One of the most common reasons owners choose to sell their timeshare is usually down to financial hardship, this can be for many reasons, elevating the pressure of the annual maintenance fees can be a great relief to those who have hit on hard times. And usually, it’s the elderly or retired who need to free up some of their financial ties for them to enjoy retirement comfortably.
Timeshare is a thriving multi-billion industry which keeps on growing and growing. The promise of owning what most call their “own spot in paradise” sounds like heaven. To other’s, it becomes nothing more than a financial burden.
Many are sold their slice of paradise by the unscrupulous and sometimes aggressive sales representatives, most sell the product with the promise of being able to resell on in the future for a profit which by now consumers should be more aware than ever that this is not the case. They even go as far as telling prospective buyers that a timeshare is a risk-free investment. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
The harsh reality is that instead of earning from owning or selling properties, timeshares owners lose money. You would think that shared ownership of a vacation property with others does sound cost effective. However, the reality is buying a timeshare does not give the owners’ equity.
On average the annual cost is around 800 pounds. The owners of the timeshare are responsible for the maintenance fees regardless of whether they use the property each year or not. The maintenance fees are for life, even after the owner’s death, further risking retirement options for their heirs. Failure to fulfill and pay said fees justifies foreclosure and can have a detrimental effect on credit ratings.
When hardship arises, it’s important that consumers protect themselves where possible especially if they are of retirement age. Therefore, forfeiting their timeshare may seem a small price to pay in comparison to the ever-increasing maintenance fees.
The most common advice given when consumers try to get out of their contract is to resell, unfortunately, most consumers are told during the sales pitch that re-selling their timeshare is easy. The truth is, it’s not and it will re-sell for pennies in comparison to the pounds they spent on the purchase. Timeshares are forever been built therefore there is no shortage as developers are selling newly built properties. The competition is high, making it increasingly difficult to re-sell, especially when consumers discover how much the actual value depreciates contrary to what they are told. To believe timeshare value appreciates over time is a flawed belief. Truth is, it’s actually more like a car’s, that depreciates the moment you put the key in the ignition.
99% of timeshare consumers will never receive what they paid for their contract, we at Timeshare Consumer Association explain five considerations for ending your timeshare contract:
- There are companies who can take away the stress and relinquish you from your contractual rights. Selling privately could prove extremely difficult and add more stress to the consumer’s current financial situation. Look at using a professional exit company but be cautious if you are asked for upfront fees. Be mindfulness when dealing with those who resell a timeshare and complete due diligence on the broker or company.
- When buying always consider selling too, therefore the more desirable areas, resorts, location and value for money should be at the forefront of your mind.
- It’s advisable and also a good idea to join timeshare owners’ groups, you could try to sell via the group or ask if other members know of anyone interested in your week.
- Privately selling your timeshares online or even back to the developers is very rarely a success, however, it is has happened in the past, developers can offer to buy back the property they originally sold under a timeshare contract. Consumers should try to negotiate with developers to see if they can buy back or ask for help in re-selling. If they do offer to assist it must be made clear whilst in the selling/sale is in the process who is responsible for the maintenance fees.
- The other option could be to pass on your timeshare to a family member. They may wish to take over the contract and annual maintenance fees. Transferring the ownership is a possibility, however, we recommend doing this correctly via a lawyer. Only to have the reassurance that should anything go wrong it will not come back on you as the original owner.
See our recent post regarding how to enjoy your timeshare.
Posted on: August 13, 2018
For more information regarding this article or assistance in any other timeshare related issues please contact the TCA on 0203 519 3808 or email: info@TimeshareConsumerAssociation.org.uk