Tips For Selling A Timeshare

On December 12th, 2015

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So for those of you thinking about selling a time share, or possibly just want to understand some of what goes into the make-up of a time share listing for sale, here you go:

Know What You Have.

I can’t tell you how many folks come to us asking for help in selling their time share and they don’t have a clue what they own. I’m very serious. It’s a real shame but the salesperson who sold it to them was more interested in making a sale than making sure the customer was getting something they could truly enjoy for years to come. So before you put your time share up for sale, gather some info together. If you don’t know your time share well, get a copy of your original contract (do NOT go to your deed as this can actually throw you off of what you really own as far as the actual usage of the time share). Your contract is going to give you info about the size of the unit, the time of year it can be used, whether it’s deeded or a Right To Use, etc. Know how much your current maintenance fee is as well, right down to the penny.

Get Real.

This is important. Yes, you paid $20,000 for it. No, you’re not going to get anywhere near that for it. (Of course, if you bought it from us instead of the resort, you’re probably in pretty good shape and not going to take much of a loss and possibly none at all.) The market is saturated with time shares for sale and because of this prices are very low. If you’re a seller, you’re not liking this. If you’re a buyer, you’re loving it. But the difference between selling your time share or continuing to enjoy if for many years to come can be the simple fact that your asking price is off by just a few hundred dollars. In real estate there is the Principle of Substitution. This means no one is going to pay more money when they can get the exact same thing for less. If you’re not sure what your time share is truly worth, look at our web site for comparables (www.TimeSharesToGo.com) . There’s your competition. Or give us a call and we’ll be happy to assist.

The Truth Will Set You Free.

If you list your time share with us, you’re going to sign a statement that everything you tell us is the truth to the best of your knowledge. We’re going to advertise and sell your time share for you based on the info you give us. Now, we know mistakes can be made and everyone understands that. Honest mistakes are honest mistakes. We get these from time to time and can usually work things out between the buyer and seller so that the deal is saved and everyone is happy. But don’t knowingly fib. During the closing process the title agency is going to verify all the info and if anything is not correct, they stop everything and call us. That’s the agreement we have with the title agencies we use. We have a reputation with our customers as being a straight-dealer. We’re not going to jeopardize that over any one deal. So tell the truth, and you’ll be free of your time share.

Go It Alone Or Use A Professional?

Everyone wants to save money. There’s nothing wrong with that. If you want to sell your time share on your own, you’ll save the brokerage fee. But if it were that easy, our company and others like ours would not exist. It’s not easy. In fact, it’s difficult. We sell hundreds and hundreds of time shares every year. You don’t. And it’s a very specialized type of sale. Even title agencies and real estate attorneys don’t have a clue how to handle a time share. It takes a title agency whose primary business it time shares to do a proper transfer. And it takes a real estate brokerage who specializes in time shares to get the job done. But if you want to give it a go on your own, do so. If it doesn’t work out, you can always give us a call.

But, If I Don’t Want To Go It Alone, What Is “A Professional”?

This is one of the most important factors to understand when selling your time share. The vast majority of folks use a broker to sell a time share. Most buyers, for instance, won’t purchase a time share unless there’s a broker involved because they know without a broker they are then in a Buyer Beware situation. They’d rather pay a bit more to go through a professional, licensed brokerage and know they are safe in their purchase. Plus, in today’s market the buyer is not really seeing much of a difference (if at all) in price between buying from an individual vs buying through a licensed brokerage. Their choice is obvious.

So who do you pick to help you sell? First, there are two iron-clad rules you must remember. Neglect either one and you’ll be sorry.

Rule One: No money up-front. Get talked into paying any money up-front and you’ll join the ranks of thousands of others who were scammed. Period. Do we really need to elaborate?

Rule Two: Show me your real estate license. If the company has no real estate license they are operating outside the law. Period. No exceptions. And if you deal with such a company you have no protection under law if something goes wrong. You took your chances. One extra note on this: There are a few companies out there that try to play both sides of the fence. They’ll offer to sell your time share through their “advertising” web site if you’ll just pay them a few hundred dollars upfront (see Rule One above). If that doesn’t work, they’ll offer to sell it through their “sister” company who has a real estate license. Is this being up-front and honest? Is this a company you’d want to do business with? We’ll let you decide. As for us, we’ll never ask you for money up-front. We get paid at the end of the sale, just like selling your home. And we’ll gladly show you a copy of our real estate license.

Another factor is that you never, ever, want to sign an exclusive listing agreement. That’s a fool’s game. Let the real estate brokerage know you might be listing your time share with other companies. That puts them on notice. The company who makes the sale wins the commission. If they have an exclusive listing they can take their good-ole time about it, knowing you’re locked into them.

I’m Feeling Really Charitable

Thinking of donating your time share to a charity and using the hefty tax deduction? Be careful. Very careful. The few remaining charities we know of that are still handling time shares understand that they are taking on your maintenance fees. They don’t want your time share, they want money. Owning a time share won’t feed the hungry or shelter the homeless. So if you want to “donate” your time share you’re also going to “donate” to them around $3500! Yep! The charities are going to charge you money to take the time share! Not only that, but that big tax deduction just might trigger a closer look at your tax return by the Feds. When a charity actually sells your timeshare, they must file form 8282 with the IRS and submit a copy to you as well showing the actual sale price of the timeshare. It is here where an “appraised” value that is significantly different than the actual sale price can certainly put a huge red flag on your return!

And even more significant, a few weeks ago we wrote about a “charity” who is now under investigation by the IRS for handing out inflated receipts for time share “donations”. We have warned about this in the past. And to make matters worse, the IRS will be contacting the individual tax payers regarding the incorrect tax returns they filed. Long story short: Stay away from “donating” your time share!

So there you have it! As always, if you have any specific questions we can help with, just call or drop us an email!

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