A Quick Guide to Exiting Your Timeshare
According to a Timeshare Exit Support Services infographic, for every individual person looking to purchase a timeshare there are 400 existing timeshare owners desperate to exit theirs. Then, it might initially sound like the ideal time to buy into timeshares as prices are currently lower than ever, yet when the value of a product falls as astronomically as timeshares have (and do) it begs the question, is timesharing ever a good idea?
The unequivocal response made by many of the 500,000 British people who currently own a timeshare is an emphatic no, and one of the major reasons for this is that exiting a timeshare can prove extremely difficult and even cost an owner rather than making them the thousands many timeshare ‘investors’ were promised upon purchasing their timeshare agreement.
Fortunately there are ways to exit a timeshare. And, if you are looking to do exactly that, here are your main options.
Resell or Return Your Timeshare Back to the Resort You Bought It From
One of the most obvious options available to anybody who owns something they no longer want or require the use of is of course to consider reselling it. Unfortunately, selling a timeshare is a little, if not a lot, more complicated than selling a car for example, or even a house.
As aforementioned, very few people want to invest in timeshares these days. The murky reputation the timeshare industry has earned itself due to the high proportion of scammers operating within the industry coupled with changing holidaying habits as well as the desire to avoid the often sizable costly annual fees attached to most timeshare agreements have essentially ended what was once one of the fastest growing leisure industries in modern history.
What this means for those wishing to sell a timeshare is that they are likely to struggle and very unlikely to recover even a fraction of the amount their timeshare cost to buy in the first place. Suffice to say, timeshares really are value depreciating ‘assets’ – for want of a more accurate term.
Further, because scammers are these days making less by conning consumers into buying timeshares for the reasons stated, they have now turned their attention to scamming those desperate to sell, which is somewhat ironic as it is of course largely due to the scammers lurking within the industry that timeshare popularity is at an all time low.
Therefore, if you are intent on attempting to re-sell your timeshare it is worth first seeing if it is possible to sell your timeshare back to the company or resort from which you purchased it – and you can learn how exactly to go about attempting to do that via the Timeshare Users’ Group website.
Sell Your Timeshare
If it transpires you cannot sell or return a timeshare to the resort from which you originally bought it, you will need to look into advertising and selling your timeshare, which you can do via a number of online websites such as the Timeshare Hypermarket, social media, sales notice boards, newspaper ads and word of mouth.
Alternatively, and for a quick sale, you can look into companies which buy timeshares straight up, but through agreeing to do so are likely to pay far less for your timeshare than you did. None the less, such companies can prove the only means of avoiding ending up losing more money long term through continuing to pay annual fees on a timeshare that is not being used, yet is still costing you to keep hold of.
Just remember when selling a timeshare to a company to never do so via a company which makes unsolicited contact with you (for example, via spam emails or a cold call) as this is primarily the means by which scammers alone operate. And, last but not least, never agree to pay any fees upfront to a company offering to advertise and sell your timeshare on your behalf.
Resell or Rent Out?
Some of the websites upon which you can advertise a timeshare for sale also permit users to advertise to rent their timeshare – much as property owners might choose to rent out rather than sell a property they own. In this regard such websites fulfil similar roles to estate agents. Consequently it is likely you will be charged a fee for using their services and advertising via their websites.
Therefore, when considering whether it is worthwhile renting out your timeshare rather than attempting to sell it or simply exit your agreement, you will need to begin by carefully totting up just how much you stand to make or save renting vs. selling.
Meanwhile, for more information about how to safely rent out a timeshare, visit the Resort Share website.
If You Have Purchased a Timeshare Within the Past Fourteen Days…
Timeshares are known to be sold by sales people using some of the most aggressive and bamboozling sales tactics used in any industry, from cold calling to drum up customers to manipulating customers with so-called ‘once in a lifetime’ offers and deals ‘you would be stupid to miss out on’ to piling on the pressure at presentation evenings. Hence, a proportion of those who want to exit a timeshare agreement have only just bought into one and are already eager to be rid.
Fortunately, all timeshares sold now come with a fourteen days ‘cooling off’ period. Within these fourteen days the money you have paid for a timeshare is held and cannot be taken or spent by the company or resort from which you have purchased your timeshare. This is to prevent companies and scammers from mis-selling timeshares and then making away with consumers’ money, and as well to try and stem the amount of people being pressured into purchasing a timeshare they either do not want or cannot actually afford.
Hence, if you have purchased a timeshare within the last fourteen days and have since decided you do not want to own a timeshare simply write and email (to doubly ensure they get the message and do so within good time) to the company or resort from which you made the purchase and tell them your name, reason for writing and that you are exiting the agreement within the cooling off period. You are not legally required to give a reason as to why you wish to end the contract.
It is worth, for the sake of politeness, being courteous with your phrasing, but do not ask the company their permission to exit the agreement or appear nervous or unsure about your decision as some unscrupulous resorts and companies will take advantage of this and attempt yet again to dissuade you from ending the agreement.
Check Whether Your Contract is Even Legal
If none of the above options apply or appeal to you, don’t despair; there is a chance that you were mis-sold a timeshare or that due to the period in which you made the purchase, your timeshare agreement could in fact be declared void. In such circumstances you could even stand to re-coup some if not all of your initial investment amount.
To learn more about whether your timeshare agreement is in fact even legally binding or could be, with some professional help, deemed void, begin by contacting a specialist legal team such as the aforementioned Timeshare Exit Support Services. After all, and as TESS are quick to warn timeshare owners: ‘In 2015, the EU ruled that approximately 12% of timeshare contracts are illegal and that owners may be eligible for compensation on top of repayments.’