Can’t Sell Your Timeshare?
First, always contact the resort and see if you can deed it back to them. Unfortunately, most resorts
don’t accept them.
Most important - Is it free and clear? If you owe any money on anything, noone wants to take on
your debt. If you try you’ll only look foolish.
Second - Make sure what you have is actually an ownership timeshare with a deed, not just a
membership contract or long term lease. There are totally different laws governing them and you.
Visit Internet timeshare user’s groups. They actively try to put forums together to help people buy,
rent or sell. There are usually lots of suggestions and differing opinions. Make sure you check actual
references cited and don’t just accept claims and opinions. After all, it’s your neck.
List it for sale on every FREE website you can find. Search for “free timeshare ads”. Create a
document page on your computer with specific information you input over and over again - name,
email, price, resort name, description, etc. You’ll add to it as you visit more sites. Track where and
when you list it and when you have to renew. CraigsList.com. Oodle.com and other national sites
have specific cities you can list in. Make sure you list your timeshare where it’s located, not where
NEVER pay up front to list it. If they don’t have the faith to get paid AFTER they bring you a signed
and funded offer through an independent closing company, why should you have faith in them?
Many companies will list your site on a commission basis paid only when it sells. These are
regular real estate agents. Most timeshares are a deeded property just like a house. These
companies will tell you the truth of what to expect. They like to make money and if you’re not realistic
they won’t waste their time. Ask a few different companies, but be ready to accept their experience
If you want a quick estimate or want to get out fast, try eBay.com. Use the “Advanced” search.
Where it says “Completed Auction” checkmark that. Now do your search. This only reviews past
auctions. Red means it ended without a sale. Green means it sold. You’ll get a good idea of what to
Consider donating it to a charity. There are two ways charities accept timeshares. Most have you
hold title and pay upcoming bills until it’s sold. They only accept those they can sell in 30 to 60 days.
There are a couple of charities like Community Health Training, Inc. that will actually take title into
their name so you’re free from then on. They don’t try to resell it because they charge a $500 fee to
you for accepting it. If a fee is charged make sure it’s done through an independent title escrow
company to protect your money. If the charity actually takes and keeps title for 3 years they can give
you a $5,000 donation credit (immediately, not 3 year later). If you’re in a 25% tax bracket that means
$1,250 back in your pocket as a refund instead of $45 from the resale.
The next to last method is to use a company like TimeshareRelief or one if it’s spinoffs (there are
several). Some people say they’re crooks for charging $3,995 to $4,995 to the owner to take their
timeshare, but it’s just business - and legal. The reality is that they are fast, experienced and do take
almost all timeshares they are offered. Just go into it with the understanding that you’ll be paying
dearly for your freedom but you will be free at last. Make sure they actually take title ASAP. A few
complaints have been made that the original owner was still on the deed when the next maintenance
bill came around.
You final choice is simply to ignore the bills, collection notices, attorney’s letters, credit report dings,
and smile when you answer your phone. Sometimes nothing else works.
Dr. Ken Rich is a on the board of Community Health Training, Inc., a non-profit organization (NPO)
that accepts timeshare title as a direct donation instead of reselling it. Details on the process can be
found at http://www.communityhealthtraining.org/Timeshares/ .
He can be contacted at SeniorDirector@CommunityHealthTraining.org .