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Sell Timeshare

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Mark Cappel
UpdatedMay 29, 2023
Key Takeaways:
  • Selling a timeshare is difficult and market prices are low.
  • Beware of brokers that charge up-front fees and promise eager buyers.
  • Try to sell a timeshare before defaulting.
How do we sell a timeshare we can no longer afford?

The question is not really for me but for my father. He is unemployed, in his mid-70s, and went through a bankruptcy about 9 years ago. About 3 years ago, he attended one of those time-share presentations, and despite all the above listed negatives, they still talked him into buying a $13,000 timeshare with monthly upkeep costs. He did not share this with us until the time limit to get out of the contract had expired. He is living only on social security and unemployment and still owes about $9000 on the timeshare. My question to you is if you know of any way out of this predicament. He has been paying a minimum amount, so he is still in good standing with them, but cannot continue to pay this as his unemployment runs out. Should he just stop payment and change his phone # and bank account and let them foreclose or is there another way you have heard of? He has been contacted by many online agencies that promise they can sell it, but most of them want money up front (sometimes up to $600). Of course, he has lost money to at least two of these companies as well.

Timeshares make lousy investments. Selling a timeshare is difficult and the prices timeshares fetch varies from $1 to half of the original sales price depending on the location of the property. Owners sell timeshares on eBay and Craigslist. Avoid brokers that demand up-front fees in exchange for the promise of connecting the owner to an eager, waiting buyer. Brokers that demand up-front fees are scam artists, and their promises of waiting buyers are illusory.

What is a Timeshare?

The Wikipedia timeshare page offers the most succinct and clear definition of a timeshare: "A timeshare is a form of ownership or right to the use of a property, or the term used to describe such properties. These properties are typically resort condominium units, in which multiple parties hold rights to use the property, and each sharer is allotted a period of time (typically one week, and almost always the same time every year) in which they may use the property. Units may be on a part-ownership or lease/'right to use' basis, in which the sharer holds no claim to ownership of the property."

The ownership or right to use a property can be bought, sold, gifted, or rented.

How to Sell a Timeshare

Give up the notion you will sell a timeshare for a price close to what you paid for it. The market value of a timeshare varies by its location, location, and location. Go to eBay, Craigslist, or TUG - Timeshare Users Group to find the market price for timeshare rental or sale. Consider placing a classified ad in the city where the property is located.

Avoid doing business with any business that charges an up-front fee to broker your timeshare. These may come out of the woodwork once you place your property for sale on one of the three marketplaces I just mentioned. Some promise an eager buyer awaiting your property. However, logic suggests that if an eager buyer wanted your property they would contact you directly. Alternatively, if buyer was legitimate, the broker would wait and take a percentage of the sales price.

Selling a Timeshare for Less Than the Loan Amount

If the loan that financed the timeshare purchase is mortgage-like in structure where the finance company has a security interest in the title of the property, then the owner must either negotiate a short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure type of contract with the finance company.

If, however, the loan is unsecured by the title of the timeshare, then the loan is like any other unsecured debt, such as a credit card, medical debt, or a payday loan. If the loan is unsecured, then the timeshare owner can sell the timeshare for whatever the market price is, and then resolve the unsecured loan using a debt settlement company or negotiate a settlement on their own.

You mention default. This would be a last resort and a tactic to be used only if the timeshare could not be sold or the finance company would not consider a short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure.

I hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.



Struggling with debt?

Debt is used to buy a home, pay for bills, buy a car, or pay for a college education. According to the NY Federal Reserve total household debt as of Q4 2022 was $16.91 trillion. Auto loan debt was $1.55 trillion and credit card was $0.99 trillion.

A significant percentage of people in the US are struggling with monthly payments and about 26% of households in the United States have debt in collections. According to data gathered by from a sample of credit reports, the median debt in collections is $1,739. Credit card debt is prevalent and 3% have delinquent or derogatory card debt. The median debt in collections is $422.

Each state has its rate of delinquency and share of debts in collections. For example, in Florida credit card delinquency rate was 4%, and the median credit card debt was $456.

Avoiding collections isn’t always possible. A sudden loss of employment, death in the family, or sickness can lead to financial hardship. Fortunately, there are many ways to deal with debt including an aggressive payment plan, debt consolidation loan, or a negotiated settlement.

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