Can Timeshare Be Sold?

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Can Timeshare Be Sold?

Can timeshare be sold? It was a question virtually no one asked a few years back, but with the advent of technological advances and the ability to sell virtually anything online, the question from sharp-minded owners and timeshare swappers is now common - can I sell my timeshare? Before diving into the answers here, it's worth noting that vacation ownership as a whole has changed. For many timeshare owners (depending on their developer) timeshares today can be purchased on a short-term basis of 3, 5 or 10 year periods. However, the early vacation ownership units that can be 30 years or older (at a greatly reduced rate, when compared with today's prices) are set on long-term agreements that tend to range between 30 to 80 years. And as time marches on, these original timeshare owners have now grown older, with some now unable to use timeshares for a variety of reasons, from immobility and illness to a change in finances that make travel impossible, which can create a market for owners who end up seeking to sell their timeshare or even looking at timeshare release/exit from their vacation ownerships.

So, what to do if you want to sell your timeshare?

There are many reasons timeshare owners want to sell their timeshare or hand it back. However, as the timeshare product has changed and companies have got smarter in creating different ways timeshares can be used, selling timeshare may not be your only option. Here are some tips about what you can do, and what not to do, if you have a timeshare to sell.

Do I Have to Sell My Timeshare?

The first thing to consider is whether selling your timeshare is the best option, especially if the only thing standing between you and an enjoyable vacation experience is simply a short term budgeting issue that might be related to your maintenance fees. Remember, you can rent your timeshare unit, which may help recover any annual maintenance fees. That being said, here are some key things to consider when you start to strategize around selling your timeshare (or even if you're just marginally considering it):

Maintenance Fees - Make sure maintenance fee payments are up to date, as this will give you more options to use your timeshare. Also, you might ask your family and friends if they would like to have a week given to them as a gift, or collect rental for their stay in either your unit, or an exchanged unit if you use the exchnage program. Any rental money received can then be put towards paying your own fees. Just have a look at the rental prices of units in resorts comparable to your timeshare to give you an idea of what you might charge for its use.

Membership Exchange - Sometimes, timeshare owners do not realize that they have the option to swap their home resort week for a getaway in other resorts offered in our exchange program. If you're a little tired of heading to the same destination year after year, you should know weeks can be exchanged for a stay in other destinations at different times of the year than the week you originally bought (depending on your agreement). Check out Westgate's exchange program first and see what your options are!

Direct Discussion With Westgate - In cases where timeshare exit becomes a prominent possibility, you should deal directly with the owner services team at The Westgate Legacy Program to ask this question, and to find out what criteria is set around it concerning a timeshare resale or release option. Different evaluation criteria is used on a case-by-case basis that may may allow you to do this.

It's worth investigating all these options before taking the resale route.


Timeshare Release Options & Evaluation

If your vacation ownership is with Westgate Resorts, the the Westgate Legacy Program is your first stop on the road to figuring out if your timeshare and your particular situation might be eligible for timeshare release. When you work directly with our team, we go through a number of scenarios that might occur with our timeshare owners, such as:

  1. In the event of the death of a joint owner, the surviving owner may have the option to surrender the timeshare, with conditions that beneficiaries are not obliged to take on the timeshare.

  2. If a timeshare owner is declared bankrupt, there may be an option for timeshare exit.

  3. If a sole owner, or a joint owner, is suffering from long-term illness that prevents them from travelling.

Other conditions and stipulations may apply, and all evaluations take place person-by-person, because no two owner's needs are the same.


Selling Your Timeshare

If you're truly set on selling your timeshare the number one thing to remember is to be realistic in your expectations. You've purchased fractional ownership to use a fabulous vacation destination over a number of years, so you have paid for years of vacations up front. And while your timeshare has value, the rate and market fluctuations of that value do vary differently over time, compared to your residential and wholly-owned residence and/or property. Your timeshare will be one of many on sale in most online marketplaces, and you should not expect to necessarilly get back what you initially paid for your unit, especially if your sale timeline is short and you want to sell it quickly.

The most important thing to know is that reaching out to the Westgate Legacy Program is really your best, first step if you're thinking about selling your timeshare. Beyond that, working with a trusted, professional resale agent that does NOT ask you for any monies upfront for anything,... OR to buy into an alternative club program to enable them to 'sell' your timeshare, for advertising costs, for legal expenses or, really, for anything! Bottom line, if your resale agent starts asking you for money, you should terminate your work with them and look for one that can be trusted (or simply contact us for help).

Before you do anything, ensure your maintenance fees are paid to give your timeshare value.

What next? Be prepared to be patient while your timeshare is being sold. If you can put your timeshare into a rental program, or make your own rental arrangements for it to be rented out to friends and family, this can alleviate some financial pressure of an unwanted timeshare ownership during a prolonged sale period.


Beware Of Timeshare Resale Scams

Below are the current scams and fraudulent activities most commonly found around timeshare sales that you should be on the look out for. Scammers exist in every walk of life and you should always be aware. But remember, scammers can be clever; they will approach you every which way they can - by letter, email, cold calling, even advertisements in the newspapers and travel magazines, and in today's modern marketplace - online, with paid ads, YouTube videos and many other media. And beware, as they come in many disguises you may well be inclined to trust, even attorneys.

The one thing all scammers have in common is to play upon your vulnerability. Don't be a victim - BE AWARE.

If you do encounter any programs or offers that sound like any of those listed below, please walk away.

  1. A company calls you up out of the blue - known as a 'cold call' - claiming to have been given your number by your home resort, your holiday exchange company, ARDA, or other persons or organizations. This will NOT be true because your personal details are protected by law and no organization is permitted to share them.

  2. A company contacts you, by phone, email or direct mail, and claims to have a buyer lined up for your timeshare.

  3. You are asked to pay a fee of some kind - for advertising, legal fees, anything; you should never be asked to part with your money upfront during the sale process.

  4. A company offers you an amazingly high price to buy your timeshare... If it seems to be too good to be true, that's because it is!

  5. You are being pressured into signing up to join a travel club of some kind in exchange for your timeshare to be sold for you.

  6. A timeshare law firm gets in touch or calls you to tell you that you have a good case legally against your home resort's refusal to take back your timeshare. They may well start talking about a 'class action' where you will be sharing any legal costs with others in the same position as you. Naturally, they will tell you that they need some of the legal fees upfront and will ask for a monetary contribution from you at an early stage in the process.

  7. You are asked to send the company or persons contacting you all your membership and ownership documents.


Final Thoughts On Timeshare Sales & Resales

So whether you’re looking for advice on timeshare tax deductions, or you simply want to get educated on the in's and outs of timeshare exit, Westgate is here to help you learn more, and avoid fraudulent timeshare exit scams, timeshare exit companies, and alleged owner cancellation services, which typically create more problems for an owner.

Always remember that Westgate Resorts is NOT affiliated with any third-party company which means that our top priority is YOU, our owner. Work with us directly towards a beneficial outcome today.

For more information on The Legacy Program, please email us at legacy@wgresorts.com. If you would prefer to contact us over the phone, please call 800-351-0461, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time.

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