. While you may no longer use your ownership, these dues are required to keep paying.
If you are struggling to pay your timeshare maintenance fees, consult with your developer. They may have options. You can opt to rent your timeshare out to help cover these dues or sell your ownership entirely in order to stop paying them.
Trustworthy resale companies will not call you out of the blue to solicit your business. If a company calls you and tells you they have a buyer for your timeshare prior to you ever having contact with them or that they can cancel your timeshare contract, be wary. Timeshare contracts are like all other contracts and cannot simply be “canceled.” Use your best judgment. If you’re not sure, feel free to call your developer, or visit ResponsibleExit.com for more solutions.
Depending on your timeshare developer, you may have the option to sell your timeshare back to the resort. Many brands have in-house programs to assist owners in their transitional time.
Wyndham owners in need of exit solutions can turn to Wyndham Cares. This free program is designed to offer options for each owner’s unique situation.
Ovation by Wyndham
For Wyndham owners that are current on their dues and have their loan paid-off, Ovation by Wyndham may be able to take your timeshare back. This safe timeshare exit solution is reliable, safe, and relatively quick.
The Legacy Program by Westgate
The Legacy Program by Westgate is here for you. Designed to assist owners in understanding their options, Westgate can offer to take your ownership back. Their representatives may also walk you through how to use your timeshare to its fullest potential, or help you find the safest options to exit.
ARDA Coalition for Responsible Exit
ARDA, the American Resort Development Association, is the trusted source for all developers, resale companies, and owners in the timeshare industry. ARDA pushes for legislative action and protection of all parties in timeshare. Every major developer adheres to ARDA’s strict Code of Ethics and guidelines to protect owners, buyers, and even sellers. If you choose to sell your timeshare with a resale company, make sure they are ARDA approved and accredited by the Better Business Bureau.
Your timeshare maintenance fees are required to pay every year, and are part of your contract. If you stop paying your maintenance fees, it will hurt your credit score and you will likely default on your ownership. If a timeshare exit company or attorney advises you to cease payments, be cautious. This is not in your best interest, and makes it much more difficult to exit your timeshare in the long run.
It is rare for owners to receive back what they originally paid for with their timeshare. Timeshares are not an investment and do not appreciate in value. Before turning to a resale company, exit attorney, or cancellation company, ask your friends and family if they would be interested in taking your timeshare for you. Gifting your timeshare can be a great option to get out of your timeshare maintenance fees or dues. Make sure you consult with your developer and a legitimate Title Insurance Company to assist in transferring ownership.
While you may own a deeded piece of real estate that’s recorded with the resort county, timeshare does not work the same as buying and selling houses. Most common real estate agents do not sell timeshares, but there are specialists that do. Fidelity Real Estate is a licensed timeshare brokerage with expertise and knowledge in the resale market. We are also members of ARDA and accredited by the Better Business Bureau.
Fidelity Real Estate is a full-service resale brokerage that is here to help you sell your vacation ownership. Our licensed resale experts can give you a free consultation and get you started with NO upfront fees, ever.