How to Sell a TimeshareBy Amy Curtis; Updated June 08, 2017
Making a little extra pocket change from your vacation rental
A timeshare is a jointly owned property, and its different owners use it at different times of year. It can be a good investment for those who want to lock in vacation rates and have a good idea as to when they want to travel each year. Timeshares also allow members to trade time at their assigned property for time at other properties, sometimes in different parts of the world, which enables them to visit other vacation spots. Because a timeshare is owned, it’s also good for those who want a vacation spot to pass down to their heirs, but don’t want the hassle of upkeep. When it’s time to sell, though, it can be a little bit tricky. Is it better to sell it or rent it out? There are a few different ways to turn a timeshare into a source of income.
How to sell a timeshare
The first step in selling a timeshare is to contact the resort in which the timeshare is owned and find out any restrictions they may have on such sales and any fees involved in reselling or transferring ownership. Next, make sure you’ve got all the paperwork you need.
There are a few different ways to sell a timeshare. Often, the resort will offer a resale program and sell the property themselves. It’s very important to know the details of this program to determine if the terms are amenable.
Timeshares can also be sold by real estate agents, though it should be noted that resale value is typically fairly low. It may be a more cost-effective solution to sell the timeshare through the local classifieds on Craigslist or eBay. eBay now has a specific section devoted to selling timeshares. Once the timeshare is sold, a title agency can handle the transfer and paperwork and draw up the contract for both parties to sign.
Rent a timeshare
For those not quite ready to ditch their timeshare completely, there’s the option of renting. It’s a good way to recoup some of the fees associated with timeshare ownership, and it may even create a little extra income. Once again, determine the regulations on rental imposed by the resort and if they’ll require any “kickback” of profits made.
When renting out a timeshare, be clear with potential renters about the rules. Is there a “quiet time”? Set a cleaning fee, and specify how many people are allowed in the property. What’s the expectation for the condition of the property when they leave? It’s a good idea to require a deposit to cover any damage renters might inflict.
If the resort allows rentals of timeshares, a vacation rental company may be the easiest way to market the rental. Sites like Airbnb and VRBO have changed the vacation rental market and make it easy for “hosts” to list their properties as well as to determine pricing and rules. These companies help to manage the transactions, but the host has control over pricing and who rents the property.
Other things to consider
Sometimes, the desire to sell a timeshare isn’t about making a little extra money. Sometimes, timeshare owners discover that the fees are simply too much for them to maintain. Given that the resale value of a timeshare is quite low, it may be time to cut losses, move on and give the timeshare back to the resort. If this seems like a good idea, talk to the resort about how to dissolve the contract. If more help is needed, certain firms specialize in this sort of negotiation.