5 tips for selling your time share
Tread carefully: Scammers abound in the time share resale market. And don't expect to get back what you put into it.
This post comes from Angela Colley at partner site Money Talks News.
The American Resort Development Association says that in 2010, the last year for which data are available, there were 197,700 time shares at 1,548 resorts, and 8.1 million "intervals" under ownership. An interval is usually defined as a week or two.
While getting into a time share will be easy, don't expect the same if you decide to get out. Time shares often plunge in value, and the resale business is riddled with scams. In the video below, Stacy Johnson has tips for selling your time share. Then read on for more.
First, if you're thinking of buying a time share:
Now let's tackle selling your time share:
Sell where you bought. Stacy suggests starting with the company you bought your time share from. Some time share companies have a resale program. Others may provide you with a list of interested buyers. But most won't help you at all.
Post a free classified ad on a local buying and selling site like Craigslist or the online classified section of the local newspaper where your time share is located. By posting an ad in the time share's location, you'll attract buyers interested in that area.
If you need to sell quickly, use an auction site like eBay. Starting an auction on eBay costs $70, including a $35 insertion fee and a $35 final value fee. The auction can run from one to 10 days. Here are some tips for writing that ad:
- Find your selling point. Research other time shares and hotels in the area and find something your time share has that other vacation options don't.
- Price competitively. As Stacy said, time shares in the same resort can be nearly identical. Check local ads for other time shares for sale in your building and price yours lower.
- Time your sale. List your time share a month or two before the start of the vacation season, when the majority of potential buyers will be looking.
Watch out for resale companies that offer to "take the time share off your hands" or want large sums of money upfront -- they're likely scams. Do your research before signing up. Contact the Better Business Bureau to see if the company has complaints against it. Compare prices with other resale companies and get everything in writing -- including contract terms, marketing plans, refund policies and costs -- before you agree to anything.
Bottom line? If you want to buy a time share, make sure it's something you'll be able to use, enjoy and afford for life. And if it passes that test, don't buy it from a high-pressure on-site salesman. You'll find plenty of owners looking to get out and willing to sell cheap.
And if you're selling, tread carefully and keep your expectations low.
More on Money Talks News and MSN Money:
- Vacation houses at hotel room prices
- 6 family vacations for under $1,000
- Cheap but fun travel destinations for 2012
- How much house can you afford?
- Americans don't use vacation days
- Get a tax refund from your vacation
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ABOUT SMART SPENDING
Editor Bev O'Shea lives and works in the foothills of the Appalachians. A former copy editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Orlando Sentinel, she joined MSN Money in 2007. She's a fan of sunsets, college football and free shipping, among other things.
Having worked as a writer, reporter and editor for more than 25 years, Editor Julie Tilsner is the sort of person who can't help but correct grammar in Facebook postings and on billboards. She's written for BusinessWeek, the Los Angeles Times, Parenting, Redbook, AOL and others. She lives in Los Angeles County with her family and loves to drink wine and practice yoga, although not generally at the same time.
A writer for MSN Money since January 2007, Donna Freedman won regional and national prizes during an 18-year newspaper career and earned a college degree in midlife without taking out student loans. She also writes about smart money tactics for magazines and on her own site, Surviving and Thriving.
Mitch Lipka has been warning people about scams and shining light on questionable business practices for more than 20 years. Mitch, the consumer columnist for The Boston Globe, has also been a reporter and editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer, Consumer Reports, South Florida Sun-Sentinel and AOL. He won the 2010 New York Press Club award for best consumer reporting online and was honored in 2011 for his reporting on child product safety.
Marilyn Lewis is an award-winning writer with a passion for getting readers clear, straight information that helps them stay out of financial trouble. A former reporter for The San Jose Mercury News, she works from her home in Port Townsend, Wash. Contact her at MarilynLewis@Outlook.com.
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